Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to display devices. It is particularly
applicable, but in no way limited, to display devices used to mount advertising
material on the risers of stair treads.
Background of the Invention
Advertising material can be displayed in a wide variety of locations
at conference venues, exhibition halls, sporting events and the like. In modem venues
more and more initiative is being shown in finding useful and creative ways for
supporting advertising materials. One such surface is the outward face of risers
on flights of stairs. The choice of this location is not new and it has been used
in football grounds for example, for some time. However, this tends to be for permanent
adverts such as the home club's logo or for sponsor's details. An entirely difference
situation is found at conference venues when the advertising material must be changed
prior to every event. Traditionally, such advertising is secured to the step riser
by some form of adhesive, which enables the advert to be peeled off after the event,
leaving no trace behind it. Typically this is achieved by using card, plastic or
light metal boards with an adhesive backing.
Because stairways can be heavily trafficked and represent a potential
health and safety hazard, special care must be taken to keep them safe and free
from tripping hazards. If, during an event, a piece of advertising on a stair tread
riser comes loose, the entire item must be removed immediately. If the item is part
of a larger display then the whole display must be taken down. When one considers
that many staircases are carpeted, including the risers, this presents a real challenge
to the advert installer. A strong adhesive is required which will withstand scuffs
and knocks from the footware of those using the staircase. However, the adhesive
must leave no trace when the advertising strip is removed. Such requirements are
mutually exclusive and thus stair risers are not used as an advertising medium as
much as they might be.
In public areas, advertising material may be subjected to unwanted
vandalism or theft. Accordingly, it is highly desirable to provide means for preventing
the unauthorised removal of the advertising material, whilst still enabling authorised
personnel to install or remove the advertising material quickly and easily.
It is the object of the present invention to overcome or mitigate
some or all of the problems outlined above.
Summary of the Invention
According to the present invention there is provide a display device
for displaying advertising material on a stair tread riser as defined in attached
Preferably the carrier comprises a carrier plate adapted to be fixed
to the stair riser, said carrier plate incorporating retaining channels along the
uppermost and lowermost longitudinal edges, said channels being adapted to accommodate
and retain an advertising plate. The advertising plate can be slid into the retaining
channels from one end or flexed to enable it to be placed into the channels from
the front of the display device.
In a particularly preferred embodiment the carrier plate and retaining
channels are of unitary construction. The carrier plate can thus be formed from
a metal such as stainless steel by metal folding, aluminium or aluminium alloy by
extrusion, or from plastics material.
Preferably the carrier plate is perforated with countersunk holes,
said holes being adapted to accommodate conventional fixings such that the fixing
heads do no protrude substantially proud of the plane of the carrier plate.
In a further embodiment the retaining channels are formed from rotatably
mounted channel members, rotatably mounted with respect to the carrier plate, such
that the channel member may be rotated away from the carrier plate to enable an
advertising plate to be placed in to the carrier and then rotated back towards the
carrier plate to retain the advertising plate in place. This alternative form of
construction makes it easier to change the display material when sliding access
from the side of the stair riser is not available.
Preferably the rotatably mounted channel members are resiliently bias
towards a closed position in which they retain the advertising plate within the
According to the invention the display device further comprises retaining
means at an end of the device, said retaining means preventing the advertising plate
from being slid longitudinally out of the display device. This advantageously prevents
removal of the advertising plate by sideways sliding.
Also according to the invention the display device further comprises
a lockable end cap to prevent unauthorised removal of the advertising plate from
the display device. This advantageously prevents (or at least deters) the unauthorised
removal of the advertising material, whilst enabling authorised personnel to install
or remove the advertising material quickly and easily. It is possible to engineer
the display device and the lockable end cap such that the carrier plate, once locked
in place, is totally secure and cannot be removed by unauthorised personnel.
Preferably the lockable end cap has a recess or cutaway region shaped
to constrain an end of the advertising plate, and regions around the recess or cutaway
region for attaching the end cap to the carrier.
Most preferably the regions of the lockable end cap around the recess
or cutaway region are shaped and configured to constrain the advertising plate between
the retaining channels and the end cap.
Brief Description of the Drawings
The invention will now be described, by way of example only, with
reference to the following drawings in which:-
Description of the Preferred Embodiments
- Figure 1 illustrates a display device according to a first embodiment of the
- Figure 2 illustrates a set of stairs with a display device as illustrated in
figure 1 fixed to two of the risers;
- Figures 3 and 4 illustrate cross-sectional views through the display device
of figure 1;
- Figure 5 shows a display device according to a second embodiment of the present
invention, having a lockable end cap (shown removed and placed to one side);
- Figure 6 is a close-up view of one end of the display device of Figure 5;
- Figure 7 is another close-up view of one end of the display device of Figure
- Figure 8 is yet another close-up view of one end of the display device of Figure
- Figure 9 illustrates another display device according to the second embodiment
of the invention.
Embodiments of the present invention are described below by way of
example only. These examples represent the best ways of putting the invention into
practice that are currently known to the applicant, although they are not the only
ways in which this could be achieved.
Figure 1 illustrates a display device 10 according to a first embodiment
of the present invention. The device comprises a carrier plate 11 which has retaining
channels 12, 13 along the opposing longitudinal edges i.e. at the top and the bottom
of the stair riser when the display device is in use. The carrier plate is perforated
with countersunk holes 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. These holes are adapted to accommodate
conventional fixings such as screws, bolts or, as in this case, plastic rivets.
Because the head of the fixing is accommodated within the countersink then the fixing
head does not extend substantially proud of the plane of the carrier plate. This
makes it relatively easy to slide an advertising plate along the length of the display
device without it snagging on the fixing heads.
In the present example the retaining channels are integral with the
carrier plate. If a metal such as stainless steel is used then this arrangement
can be created by known metal folding techniques starting from a piece of sheet
metal. The retaining channels are thus formed by the back of the carrier plate and
a returning nib, the inner surface of which is substantially parallel to the front
of the carrier plate. The gap within the retaining channel is just wide enough to
accommodate the decorated advertising plate.
In this example the display device is held in place onto the face
of a stair riser using plastic rivets which engage with corresponding located holes
in the stair riser. However, it is not essential to use plastic rivets and any other
form of suitable fixing can be used. In the appropriate circumstances it would also
be possible to secure the carrier plate to the front outward face of the step riser
using a strong and permanent adhesive.
The advertising material to be displayed is printed onto a suitably
sized sheet of material which is then slid from one side along the length of the
carrier plate until the advertising plate and carrier plate coincide. In a preferred
example, the substrate for the printed advertising material is enamelled steel since
this provides a strong durable image. However, other materials could be used such
as card, plastics materials or other metal surfaces. It will be appreciated that
it is not necessary that the advertising plate 20 is slid in to the carrier plate
because in certain instances there will not be sliding access from the side of the
staircase. In this case it is necessary to bow or flex the advertising plate along
its longitudinal axis in order that it can be snapped or slipped into the retaining
channels from the front of the carrier plate. This is most easily done by slipping
the lower edge of the advertising plate into the lowermost channel 12 and then flexing
it such that the effective height is less than the distance between the opposing
edges of the retaining channels 12 and 13 and then pressing the advertising plate
home into the uppermost in use channel 13. This is easier to do if the advertising
plate is of thin cross-section such as a 0.5 millimetre enamelled steel plate.
Optionally end caps (not shown) can be provided which clip in to the
opposing ends of the carrier plate to prevent the advertising plate moving from
side to side during use.
It will therefore be appreciated that the problem of how to retain
an advertising plate on a stair riser has been solved by first fixing a carrier
plate to the riser and fixing the advertising plate onto the carrier plate. It will
also be appreciated that there are a number of other ways in which an advertising
plate can be accommodated in or attached to a carrier plate. The carrier plate could,
for example, be made from magnetic material or have an outer magnetic surface applied
to it. An advertising plate of ferrous metal or of an opposite magnetic pole will
then secure strongly to the carrier plate and retaining channels will not be required.
Alternatively, the retaining channels could be formed by hinged or
pivotally mounted flaps which can be folded back out of the way to allow artwork
to be inserted. Such folding mechanisms are known per se from the signage
display industry but have not been employed in this context. Such flaps are generally
spring-loaded such that they will stay open when folded back but are resiliently
biased against the advertising plate when closed. This helps to retain the advertising
material in place during use.
Any suitable material can be used to construct the present invention
as recommended by the materials specialist. Metals such as steel or stainless steel
can be used, with or without a powder coat or other finish. Other metals such as
aluminium or aluminium alloys can be used, in which case the carrier plate can be
formed by way of extrusion. A wide variety of plastics materials would also be suitable.
Likewise, the advertising plate can be formed from any suitable material such as
card, plastic sheet or other composite material or metals, including enamelled metals.
In order to prevent (or at least deter) the unwanted theft of the
advertising material from the display device, a second embodiment of the invention,
as shown in Figures 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, incorporates a lockable end cap 32 at an end
of the display device 30. In Figures 5, 6, 7 and 8, a blank advertising plate 31
is shown in place in the display device 30.
A hole 35 is provided in the display device into which a locking member
33 may be inserted and locked by rotation. A key 34 is provided to enable the rotation
of the locking member 33 by authorised personnel, facilitating (for authorised personnel)
the ready removal and replacement of the end cap 32. The specific design and construction
of locking mechanisms such as this are known to those skilled in the art.
As shown in Figure 6, the outer surface 36 (in use) of the end cap
32 is substantially smooth and flat, giving a smart outward appearance to the display
With reference to Figure 7, the underside 38 of the end cap 32 may
be provided with a recess 42 shaped to accommodate the end of the advertising plate
31. On both sides of the recess 42 are edge portions 40a and 40b shaped such that,
when the end cap 32 is locked onto the display panel 30, the edge portions 40a and
40b respectively abut the raised retaining channels 41a and 41b of the display panel
Alternatively, as shown in Figure 9, the end cap 32 may be formed
using two plates 36, 38. Here, the lower plate 38 incorporates a cutaway region
43 for accepting the advertising material, and includes the edge portions 40a and
40b for abutting the retaining channels 41a and 41b of the display panel 30. The
upper plate 36 is smooth and flat as before, and, in use, partially overlaps the
A permanent retaining member 44 is provided at the end of the display
device distal from the lockable end cap 32. This prevents the advertising plate
from being slid out of the display device in the direction away from the lockable
When the end cap 32 is locked in place, the advertising plate 31 is
retained between the retaining channels 41a and 41b, the lockable end cap 32 and
the permanent retaining member 44, and theft of the advertising material is thereby
prevented or at least deterred.
To summarise, when the end cap 32 is locked in place, the advertising
plate 31 is retained along both longitudinal edges and is also retained at both
ends. This provides a high level of security to the advertising material. Indeed,
the display device may be engineered such that the advertising plate 31, once locked
in place, is totally secure and cannot be removed by unauthorised personnel.
In an alternative embodiment (not illustrated), a lockable end cap
may be provided at both ends of the display device, to enable removal of the advertising
plate in either direction by authorised personnel.