“I was sitting in church one Sunday morning, mind drifting during the sermon, when the thought came to me of making something I could decorate with from cardboard.”
-Dan Corman | Founder
Corman Displays was founded in 1947 by Dan Corman as a decorating and window trimming service in Lexington, KY. We began manufacturing display products in 1954, were incorporated in 1965 as Corman and Associates and moved to our current location in 1964. We operate in 100K ft² at 881 Floyd Drive, Lexington, KY 40505.
Our specialty is custom woodworking for retail, commercial and residential installations. From individual fixtures to complete remodels and new builds, our experienced and talented team will work with you from concept to completion creating exciting and functional spaces for you, your guests and staff.
Our guarantee is providing the highest quality while meeting deadlines and adhering to budgets. Our mission statement is “to provide a tangible advantage to our client over their competitors”.
Explore our "What We Do” page to discover the possibilities for your project.
BUILDING BUSINESS BETTER TOGETHER
Original home of Corman Displays from 1949-1957. Operating in 1200 ft² at Lexington Roller Mills
Leader | Pioneer | Visionary
Daniel Landon Corman was born on May 17th, 1923, in Nonesuch, KY. His family moved to Lexington 7 years later.
At 15, he got a job working the sales floor at Wolf Wile Department Store in downtown Lexington. Learning of Dan’s interest in art and design, Mr. Wile asked if he’d like to take a turn at decorating the store’s Main Street windows – a role that remained his until joining the 101st Airborne to serve in World War II.
Returning from Europe in 1945, Dan enrolled in art school, on the GI Bill, at the University of Kentucky. During his 2nd year, a professor encouraged him to switch to business, or some other study, because there was no money to be made in art.
Taking it as a challenge, Dan dropped out of school and approached Mr. Wile along with other local businesses about creating their window displays as a full-time profession. Beginning with Wolf Wile, Purcell’s, and Ben Snyders as clients, he opened Corman Displays in 1947 and built it into a regional commercial, retail, and residential decorating company.
In 1952, Dan decided he needed to manufacture his own products to grow the business. As he told it, “I was sitting in church one Sunday morning, mind drifting during the sermon, when the thought came to me of making something I could decorate with from cardboard.” After church, he went to the dump in Lexington and loaded his truck with discarded refrigerator cartons. Using the largest pieces as the back panels and cutting up smaller ones into brick sized shapes, he created faux brick panels. Even gluing the cardboard saw dust to the surface to give them a realistic brick texture.
Over the next few years, he would travel to larger cities. First, heading north to Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Chicago, where he would call on the display departments at major department stores to sell his panel designs. He would head back to Lexington, build what he sold, then return to deliver them.
This creative passion, dedication to excellence, and drive to succeed, led to a client list including Marshall Fields, Saks 5th Avenue, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and eventually every major store brand across the country.
Culminating in the incorporation of Corman and Associates in 1961, Dan Corman was elected President of the National Association of Display Industries in 1970. He received the moniker “The King of Cardboard” in a 1972 article written for Visual Merchandising and Store Design magazine, which was picked up and re-written for the Kentucky market by the Lexington Herald Leader.
The rest, as they say, “Is History”
“Cardboard castles make Corman king in his field” - 1972 Lexington Herald Leader
The names, logos and all related product and service names, design marks, and slogans are the trademarks or service marks of their respective companies.
Corman & Associates is a premier designer and fabricator of retail and commercial spaces. From museums and national parks to bourbon distilleries, we partner with our clients to create unique and memorable spaces customers will want to come back to again and again. As an international leader in retail and commercial environments, we pride ourselves with talented craftsmanship and a creative, talented staff that thrive on the challenges of creating optimum spaces for our clients and their customers.
BUILDING BUSINESS BETTER TOGETHER
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