WATSON’S sells lifestyle products, and the best way to inspire customers into action is to underscore the emotional aspect of that purchase. With this in mind, our goal was to bring the tagline, “Life’s Best Moments Start Here” to life. To do this, we created an electronic photo album at the entrance to the store. What better way to get customers thinking about the happy memories they will create by providing their family and friends with “all the fun” from Watson’s.

Split flap system at train station

Detail of split flap system

Not just inspired by photo albums, we also drew inspiration from the “split-flap” walls used on train schedule boards overseas. We loved the tactile quality of flipping through photos as well as the subtle sound they make. Since a real flap display would be impractical, we opted to mimic the essence of a split-flap wall. To create this, we used two 75” connected monitors shrouded behind a waterjet-cut steel fascia. The effect is an array of 72 individual tiles that mimic 72 photos. Here’s a look into what it takes to bring a concept like this to fruition.

Production of custom metal casing to simulate split flap

Our friends at Vulkane fabricated the custom steel structure— the overlay is cut out on a waterjet machine. Then, we utilized a new monitor system from Samsung that allows multiple monitors to be daisy-chained together and programmed remotely.

Initial design concepts for digital split flap feature wall

Production file of building digital split flap simulation

We created individual compositions for each of Watson’s nine product categories which we then divided into a grid. After this, we authored the animation in After Effects, choreographing the flipping and transitions. We tried a variety of “flip” changes at different speeds until we landed on a finalist. Then, we added sound effects to complete the illusion.

Production still of building split flap in Adobe After Effects

After Effects production file showing split flap animation

Building split flap animation in After Effects

Prototypes, mock-ups, and tests are the keys to making the myriad of decisions required to realize our finished concept. Working with artisans who “get” what we are trying to do makes the whole process enjoyable and ensures a finished piece that lives up to the concept.

Detail of tv monitors behind custom steel fascia

Building a digital split flap wall–tv monitors behind custom steel frame

The finished piece welcomes every customer and serves as a physical demonstration of Watson’s “Lifes Best Moments Start Here” tagline. We hope this will become an entrance feature at every Watson’s store.

Look for more reports in the future. For more information on how White Design Studio can integrate a communications solution for you, contact Peter directly at