Title:
Picture display system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A picture display system that is comprised of picture modules and display sleeves. The picture modules are comprised of individual pictures which are secured to a mounting panel using mounting clips or alternately individual pictures are placed in a mounting picture carrier and then the mounting picture carrier is secured to the mounting panel using mounting clips. The assembled picture modules are placed in display sleeves which hold a plurality of picture modules. The system makes it quick and easy to rearrange the order of pictures and replace pictures. There are a number of base and auxiliary elements that can be easily interchanged in a diversity of combinations and permutations to devise an assortment of goods that have a similar appearance but that also have distinct differences and unique features.



Inventors:
Murray, David T. (Mississauga, CA)
Sambrook, David N. (Toronto, CA)
Application Number:
10/724503
Publication Date:
06/02/2005
Filing Date:
12/01/2003
Assignee:
MURRAY DAVID T.
SAMBROOK DAVID N.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/06; A47G1/14; (IPC1-7): A47G1/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ROYAL, PAUL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
David, Sambrook (295 Johnston Ave., Toronto, ON, M2N 1H5, CA)
Claims:
1. A picture display system having in combination: a picture module to hold individual pictures; a display sleeve that is shaped and sized to hold at least one of said picture module and having two opposing receiving channels; a plurality of accessory components that function to support said display sleeve; a connector channel for connecting said display sleeve.

2. A picture display system as defined in claim 1 wherein said picture module includes a mounting panel which supports and protects a picture and two mounting clips that secure a picture to said mounting panel.

3. A picture display system as defined in claim 1 wherein said picture module includes a picture carrier that holds a picture, a mounting panel which supports and protects said picture carrier and two mounting clips that secure said picture carrier to said mounting panel.

4. A picture display system as defined in claim 3 wherein said picture carrier having a central fold, angled slots for holding a picture and opening that exposes a picture placed inside said picture carrier.

5. A picture display system as defined in claim 2, wherein said picture module includes a mounting clip with dual guide lips, dual strain relieve grooves and equal legs.

6. A picture display system as defined in claim 3, wherein said picture module includes a mounting clip with dual guide lips, dual strain relieve grooves and equal legs.

7. A picture display system as defined in claim 2, wherein said picture module includes a mounting clip with a single guide lip, dual strain relieve grooves and unequal legs.

8. A picture display system as defined in claim 3, wherein said picture module includes a mounting clip with a single guide lip, dual strain relieve grooves and unequal legs.

9. A picture display system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display sleeve includes a self supporting base.

10. A picture display system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display sleeve includes 2 additional narrow channels and a standoff rib whereby said additional narrow channels facilitate the physical linking or connecting of display sleeves one to another and said standoff rib functions to maintain an assemblage of display modules a constant distance from a vertical surface.

11. A picture display system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display sleeve includes 2 additional ribs and 2 sets of centering grooves and reinforcement ribs whereby the said additional ribs provides clearance for the heads of mechanical fasteners and said centering grooves provide a convenient means for centering a twist drill bit and said reinforcement ribs provide additional strength in the area under the heads of mechanical fasteners.

12. A picture display system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display sleeve is two independent receiving channels mounted to a common substrate and each having 1 additional rib, a centering groove and reinforcement ribs whereby the said additional rib provides clearance for the heads of mechanical fasteners and said centering groove provides a convenient means for centering a twist drill bit and said reinforcement ribs provide additional strength in the area under the heads of mechanical fasteners.

13. A picture display system as defined in claim 1 wherein said display sleeve is produced from a monolithic material and having receiving channels machined directly into it.

14. A picture display system as defined in claim 1 further including a fold up display stand made from a planar sheet material which can be folded and locked into a three dimensional form utilizing internally located locking tabs that snap into fastening holes.

15. A picture display system as defined in claim 8 further including a connector for joining said individual display sleeves so a plurality of said display sleeves can be easily attached to a supporting surface such as a wall.

16. A picture display system as defined in claim 8 further including wall support for attaching an assemblage of display modules to a supporting structure such as a wall.

17. A picture display system as defined in claim 8 further including wall support connector for connecting an assemblage of display modules to typical office partition/wall systems.

18. A picture display system as defined in claim 1 wherein a plurality of said display sleeve are attached to a backer board thereby forming a picture plaque.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISK APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND

This invention relates to a picture display system that can hold a plurality of pictures in a variety of different configurations.

Conventional picture frames are used to display and protect a variety of objects including photographs, pictures, drawings, diplomas, signs and a variety of other objects. In the description herein, the term picture is intended to generically cover all of these objects.

The average family possesses many pictures that have been accumulated over years. Some of these pictures find their way into albums and some are placed in frames, but the vast majority of them are stored unorganized in envelopes and shoeboxes where they are rarely seen. Even pictures that are stored in albums are rarely seen even though they are more organized than those stored in envelopes and shoeboxes.

Given the growing popularity of digital photography, individuals are generating even more pictures than ever before. As a result there is a growing need for alternative ways to display pictures irrespective of how they've been created.

The reasons the majority of pictures are never displayed are many, but some of them are related to the alternatives available in the marketplace.

Firstly there's the barrier of cost. Even though there are low cost individual frames, the cost of framing a collection of photographs quickly escalates. Also, the use of individual frames very quickly results in clutter.

Secondly there's the barrier of inconvenience. Many frames are not user friendly and require a great amount of patience to properly position a picture in them.

There are a variety of frames that display multiple pictures and are well known to the art. By way of example, in wall mounted frames, there are frames which can be classified as a collage frames. Another example well known to the art, are individual frames which are joined together using hinges. This type of frame can be used as the freestanding frame or mounted on to a wall.

Although there are currently a variety of frames that display multiple pictures available on the market, there is an ongoing need for simpler and more cost-effective solutions that provide consumers the opportunity to display pictures they possess. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide improved picture display alternatives.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, there is provided a display sleeve to hold a plurality of picture modules. Pictures are placed in the picture modules and then the picture modules in turn slide into a display sleeve. The system makes it quick and easy to rearrange the order of pictures and replace pictures. There are a number of base and auxiliary elements that can be easily interchanged in a diversity of combinations and permutations to devise an assortment of goods that have a similar appearance but that also have distinct differences and unique features.

The display sleeve has different shapes depending on the particular application. Furthermore, display sleeves can be used in both singular and plural modes. For example, in one embodiment, a display sleeve can function alone as a free standing entity. In another embodiment a plurality of display sleeves are supported on a special purpose stand. And in yet another embodiment a plurality of display sleeves can be physically linked together using accessory elements to create a wall collage effect.

The display sleeves can also serve as a subcomponent to create a larger assemblage on a separate substrate. For example two individual three picture sleeves can be permanently fastened to a backer board to create a picture plaque. The backer board can be simply finished or have thematic graphics printed on the front. Examples of themes for the graphics applied to the backer board are team sports, growing up and special occasions.

The invention does not reside solely in any of the individual base or auxiliary components alone but also with how they function together as herein disclosed and claimed.

For a better understanding of the invention, reference should be made to the accompanying drawing and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a preferred embodiment of the of the picture module;

FIG. 2 shows the profile of a preferred embodiment of the mounting clip;

FIG. 3 shows the profile of a second preferred embodiment of the mounting clip;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of a second preferred embodiment of the of the picture module;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the mounting picture carrier;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the mounting picture carrier shown in FIG. 5 with the picture placed in it;

FIG. 7 shows the profile of a preferred embodiment of the display sleeve;

FIG. 8 is a perspective exploded view of the display sleeve shown in FIG. 7 with the picture modules placed in it to form a display module;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the display module shown in FIG. 8 is used in combination with a display stand;

FIG. 10 is an exploded view of the display module shown in FIG. 8 is used in combination with a display stand;

FIG. 11 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the display stand shown in FIG. 9 and FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the display stand shown in FIG. 11 folded into a structural three dimensional form;

FIG. 13 shows the profile of a second preferred embodiment of the display sleeve;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the display sleeve shown in FIG. 13 with the picture modules placed in it to form a display module;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an assemblage of wall mounted display sleeves;

FIG. 16 is a side view of the assemblage of wall mounted display sleeves shown in FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a detail view showing a preferred method of support at the top of the assemblage of wall mounted display sleeves shown in FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a detail view showing a preferred method of interconnection between display sleeves in the assemblage of wall mounted display sleeves shown in FIG. 16;

FIG. 19 shows the profile of a preferred embodiment of the wall support;

FIG. 20 shows the profile of a preferred embodiment of the partition panel support;

FIG. 21 shows the profile of a third preferred embodiment of the display sleeve;

FIG. 22 shows the profile of a preferred embodiment of the display sleeve connector;

FIG. 23 shows the profile of a fourth preferred embodiment of the display sleeve;

FIG. 24 is a perspective exploded view of the display sleeve shown in FIG. 23 with the picture modules placed in it to form a display module and shown wall mounted;

FIG. 25 shows the profile of a fifth preferred embodiment of the display sleeve;

FIG. 26 is a perspective exploded view of the display sleeve shown in FIG. 25 with the picture modules placed in it to form a display module and shown wall mounted;

FIG. 27 is a perspective view of a sixth preferred display sleeve with the picture modules placed in it to form a display module;

FIG. 28 is a front view of a preferred assemblage of display sleeves pre-mounted on a graphic panel;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the drawings where like numerals have been used to describe like parts and in particular to FIG. 1, there is shown a preferred embodiment of the picture module 31A that is comprised of a mounting panel 35 and two mounting clips 33 which secure a picture 37 to the mounting panel.

The mounting panel 35 serves two purposes; it supports and protects the picture. The dimensions of the mounting panels can be of any size as required by the pictures to be displayed. It has been found that materials such as glass or plastics such as acrylic or copolyester are ideal materials to use for making the mounting panels.

The mounting clips 33 serve to conveniently secure the picture flat against the mounting panel in the correct alignment and in a manner that doesn't damage the picture in any way and that can be easily reversed to allow easy changing of the picture. It also functions to conceal the edges of the mounting panel and picture that are not otherwise concealed. As a result the mounting panel can be slightly larger than the picture which is attached to it. This allows the system to handle pictures that vary in size without having to modify the pictures.

The mounting clip is intended to be reusable and therefore must be made out of a material that can be used to create a spring like clamping force without breaking. Extruded rigid PVC has been found to possess the required properties. The mounting clip can also be injection moulded from a plastic such as ABS. Properly treated aluminum extrusions and roll formed steel can also be used to achieve the required properties.

Referring next to FIG. 2, there is shown the profile of one preferred embodiment of the mounting clip 33A with equal legs. The profile of the mounting clip is generally of an elongated U-shape with the two legs angled towards one another. The two legs are slightly angled away from each other at their unattached ends to form guide lips 39. The guide lips serve to prevent tearing of the picture. At their closest point, the distance between the two legs is slightly less than the thickness of the mounting panel. The base of the retainer clip may strain relieve grooves 41 that are thinner than the nominal thickness of the profile to reduce the strain and chance of material failure at these points. The length of the mounting clip generally matches the length of the vertical side of the mounting panel.

Referring next to FIG. 3, there is shown the profile of second preferred embodiment of the mounting clip 33B with unequal legs. It is similar to the first preferred embodiment of the mounting clip except that only one side 39 is angled away while the opposing side 43 is shorter and not angled at its end. This embodiment of the mounting clip is useful for situations where a flush appearance is desired although it is not as user friendly.

Referring next to FIG. 4, there is shown a second preferred embodiment of the picture module 31B. It is identical to the first preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 1 as described above, but with the addition of a picture carrier the 45. The picture carrier 45 makes it possible to use pictures with different orientations adjacent to one another in the system. The picture carrier also provides a means to provide an alternative appearance for the system.

Referring next to FIGS. 5 and 6, there is shown the picture carrier 45. Heavyweight colored paper stock is an ideal material to use for the picture carrier. A score 49 is located at the midpoint and perpendicular to its longest side. To one side of the score are slots 47 through the thickness of the material and angled at 45 degrees to the perimeter edges are spaced the proper distance to receive a predetermined picture size such as 4 inches by 6 inches. To the other side of the score is an opening 51. The slots 45 and opening 51 are positioned such that when the picture carrier is folded along the score 49 a picture 37 that is retained by the slots is centered and visible through the opening 51. The opening 51 can be any configuration required, for example it could be an oval shape instead of a rectangle. Adhesive systems such as double side tape can be easily used instead of the angled slots to hold a picture in the picture carrier.

Referring next to FIGS. 7 and 8, there is shown one preferred embodiment of the display sleeve 53A. The display sleeve has two opposing channels 55 that are connected to one another by a web 59 that are separated from one another the proper distance to receive a picture module 31A. The display sleeve may also have interference ribs 57 which act to restrict the movement of the picture modules in the display sleeve. FIG. 8 shows the display module 61A which is comprised of a display sleeve 53A and three picture modules 31A. The arrow 60 indicates how picture modules 31A slide into the display sleeve 53A. The dimensions of the display sleeve vary depending on the number and size of the picture modules to be placed inside it. Generally its length is a multiple of the length picture modules it is intended to hold. FIG. 8 shows a specific picture module being used with a display sleeve 53A; however it should be noted, that generally, all embodiments of the picture module can be freely interchanged with all embodiments of the display sleeve. Furthermore, other embodiments of the display sleeve which are disclosed below are derivatives of the embodiment shown in FIG. 7.

Referring next to FIGS. 9 to 12, there is shown a plurality of display modules 61A used in combination with a display stand 63. Referring in particular to FIGS. 11 and 12, there is shown the preferred embodiment of a fold up display stand 63. The display stand has scores 65 and tabs 79 which allows the stand to be made from a sheet material and then be folded and locked into a three dimensional form. Copolyester plastic 0.06 in. thick die cut using steel rule dies has been found to work suitably. The tabs 79 are formed internally by cutting through the material to create the required shape 73. At the time of assembly the locking part of the tabs 69 are held in place by snapping them through the holes 67. Ledges 71 provide a means to support display modules with the ideal spacing and orientation. The display stand can have any number of ledges. The exact configuration and dimensions can be readily be determined by someone skilled in the art.

It should be appreciated that the display stand can also be made in alternative materials and configurations. For example suitable stands can be made from thermoformed sheet plastic, fabricated sheet metal, injection molded plastic or bent wire to name a few.

Referring next to FIGS. 13 and 14, there is shown a second preferred embodiment of the display sleeve 53B. This embodiment of the display sleeve is exactly the same as the first embodiment shown in FIG. 7 and disclosed above except for the addition of a front leg 78 and a rear leg 80 which provide a self-supporting base. The legs are sized and located in such a manner so as to tilt the display sleeve and thereby placing its centre of gravity at a point approximately midway between the points of contact between the legs and the horizontal surface the display sleeve is resting on to ensure stability. FIG. 14 shows the display module 61B which is comprised of a display sleeve 53B and three picture modules 31B. It will be appreciated that there are many equally functional configurations for a self-supporting base and these configurations are claimed herein.

Referring next to FIGS. 15 to 22, there is shown a third preferred embodiment of the display sleeve the 53C. This embodiment of the display sleeve provides the ability to physically link or connect display sleeves one to another so a plurality of display sleeves can be easily attached to a supporting surface such as a wall 81. This embodiment of the display sleeve is exactly the same as the first embodiment shown in FIG. 7 and disclosed above except for the addition of 2 additional narrow channels 91 and a standoff rib 87. These are best viewed by referring to FIG. 21. Individual display sleeves are joined together using the connector 85. During assembly the display sleeves are first butted together and then the connector is slid over them. Referring now to FIGS. 21 and 22 in particular, the leg 109 of the connector fits into to the channel 91 of the display sleeve and similarly leg 89 of the display sleeve fits into to the channel 111 of the connector. The gap 113 between the 2 channels of the connector is equal to double the wall thickness of the display sleeve at the bottom of the channel 91. A web 107 separates the two channels 111 of connector the required distance. The length of the connector will vary depending on the length of the display sleeves to be connected. The connecter can be made from a variety of materials including rigid PVC plastic or thin gauge steel which has been treated to have spring-like qualities.

Referring in particular to FIG. 19, there is shown one preferred embodiment of the wall support 83A that is used to connect an assemblage of display modules 61C to a supporting surface 81. The leg 97 of the wall support fits into the channel 91 of the display sleeve 53C. The leg 97 is offset from the rear surface 100 of the wall support to provide clearance for the connector 85. The standoff rib 87 located at the midpoint on the rear surface of the web 59 of the display sleeve 53C functions to maintain an assemblage of display modules 61C the proper distance from a vertical surface 81. The wall support can be secured to a vertical surface using mechanical fasteners or adhesives. A V-shaped groove 95 is located opposite the rear surface 100 to provide a convenient means for centering a twist drill bit when drilling holes through the profile when mechanical fasteners are used to attach it to a supporting surface. Small reinforcement ribs 93 located on either side of the V-groove provide additional strength in the area under the heads of mechanical fasteners. The length of the wall support is slightly less than the length of the top most display module in a assemblage.

Referring in particular to FIG. 20, there is shown a second preferred embodiment of the wall support 83B. This preferred embodiment is used to attach an assemblage of display modules to a typical office partition/wall system. The channel shape formed by the base 101 and legs 103 and 105 is sized to hook on to the standard panel of the partition/wall system. The leg 97 of the wall support fits into the channel 91 of the display sleeve 53C in a manner similar to wall support 83A disclosed above.

Referring next to FIGS. 23 to 24, there is shown a fourth preferred embodiment of the display sleeve 53D. This embodiment of the display sleeve provides for direct attachment to a supporting surface such as a wall 81. It is exactly the same as the first embodiment shown in FIG. 7 and disclosed above except for the addition of 2 additional ribs 117 and 2 sets of centering grooves 95 and reinforcement ribs 93. The purpose and configuration of the centering grooves 95 and reinforcement ribs 93 is exactly the same as disclosed above for the wall support 83A. The addition of ribs 117 provides clearance 115 for the heads of mechanical fasteners 119 used for attaching the display sleeve 53D to a supporting surface. This allows the picture modules to move unobstructed while concealing the mechanical fasteners. It should be appreciated that a plurality of this preferred embodiment of the display sleeve can be attached to a supporting surface such as a wall 81.

Referring next to FIGS. 25 to 26, there is shown a fifth preferred embodiment of the display sleeve 53E. This embodiment of the display sleeve provides an adaptable display sleeve for direct attachment to a supporting surface such as a wall 81. It is essentially the receiving channel portion of display sleeve 53D disclosed above. Two equal lengths of display sleeve 53E are attached to a supporting surface 81 separated a distance appropriate for the picture modules to be displayed. The advantage of this embodiment of the display sleeve is the ability to accommodate any size picture module without the need to manufacture specific size profiles. The disadvantage is that more skill is required by the end user.

Referring next to FIG. 27, there is shown a sixth preferred embodiment of the display sleeve 53F. This embodiment of the display sleeve is produced from a monolithic material such as wood and can have a channel 55 machined directly into it.

Referring next to FIG. 28, there is shown a picture plaque. The backer board 123 can be of any shape and size. It can be made using any suitable material; ⅜ inch MDF board is one example. Display modules 61D are mounted on to the backer board using any convenient method such as mechanical fasteners or adhesives. It should be appreciated that other embodiments of the display module such as 61A or 61E can also be used. The graphics can be directly applied to the backer board using a method such as silk screen printing or alternatively the graphics can be printed on a separate material like plastic film and then applied to the backer board. There are many existing means for hanging plaques that are well known to the art. As the picture plaque is intended to be displayed on a wall, one or more of these means can be easily incorporated into the rear surface of the picture plaque.

From the foregoing, it is apparent that the basic elements are simple in construction, yet provide the basis for a diverse picture display system, lending itself to economic mass production techniques. The specification and drawings are merely illustrative of the invention and are not intended to limit the invention to the disclosed embodiments. Reasonable variations and changes are possible within the scope and nature of the invention which is defined in the appended claims