Title:
Image display with configurable lettering
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A display having configurable lettering includes a base, a plurality of tiles, and a tile carrier. The base includes at least one display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base and at least one recess portion, and the plurality of tiles have an upper side and a lower side. A top portion of the tile carrier retains the upper side of the plurality of tiles, and a lower portion of the tile carrier retains the lowers side of the plurality of tiles. The tile carrier is configured to be retentively engaged by the at least one recessed portion when the tile carrier is disposed therein.



Inventors:
Fox, Kevin P. (Georgetown, TX, US)
Shread, Donald (Austin, TX, US)
Nunez, Paul Reinaldo (Cedar Park, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/782018
Publication Date:
02/24/2005
Filing Date:
02/19/2004
Assignee:
FOX KEVIN P.
SHREAD DONALD
NUNEZ PAUL REINALDO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/06; G09F1/12; (IPC1-7): A47G1/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
DAVIS, CASSANDRA HOPE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROPES & GRAY LLP (BOSTON, MA, US)
Claims:
1. A display having configurable lettering, comprising: a base having an inner surface and at least one display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base; at least one recessed portion disposed on the inner surface of the base adjacent to the at least one display window; a plurality of tiles having an upper side and a lower side; and a tile carrier having a top portion and a lower portion, wherein the tiles are retained in the tile carrier by engagement of the upper and lower sides of the plurality of tiles with the top and bottom portions of the tile carrier, and wherein the tile carrier is configures to be retentively engaged by the at least one recessed portion when the tile carrier is disposed therein.

2. The display having configurable lettering of claim 1, wherein the top portion of the tile carrier and the lower portion of the carrier each include a channel.

3. The display having configurable lettering of claim 2, wherein the plurality of tiles slidingly engage the channels.

4. The display having configurable lettering of claim 1, further including a second display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base adapted to receive an image.

5. The display having configurable lettering of claim 4, wherein the second display window includes a second recessed portion disposed on the inner surface of the base adjacent to the second display window.

6. The display having configurable lettering of claim 1, wherein the base is integral to a photo album.

7. The display having configurable lettering of claim 1, wherein the base is integral to a photo frame.

8. The display having configurable lettering of claim 1, further including an overlay having a rear surface adjacent an outer surface of the base.

9. The display having configurable lettering of claim 1, wherein the at least one recessed portion is disposed adjacent an upper edge and a lower edge of the at least one display window.

10. The display having configurable lettering of claim 1, further including a backing pivotally attached to the base, wherein the backing engages the inner surface of the base in a closed position.

11. The display having configurable lettering of claim 1, further including an overlay pivotally attached to the base, wherein the overlay engages the an outer surface of the base in a closed position.

12. A display having configurable lettering, comprising: a base having at least one display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base; a plurality of tiles having an upper side, and a lower side; and a tile carrier configured to be retentively engaged at the at least one display window, the tile carrier having an upper channel and a lower channel, wherein the upper side of the tiles slidingly engage the upper channel and the lower side of the tiles slidingly engage the lower channel.

13. The display having configurable lettering of claim 12, further including a second display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base adapted to receive an image.

14. The display having configurable lettering of claim 12, wherein the at least one display window includes a recessed portion disposed on an inner surface of the base.

15. The display having configurable lettering of claim 14, wherein the recessed portion is disposed adjacent an upper edge and a lower edge of the at least one display window.

16. The display having configurable lettering of claim 13, wherein the second display window includes a second recessed portion disposed on the inner surface of the base adjacent to the second display window.

17. The display having configurable lettering of claim 12, wherein the base is integral to a photo album.

18. The display having configurable lettering of claim 12, wherein the base is integral to a photo frame.

19. The display having configurable lettering of claim 12, further including a overlay having a rear surface adjacent a front surface of the base.

20. A method of display an image, comprising: providing a plurality of tiles having an upper side and a lower side, and a base having a first and a second display window, wherein the second window is adapted to receive the image; sliding the upper and lower sides of the plurality of tiles into an upper and lower channel disposed on a tile carrier; placing the tile carrier into a recess portion disposed adjacent the first display window, such that a front surface of the plurality of tiles is visible through first display window; aligning the first display window with a first aperture in an overlay; and aligning the second display window with a second aperture in the overlay.

21. A photograph frame having configurable lettering, comprising: a base having a plurality of display windows disposed inside a perimeter of the base; at least one recessed portion disposed on the base adjacent to a first of the plurality of display windows; a tile carrier having an upper channel, a lower channel, an upper edge, and a lower edge, wherein the upper edge and a lower edge engage with the at least one recessed portion; a plurality of tiles having an upper side and a lower side; wherein the upper side of the tiles slidingly engage the upper channel of the tile carrier and the lower side of the tiles slidingly engage the lower channel of the tile carrier; and an overlay having a plurality of aperture, wherein a first of the plurality of apertures aligns with the first of the plurality of display windows, such that the plurality of tiles are visible trough the first of the plurality of apertures.

22. The photograph frame having configurable lettering of claim 21, further including a second of the plurality of display windows located above the first of the plurality of display windows.

23. An image display having configurable lettering, comprising: a base having an inner surface and at least one display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base; at least one recessed portion disposed on the inner surface of the base adjacent to the at least one display window; a plurality of tiles having an upper side and a lower side, wherein at least one of the upper and lower sides includes one of a notch and a tab; a tile carrier having a top portion and a lower portion, wherein at least one of the top and bottom portions includes the other of the notch and tab, the tiles engaging the tile carrier by engagement of the notch and tab in a puzzle-like fashion, and wherein the tile carrier is configured to be retentively engaged by the at least one recessed portion when the tile carrier is disposed therein.

24. An image display having configurable lettering, comprising: a base having an inner surface and at least one display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base; at least one recessed portion disposed on the inner surface of the base adjacent to the at least one display window including one of a notched section and a tabbed section; and a plurality of tiles having an upper side and a lower side, wherein at least one of the upper and lower sides includes the other of the notched section and the tabbed section, wherein the tiles engaging the base by engagement of the notched and tabbed section of the recess portion and the tiles in a puzzle-like fashion.

25. An image display having configurable lettering, comprising: a base having an inner surface and at least one display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base; a plurality of tiles; and a pouch having an opening for receiving the plurality of tiles, wherein the pouch is configured to attach to the inner surface of the base, such that the tiles are viewable through the at least one display window.

26. An image display having configurable lettering, comprising: a base having an outer surface; a frame having a viewing window and a rear surface, wherein the rear surface of the frame engages the outer surface of the base; and a plurality of tiles having an upper side and a lower side, wherein the upper and lower sides of the tiles retentively engage the frame when the tiles are visible through the viewing window.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION DATA

The present application is a non-provisional application based on, and claiming the priority benefit of, co-pending U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/448,548, which was filed on Feb. 20, 2003, and is expressly incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure generally relates to the display of graphic material, such as images and photographs having an associated configurable alpha-numeric information display area.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

Image displays, such as photograph frames, photograph albums, etc. are known in the art. Configurable lettering systems are also known in the art, and have recently been combined with various types of image displays. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,918,398 discloses a Custom Display System for displaying a photograph in a frame having configurable lettering. The Custom Display System includes various letters having a self-adhesive backing that are adhered to a backing having a grid pattern for aligning the letters. A portion of the backing, including the letters, is then cut away from the backing, and is adhered to the rear of a mat having a first window, such that the letters can be seen through the first window of the mat. A photograph is then positioned to the rear of the mat covering a second window in the mat, such that the photograph can be seen through the second window of the mat. As such, the mat is mounted in a frame with the letters and the photograph being visible through the first and second window of the mat, respectively.

Another example is U.S. Pat. No. 6,460,279, which discloses a Custom Display and Storage System for displaying a photograph and configurable lettering on a storage system, or the like. The Custom Display and Storage System includes a cover/lid having a pocket to a rear of the cover/lid for receiving a display sheet. The cover/lid includes a first window for displaying a photograph, and a second window for displaying the lettering. The photograph is placed on the display sheet with adhesive and is aligned on the display sheet using an image located grid. Similarly, the letters are placed on the display sheet with adhesive located on a rear of the letters and are aligned on the display sheet using printed character locations. The display sheet is inserted into the pocket, such that the photograph and letters are viewable through the first and second window, respectively.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

In accordance with one aspect of the disclosure, a display having configurable lettering is disclosed. The display includes a base, at least one recessed portion, a plurality of tiles, and a tile carrier that is configured to be retentively engaged by the at least one recessed portion when the tile carrier is disposed therein. The base includes an inner surface and at least one display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base, and the at least one recessed portion is disposed on the inner surface of the base adjacent to the at least one display window. The plurality of tiles is retained in the tile carrier by engagement of an upper side and a lower side of the plurality of tiles with a top and bottom portion of the tile carrier.

In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, a display having configurable lettering is disclosed. The display includes a base, a plurality of tiles, and a tile carrier. The base includes at least one display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base, and the plurality of tiles include an upper side and a lower side. The upper side of the tiles slidingly engages an upper channel of the tile carrier, and the lower side of the tiles slidingly engages a lower channel of the tile carrier. The tile carrier is configured to be retentively engaged at the at least one display window.

In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, a method of displaying an image is disclosed. The method includes providing a plurality of tiles having an upper side and a lower side, and a base having a first display window and a second display adapted to receive the image. The method further includes sliding the upper side and a lower side of the plurality of tiles into an upper channel and a lower channel disposed on the tile carrier. The method further includes placing the tile carrier into a recess portion disposed adjacent the first display window, such that a front surface of the plurality of tiles is visible through first display window, and aligning the first display window with a first aperture in an overlay and aligning the second display window with a second aperture in the overlay.

In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, photograph frame having configurable lettering, is disclosed. The display includes a base, at least one recessed portion, a plurality of tiles, a tile carrier, and an overlay. The base includes a plurality of display windows disposed inside a perimeter of the base, and the at least one recessed portion disposed on the base adjacent to a first of the plurality of display windows. The tile carrier includes an upper channel, a lower channel, an upper edge that engages with the at least one recessed portion, and a lower edge that engages with the at least one recessed portion. The upper side of the tiles slidingly engages an upper channel of the tile carrier, and the lower side of the tiles slidingly engages a lower channel of the tile carrier, and the overlay includes a first aperture that aligns with the first of the plurality of display windows.

In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, an image display having configurable lettering including a base, at least one recess portion, a plurality of tiles, and a tile carrier, is disclosed. The base includes an inner surface and at least one display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base. The at least one recessed portion is disposed on the inner surface of the base adjacent to the at least one display window, and the plurality of tiles include an upper side and a lower side. At least one of the upper and lower sides of the tiles includes one of a notch and a tab. The tile carrier is configured to be retentively engaged by the at least one recessed portion when the tile carrier is disposed therein, and includes a top portion and a lower portion, wherein at least one of the top and bottom portions includes the other of the notch and tab. The tiles and the tile carrier engage with the notch and the tab in a puzzle-like fashion.

In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, an image display having configurable lettering is disclosed. The display includes a base having a inner surface and at least one display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base, and at least one recessed portion disposed on the inner surface of the base adjacent to the at least one display window. The at least one recess portion includes one of a notched section and a tabbed section. A plurality of tiles includes an upper side and a lower side, and at least one of the upper and lower sides includes the other of the notched section and the tabbed section. The tiles and the base engage with the notched section and the tabbed section in a puzzle-like fashion.

In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, an image display having configurable lettering is disclosed. The display includes a base having an inner surface and at least one display window disposed inside a perimeter of the base, and a plurality of tiles. The display further includes a pouch having an opening for receiving the plurality of tiles, that is configured to attach to the inner surface of the base, such that the tiles are viewable through the at least one display window.

In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, an image display with configurable lettering is disclosed. The image display includes a base having an outer surface, and a frame having a viewing window and a rear surface. The rear surface of the frame engages the outer surface of the base. The image display further includes a plurality of tiles having an upper side and a lower side that retentively engage the frame when the tiles are visible through the viewing window.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front partially exploded isometric view of an image display with configurable lettering constructed in accordance with one example of the teachings of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a rear isometric view of the image display with configurable lettering of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional side view of a base of the image display with configurable lettering along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of a carrier of the image display with configurable lettering of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of a tile of the image display with configurable lettering of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a rear isometric exploded view of the image display with configurable lettering of FIG. 1, with an overlay and a backing;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an image display with configurable lettering with a sealing mechanism;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an image display with configurable lettering having a fold out portion;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an image display with configurable lettering having a fold out portion;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an image display with configurable lettering of FIG. 1, wherein the image display is a photo album;

FIG. 11 is a perspective exploded view of an image display with configurable lettering of FIG. 1, wherein the image display is a photo frame;

FIG. 12 is a perspective exploded view of another an image display with configurable lettering of FIG. 1, wherein the image display is a photo frame;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view another embodiment of an image display with pockets;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view another embodiment of an image display with a puzzle-like interface;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view another embodiment of an image display with front attachable configurable lettering; and

FIG. 16 is a perspective view another embodiment of an image display with separate display frames.

While the method and device described herein are susceptible to various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrative embodiments thereof have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings and with specific reference to FIG. 1, an image display with configurable lettering is generally depicted by reference numeral 20. As shown therein, the image display 20 in this one exemplary embodiment includes a base 22, a carrier 24, and a plurality of tiles 26. A user may place the tiles 26, having various indicia 27, such as for example the letters J, A, N, and E as seen in FIG. 1, into the carrier 24 for spelling, naming, showing, and/or describing the tiles 26 and/or an image 28. The carrier 24 including the tiles 26, as seen in FIG. 2, may be placed into a carrier recess portion 30 of a carrier window 32, such that at least a portion of the tiles 26 are viewable through the carrier window 32. More specifically, walls and/or surfaces of the recess portion 30 may engage and retain the carrier 24 such that the tiles 26 and indicia 27 are viewable. Similarly, the image 28 may be placed the into an image recess portion 34 of an image window 36, such that at least a portion of the image 28 is viewable through the image window 36.

The base 22, as seen in FIG. 3, includes the recess portions 30, 34, the windows 32, 36, a front surface 38, and a rear surface 40. The carrier recess portion 30 may be disposed on the rear surface 40 of the base 22, and is adapted to receive the carrier 24. Alternatively, the carrier recess portion 30 may be disposed in the front surface 38 of the base 22. More specifically, the carrier recess portion 30 may be disposed adjacent one or more sides of the carrier window 32. For example, as seen in FIG. 3, the carrier recess portion 30 may be disposed adjacent an upper edge 42 and a lower edge 44 of the carrier window 32. The carrier recess portion 30 may, however, be disposed adjacent a first side edge 46 and/or a second side edge 48 of the carrier window 32 (FIG. 2). Alternatively, the carrier recess portion 30 may be disposed adjacent any one or more of the edges 42, 44, 46, and 48, among others. More specifically, in this exemplary embodiment, the general shape of the carrier window 32 is rectangular. The shape of the carrier window 32 may, however, be square, triangular, round, oval, odd shaped, or a combination thereof, and as such, the carrier recess portion 30 may be adjacent one or more of the edges corresponding to those shapes.

A depth, size, and shape of the carrier recess portion 30 may be determined by the depth, size, shape, and/or the desired positioning of the carrier 24. For example, in this exemplary embodiment, the carrier 24 has a generally rectangular shape, and the carrier 24 may overlap the upper and lower edges 42, 44 of the carrier window 32, be flush with the first and second side edges 46, 48 of the carrier window 32, and be flush with the rear surface 40 of the base 22 when disposed within the recess portion 30. As such, the carrier recess portion 30 may have a similar depth to the carrier 24, such that the carrier 24 may be fully recessed in the carrier recess portion 30. Similarly, the carrier recess portion 30 may only be present adjacent the upper and lower edges 42, 44 of the carrier window 32, such that the carrier 24 may overlap the upper and lower edges 42, 44 of the carrier window 32 and be flush with the first and second side edges 46, 48 of the carrier window 32. The overall shape of the carrier recess portion 30, as in this exemplary embodiment, may be rectangular, but may be any shape corresponding to the carrier 24. Additionally, the size of the carrier recess portion 30 may be such that the carrier 24 may retentively engaged, via press-fit, friction-fit, or the like, when disposed within the carrier recess portion 30. The carrier recess portion 30 and/or the carrier 24 may include a retention mechanism (not shown), such as knobs, bumps, and/or wedges disposed on the contact surfaces between the carrier recess portion 30 and/or the carrier 24, to aid in the retaining of the carrier 24 in the carrier recess portion 30. Alternatively, the carrier recess portion 30 may not exist at all, and the carrier 24 would, under such circumstances, be disposed in the carrier window 32. The image 28 may, however, be larger than the image window 36, in which case the image 28 may be attached to the rear surface 40 of the base 22.

The image recess portion 34 may also be disposed on the rear surface 40 of the base 22, and is adapted to receive the image 28. Alternatively, the image recess portion 34 may be disposed in the front surface 38 of the base 22. More specifically, the image recess portion 34 may be disposed adjacent one or more sides of the image window 36. For example, as seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the image recess portion 34 may be disposed adjacent an upper edge 50, a lower edge 52, a first side edge 54, and a second side 56 of the image window 36. Alternatively, the image recess portion 34 may be disposed adjacent any one or more of the edges 50, 52, 54, and 56, among others. More specifically, in this exemplary embodiment, the general shape of the image window 36 is rectangular. The shape of the image window 36 may, however, be square, triangular, round, oval, odd shaped, or a combination thereof, and as such, image recess portion 34 may be adjacent one or more of the edges corresponding to those shapes.

A depth, size, and shape of the image recess portion 34 may be determined by the depth, size, shape, and/or the desired positioning of the image 28. For example, in this exemplary embodiment, the image 28 has a generally rectangular shape, and the image's 28 may to overlap the upper edge 50, the lower edge 52, the first side edge 54, and the second side edge 56 of the image window 36. As such, as seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the image recess portion 34 may have a similar depth to the image 28 or the carrier 24, such that the image 28 may be fully recessed in the image recess portion 34 and/or such that the image recess portion 34 and the carrier recess portion 30 have a substantially similar depth. Additionally, the size of the image recess portion 34 may be such that the image 28 fit snugly, via press-fit, or the like, into the image recess portion 34. Alternatively, the image recess portion 34 may not exist at all, and the image window 36 would, under such circumstances, be disposed in the image window 36.

The carrier 24, as seen in FIGS. 2 and 4, is adapted to receive the tiles 26, and is adapted to engage the base 22 at the carrier recess portion 30. The carrier 24 includes a rear portion 58 having an upper edge 60, a lower edge 62, a first side edge 64, and a second side edge 66, and one or more retaining members 68. In this exemplary embodiment, the retaining members 68 include a first channel 68a disposed near the upper edge 60 of the carrier 24, and a second channel 68b disposed near the lower edge 62 of the carrier 24. The channels 68a, 68b include a first wall 70 extending in a general outwardly direction from the upper and lower edges 60, 62 of the carrier 24, and a second wall 72 extending in a general inwardly direction, toward each other, from the first wall 70. As such, a receiving area 74 is created between the rear portion 58, the first channel 68a, and the second channel 68b, for receiving, holding, and/or retaining the tiles 26.

The plurality of tiles 26, an example of which is seen in FIG. 5, may be adapted to engage the carrier 24, and in this exemplary embodiment, is adapted to slidingly engage the carrier 24. More specifically, an upper portion 76 of the tiles 26 may be adapted to engage with the first channel 68a, and a lower portion 78 of the tiles 26 may be adapted to engage the second channel 68b. For example, as seen in FIG. 1, the tiles 26 may slide into and be retained by the carrier 24. More specifically, the upper portion 76 of the tiles 26 may slide into the first channel 68a, such that a front surface 80 of the tiles 26 abuts the second wall 72 of the first channel 68a, a top surface 82 of the tiles 26 abuts the first wall 70 of the first channel 68a and/or a rear surface 84 abuts the rear portion 58 of the carrier 24. Similarly, the lower portion 78 of the tiles 26 may slide into the second channel 68b, such that a front surface 80 of the tiles 26 abuts the second wall 72 of the first channel 68b, and/or a bottom surface 86 of the tiles 26 abut the first wall 70 of the first channel 68b. As such, the tiles 26 may be secured and/or retained in the carrier 24, by friction and/or other contact.

The material from which the base 22, the carrier 24, and the tiles 26 are constructed may vary greatly. For example, the base 22 may be fabricated from paper, plastic, cardboard, wood, metal, chipboard/mat board, ceramic, poly-resin, magnetic material, etc. or any combination thereof. Similarly, the carrier 24 and the tiles 26 may be fabricated from paper, cardboard, wood, metal, chipboard/mat board, ceramic, leather, glass, poly-resin, magnetic material, etc., or any combination thereof. The manufacturing process or processes and materials can be selected based on feasibility, cost, tooling concerns, as well as other factors for a given application.

In one exemplary embodiment, as seen in FIG. 6, the image display system 20 may include an overlay 90 and/or a backing 92. The overlay 90 includes a front surface 94, a rear surface 96, a first aperture 98, and a second aperture 100, and may be sized and shaped to abut the front surface 38 of the base 22. More specifically, the rear surface 96 of the overlay 90 may abut the front surface 38 of the base 22 and the overall size and shape of the overlay 90 may be substantially equal to the base 22, such that a perimeter of the base 22, and a perimeter of the overlay 90 substantially coincide. Similarly, the first aperture 98 and the second aperture 100 may correspond to the carrier window 32 and the image window 36 of the base 22, respectively. In this exemplary embodiment, the first aperture 98 may be slightly larger than the carrier window 32, such that a border area 102 may be created between a perimeter of the carrier window 32 and a perimeter of the first aperture 98. Similarly, the second aperture 100 may be slightly larger than the image window 36, such that a border area 104 may be created between a perimeter of the image window 36 and a perimeter of the second aperture 100. Alternatively, the first aperture 98 may be smaller than the carrier window 32, such that the overlay 90 overlaps the carrier 24 and/or tiles 26. Similarly, the second aperture 100 may be smaller than the image window 36, such that the overlay 90 overlaps the image 28.

Again referring to FIG. 6, the backing 92 may include a front surface 106 and a rear surface 108, and in this exemplary embodiment, may further include a first opening 110 and a second opening 112. The backing 92 may be sized and shaped to abut the rear surface 40 of the base 22. More specifically, the front surface 106 of the backing 92 may abut the rear surface 40 of the base 22, and the overall size and shape of the backing 92 may be substantially equal to the base 22, such that a perimeter of the base 22 and a perimeter of the backing 92 may substantially coincide. Similarly, the first opening 110 and the second opening 112 may correspond to the carrier window 32 and the image window 36 of the base 22, respectively. In this exemplary embodiment, the first opening 110 may include a carrier door or cover 114 disposed therein, and/or the second opening 112 may include an image door or cover 116 disposed therein. The doors 114, 116 may each be pivotally attached to at least one edge of the first and second openings 110, 112, respectively, and may be adapted to allow access to the carrier window 32 and/or the image window 36 through the backing 92.

FIG. 7 illustrates one configuration of how the carrier door 114 and/or the image door 116 may be held in place. A sealing mechanism 118, such as for example, an adhesive strip 118 may be disposed in one of the recess portions 30, 34 corresponding to the carrier door 114 and/or the image door 116. More specifically, the adhesive strip 118 may be provided along two parallel or adjacent edges, or even one edge of the recess portions 30, 34. The thickness of the adhesive strip 118 may be the same as the thickness of the carrier 24, such that when the carrier door 114 and/or the image carrier door 116 is closed, it is held in a closed position by the adhesive on the top of the adhesive strip 118. Note, however, that the carrier door 114 and/or the image carrier door 116 may be held in place by friction, clasp, or any other mechanism that would be know by one of ordinary skill in the art.

The above exemplary embodiment may include many variations thereof to achieve and/or create additional or alternative features. For example, the tiles 26 may come in various sizes, and in particular, in various widths, such as in ½ width and ¼ width tiles 26, and may include blank titles 26, without lettering and/or numbering. The tiles 26 may also include spacer tiles 26 that fill out the length of the carrier 24, so that the tiles 26 move very little once the carrier 24 is positioned in the carrier window 32.

The base 22, the overlay 90, the backing 92, and/or a combination thereof, may also be integral to each other. For example, the base 22 and the overlay 90 may be a single piece, just as the backing 92 and the overlay 90 may be a single piece. Therefore, any and/or all pieced of the display system 20 may be integral to each other, or at least attached to one another.

One or more spacer (not shown) may also be provided having a similar shape to the image window 36 and/or the carrier window 32, so that the thickness of the image 28 combined with the spacer and/or the thickness of the carrier 24 combined with the spacer, is as thick as the depth of the image window 36 and/or the carrier window 32, thereby preventing the image 28 and/or the carrier 24 from moving.

Additionally and/or alternatively, the overlay 90 or the backing 92 may be attached to the base 22, pivotally or otherwise. More specifically, as seen in FIG. 8, one edge of the overlay 90 may be attached to one edge of the base 22, such that the overlay 90 and the base 22 may pivot relative to each other. As such, the rear surface 108 of the overlay 90 and the front surface 38 of the base 22 may be brought together, such that the carrier window 32 and the first opening 110, and/or the image window 36 and the second opening 112 are aligned. As seen in FIG. 9, one edge of the backing 92 may be attached to one edge of the base 22, such that the backing 92 and the base 22 may pivot relative to each other. As such, the front surface 94 of the backing 92 and the rear surface 40 of the base 22 may be brought together.

The image display 20, as described previously and hereafter, may be part and may be integral to a number of various objects 119, such as, a photo album, a picture frame, or any other type of sturdy or rigid object on which configurable lettering is desired and/or which may be personalized. For example, as seen in FIG. 10, the image display 20 may be part of a photo album 119a, for displaying the tiles 26 and/or the image 28. In this exemplary embodiment, the overlay 90, the base 22, and/or the backing 92 may be part of a front cover of the photo album 119a. Similarly, as seen in FIG. 11, the image display 20 may be part of a picture frame 119b, for displaying the tiles 26 and/or the image 28. In this exemplary embodiment, the overlay 90, the base 22, and/or the backing 92 may be disposed inside an outer frame 121, and the backing 92 may include a stand 123.

In another exemplary embodiment, as seen in FIG. 12, the image display 20 may be part of another picture frame 119c. In this exemplary embodiment, the overlay 90 and the outer frame 121 may be integral, such that the base 22, and/or the backing 92 may be disposed behind the overlay 90 and the outer frame 121.

In another exemplary embodiment, as seen in FIG. 13, the carrier 24 and/or the image 28 may be held in place using other mechanisms, such as pockets or pouches formed in or on the base 22. The image display system 20, for example, may include a carrier pocket 120 that assists in holding the carrier 24 in place, and an image pocket 122 that may be used to hold the image 28 in place. Once the carrier 24 and image 28 are in place, they may be viewed from a front surface 38 of the base 22.

In another exemplary embodiment, as seen in FIG. 14, the image display system 20 may include tiles 26 having tabs 124 on the upper and/or lower portions 76, 78 of the tiles 26. The tabs 124 may be configured to fit within notches 125 of the carrier 24 in a similar manner as two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle might fit together in order to provide proper alignment. Such a tab/notch configuration may be used on the tiles 26 and or the carrier 24 interchangeable, such that the notches 125 or tabs 124 may be disposed on the carrier 24 or tiles 26. Alternatively, the notches 125 and/or tabs 124 of the tiles 26 may engage with the notches 125 and/or tabs 124 disposed in the recess portion 30, thereby eliminating the need for a separate carrier 24. The tiles 26 may, in such an instant, be retained in the recess 30 by the door 114, or other cover.

In another exemplary embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 15, the image display system 20 may be utilized having a carrier 24 attached to the outside of the base 22. This embodiment may utilize the carrier 24 and/or the tiles 26, which may be placed inside a tile display frame 126 attached to a front portion of an object 119, such as a photo album, book, etc.

According to an embodiment shown in FIG. 16, the image 28 may attach to an image frame 128, which may have an open area or may be solid. The combination of the image frame 128 and image 28 may then be placed in the image window 36 so that the image 28 is viewable from outside of a front surface 38 of the base 22 or a front portion of an object 119. An adhesive may be used to attach the image 28 to the image frame 128 and/or to attach the tiles 26 to a carrier frame 130. These may be affixed to the back or front of the image frame 128 or carrier frame 130, respectively. The image frame 128 and the carrier frame 130 may utilize a friction fit to mount into the image window 36, and/or the carrier window 32.

In operation, the tiles 26 of the image display system 20, as seen in FIGS. 1-4, may be slid into the carrier 24. More specifically, the upper portion 76 of the tiles 26 may slidingly engage the first channel 68a of the carrier 24, and the lower portion 78 of the tiles 26 may slidingly engage the second channel 68b of the carrier 24. The tiles 26, having one or more widths, may be slid into the channels 68a, 68b until the carrier 24 is filled and/or until the tiles 26 are no-longer free to move within the carrier 24 once the carrier 24 engages the carrier window 32. The carrier 24 may be snapped flush into the carrier window 32, and/or the carrier recess portion 30. More specifically, the upper and lower edges 60, 62 of the carrier 24, may engage or snap into the recess portion 30 located near the top and bottom edges 42, 44 of the carrier window 32. A backing may be pulled off the adhesive strips 118, located in or near the recess portion 30, 34, and the doors 114, 116 may then be closed with pressure applied to adhere the strips 118 to the doors 114, 116. Adhesives or other mechanisms permitting a temporary hold so that the doors 114, 116 can be removed and allow the image window 36 and/or the carrier window 32 content replacement, are also contemplated by the invention. The spacer (not shown) may be provided having a similar shape to the image window 36 so that the thickness of the image 28 being placed in the image window 36 combined with the spacer is as thick as the depth of the image window 36, thereby preventing the picture from moving.

The image display system 20 may be sold as a kit and/or provided in component pieces, in any combination. The component pieces that may be provided are any of those described above and include: base(s) 22, an album and/or album cover, a carrier 24, tiles 26, frame(s), etc. Directions of use may also be supplied.

While the above has been described with reference to specific examples which are intended to be illustrative only and not to be limiting of the invention, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that changes, additions or deletions may be made to the disclosed embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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