Retail displays can make or break a sale. Before you commit to your next design, it’s important to understand the different types of displays available, how they impact the retail environment, and what their strengths and weaknesses are in relation to your products. 

We’ve discussed point-of-purchase displays, window displays, and focal wall displays at length, but we’ve yet to touch on one key aspect to consider when designing a retail display: The substrates, or materials, you use to manufacture it. 

Each substrate has its perks and challenges, and one of the most common substrates used in retail displays is acrylic. Flexible from a design perspective, cheaper than glass or metal, and durable enough to support a semi-temporary lifecycle, acrylic display cases are an engaging and cost-effective option for any retailer. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using An Acrylic Display Case?


Because acrylic is much lighter than glass, it’s much cheaper in terms of shipping and logistics costs. If you’re building a large display that needs to be shipped across the country, that cost can become substantial with a heavier substrate. Additionally, acrylic can help you achieve an elegant, upscale look while providing great product visibility. 

In industries like CBD, where theft is a rampant challenge, acrylic display cases can help you showcase your products without them being knocked over, moved, broken, or stolen. By building a lockable functionality into your case—whether the case itself is locked or products are kept in a locked storage container beneath the display—you can tell your brand story while protecting your merchandise. 


Casework is typically more expensive than your average countertop display because of the premium look and feel. Sometimes, acrylic cases can become pretty sizeable fixtures as well, and not every brand has the in-store layout to accommodate one of these displays. Before you commit to an acrylic display case, it’s important to understand your real estate restrictions and design something specific to the space you’re allotted.

Additionally, acrylic can get scratched easily. Some scratch-resistant acrylics are available, but if you’re designing a display that will be repurposed or moved around often, other substrates might be more practical. Retailers also need to be careful about the cleaning products they use on acrylic cases; some chemicals can cause marks or shattering. 

Download the Free Guide: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar

4 Engaging Acrylic Display Case Designs

Lola Lola’s Featured Products Cases

You might hear “display case” and immediately think “go big or go home.” The truth is, bigger is not necessarily always better. Large cases can be not only expensive, but also quite difficult to fill effectively. 

However, you can design your acrylic cases fit-to-size. For example, we built these display cases for Lola Lola, a California cannabis brand. We created the first and biggest display to highlight the entire product line—but it wouldn’t make sense to feature individual products in the same size case, so we created smaller versions for each product too.


Notice the use of backlit screens and engaging graphics to help emphasize the brand story and educate the customer.

Prosoco’s Temporary Acrylic Brochure Display

Prosoco is a manufacturer of commercial construction chemical products, and the temporary acrylic display we designed for them is another great example of a small, but powerful display. 

This tri-fold brochure easel is perfect for offering educational materials to consumers without breaking the bank. Small, practical, and on-brand, the acrylic brochure holders are paired with a white PVC display to feature their logo. 


EyeSmith’s Large Acrylic Display Cases

This retail space we designed for EyeSmith Sport & Fashion Optical holds a great example of an effective acrylic display case. Because their products are small and easily shoplifted, the case guards their products while still giving consumers full visibility to browse. 

This case is visible from all sides, but sometimes the products may only be visible from three sides. In these situations, we use a graphic that speaks to the product and keeps the customer engaged. If you’re designing a large display to sit inside your retail environment, think about where it’s going to sit and how you can maintain the same look and feel as consumers approach it from different sides. 


Cannabis Sampling Table 

As we mentioned earlier, theft can be a major issue in the cannabis industry—but giving consumers the opportunity to touch and sample your products can have a wonderful impact on sales. 

This cannabis sampling table is an example of an acrylic display case that walks the line between customer engagement and theft prevention. The case is lockable and secure, so consumers cannot touch the products without the help of a salesperson. Additionally, the LED lighting highlights the products and creates a premium look and feel.  


Looking for An Acrylic Display Case for Your Products? Start Here. 

Remember, acrylic display cases may be big and impactful, but it’s the little details that will make your products stand out. Get creative with the way you highlight your brand inside the case; use lighting elements to illuminate the product or engaging graphics to educate. Don’t leave your individual products floating in a giant display; leverage every piece of real estate available to you. 

If you have questions or need inspiration for your next design, InStore Design Display has all the experience and insight you need. Browse our e-commerce site for stock versions of acrylic cases or contact us today to get started on your next custom design. 

Check out our free guide to the future of brick-and-mortar retail.

New call-to-action