fashion on hangers, to
try and buy.
Sr No Topic Slide #
1 Introduction to Visual Merchandising 4
2 Exteriors and Window Structures 8
3 Principles of Design 36
4 Merchandise Display 82
5 Elements of Design 132
6 Lines 134
7 Form, Shape and Space 164
8 Colors 180
9 Patterns 241
10 Interiors 248
11 Store Design Layout 291
12 Material and Props 330
13 Fixtures 346
14 Lighting 376
15 Mannequins 404
16 Signage and Graphics 424
17 Common Errors in display 448 3
Visual Merchandising is the actual selling of Merchandise through a
The presentation of the entire store and its
merchandise in ways that will attract potential
customers and motivate them to make
Everything the customer sees, both exterior and interior, that
creates a positive image of a business and results in attention,
interest, desire, and action.
► Visual Merchandising can
Improve business’s productivity
Boost sales per square foot
Generate a faster turnover rate
Sell more of most profitable merchandise
Decrease markdown rates
Increase the amount of average
Convert the shopper a “stopper” and a
walk-in rather than a walk -by.
Exteriors and Window Structures
Essential to the success of every operation that deals with consumers is
the ability to motivate potential customers to come inside.
Exterior Store Design
► Store design involves formulating and structuring all
elements of the physical environment.
► The storefront includes all aspects of the front/exterior of
► Elements include the marquee (or exterior sign),
entrances, windows, banners, planters, awnings and
► Three other important functional aspects of exterior
design are customer visibility, store security, and potential
for efficiency among staff and associates.
Signs and Entrances
► A sign is a silent salesperson, and part of a shopper’s
first impression of a store. In less than 10 seconds the sign
must attract attention, tell who the business is and what it
has to sell.
► Retail entrances are designed to draw customers into
the store through visual appeal and physical convenience.
► The number, and type of entrances used depend on the
location, the type and density or traffic, and security
► Doors may be revolving, electric, or regular push pull.
► The store’s sign, on the outside of the building, makes
the first impression on the shopper. It sets the look and
image of the store.
► The sign should be the store’s “signature”-personal,
original, and recognizable. It should make a statement.
► The marquee, a permanent awning for protection from
the elements, is an integral part of the building facade.
► It is often cantilevered out over the street, in front of the
main entrance to the store.
► The marquee can be an exciting place to start the
display of a storewide event or promotion.
► Store front can be categorized as below
► Arcade fronts are usually spacious.
► They allow the window merchandise closely.
► They seem to be more relaxing to the shopper and often
take on highly surrealistic shapes, with concave or slanted
panes of glass and beautifully decorated windows.
► This type of front parallels the sidewalk, with its
monotony broken only by entrances.
► The entrances may be recessed into the main floor area,
but all the lines are identical.
► The angled front is much like the straight front in that it
follows a true line, but the monotony is relieved by angles
away from the sidewalk contour.
► The design of the doors or windows in an angled-front
store may be asymmetrical or symmetrical.
►These entrances have deep lobbies to allow traffic to
slow down without being pushed or pressured by other
► The following are the basic storefront and window designs
that allow for many variations
Parallel to side walk windows
Open back windows
Half – Open windows
Live or demo windows
Shadow box windows
Interactive or Through-glass windows
► In order to give more exposure to the viewer, there are
windows that are similar to the parallel to the sidewalk type
but can feature more displays in less space.
► By angling the windows, the display space can be
elongated to form a vestibule that leads the shopper into
Parallel to side walk windows
► The windows that run parallel to the sidewalk and are
generally back closed to separate them from the rest of the
► Windows at the corners provide view from each of the
two converging streets.
► It can have variations like- entrances from both the
sides or entrance in the center, with two windows flanking
► These are ones which have walls on three sides and
glass on one side to view the window display.
Open back windows
► Retailers who believe that the entire store should be
visible to the consumer from the outside, yet feel the need
to feature conventional window displays, often choose the
open-back window structure.
Half – Open windows
► Half open windows use
partitions or architectural
dividers of some kind to
separate the display from the
► E.g., Dividers: rail fencing or
► In arcade windows there are set back doors/entrances
thereby increasing the size of display windows.
► Stores with limited frontage whose merchandising
philosophy requires a large window display space get
benefited from such a design.
► The thought behind these windows
is that with the ample open frontage,
the shopper can get the impression of
the store’s merchandise and will enter
the premises without being enticed by
Live or demo windows
► Live or demo windows have caused many shoppers to
stop and notice when they suddenly waved or wrinkled at
an unsuspecting passerby.
► In order individualize their images, some companies
develop window structures that are quiet different from the
► These do not provide space for retailing.
Shadow box windows
► Stores that feature small items such
as jewelry require window structures
that enable close inspection of the
► Windows of such nature are
elevated so that comfortable, clear
viewing is possible.
Interactive or Through-glass
► They can literally communicate with shoppers day and
► Viewers can virtually design their own window displays
by calling up brands and images that interested
them from a programmed menu.
► It’s a display that can be viewed
from all the sides.
► Deep vestibules (arcade or
angled windows) and wide
frontage results in an excessive
amount of space at the store’s
► Some stores wishing to better
use the lobby area and gain
additional display space build
islands in the center of the
► Sometimes these displays are
also set inside the store.
Window Lightning Rules
► Show merchandise in
Window Lightning Rules
► Focus on merchandise
Window Lightning Rules
► The window’s proscenium (fore ground) and side turns
should conceal most lighting fixtures unless they are a part
of the presentation’s design.
► Visual merchandising is comprised of five
Principles of Design
The principles of design guide the organization of the design elements
for an effective visual impression. 36
Principles of Design
► The five principles to be considered are
► Balance may be defined artistically as the state of
equipoise between the two sides of an entity.
► The word balance describes equality of weight,
something distributed evenly or on two sides of an
► Balance refers to the displaying of merchandise “in such
a manner that a pleasing distribution of weight occurs.
Weighing, to determine balance, involves estimating and
comparing the values and importance of the two sides of
► Balance is a sense of equilibrium that provides a feeling
of stability. When things are unbalanced, people have an
► Balance has to do with the relationship of the elements
within the composition (advertising, display, etc.).
► Balance results when the parts of the design have equal
► Balance is a state of equilibrium––the equality of two
things in weight, force, and quantity.
Types of Balance
► Generally, there are two types of balance:
Formal or Symmetrical
Informal or Asymmetrical.
► Balance achieved through the use of identical objects or
very similar objects on either side of the center is known as
► Symmetrical or formal balance and produces a sense of
dignity, calm, and repose. Symmetrical balance is effective
in promoting classic goods for important occasions; such
as confirmation dresses or business suits for a job
► This can be effective where
Expensive and Quality
Merchandise Is being
► Formal balance occurs when
each object on the right side
has an exact counterpart on the
left side relative to size,
placement, shape, and color.
► Therefore, each side has
equal power to attract attention
and is equally forceful in
demanding the customer’s
► Formal balance produces a
feeling by the total unit of
dignity, restraint, and
► This type of balance is
usually used to depict tradition,
store image (or other
institutional examples), and so
on and denotes less activity
than the informal type.
Asymmetrical / Informal Balance
► Informal balance in display also achieves component
equality to the viewer’s eye, but it does so by using
varieties of color, placement, size, and shape of the objects
on opposite sides of the display.
► Using this type of balance to create a display can result
in more subtle and imaginative arrangements.
► It is used in merchandising
when the designer wishes to
provide activity, excitement,
Asymmetrical / Informal Balance
► Informal balance creates flow or rhythm
and a feeling of excitement.
► The two sides of the display appear to
be of equal weight, but hey are not replicas
of each others.
► Something large can be balance by
several small items or an expense of empty
space, a bright color or a shot of light.
► Several soft colors in a large space can
be balanced by one bright color because
the intensity of the bright color will
compensate for its small size.
Asymmetrical / Informal Balance
► In the case of objects of different weight, the heavier one
could be moved closer to the center to achieve balance.
► Dark values of colors appear heavier than light values.
► Dull textures appear heavier than smooth textures and
should be placed closer to the center to balance the
Points to consider for Balancing
► If colors are too light, they will overwhelm pastels.
► If several small objects are more exciting than the large
object, they will overpower the large item.
► A large expanse of empty space will call attention to a
single object placed within it.
► If an item is placed at an angle or to one side (off
center), the space on either side of that piece becomes
► If an object is centered, the empty space loses
importance because its shape is predictable and therefore
has less recognition as its own element.
► A pleasing distribution of weight using merchandise of
similar value will provide importance to both sides. 47
How to determine balance in a display?
► Use exact objects in both parts of the display.
► Draw an imaginary line down the center of the display.
► To achieve formal balance, place objects, weight for
weight, on either side of the line. To achieve informal balance,
place merchandise and props so that more weight occurs on
one side than on the other.
► Place heavier objects and stronger colors closer to the floor
or base of the display to avoid top-heaviness. For example, a
small item place in the foreground will balance a larger item
placed in the background.
► Balance objects of a brighter hue (color) with larger objects
that have less intensity of color.
► Balance smaller objects with larger objects by the
frequency with which they appear. For example, one large
item can be balanced email@example.com
with two or more smaller items. 48
► Emphasis is the point of initial eye contact. From this
spot all other eye movements flow.
► Emphasis is therefore the formulation of a focal point,
with all else in the display subordinate.
► The focal point is the dominant or central point of a
display, with everything else playing a secondary or
► The Merchandise must be the focal point in a majority of
Methods of creating emphasis points
► The display person must keep in mind t hat the eye must
have a point of beginning and that this point has to be
planned and created. Emphasis can be achieved in a
number of ways:
Elements of design
A frequently used method is the repetition of an
A display created totally in purple would be difficult to
ignore. The shopper’s eye is attracted by the sheer
amount of the color.
Size is an obvious means of creating a focal point.
The largest figure in an advertisement will draw attention
and hold it longer than small figures.
Repetition creates emphasis by calling
attention to the repeated element
through sheer force of numbers.
This can create emphasis, intensifying visual
perception. Great embellishment prolongs the visual
involvement and thus provides a point of focus.
By contrast, an area devoid of pattern directs the eye
to the object. This is the reason an advertisement with a
large amount of white space captures the eye and
focuses it on the figure.
This concept of space providing
emphasis works equally well in
a display. Less merchandise in a
window means more emphasis on
the few items that are there.
► Elements of design
Generally, a composition needs one major point of
emphasis that holds the viewer’s visual attention longer
than any other point.
This is achieved in part by subordinating all other
elements (color, texture, line, form, space, etc.) to the
► A display needs to emphasize a theme or mood, such
as the use of sports equipment, work equipment or leisure
equipment set up in a lifelike situation. Themes may also
depict seasons, anniversaries, celebrations, holidays, and
other special store events. All elements in a display must
then reinforce one other and emphasize th mood created.
► An isolated item can be emphasized when surrounding
by blank space.
► Shiny surface emphasize and enlarge objects.
► Dull surface absorb light and help to de emphasize area.
► Color is powerful medium for creating emphasis. Small
amount of advancing color, bright intensities, extreme tints
or shades contrasts in the right places will provide striking
► Unusual textures highlight an area.
► Emphasis is diminished with receding variations such as
thin, fuzzy lines; non descript shapes; regular spacing;
even light absorption, cool hues; dull intensities; medium
tints or shades; dull opaque textures; and small, all over or
► Repetition usually means something is important; so
repeated shapes, colors or motifs grouped together
reinforces their importance, creating emphasis. Make sure
if goods are used in repetition that these goods are
emphasized for sale.
► The principle of proportion involves the comparative
relationship of the design elements to each other.
► Proportion is the ratio of the parts to the whole display.
► It is comparative relationship of distances, sizes,
amounts, degrees or parts.
► When each element is in proportion, the whole will have
a pleasing effect to the eye.
► The merchandise along with props and mannequins
should be planned such that they are proportionate to each
other as well as to the provided display area.
► Proportion and contrast are important elements of good
composition. Drastically changing the proportions between
items and dramatic contrasts of color and texture can work
wonders in attracting attention to a display and in helping to
promote an idea or a look.
► There are four commonly used space divisions or types
of arrangements by which the display person achieves
The pyramid is a triangular arrangement with a broad
base rising to a center peak.
It is a common device to achieve proportion and may
be used with any type of merchandise.
It tends to give a display a stiff and formal feeling.
The step is a level elevation within the display area. It
is effectively used as a side unit facing the center of
It is more informal than the pyramid and is most
effective when only three steps are used.
When steps extend evenly from either side to a
midpoint within the display, the
appearance is of an inverted pyramid.
This aspect of proportion may
therefore be easily combined with
the illusion of the pyramid.
The zigzag is based on the principle of the double
reverse curve and is particularly adaptable to wearing
apparel, owing to the flexibility and ease of draping most
The zigzag requires equidistant spacing and precision.
It may be especially effective when small accessory
steps are used, thereby eliminating vacant areas.
An easily achieved zigzag effect is
created by using material like yarn,
rope, or ribbon to lead the eye
throughout the zigzag line.
Repetition, as a type of proportion, is simple in form.
It makes use of steps of the same general nature. It
aligns all items in the same manner by height, spacing,
and the angle at which they are placed.
This type of repetitive arrangement requires
deviations to break the monotonous effect that may
► Do not use all large objects, because there is nothing to
break the monotony and sameness of that large feeling.
► Adding an odd number of smaller, related items to large
pieces creates more interest and balance.
► Proportions take on more meaning when items define
one another. For example the size of dinosaur is defined
when it is standing next to a two story house.
► Proportion and balance can best be accomplished when
articles within the display play off each other through their
size, shape and color.
► Ratio of merchandise to space is critical:
Each piece of merchandise must be considered in
relation to others.
The ratio of Props and show cards to merchandise
must be in proportion to avoid the appearance of
stressing or selling your props rather than merchandise.
Each object should not be too large or too small, nor
too heavy or too light in proportion to other items in
Proportion and contrast are important elements of
► When all the elements are properly located so that the
eye travels smoothly from one part to another, then flow,
movement, or rhythm have been achieved. Rhythm can be
achieved through various means like
► Rhythm may be broken up or continuous; clearly stated
or subtly suggested; repeated or vaguely similar.
► Rhythm entails an arrangement of organized motion and
does not necessarily need repetition. However, it does gain
impact from repetition.
► A flow exist if the eye travels from one area of a display
to another, covering the entire display. The eye should
travel easily through the entire design.
► A display can lead the eye with color, repetition,
shadows created by light placement, lettering or texture.
It gives regularity to the movement of the eye, as if it
knows what is coming next.
This produces an impression of constancy and
These impressions are helpful in promoting classic
styles of clothing, especially for professional wear.
► Continuous Line Movement
The simplest method for directing the eye is a
continuous line, either straight or curved.
In an advertisement, the reader’s eye enters the ad in
the upper left corner. It may proceed from left to right in
a straight line.
The eye starts at the top left quarter of the
arrangement and proceeds downward to the lower right
► Progression of Sizes
Progression of sizes refers to using similar shapes
and varying their sizes by consistently increasing or
decreasing them along the visual path.
The eye is made to move rapidly over the display,
and this swift eye movement is in keeping with the
immediate, quick viewing that is essential to the
successful display of merchandise.
It is a more dynamic means of achieving eye
movement than is repetition.
It employs the sequential evolution of
an element for example, using light,
medium, and dark colors sequentially
in a design.
Another way to create rhythm is by radiation, that is,
use of a circular arrangement that guides the eye from a
central point around the parts of the design.
Designs that employ radial rhythm or movement are
often dramatic. However, this method of creative rhythm
offers less variety than the other two methods.
► English reading people read from left to right. A left to
right reading should be created in the display.
► Use element that mean something together and relate to
► Create a pattern through the use of light and dark, either
with color or light.
► Overlapping of objects placed together in the display
area can prevent the blank space that could exist with an
even number of items in a display. Overlapping is one of
the most effective tools for creating good flow.
► It is usually recommended to use an odd number of
items when displaying multiples.
► Use a fabric or color that unifies the themes.
► Use props that are repetitious either in form or theme.
► Use the technique of flying merchandise to create flow.
► Use lettering with repetition of similar items or with
dominance by using oversized items to create flow.
► It is important that the eye is led throughout the display
and does not leave until all parts have been seen.
► When all the elements in a design properly blend to form
a unified picture, the principle of harmony has been
► Harmony is a coordinating
umbrella principle that can cover
and incorporate every other
► Harmony is agreement in
feeling and consistency in mood
► Without Harmony, the
observer is uncomfortable and
will not be enticed to purchase
► Harmony may be achieved through use of the artistic
► It deals with how something works physically, which
means it must be realistic and must work.
► An example of kitchen counter used in a display that is
the appropriate height and depth for working.
► It is correctly fitting together all the pieces; merchandise
should not be out of place in the display.
► For example, an electrical appliance is not structurally
consistent in an outdoor or camping device.
► A good window display may have pots and pans, fishing
gear and outdoor furniture all mixed together because
these items truly would be used on a camping trip; hence a
camping theme is carried out.
► All the merchandise is brought together as part of the
trip and harmony would be created or a mood would be set.
► It includes the parts of display that are included only for
► If an atmosphere of spring is being developed,
butterflies and/or flowers may be used as props. These
items are attractive and add to the theme.
Merchandise display is the arrangement and organization of display
materials and merchandise to produce a stimulus that leads to the sale
of merchandise and services. 82
Outcome of a good display
► It sells products and services
► Publicizes the business.
► Lays a foundation for the future sales
► Builds prestige
► Educates the public
► Builds up the goodwill of the public
► Offers the public useful, practical demonstrations.
► Familiarizes the public with the operations of the
► Harmonizes business interests with esthetics.
Rules for Display Planning
► Help the eye in finding the focal point of the display easily.
► Limit the number of competing elements in the display.
► Give the display one dominant theme.
► Use contrast and rhythm to add life to the colors and
► Select display props and material having some connection
with the exhibited product.
► Do not allow the display props and materials to take up most
of the best space in the window.
► Avoid anything that conflicts with the sales message.
► Use colors appropriate to the season.
► Do not mix the styles.
► Relax and see if the display sells.
Purpose of Display
► The purpose of Display in a store is to attract customers
to the store, and ultimately convince them to buy the
merchandise. The main purposes of a display can be
discussed as under:
Sell by show
Encourage the shopper to enter the store
Establish, promote & enhance the store’s visual
To enhance the customer’s shopping experience
Introduce & explain new products
Educate customers by answering to their queries
regarding the use & accessorization of a product.
Functions of a Display
► The display in a store functions in the following three
It presents the selection of merchandise in a manner
that will maximize both space and visibility to
To allow store sales associates to interact with
customers more effectively.
To enhance the visual appeal of a product to
encourage customer’s interest and subsequent
Points to Enhance the Display
► Create a strong entrance.
► Allow front-to-back sightlines.
► Take advantage of the highest profile location and place the
best selling merchandise in this area.
► Direct and redirect common customer traffic patterns, which
will encourage them to zigzag through the store.
► Wrap it all up at the cash-wrap stand, to enable the
customer to reach that point after seeing the merchandise.
► Maintain an active feeling in your store so that the sales
associates do not congregate in one location and do not
make the store look static.
Types of Display
► Approaches to merchandise presentation vary according
to the type of display- from special, or feature, areas to
regular freestanding assortments and wall units.
► Special display areas include end-of-aisle end caps,
windows and point-of-sale and demo areas.
► A display is at its best when it simply shows a color, an
item, a collection, or just an idea.
► Types of displays include the following:
One Item Display
Related Merchandise Display
Variety or Assortment Display
One Item Display
► A one-item display is just the showing and advancement
of a single garment or any single item. It features only one
piece of merchandise-designer gown, automobile, piece of
► It is a kind of display in which only one type of merchandise is
shown, (viz; all blouses, all skirts, pots etc.) although they may
be in a variety of designs and colors.
► They could be designed by the same designer, or created
with the same fabric or print, or they could all feature a common
► However, for more effective presentation, and for better
comprehension and acceptance by the shopper, there should be
some connection or relevance indicated as to why these three or
four articles are being shown together.
Related Merchandise Display
► When the store wants to deliver a message that says, “I’
am a complete outfit, buy me,” it often chooses to feature
the outfit or ensemble in a setting by itself.
► The intention is to entice the customer to buy a total
package rather than one or two items.
► The main merchandise of purchase is set along with all
other complimenting merchandise tempting the shopper to
but all of them altogether.
Variety or Assortment Display
► It is a potpourri of anything and everything.
► It is a collection of unrelated items that happen to be
sold in the same store.
► It can be work shoes, silk stockings, teakettles, Hawaiian
print shirts, nightgowns etc.
► It is a mélange of odds and ends, a sampling of the
merchandise contained within.
► This kind of display advances concept, trend and an
item. The basis of this kind of display is often the sales.
► It has a very low margin of profit and thus needs a large
sales volume to exist.
►These display stores generally advertise prices.
► This display promotes an idea and not an item. It
promotes the institutional services.
► This display presents the store as member of the
community which helps further in building the image of the
► In this kind of display only incidental mention is made of
merchandise; service, special features, or facilities of the
store are featured.
► These displays create customer loyalty and goodwill.
They do not produce direct sales of merchandise.
► The concept of institutional display is more subtle than
other concepts, concentrating on building an image for the
store in the minds of the customers 95
► Whatever the event, the store wants to say that here is
retailer with pride in its country and community, with
interests beyond just making sales.
► Each season brings with it particular merchandise to
feature, and nature suggests general settings in which to
► The cold of winter, the budding and blooming of flowers
in the spring, the warmth of summer, and the chill of fall
each provide a unique opportunity to encourage customers
to start thinking about what they need for the next season,
and try to buy it now.
► While Christmas or Diwali is unquestionably the major
holiday of the year for the majority of the retailing world,
other holidays play a major role in the achievement of the
year’s total volume.
► The selling period for each holiday varies, as does the
number of departments served by the holiday promotions.
► While four seasons and major holidays provide a
framework for planning merchandise presentations, much
of the work visual merchandisers produce does not fall
under these categories.
► These are the visual presentations that result from the
ingenuity of the display persons and their inherent
► There are no real guidelines except that they must not
overpower the merchandise.
► In the presentation of any display, there are some basic
approaches that any visual merchandiser will make to set
the scene for the merchandise or the concept to be sold.
These approaches can be summed up as under:
Semi-Realistic/ Vignette Setting
► A realistic setting is essentially the depiction of a room,
area, or otherwise recognizable locale, reinterpreted in the
allotted display area, either in the windows or inside the
► A realistic setting requires the careful blending of color,
textures, shapes, and the proper lighting to keep the
background at a proper distance.
► This is a merchandise presentation that shows an
assortment of various related items in a setting depicting
how and where they may eventually be used.
► In this form of realistic setting, the “background” is
actually the “foreground” because the details that make up
the realistic set are actually the merchandise being
promoted in the display.
► Everything on display in this setting is for sale in the
Semi-Realistic/ Vignette Setting
► When space and budget do not allow the time or effort
for a fully realistic presentation, the display person may opt
for the very popular, semi-realistic or “vignette” setting.
► The visual merchandiser presents the essence, and
leaves the rest to the active imagination of the shopper.
► This is a more effective but simpler approach to
► A fantasy setting can be as detailed or as suggestive as
the display person, budget, and time permit.
► It is creative, requires thought, energy, and lots of
planning, but it can be very rewarding.
► It can be surrealistic or just completely off-the wall.
► An abstract setting might seem as if it would be the
easiest to do, but it is often the most difficult.
► The least amount of display often makes the biggest
statement. In an abstract setting, the merchandise is the
dominant feature and the setting supports and reinforces
► The abstract setting is predominantly an arrangement of
lines and shapes, panels, cubes, cylinders, triangles,
curves, arcs, and circles.
► The design does not really represent or look like
anything in particular, but it does evoke certain responses
from the viewer.
Vertical Color Blocking
ELEMENTS OF DISPLAY
► There are few attributes, which contribute to the display
process in a store. These attributes are known as the
“elements of display”. These include six elements that are
necessary components in the production of successful
display units. They are:
Shelf or Display Area
Copy Cards (Show Cards).
► A display or merchandise presentation should convey a
specific theme or idea. This theme is the framework for
creating a visual presentation.
► Lack of a theme is the most common display error;
therefore a theme needs to be properly planned and
► A store’s promotional policy dictates the appropriate
theme of a display.
► The following are guidelines as to the correct use of
themes in visual merchandising:
Over all themes should be selected after the bulk of
the merchandise has been bought for the season.
Overall themes must relate to the merchandise in
both color and concept.
Overall themes must create an image
instantaneously––and it must be the correct image.
Overall themes can be achieved by the use of
hanging banners or signs; floor signs; flowers or props
that relate to the signs and banners; matching urns;
merchandise coordination; and valance colors.
► The most important element of a display is the
► Props are useful but should never be the focus and
become more important than the merchandise.
► To create a good display requires the use of the art
principles involving-line, form, balance, color, and light. The
eye appeal of the display is responsible for most impulse
► The merchandise is that element that supports the
theme of the display and, ultimately, the final value of the
display in the light of the merchandising goal.
► All other elements are intended to support and promote
the goal that this initial selection of merchandise or idea
produces-special promotion, holiday, seasonal, high
fashion, and so on.
Shelf or Display Area
► Shelves and display areas provide the actual physical
framework for the display.
► Before the props, lighting, or show-cards are
considered, this physical facility must be analyzed to
determine what, if any, problems could arise involving the
use of the area.
► During such analysis, it is important to keep in mind that
the viewer’s eye must move easily throughout the display,
regardless of the direction from which he or she
Shelf or Display Area
► The type of merchandise that will be displayed (or in the
case of an institutional display the idea, the service or
benefit offered) influences the selection of a display area.
► A small item such as jewelry will require a case to be
properly displayed, whereas linens may require cube units
and a floor display to promote the merchandise effectively.
Shelf or Display Area
► Areas and fixtures used for optimal merchandise
presentation and as display areas include:
End caps- located at the end of an aisle.
Promotional aisle - used to promote seasonal or
special sale merchandise.
Bulk of stock – contains a full assortment of
► Props (properties) are special elements, which help to
sell the concept of a company image as well as add an
accent to the environment, which are created.
► A prop is anything used in
the display to help decorate
the area and accent the style
of the fashion.
► The props in a display
enhance the fashion
message, help to tell the
story, and should not
compete with the
► They should be interesting
and relevant to the
► Display props include all physical objects within the
display area that are not considered salable merchandise;
namely, floor coverings, wall treatments, backgrounds,
mannequins, shelves, steps, and other objects involved in
creating settings for the merchandise.
► Display props, however, must not overshadow or
dominate the salable items.
► The major purpose of display must always be kept in
mind: to present and sell merchandise to the consumer.
► Lighting within the display is used to draw attention to a
part of the area or a specific item in the display, or to
coordinate parts of the total area.
► Lighting emphasizes items or areas: it also may be used
to bring motion into the various segments of the display
and to direct the viewer’s eye.
►Types of lights, in addition to usual indoor lighting
arrangements, include floodlights, revolving lights, black
lights, colored lights, flashing lights, and spotlights.
► Copy cards or show cards, (lettered cards or signs)
provide the viewer with information concerning the
displayed items and their benefits to the consumer, Copy
cards are that additional incentive so important to visual
► Copy cards are designed appropriately in lettering style,
content, emphasis, size, and placement, so that the
message they convey to the viewers will be in agreement
with the purpose of the total display.
► Signs do the talking for a display. They give significant
details about the article, such as size, styles, and colors.
Thus, as silent salespeople, signs answer customer’s
questions about price and features and tell where the
goods are located in the store.
► Signs must be informative. The wording should be compact
and, when possible, sparkling.
► Strive for a professional look.
► Signs must be clean. Nothing spoils merchandise quicker
in the customer’s eyes than a soiled sign.
► Keep signs timely by changing them often.
►Try to make signs sell customer benefits rather than things.
Signs for clothes, for example, should sell neat appearance,
style, and attractiveness rather than utility. For furniture, they
should sell home life and happiness rather than just lamps
Elements of Design
The elements are components or parts, which can be isolated and
defined, in any visual design or work of art. They are the structure of the
work, and can carry a wide variety of messages. 132
Elements of Design
► Form, shape and space
It is a major part of composition and second only to color in creating a response
to the merchandise in a display. 134
► A line is a mark made by a moving point and having
psychological impact according to its direction, weight, and
the variations in its direction and weight.
► It is an enormously useful and versatile graphic device
that is made to function in both visual and verbal ways.
► It can act as a symbolic language, or it can communicate
emotion through its character and direction.
►Line is not necessarily an artificial creation of the artist or
designer; it exists in nature as a structural feature such as
branches, or as surface design, such as striping on a tiger
or a seashell.
► Lines can be combined with other lines to create
textures and patterns.
► The use of line in combination results in the
development of form and value, which are other elements
► However, line is not always explicit. It can exist by
implication, as the edge of forms.
► As young children we usually begin drawing landscapes
by making outlines for earth, sky, and other objects.
► Gradually we learn that objects do not have such
outlines and we let color changes define the edges of
shapes, creating implicit lines. Thus we can speak of a
horizon “line,” or the “lines” of a car or a fashion silhouette,
even though we know there is no literal line present.
Different types of Lines
► Line also communicates emotion and states of mind
through its character and direction. The variations of
meaning generally relate to our bodily experience of line
► The way in which these lines are utilized and combined
determines the effectiveness of the merchandise
► Each line suggests something else and, as letters
combine to form words, lines are arranged to make selling
► They tend to widen the surface on which they are used
and seemingly decrease the height of the area.
► Horizontal lines create a feeling of rest, relaxation, and
repose, as in the restful line of the horizon.
► Objects parallel to the earth are at rest in relation to
► It is perfectly compatible with robes, loungewear, or
► It expresses strength and stability and is
inherent in many types of merchandise
constructed of rigid materials.
► Its application naturally gives the viewer
an up-and-down eye movement.
► Dominant use of vertical lines in a
display tends to heighten the area, giving
the illusion of increased space in this
► Horizontal and vertical lines in combination
communicate stability and solidity.
► Rectilinear forms stay put in relation to gravity, and are
not likely to tip over.
► This stability suggests permanence, reliability and
safety. In the case of the man in this family group, the lines
seem to imply stability to the point of stodginess.
► This type of diagonal line especially connotes action and
movement to the viewer and is quite effective in the
informal display arrangement.
► It tends to give the illusion of instability.
► An expert must use it with care and precision.
► The diagonal line is a line of action; it is forceful, strong,
► Curved lines do vary in meaning, however, Soft, shallow
curves suggest comfort, safety, familiarity, relaxation.
► They also tend to give a display a feminine atmosphere.
► The curved line personifies grace, charm, and femininity.
► It is soft and enveloping.
► They recall the curves of the human body, and therefore
have a pleasing, sensual quality.
Deep, Acute Curves
► Deep Curves suggest confusion, turbulence, even
frenzy, as in the violence of waves in a storm, the chaos of
a tangled thread, or the turmoil of lines suggested by the
forms of a crowd.
► Zigzag lines are angular and counter roundness.
► They enlarge the figure and are eye-catching.
► These lines are a series of connected diagonals and
give a feeling of being erratic, intense, abrupt and non –
► These lines attract attention because of their disturbing
► These lines ad weight and attract attention. They are
decorative and busy.
► These lines are generally eye-catching, dominant and
may be too violent. Psychologically these lines are
associated with sharpness, movement, speed, confusion
► These lines create a focal point at the point of
intersection because of their contrasting nature.
► These lines emphasize direction and are psychologically
associated with weight and youthfulness.
► Full curves emphasize body curves, counters thinness
and sharp angles and are better suited on thin figures.
Psychologically these lines are associated with activeness,
roundness, forcefulness, feminity and exuberance.
► Soft curves gently emphasize the body curves and are
flattering. Psychologically these lines are associated with
passive nature, gentleness, feminity, smoothness and
► These lines give roundness and soften the angles.
Psychologically they are associated with feminity,
sensuousness, gentleness, fluidity and gracefulness. The
structural use of these lines is for the flowing fabric edges,
fabric patterns, frills and ruffles.
► These lines soften the angles and are more flattering
and give a feeling of sensuousness, feminity,
seductiveness and gracefulness.
► The lines have a focal point and are eye catching. They
are natural, continuous and feminine
► These lines give a visual effect, lightweight ness and
have a receding nature. Psychologically they create a
feeling of delicacy, calmness, fragility, subtleness and
► These lines are heavy, add weight, visually move
forward and attract attention. These are forceful, assertive,
masculine and confident.
► These lines are smooth and flattering and give a feeling
of firmness, certainty, steadiness and regularity.
► These lines emphasize bulges and add interest. They
are wobbly, unstable and indecisive.
► These lines emphasize direction, length or width and are
continuous, graceful, free flowing and smooth.
► These lines divide the space and adds interest. They
give a feeling of abruptness, efficiency and blindness.
► These lines are rhythmic and attract attention.
Psychologically they are associated with interruption,
Form, Shape and Space
Form and shape are areas or masses, which define objects in space. Form and
shape imply space; indeed they cannot exist without space. 164
The shape of an object refers to the visual form of
that object. For our purpose, shapes are discussed not
in their variations, but as being similar or dissimilar.
For the creation of perfect harmony in a display,
shapes that correspond exactly to one another are used
Inharmonious or dissimilar shapes may be used in a
display to create contrast and, in some instances, a
point of emphasis.
When lines connect they create form, which is the
shape of the object.
Straight lines produce angular forms, and curved
lines create circular forms.
Forms express moods similar to the lines that define
In advertisements and displays the merchandise and
props are the forms and should be chosen for the
appropriateness of their shape for the particular
Display forms come in different sizes and can be
arranged in a variety of positions.
► An element of art that is three dimensional (height,
width, and depth) and encloses volume.
► For example a triangle, which is two dimensional, is a
shape, and a pyramid, which is three dimensional is a form.
► Examples of forms include; Cubes, Spheres, Ovoids,
Pyramids, Cones, and Cylinders.
Categories of Forms
► There are various ways to categorize form and shape.
Geometric / Organic
Realistic / Naturalistic
► Two-dimensional form is the foundation of pictorial
organization or composition in painting, photography, and
many other media.
► It is created in a number of ways:
Change in texture
2-D forms giving illusion of 3-D
► Two-dimensional forms can create the illusion of three
dimensional shapes and spaces
► Whenever we look at a flat surface (a picture, a
television screen) and assume we are looking at spaces
and objects that have depth, we are accepting a set of
visual signals that create an illusion of three-dimensional
► Three-dimensional shape has an expressive vocabulary
similar to that of line.
► For example,
Rectilinear shapes suggest stability.
Angular shapes placed diagonally in relation to
gravity suggest instability.
Shapes that exhibit softly curving surfaces suggest
quiet, comfort and sensuality.
Geometric / Organic
Shapes that are created through use
of mathematics. These shapes include
Circle, Oval, Triangle, Square,
Rectangle, Hexagon, Octagon and
An irregular shape, or one
that might be found in nature,
rather than a regular
Realistic / Naturalistic
► If we can recognize every day objects and
environments, we refer to the images as being realistic, or
►If the images are difficult or impossible to identify in terms
of our normal, daily visual experience, we may refer to the
images as abstract.
► There are several kinds of abstract images.
Objective image - it is derived from an actual object.
Non-objective image - do not refer to any real-world
object or scene
► Caricature is a special instance of abstraction, in which
realistic images are distorted to make a statement about
the people, places, or objects portrayed.
Space is the two-dimensional equivalent of volume. It
is the illusion of three-dimensional spatial relationships
on a flat, two-dimensional surface.
A drawing or painting may appear to have a flat
sense of space or a deep sense of space.
Space is the distance between forms. It is the
expanse between objects. That is, the background upon
which a figure is placed.
The amount of space given to background helps to
create mood and emphasis. Blank background in an
advertisement is termed white space.
► An element of art that refers to
the distance or area between,
around, above, below, or within
things. It can be described as two-
dimensional or three-dimensional;
as flat, shallow, or deep; as
positive or negative; and as actual,
Since the viewer has to look up to
view the sculpture, Michelangelo
carved the hands, torso, and head An example of how artist use
larger so his body would look actual space to manipulate the
correctly. viewers perspective, can be
seen in Michelangelo’s stone
sculpture of “David”.
Size refers to the physical magnitude, extent, bulk,
and dimension of something.
To achieve harmony within a display, sizes should be
Objects of the sizes in which they appear in reality
should constitute an entire area rather than being used
in conjunction with objects that are miniatures.
Sizes should also be kept in proportion, so that large
objects do not minimize smaller ones that appear with
them in a display.
In the area of merchandise display, one basic rule is
to allow one idea to dominate.
This tends to enhance the selling message of the
window. Here, more than in other areas of design, we
emphasize the importance of the display area as a
A display is not an artistic creation stimulating
speculation and interpretation concerning its intent.
The viewer must clearly and quickly receive the idea
of a window. Its details must be in keeping with the
central idea or theme in order to enhance and
immediately clarify the idea that prevails.
Using color is the best way to add excitement to a visual presentation
without the cost of the installation.
► Typically, color is the first element we see when looking
at an object or scene. It affects us physically and
psychologically and is one of the most important elements
in creating response, especially to display.
► Color is one of the most powerful of elements. It has
tremendous expressive qualities. Understanding the uses
of color is crucial to effective composition in design and the
► Color is an inexpensive, versatile means of creating
mood and drama in the presentation of fashion
merchandise. Much of the color comes from the
merchandise itself, which requires no additional expense.
►The color combinations of ceiling, walls, floor coverings
and overall décor can affect the atmosphere of a store.
► Research shows that the proper choice of color in store
windows and store interiors has significant drawing power.
► Color used properly can attract the eye of the potential
customer, create the desired mood, and stimulate the
viewer to make a purchase decision.
► Changing a color scheme can change people’s attitudes
and perceptions of a store, and increase (or decrease)
Color and Display
► The average pedestrian sees a window
display as a flashing picture that is
approached, observed, and responded to
all in less than 11 seconds.
► This picture must be magnetic to bring
customers into the store.
► A window display should represent the
store, and it should help sell goods.
► To do this, it must attract the eye and
turn walkers into stoppers-people who stop
to examine the goods.
► One of the strongest forces in stopping the pedestrian
and making him or her want an item is the effective use of
color in a display.
► It is an invaluable selling tool, because people are color
► Color helps to create interest in new merchandise and
the desire for it.
► Color is critical to an ambiance that projects a store’s
image and attracts customers.
► The psychological effects of color have been well
► For example, blue, green and violet project elegance;
orange, yellow, and red convey intimacy.
► Appropriate lighting, in turn, enhances the effects of
►The use of colors in a store communicates various things
to the customers who walk in while passing by. Some of
the major impacts of color on customers are:
Color sets the mood
Highlights a product
Conveys the seasonal look
The Impact of Color
► Color can convey and induce a variety of emotions.
► The effects of color can also be applied to merchandise
presentations and displays.
► A bright color may attract a customer into the store, but
warm colors in general make customers feel uneasy; cool
colors in a display create a calm atmosphere and may
prolong the customer’s stay in the store.
► Colors also convey the seasonal look; e.g.,
Red & Green – Christmas
Black & Orange – Halloween
Red & Pink – Valentine’s Day
► Warm colors (reds, oranges, and yellows) physically
attract customers to shop are stimulating and Cherry.
► It makes room feel warm and intimate.
► Warm colors makes a room seem smaller while making
objects in the room appear larger.
► A warm color on the end of the walls of a long narrow
room will appear to shorten the room.
► On the other hand, cool colors (blues, greens, and
violets) are more appropriate for areas where customers
will be deliberating over a big-ticket purchase such as a fur
► These colors helps by creating a relax atmosphere.
► Rooms decorated primarily in cool colors tend to appear
larger and more specious.
► Cool colors are especially pleasing
in smaller rooms.
Dimensions of Color
► Skillful use of color begins with an understanding of its
► In simple terms hue is the
name of the color. Yellow, red,
brown, grey are hues.
► Theoretically all hues can be
mixed from three basic hues,
known as primaries. When
pigment primaries are all mixed
together, the theoretical result is
► When describing the lightness or darkness of a hue, we
are speaking of its value.
► Adding white to a hue, we lighten it and achieve a tint.
► With the addition of lack, a darker variation is produced,
know as shade.
Intensity or Chroma
► The saturation or purity of a color is referred to as its
► A color’s intensity is actually its brightness or dullness.
► The intensity is varied by adding middle grey or
complement of the color.
► These intense colors catch the eye and stop the
customer long enough for her to notice the merchandise.
► High-intensity colors are active and stimulating.
► Low-intensity colors are grayed or dull in appearance,
for example, maroon. Dull or low-intensity colors tend to
create a calm and restful mood
► Colors often occur in various combinations, referred to
as color schemes.
► Combining colors attractively is an art marked by
individual style and preference. Although there are no laws
for combining colors, there are some formalized methods
for producing harmonious color schemes.
► These methods are illustrated on a wheel of 12 colors.
► The two major categories of color scheme in terms of
hue are related and contrasting.
► The second category is referred to as contrasting
because there are no common hues in these color
schemes. Contrasting color schemes are often bold and
Related Color Schemes
► The first category is referred to as related because this
type of color scheme utilizes one or more hues in common,
that is, colors that are adjacent on the color wheel.
► Related color schemes tend to produce a stable feeling
and allow the mood of the hue of the color scheme to be
► The principal types of related color schemes are
► A single color on the color wheel is
used with three to five tints and shades
of that single true color in this scheme
► Several pieces of blue merchandise
each consisting of a different value
ranging from baby blue to navy blue, is
an example of Monochromatic color
► If texture is a selling point, a
monochromatic color scheme may be a
good choice for highlighting textures,
which would be more apparent when the
colors are all the same or similar.
► Analogous color schemes comprise three colors that are
adjacent on the wheel, which means they contain a common hue.
► An example is yellow-orange, yellow, and yellow-green. Another
example, from the cooler side of the color wheel, is blue, blue-violet,
► An analogous color scheme offers more variety in colors than a
monochromatic scheme and avoids the possibility of clashing colors
since there is a common hue to provide harmony.
► This can be used to create a soft and subtle décor and warm or
► This color scheme needs to be used with
caution so as not to end up with an over
stimulating nor depressing atmosphere.
Contrasting Color Schemes
► Contrasting color schemes are subdivided as follows:
Tone on Tone
► A complementary color scheme is represented by two
colors that are exactly opposite to each other on the color
wheel, such as Yellow and Purple or Red and Green.
► It can result in a very pleasing combination of warm and
► Avoid using opposite colors in equal amounts of light
and dark combinations.
► These schemes are based on two adjacent colors
combined with their complementary or opposite colors,
such as yellow orange and yellow with violet and blue-
violet, or red-orange and orange with blue and blue-green.
► This scheme incorporates both contrast by means of
opposite hues and similarity by means of related hues.
► The related hues give a sense of unity, making this
scheme slightly easier to produce than a simple
► Split-complementary color scheme is composed of any
hue plus the two hues on either side of its complement,
such as yellow with red-violet and blue violet, or blue-green
with red and orange.
► It is a popular color scheme to create interest and
► Every fourth color on the color wheel for a total of three
colors make a triadic color scheme.
►It is built on three hues equidistant from each other, such
as red, yellow, and blue; or orange, green, and violet.
► The combination of unrelated hues is lively, but harmony
may be difficult to create because of the variety generated.
► This is a good combination of colors
that can create muted, traditional look as
well as more vibrant color characteristics
of modern color scheme.
► Tetrad scheme combines four hues equidistant from
each other on the color wheel, such as orange, yellow-
green, blue, and red-violet.
► The various hues provide the contrast and interest.
► The merchandise itself can provide the color schemes
for the display.
► In a merchandising grouping, a multicolor item such as a
figured blouse can establish the color scheme. When an
item comes in several colors, that range, of hues can
become the color scheme.
Tone on Tone
► Two colors that are next to one another on the color
wheel with a very little space between them, make up a
tone on tone scheme.
► Generally no change in either intensity, such as degree
of brightness, in tints or shades is used in a tone on tone
► A display of blue and blue-violet silk flowers is an
example of this scheme.
Psychological Implications of Color
► Market researchers have done extensive studies exploring
the emotional responses of people to color.
► Some of these responses seem to be powerful and fairly
universal. However, much of this information is culturally
► We know that cultural traditions endow colors with powerful
meanings that can differ greatly from place to place.
► For example, in Europe and the United States, black is the
color of mourning.
► In many tropical countries and in East Asia white is the
color of death.
► On the other hand, white is the color worn by American
brides, while brides in much of Asia wear red.
A cool Color (makes room seem cooler).
Clams and Relaxes excited people.
Makes time seem to pass quickly.
Tends to stimulate thought processes and
Easy on the Eyes.
A cool Color
Restful and Tranquil
Makes time seem to pass quickly.
Excites and Stimulates.
Makes time seem to pass Slowly
Friendly, Warm and Vibrant
A cheerful Color.
Creates a feeling o Warmth and Happiness
Violet and Purple
A cool color
Tends to lend elegance and sophistication
Relaxing and Warm
Sophistication when used Elegantly
Adds a balance to any Color Scheme
► Colors must be considered in view of their surroundings,
as color can change dramatically when viewed under
► For Example, A red chair will appear
Yellower next to Blue wall
Purer and brighter next to Green wall
Lighter and Brighter next to White wall
Brighter next to Grey wall.
► A dark color placed near a lighter color will appear
deeper while light color will appear lighter yet.
► Colors are also radically altered by differences in pattern
► A comfortable background color choice for leather goods
is the mid value range, such as a beige or grey.
► This selection also works well for intimate apparel and
ready to wear.
► A painted background color will not reflect as much light
fabric, so even if the merchandise is the same color as the
background it will still stand out.
► Light colors such as pinks, yellows, blues and whites
should not be used as background colors in the infant and
toddler areas, since they are the colors used in much of the
► The small size of the garments and the generally light
tones make the merchandise invisible.
► Brighter, sharper colors help these pastels stand out.
► Background colors in girls departments should be kept
neutral because of the extensive range of colors sold there,
and boys departments go with bright because the clothes
tend to be in bright or deep tones.
► Junior departments utilize various color backgrounds
depending on current fashion vogue.
► When neon colors are popular, white is a very suitable
► However, when more subtle colors are in fashion, the
whites are too cold and overpowering.
► Dark Green or dark Blue colors, with neutrals used for
accents, have been effectively used in menswear areas.
► Primary, Secondary, Peach, Light Blue and Green
colors should be avoided.
► Stores that carry china and glass can effectively use
grays, browns and blues as background colors.
► Browns work especially well with bone china and Blues
are attractive with porcelain; grays can be utilized with
either type of china.
► Silver should not be shown on a brown background
because the reflection will make the silver appear tarnished
► However, browns and burgundies are great for
displaying brass goods.
► Gift areas can be use black and white with bright
► Bright Orange, Bright Red and Blue are appropriate
colors to select for hardware store, as they provide the best
contrast with the wood handles and metals of hardware
► Sky Blue and Tennis court Green enhance sporting
goods and equipments because of their outdoor
► White is widely used color in packaging and on printed
surfaces because it is a basic paper color and less
expensive than solid printed colors.
Guidelines Regarding Color in Display
► Use strong contrasts and loud color with care:
Although very bright hues command attention at first,
they disturb immediately afterward and distract attention
from the merchandise.
The more intense a hue, the smaller the area it
The more intense a hue, the softer should be the
second hue used in combination with it. Do not combine
two or more strong colors that have not been changed
in value or intensity.
Do not paint large surfaces in strong colors.
► Make your color scheme suit the merchandise on
The color of floors, walls, and background should be
either one of the main colors in the merchandise or a
Generally, soft tints should be given preference over
► The type of merchandise displayed has a bearing on the
selection of colors:
Low-priced goods are usually displayed in a color
scheme of vivid hue.
The more exclusive types of merchandise, on the
other hand, are usually displayed in a refined color
scheme and in color combinations used in the current
► Light tints are always a treat for the eye:
They appear to deepen the window space.
Therefore, they seemingly increase the size of the
► The opposite is true of dark shades
They seem to bring the background closer.
Therefore, they shorten the window space in the eyes
of the spectator.
► Most colors can be classified as warm or cool:
Warm colors include yellow, orange, red, and their
combinations with white or black. All these hues
impress the eye, enhance the appearance of the
merchandise, and optically push it to the front of the
Cool colors include blue and green. They appear
calm, soothing, and balanced, and they create the
illusion of enlarging the window.
► Contrasts are welcome but dangerous:
Beware of clashes.
Confine strong contrasts to small accessories.
Audacious combinations are permissible if taste is
► More than two principal colors can be grouped in one
display But proportionately; more care must be taken to
achieve harmony most pastels go well together.
Pattern can be described as a repeating unit of shape or form.
► Pattern is an underlying
structure that organizes
surfaces or structures in a
consistent, regular manner.
► Pattern can be described as
a repeating unit of shape or
form, but it can also be thought
of as the “skeleton” that
organizes the parts of a
Texture is the quality of an object, which we sense through touch.
Texture is the aspect of harmony that relates to the
sense of touch.
This sense may be stimulated either physically or
visually, as when one senses the roughness of
sandpaper without feeling it or the softness of satin
without handling it.
Textures may be divided into two categories:
• those materials that appear rough or smooth to the
• those textures that reflect light as opposed to those
that absorb light.
► Color catches the eye, texture draws the customer to the
merchandise for close examination.
► Texture is subtler than color but is nevertheless
important in gaining a positive response from the customer.
► As a visual element, texture is the result of light being
reflected or absorbed by the surface of the object or
material. Satin reflects light, and velveteen absorbs light.
When a majority of the textures in a display area tend
to be smooth, rough, reflective, or absorbent, we may
consider the display to have consistency and harmony.
When a combination of visual impressions prevails,
the display will have contrast.
If all textures are of one type with the exception of
one item of a different texture, a point of contrast, or
emphasis, has been created.
Interior design involves all components of the store interior, including fixtures,
graphics, flooring, ceiling, lighting; and other visual elements. 248
Interior Store Design
► Of all the elements of store design and visual
merchandising, interior design has the greatest capacity to
convey store image and create certain moods and
emotions in buyers.
► Basic interior design begins with such items as the width
of aisles, the treatment of pipes and vents, the decoration
of walls, and the style of lighting fixtures.
► All these elements contribute to customers’ perceptions
of and responses to the store.
► Displays inside the store should relate to the displays
seen in the windows.
► Good display effects should continue inside the store to
move customer traffic through the store.
► The aisles, the signs that direct the customer, the walls,
and the interior displays are most important to the total
visual concept of the store.
► Each department, shelf, counter, ledge, case, and
furnishing in addition to the display areas requires analysis
in executing display techniques.
► The furnishings of the store should be attractive and
placed so as to enhance the visual impact on the customer.
► There should be updating and improvements in fixtures
to avoid a stagnant, dated effect.
► For example, the seasons of the year usually dictate
visual changes. 250
► Display fixtures include racks, stands, tables, shelves, and
other devices for physically presenting merchandise.
► They may be floor fixtures-round, rectangular, or box-
racks, cubes – or wall fixtures such as brackets, shelves, etc.
► In addition to holding merchandise and displaying it, store
fixtures influence a store’s interior design, from its traffic flow
to the image it projects to customers.
► All furnishings of the store should be placed to enhance
the visual impression each floor presents.
► They should be arranged both to sell the most
merchandise and to be pleasing to the customer.
► Floor cases
It is located away from the walls of the store and, a
floor case enables individuals to view the merchandise
at close range and provides the sales associate with a
counter on which to show merchandise.
► Multipurpose merchandise systems/ Grid walls
These offer a great deal of flexibility. These adapt to
almost all retailer’s needs. Some utilize brackets that
can have shelves or hangers, some use grooved panels
into which fittings can be inserted to get shelves or
► Island display cases and tables
These fixtures encourage self-service. They come in
variety of designs, some with storage areas below and
others merely serving as places for the display of items.
► Corner Shops
These shops, as well as other marked-off areas with
distinctive décor, are employed by store engineers to
relieve the monotony of departmental furnishings.
Obviously, shelves are
necessary to store stocked
merchandise. They are poor
display areas, however, and
should be hidden whenever
possible by walls, curtains, and
► Counter and Table Display
These sell merchandise more readily than do shelf
displays, because they are located in front of the stock
areas, bringing the goods nearer to the customer and
allowing the customer to touch the merchandise.
Square and rectangular shapes are the usual design
for counters and cases.
However, rounded, oval, and surrealistically shaped
counters not only ease the flow of traffic through a
store, they appear less regimented and do not present
hazardous sharp edges to the customer.
They are a pleasant change from the square design.
► Shadow Boxes
A shadow-box display is often located behind the
This location makes it easy to display and maintain
an arrangement of merchandise that is beyond the
reach of anyone who might otherwise remove it from
the store without paying for it.
A more dramatic presentation of merchandise is
required however, to compensate for the customer’s
inability to handle and examine the goods.
The tops of shelves sometimes serve as areas for
Ledge areas may be made very attractive with the
addition of decorative pieces for seasonal promotions.
Because ledges with shelf space below them are
above the comfortable range of vision, constant care
must be exercised in the placement of merchandise.
Unsightly portions of it, such as chair seats, shoe
soles, wrong sides of materials, or unfinished backs of
stoves or refrigerators, should not be visible to the
customer’s eye and must be camouflaged with
► Kiosks or Island Areas
As their name implies, these are isolated display
places amid the pattern of shelves and counters that
constitute the principal selling spaces of a store.
They are forceful merchandising agents when placed
strategically near elevators, by entrances to departments,
and at stairway landings.
Island displays catch the customer’s fancy and attract
the eye. They are not stock areas, nor should they be
crowded with boxes and signs.
They are concerned exclusively with showing
merchandise and items related to that merchandise.
Kiosks may be built from 5 to 28 inches above the floor 263
► Platform Displays
usually used to
off of the floor at.
Light is usually
► Museum Cases
These are display cases with flat surfaces on top.
They are usually a rectangle with the top part made of
glass and lighted.
Expensive and special merchandise is secured in
► Demonstration Cubes
These are cubes made of many different materials
and in many different sizes.
The display props are inexpensive, versatile, and
They can be clustered to form island-type displays in
These are boards approximately 7 feet above the
selling floor that hide lighting fixtures and provide space
for flat-pinned displays, which help tie an area together
and / or define a particular department.
The lighting that is covered by fascia is used to
emphasize merchandise and is lower than normal
► Structural Columns
These columns hold up the ceilings and roofs of
buildings. They must be a part of a structure.
Utilized for the store through attaching ledges, using
a variety of wall coverings, and attaching flexible
signage, thereby helping to define the beginning and
ending of a department.
Also can use them to carry out a simple “all-store”
theme as is often done at Christmas.
The ceilings in the window areas of older stores and
even in some of the newer ones are often quite high
and made of concrete or some other impenetrable
The window lighting equipment is often set into the
It may be an electrified track on which the lamp
housings can be moved back and forth to target the
light where it is needed. In some operations, the track
may be installed directly above the front glass, and
lighting poles on either side of the window may
► Imagine a customer standing in the entrance to a store,
taking in the “view.” Wherever that customer looks the
background will be a merchandise wall. Merchandise walls
form the total background of the store.
Types of Merchandise Walls
► Those that house merchandise and display that
merchandise using face-outs
► Those that house merchandise and display that
merchandise using grids. (Face-outs show apparel hanging
from the display with the front of it facing the viewer.)
But these walls can be treated in many ways to
create a strong store “look” and provide an interesting,
colorful background for the store’s other fixtures and
Purpose of Merchandise Walls
► To house and display basic as well as non-basic
merchandise (e.g., exceptionally long items such as
nightgowns and jumpsuits),
► To help backup merchandise “stories” that are being
featured on the selling floor.
► Fixtures and hardware used on merchandise walls
Bars and hardware,
Shelving (on brackets),
Slat board, and
Display grid and adjustable rod
► Ways to present merchandise walls
With regard to the design plan for the walls, there are
different ways to present merchandise walls, each
depending on the stock level:
• Totally faced out
• Faced out with barred
• Barred with faced-out merchandise
• Heavily barred
► Totally faced-out walls should, whenever possible,
exhibit a formal balance; that is, if a line is draw in the
middle of the wall, the placement/presentation of
merchandise on the right should be exactly like the
placement/presentation of the merchandise on the left
►A faced-out wall with barred merchandise
(predominantly facedout) has the position face-outs on
primary visual areas of the wall––the area the customer
sees first. As noted earlier, all faceouts should be above
the level or the racks and totally visible to the customer.
Use a face-out of the best style to lead into barred
Whenever possible, choose a face-out style of the
same color as the barred merchandise it leads into.
Vary height and type of face-outs for visual interest.
► Barred walls with faced-out merchandise (more
merchandise needs more bars) should be arranged as
Place face-out-related merchandise on primary visual
area before bar.
Make the face-outs of best-selling items that attract
customers to the wall.
Use a face-out of the best style to lead into barred
Barred merchandise should be grouped according to
store directives, which can be based on:
• Merchandise classifications.
• Color or colors within each classification.
• Sleeve or garment length.
Use shelf over long barred areas to tie in related
► Heavily barred walls should be put in using these basic
Plan for heavy barring with very large stock
Use a face-out of the best style to lead into barred
Vary the height and length of bars to create a visually
Bar regular-price merchandise.
• By classification.
• By color within classification.
• By sleeve length (sleeveless, short sleeve, long
• By fabrication. 280
Hang all merchandise on bars facing the front of the store.
Arrange top hooks of hangers over the bar in the same
If quantity of sale merchandise is insufficient to make
proper colorized presentation, have it sized.
Keep merchandise 8 to 12 inches from ceiling to allow
better visibility and easier access to customer.
Provide a visual “break” from one classification to another
in heavily barred wall with face-outs. Always face out the best
style of the barred classification.
Use different length bars (24 inches, 30 inches, 48 inches,
60 inches) to provide breaks and variety when wall is heavily
Wherever possible, use same-length face-outs in one
section of a wall. firstname.lastname@example.org
► Wall displays can take several different forms: face-outs
above barred merchandise, merchandise displayed on a
grid or a ledge display above barred merchandise with
face-outs on either side (optional).
► Guidelines for Merchandise Walls Sales associates who
will be involved in setting up a wall or floor display should
have certain criteria to follow to insure a proper
The Selling Floor
► The flooring used in an interior setting serves as an
indicator of store image, inviting customers to make inferences
relating to many characteristics of the business.
► Plush, textured carpeting, for example, suggests high-
quality merchandise, an emphasis on service, and relatively
► Flooring options include ceramic tile, hardwood, parquet,
marble, cement, linoleum, and other types.
► Flooring is also important for functional reasons; Flooring
delineates departments and selling areas, service
departments, and customer and employee lounges.
► It influences traffic patterns, encouraging or
discouraging customers from moving ill certain directions.
► As with fixturing, maintenance is a significant operating
expense that must be considered at the time of purchase.
► The type of merchandise that will be located on the
selling floor is based on the type of retail institution and
who their customer is.
► The merchandise selection will vary with seasonal and
promotional changes within a store.
► But sale merchandise as well as regular price
merchandise needs a specific location on the selling floor.
► Use fixtures to house one classification of merchandise
on the selling floor.
► Large quantities of merchandise will require a straight
rack or a rounder.
► Categorize, colorize, sign, and size merchandise based
on plan-o-gram information or management directives.
► Face all merchandise towards the front of the store.
► Keep your clearance merchandise on a rounder or
straight rack––the floor will usually outsell the walls.
► Properly sign all clearance merchandise; keep the
merchandise neat and orderly.
► Use the selling floor to create departments within the
store (i.e., outerwear, suits, or sweaters).
Creating a Store Environment
Color & Lighting
► Color and lighting are critical to an ambiance that
projects a store’s image and attracts customers.
► Used strategically, color can influence the perception at
a room’s size complement the merchandise on display,
state a as lion position, and attract a particular clientele.
► The psychological effects of color have been well
► For example, blue, green, and violet project elegance’
orange, yellow, and red convey intimacy.
► Lighting is essential to creating interest, shaping moods,
and stimulating customer buying.
Color & Lighting
► Its functions include the illumination of space and
merchandise, the accurate rendition of color, and the use of
contrast to direct customer attention and movement.
► Merchandise may be lit directly through color and
intensity or indirectly through surface highlighting, the
degree and type or lighting needed depend on the
merchandise to be presented.
► Spotlights emphasize key promotion, displays; lights of
varying intensity draw shoppers to particular areas.
► In fitting rooms and mirrored selling areas, lighting must
be designed to flatter customers.
Sound and Aroma
► Sound is an important design tool because of its ability to
affect buying behavior.
► Music in particular helps create a retail environment in
which sensory satisfaction brings relaxation and a
willingness to purchase.
► Programming can be used thematically to reinforce the
merchandise or it can be used to attract the target customer
► Music may also be used strategically to obscure other
sounds or enliven an oppressively silent atmosphere.
► In price-positioned discount stores or supermarkets,
promotional and informational announcements to help spur
sales frequently interrupt background music. 289
► Even aroma is a potential component, Pleasurable
scents add to a store’s atmosphere, stimulating customers’
appetites and encouraging them to buy.
► The aromas of breads, pastries, chocolates, and coffee
can be an extremely effective selling tool.
► Other products that may be enhanced through aroma
are leather clothing and luggage, flowers and houseplants,
tobacco, and cosmetics.
► And, of course, the primary method of marketing
fragrances is in-store demonstrations of the scents.
Store Design Layout
A store layout is a plan designating the use of all space in the store,
including aisles, fixtures; merchandise displays, and selling areas. 291
► A typical layout divides a store into four different kinds of
Selling space –
• Assigned for interior displays, product
demonstrations, and sales transactions
Merchandising space –
• Allocated to items that are kept in inventory for
Personnel space –
• Assigned to store employees for lockers, lunch
breaks, and restrooms
Customer space –
• Assigned for the comfort and convenience of the
customer, including a café or food court, dressing
rooms, lounges, and recreation areas for children 292
Once the selling-to-sales-support space ratio
is known, designers can begin the planning process. The
planning of store layout typically consists of five distinct
Selection of the overall plan or layout type
Division of merchandise by department
Allocation of selling space by department
Assignment of department locations
Organization of merchandise within departments.
Objectives of a Store Layout
► There are certain objectives to attain which the retailers
design the store layout. Some of the main objectives can
be put together as under:
To guide the customer around the store and entice
To create balance between sales and shopping
To create effective merchandise presentation.
Use multi-levels to provide a sense of variety.
Selecting a Layout
► The basic arrangement of the selling floor is of primary
importance, because it affects all other design decisions.
► Each type of layout has inherent strengths and
weaknesses resulting from the traffic flow patterns they
► With changing formats and increasingly sophisticated
store design research and techniques, retailers have been
experimenting with many combinations of these plans.
► Layouts may be categorized into three basic types:
Types of Store Layouts
► A linear design for a selling floor where fixtures are
arranged to form vertical and horizontal aisles throughout
► Supermarkets, discounters, grocery, drug store and
other convenience –oriented retailers, typically use it.
► This layout is done for more of the store’s convenience
and the need to get a lot of product out on display.
It is efficient in terms of space use
Allows orderly stocking
Ease of cleaning
Possibility of self-service
Simplify the inventory maintenance.
Plain and uninteresting
Stimulation of rushed shopping behavior
Limited creativity in decor
► It is an asymmetrical arrangement of merchandise that
encourages an unstructured traffic flow.
► It is mainly used in specialty stores and within
departments of department stores that emphasize mainly
on ambiance and personal selling.
►This layout is the most flexible of the three plans.
Storage, Receiving, Marketing
Underwear Dressing Rooms
Hats and Handbags
Skirts and Dresses
Open Display Window Open Display Window
It does not restrict the customers who do more
browsing and unplanned purchasing.
It also enhances interior design, as the individual
departments are more easily distinguished.
Tends to provide a more relaxed atmosphere.
Personal selling is emphasized.
A friendly atmosphere
Shoppers do not feel rushed
People are encouraged to walk through in any
Its main weakness lies in the inefficient use of space
and customer disorientation.
Also requires higher labor and security expenditures.
Lends itself to higher rates of theft because of
Setup is expensive because the setup is custom
made. Wasted floor space
Critical factor is providing enough room between
fixtures to allow traffic to flow smoothly.
It has selling fixtures arranged in loosely grouped,
Possible customer confusion
Loop or Boutique or Racetrack Layouts
► It exposes shoppers to a great deal of merchandise as
they follow a perimeter traffic aisle with departments on the
right and left of the circular, square, rectangular or oval
► This layout divides the selling floor into shops within the
store. This layout is employed in a discount or a
► Loop with a major aisle that has access to departments
and store’s multiple entrances.
► Draws customers around the store.
► Provide different site lines and encourage exploration,
► Used in department stores 311
Exposes customers to the greatest amount of
An efficient atmosphere is created
More floor space is devoted to product displays
People can shop quickly
Inventory control and security are simplified
Self-service is easy, thereby reducing labor costs
More limited browsing by customers
Rushed shopping behavior.
Open Traffic Design
► Spine Layout is a type of store layout in which a single
main aisle runs from the front to the back of the store,
transporting customers in both directions, and where on either
side of this spine, merchandise departments using either a
free-flow or grid pattern branch off toward the back aisle
► Allocating floor/shelf space locating merchandise
► Where should merchandise be displayed?
► How much space should be allocated to each
► How many items of each SKUs should be displayed?
Space Planning Considerations
► Profitability of merchandise
► Customer Buying considerations
Impulse products near front
Demand/Destination areas off the beaten path
► Physical characteristics of product.
► Complementary products should be adjacent
► Sales rate
More units of faster selling merchandise need to be
Prime Locations for Merchandise
► Highly trafficked areas
Near checkout counter
► Highly visible areas
► Avoid the “butt-brush” effect.
► Make merchandise accessible.
► Allow a transition zone.
Evaluating Space Productivity
► Productivity ratios are output/input
Sales per square foot
Sales per linear foot
Gross or contribution margin per square foot
► (Location of departments) men’s vs. women’s
Impulse goods – near entrances, to the right,
Demand/Destination – upper floors, back corners;
complementary – adjacent
►(Display areas) – bulk-of-stock + feature areas (walls,
promotional areas, point- of-sale areas, feature fixtures,
►Fixtures– feature fixtures – four-way, free-
standing/mannequins, glass cases
►+ gondolas, rounders & straight racks for bulk-of-stock &
sale merchandise email@example.com 327
Space Planning Considerations
► High traffic & highly visible areas
Entrances, escalators, check-out area, end aisles,
► Profitability of merchandise
► Private brand, higher margin categories
► Customer buying considerations
► Impulse products near front
► Demand/destination areas in back, off the beaten path
► Physical characteristics of product
► Bulky vs. small/easily stolen
► Complementary products should be adjacent
► Sales rate
► Influenced by product assortment (depth and width)
► Constrained by size and structure of store
► Determined by fixturing
► Objective: to move customers to every area of store
► Trend towards more spacious and airy layouts
Material and Props
The dramatic nature of a display and the impact that it makes on a shopper very
often are attributed to the elements in the display rather than to the merchandise.
While the most important feature of a visual presentation is the merchandise, the
background is necessary to enhance what the store is trying to sell. 330
► Foam boards
These are light weight and paper covered boards that
can be easily cut into desired shapes and is available in
► Oak tag
This is a sturdy, paper composition material with a
shiny surface. It is very inexpensive, is available in
many colors, can be cut into different shapes and can
It’s a composition board that comes in thickness of
1/8 inch to ½ inch and sizes up to 4x8 feet. It has longer
life and can be bended more than the foam board but
with a drawback that it is heavier to handle
Made of compressed cardboard, this board is
lightweight and favorite for pads.
It is used for a solid and stiff construction.
► Miscellaneous types
Other types of boards used include Chip boards, a
wood chip composition board; Upson, heavy weight
cardboard; and Gator board, a thick Styrofoam panel.
Available in a variety of colors and patterns, fabric
adds richness and quality to a display.
The most widely used display paper is seamless
paper, available in various colors and is not very
expensive. The only disadvantage of paper is that it is
Extensively used paints are the latex-based paint
because it dries quickly and requires just soap and
water to clean spills and brushes.
Some stores desire a permanent floor covering in
display areas which has rich textural and visual qualities
and will complement most of the display presentations.
Display area floor can be made completely out of
wood with or without finishes as required by the
Ceramic and vinyl tile, netting, grass mates, straw
rugs, rope and many other materials are extensively
used in the displays.
► Found objects
Creative displays are often built with items that were
truly pulled from the junk pile and refurbished, or items
that were manufactured for other uses but serve as
wonderful props for window and interior settings.
Dinning tables, chairs, lamps, pedestals and other
such items are used to make effective displays.
►Merchandise used as products
Screens, shutters, window shades, ladders, antiques,
vases, urns, musical instruments, and garden tools all
make excellent props.
Fixturing is the furniture that holds and displays the majority of your
merchandise. It is one of the more difficult subjects to address because every
store has different needs to show its merchandise. 346
Types of Fixtures
► There are certain basic fixtures used in window display
that may also be used in the interior of the store, on ledges,
or on the selling floor. They include:
► Bars, stands, and racks are implements of retail
salesmanship designed to provide wearing apparel with a
pseudorealistic vertical hang.
► When properly arranged, the merchandise itself
provides a colorful display’ within a department that has
been delineated on three sides by the back and sidewalls.
► Prospective customers arriving in the department may
look at, try on, and buy the merchandise because the
atmosphere is conducive to shopping.
► When well arranged on bars, stands, and racks, items
can be easily seen and touched.
► The t-stand is an accent piece used to feature a fashion
story or advertised merchandise.
► T-stands are placed on aisles to indicate to the potential
customer the types of merchandise found in the area and
what some of the new fashion statements are.
► The t -stand, like other fixtures at the front of the selling
area, should be at a lower height than the rest of the
fixtures and placed so that the lead garment is at least 12
inches from the aisle, with the merchandise face out.
► In this position, open space around the t-stand helps
emphasize the merchandise, keeps the area uncluttered,
and draws shoppers into the department.
► It is effective when located next to a mannequin where
shoppers can see merchandise in three dimensions.
► The merchandise should be new, have hanger appeal,
and carry out the image of the department.
► Use of one style and one color makes a very strong
fashion statement. Although more than one color can be
used effectively, too many colors create a choppy
► If three or four colors are to be used the darkest or dullest
one should be placed on the bottom.
► Medium values or medium intensities should be in the
middle and the light or bright colors on the top.
► Skirts, pants, and shorts should not be hung on slant arms.
►This is to prevent the dominant focus from being on the
hangers instead of the clothes.
Quadra-racks or four ways
► Quad-racks rank next to t-stands in
appropriateness for telling a fashion
► Like the t-stand, quad-racks should be
arranged near the front of a department.
► For greater interest, their heights
should be varied.
► Fixtures with lowest height should be
nearest the front of the department.
► Structurally, the quad-rack is a four-
armed fixture with arms extending from
► Arms can be either straight or slanted
to create a waterfall impression.
► In this four-way configuration, tops
should be placed on the waterfall.
► Coordinate skirts and pants are best
shown on the side arms.
► The waterfall should face the aisle, with
the first garment completely accessorized.
This arrangement allows shoppers to see
a simultaneous front and shoulder view of
the merchandise on display.
► The quad-rack holds twice as much
merchandise as the t -stand.
► In addition, it provides four face-out
views of the latest fashion statement.
► For this reason, it is an excellent choice
for the display of coordinate groups.
► Four different pieces-blouse, jacket,
skirt, and pants-can be displayed, giving
the department an impressive showing of
a complete ensemble.
► Usually merchandise on a four-way is
presented by color, by style, and by size
on each arm.
► It has six adjustable arms, which can be a combination
of straight and slanted.
► The six-way is effective for larger groups of merchandise
including several colors or coordinates with a choice in
styles of the various pieces.
► Because of its large size, the six-way should be placed
toward the middle of the department,
where it will not create a barrier
to incoming customer traffic.
► Round racks, or rounders, are the “workhorses” of
merchandising. They are seldom surpassed in their ability
to hold large quantities of merchandise.
► Structurally, the round rack is a circular rod; usually 32
to 42 inches in diameter that can be raised arid lowered to
suit the merchandise.
► Round racks hold many items but do not display them
interestingly because they present the items shoulder out
rather than face out.
► Rounders often has a flat circular surface in the center of
the top, which can be used for a display.
► Round racks can be used for garments of all types and
► They are valuable when large quantities of merchandise
need to be available for the customer to examine.
► Because brilliant hues are eye stoppers, merchandise is
often arranged by color.
► When coordinates are hung on a round rack, there are
two possible arrangements.
► The major item, often the jacket, can be on the left,
proving right to the blouse, skirt, and pants.
► Another possibility is to arrange by length, either from
short to long or from long to short.
► This procedure prevents an unattractive irregular line at
the bottom of the merchandise.
► One color should be dominant in either arrangement.
The merchandise available often determines the order of
colors on the rack.
► Because the rounder holds so much stock, it frequently
is used to display sale merchandise.
► A wide variety of multifeature fixtures are available. It
may not hold as much merchandise as the six-way, but it
offers more flexibility.
► It is a glass enclosed display pedestal that enables the
shopper to see the merchandise from all sides. Used
generally for jewelry, sunglasses, belts, evening bags.
► Straight racks are a good choice when it is desirable to
present many similar garments.
► Long straight racks are placed towards the back of the
► Items should be colorized in the same manner as with
the round racks-first by color, then by styles within a color,
and finally by size.
► Bins and shelves
► Transparent display units
► Modular units
► Tables are a good presentation fixture when the
merchandise has little-hanger appeal and does not fold or
stack neatly, as is often the case with intimate apparel or
► Tables are often placed in aisle, to feature advertised
items. The style of the table should fit the store’s mood.
► Establish vertical and horizontal rows by colorizing the
merchandise, arranging related colors adjacent to each
other, and then sizing the items from small to large.
► Counter fixtures serve many purposes. Class counters
safely display out-of-reach small, expensive merchandise,
such as jewelry, perfume, and handbags, protecting them
from theft or accidental damage.
► Inside the case, merchandise should be arranged to tell
a fashion story about color, texture, and name brand.
► Small items show up better on the top, with larger items
on the bottom.
► If all the items are small, they can be arranged in artistic
groups for greater impact.
► When the merchandise is stocked in a wide range of
colors, it should be colorized following the color wheel.
Bins and shelves
► It is good to use Shelves space for items related to
articles found in the case.
► Remembering that a vertical image is strongest, one
should stock the merchandise so that each vertical row
holds a separate color.
► Goods should not be stacked too high or too low for the
average customer to reach easily.
► If the merchandise is not available in sufficient depth to
arrange vertically by color, it might be arranged by style
down through the shelves, with each shelf sized from small
► Gondolas are basically a series of freestanding shelves
and are used primarily for folded and packaged
merchandise such as shirts, sweaters, and tights.
► This merchandise should be colorized vertically and
then sized, with small to large arranged from top to bottom.
► A portion of the top shelf can be used for display,
perhaps with a partial form to show shoulders and sleeves.
► This arrangement lets the customers know about an
item’s features without their having to open packages or
► These safeguard measures help keep the area neat and
attractive and the merchandise correctly sized for easy self
selection by customers. 370
Transparent Display Units
► These fixtures are basically columns of upright cubes
that hold a large quantity of folded merchandise in neat,
► The display unit should be addressed in much the same
manner as the gondola.
► Being made of clear glass or other transparent material,
these fixtures allow the merchandise, rather than the
fixture, to make the scene.
► Also, this see-through quality makes the area appear
less crowded, more open, and lighter.
► This feeling of spaciousness is very desirable because it
lends visual appeal and subsequent status to the store.
► Fixture systems that can be designed form modular units
are a high-tech type of merchandising concept.
► Most incorporate a space for stock as well as for display
and provide various combinations of units
Tips for Fixture Selections
► Keep in mind the scale and size of your merchandise
while planning your purchase of fixtures.
► Make certain the fixture you select will physically carry
the weight of the product you plan to display on it.
► Include costs for shipping to your location into the
overall expense of the fixtures.
► Consider the cost of the fixture as compared to the
possible revenue that will be generated from it in its area of
real estate within your store.
► When purchasing the hardware accessories for any
fixture for your store, consider the different types of product
that might be displayed on each unit.
Dramatizing the display floor and display areas
► Lighting is one of the most important elements of a
display. If properly used it will aid in selling merchandise
and thereby add to the profit of the store.
► Working with light to make
displays and merchandise more
dramatic is the goal of every
► The main design elements of
light and shadow are very
► Too much shadow can hide
important details of the
merchandise and also change
the appearance of merchandise
► Proper display lighting is vital to selling. It
calls attention to merchandise.
► It pulls customers’ eyes to the
merchandise and encourages them to buy.
► Lighting should also have the quality and
color that bring out the best features of the
► Expert display people use light in
the same way a musician uses
► A musician varies the volume to
attract attention and manipulates
tones to create a mood.
► Similarly, a display expert varies
the amount of light to pull shoppers
over to a display, using colored
lamps, soft light, and so on, to create
a buying mood.
Phases of Lighting
► There are two phases of
lighting to consider in a
discussion of store illumination:
Primary Lighting and
► Primary lighting supplies the bare essentials of store
► Outside, it includes the, the marquee lights illuminating
the sidewalk for the window shopper, and the lobby ceiling
► Inside, primary lighting provides general illumination for
the store, including lights along the aisles, an indicator of
an elevator, the light in a stairway, and a directional sign at
the fire exist, the office, or the down escalator.
► This general illumination is the minimum adequate store
► This type of lighting illuminates both the merchandise
and the traffic path in a store.
Secondary/ Accent Lighting
► Primary lighting is inadequate for the specialized
showing of merchandise.
► For this purpose, secondary lighting should be added:
Spot- and floodlights augment basic window lighting,
brightening the shelves, the cases, the counters, and the
► In this phase of store illumination, lighting begins to
function as a selling force.
Light Source : As Selling Tools
► Other than natural daylight, which plays practically no
part in store interior or window illumination, there are
several sources of light employed by the visual
► A knowledge of each helps in making the appropriate
choice in terms of both visual effect and economy of the
Fiber Optic Lighting
High Intensity Discharge
► For cost effective, cool general lighting, fluorescent is
the choice of many retailers.
► The bulbs come in many shapes, but the long, narrow
cylindrical tubes that come in various lengths are used the
► It is largely used in interior ceiling, floor and wall cases,
shadow boxes and lighting tracks.
► They offer excellent color rendering and come in a
variety of colors that can project coolness, warmth, or other
desired effects. If color is needed for a particular temporary
presentation, filters are available to encase the standard
► These are low voltage bulbs, which come in spotlight or
flood light form, and are known as PAR bulbs or R bulbs
► The low voltage lamps bring out true colors of the
merchandise, enhance textures, and create spectacular
► Another advantage of these bulbs is heat reduction. The
heat thrown is three times less than the standard sources.
Fiber Optic Lighting
► Technically, it is comprised of a remote light source
carrying glass optical fibers.
► The benefits of this type are
The elimination of ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths
Directional spotlighting or flood lighting
Simple maintenance, ease of concealment
Reduced power consumption
► Because they give a cold light, heat sensitive objects such
as jewelry benefit from their use.
High Intensity Discharge
► Commonly known as HID`s these bulbs are very small,
produce more light per watt than either the incandescent or
fluorescents, and are energy savers but still these are
ignored by the visual merchandisers in favor of fluorescents
for general, overall lighting, and halogens and low voltage
incandescent foe accenting purposes.
► Once reserved for outdoor signs to identify the name of
a store, neon lights have entered the interiors as well.
One great advantage of neon or cold cathode is that it
can be shaped to any form.
These lights are relatively maintenance free and cost
little to operate.
Available in many colors, neon is used by visual
merchandisers to build excitement.
Although neon is source of light,
it is relied on more for special
effects than for total illumination.
► Basically a whiter and brighter bulb, approximately one-
quarter the size the size of a standard incandescent, it
ideally enhances the visual image and totally washes the
►Not only does it afford more light control, more efficiency,
and more intense light per watt, but the lamp has a longer
life, about double that of incandescent bulbs.
► There has been a move towards innovation in this sector
► The variety enables retailers to acquire distinctive
lighting and decorative fixtures to complement any décor.
So attractive are the lighting appliances that they become
the focal points of some store interiors.
► Recessed Lighting
Many systems have lighting systems that recessed in
A can or container holds floodlights that illuminates
broad areas, and spotlights for narrow illumination or
Fluorescents, incandescent are also often recessed
and are used for overall, general lighting.
While recessed lighting is considered an attractive as
well as functional method of lighting but its placement is
In order to be able to adjust lights in exact positions
they are needed, many retailers use track lighting
Open-back spot lights
► Track lighting is easy to install, does not require
complicated wiring, and can quickly transform an area into
one that is attractive and perfectly illuminated.
► Tracks come in 2`, 4`, 8`, and 12` lengths and can be
arranged in many ways with the use of L, T, or flexible
► To accent objects on a wall or to wash a wall with light,
the track should be placed 3 feet from a wall that is 8 or 9
feet high and 4 feet from walls that are 10 to 12 feet high.
► In addition to the light fixtures
and light sources that are used in
visual merchandising, there are a
number of accessories that assist
in providing special effects for the
► They include dimmers, flashers,
framing projectors, strobes, swivel
sockets, and gels.
► Various Kinds of Contrasts-Harmony That Can be
Created Using Lighting
Diffuse – harsh
Vertical plane lighting- horizontal plane lighting
Pure/ filtered light
Warm/ cool light
Direct/ transmitted light
Front/ back lighting
Natural/ artificial light
Focused/ defocused contrast
Of all the presentation tools, mannequins are the most popular..
► Built in a variety of human forms, mannequins can
trigger customer’s imaginations, causing them to visualize
themselves wearing the merchandise.
► Also mannequins can be completely accessorized to
provide a total look.
► They can be used singly or in groups. Currently most
stores use them in groups to strengthen specific fashion
► These are three-dimensional forms representing the
► It can be somewhat idealized or stylized to give a certain
look, which is often slender than the average figure.
► Every mannequin is designed to express a personality,
and it is very important to select an attitude that is
compatible with the store’s distinctive image.
► A mannequin may be a store’s most valuable asset: it is
a “silent salesperson”, speaking the clearest fashion
► Mannequin styles and personalities have changed just
like all other aspects of life.
Types of Mannequins
► Mannequins come in three different types that we can
discuss as under:
Semi realistic Mannequins
► The realistic mannequin of the
past looked like a famous model or
a classically beautiful movie star.
► Today’s realistic mannequins,
more often than not, look like the
face outside the display window,
the one looking in. they are
becoming more natural, more true
to life, more animated, and more
identifiable as the people who
shop the stores.
Semi realistic Mannequins
► These mannequins are
proportioned and sculpted like
realistic mannequins, but with
makeup that is neither natural
nor realistic, but more
decorative or stylized.
► They may also possess a
completely realistic face and
entire figure may be all white
or all black, or a color to match
a particular department or
► The abstract mannequin
represents the ultimate in style
► The arms and legs may be
overly long or slender.
► It is more concerned with
creating an overall effect than
with reproducing natural lines
► The abstract mannequin is
less expensive to maintain
because hairstyle and make-up
do not change. 411
► The semiabstract mannequin is even more stylized and
decorative than the semi realistic mannequin.
► Its features may be painted on or merely suggested,
such as a bump for a nose or a hint of pursed lips.
► The semi abstract mannequin will often have a hairstyle
painted onto its otherwise smooth, egg-shaped head.
► This type of mannequin is doll-like and decorative, and
more popular-priced than elegant in appeal.
► The headless mannequin
has a full-size, realistic, or
semiabstract body with arms
and legs but no head.
► The pose is often a natural
one-a body swings, for
example and it may stand, sit,
or recline; but since it is
headless, it offers no face, no
personality, and no “image.”
► A headless mannequin will
work in windows where height
is a problem.
Types of Alternatives to Mannequins
► There are several substitutes of mannequins, which can
be used when the mannequins prove to be too expensive,
or if the space is not enough to accommodate them.
► The most frequently used substitutes are as briefed
Articulated Artistic Figures
Dress Forms and Suit Forms
► It is a three-dimensional representation of a part of the
human anatomy, such as the torso, the bust, or the area
from shoulder to waist or from hips to ankles.
► This is a life-size doll-male, female, or children of all
ages-and are available covered in black, dark brown, or off-
white, jersey like fabric with little or no facial details.
► The skeleton is a bendable wire armature that can be
shaped and positioned.
► The armature is imbedded in a soft, spongy, foam filler
that holds its shape inside the jersey “skin.”
►The figures are abstract, not realistic and, if well handled,
they completely disappear in the display setting.
Articulated Artistic Figures
► These life-sized figures are based on the small wooden
miniatures used by artists and designers to get correct
anatomical proportions and poses for figure drawing when
a live model is not available.
► They are usually made of wood or white plastic.
Dress Forms and Suit Forms
► The dress form has had its greatest renaissance in the
last few years.
► The dress form actually provides an image to the
► Some stores and designers prefer the classic natural
linen upholstered form that has neither arms nor head; a
metal neck plate and arm plates are used instead.
► A simple hanger can be an alternative
to the mannequin, but without taste or
talent it can also look like something that
was just pulled out of stock or off the rack
without fuss, bother, or presentation.
► Ideally, a padded or dimensionalised
hanger should be used, or hangers that
are variations on bust forms should be
used to ensure that the garment drapes
Selection of a Mannequin
► A lot of factors affect in the decision about the selection
and use of mannequins when creating a display:
Season -spring, summer, fall, winter, Christmas
Lifestyle- is it for a sporting goods store, sophisticated
Customer demographics - age group, income level,
type of job
The merchandise itself
Theme of the presentation
► Whether used on a floor display or a store window, the
placement of a mannequin is crucial in the display.
► Several factors that affect the placement of the
Area - is it a floor display or a window? If it is a
window, is it a close back window or an open back
Theme of the display - seasonal theme? Avant-
Merchandise to be displayed
► Here are some “rules” you can follow when positioning
Make the mannequins interact. They should “mimic”
the people on the street. Get inspiration from your real life
Think of the “total environment” of the window or
display. The mannequins should “blend” with the
environment you have created - natural and easy to
identify with; pleasing to the eye.
Mannequins have their physical “good sides” — angles
or positions from which they are best viewed. Consider
the “most attractive view of the mannequin.
DO’S and DON’T
► There are many guidelines, which should be considered
by the retailers when using mannequins as a part of their
► Some of the important ones can be summed up as
Rotate your mannequins regularly.
Avoid mixing windows mannequins and floor
Do not fit mannequins into fashion situations.
When mannequins get “tired” send them to the
mannequin refurbisher. They will serve you better
Signage and Graphics
At no time in the retailing history has the use of the written word been more
important than it is today. In major stores, one’s eye is drawn to a variety of sign
messages, each competing for the customer’s attention. Not only are these
informative, but they are often eye catching formats. 424
► Graphics and signage communicate the store image.
► They can be used to educate customers store.
► Graphics and signage should present a uniform level of
►The colors used, the style of lettering, the artwork, and
the materials all can further the store’s and the products’
image as well as complement the overall design of the
► The purpose of a marquee, or exterior sign, is to gain
the customer’s awareness and announce the store’s
► Well- designed marquees, however, can communicate
far more than words it carries.
► These are designed to draw customers into the store
through visual appeal and physical convenience.
► Signage sets the tone for the store.
► These signage can compel individuals who have never
entered the store to visit for the first time and encourage
past visitors to become repeat customers.
► The window offers a preview of product, as well as an
instant image of the store.
► Many store use large posters, photo enlargements or
other large graphics in their windows with items placed
► Large graphics should be able to be seen from 20 feet
away and be immediately recognizable to an individual
► These can show brand identification of specific products,
identify classifications of products within the store, and,
depending on the size of the store, offer direction to various
► Interior signage can be a medium for promoting a
campaign, previewing a product “coming soon” or
announcing an upcoming even like a book signing,
demonstration, or a holiday promotion.
Types of Signage
► Signs get human beings organized through direction and
education. Without signs, we are lost. How many new
customers will enter into store and be unable to find what
they’re looking for?
► We’ll focus on the importance of signage at four different
► As the name implies, directional signs point customers to
the place of business. Directional signs are large and attract
attention through color and simplicity.
• Advertising on large billboards can spark the
shopping experience miles away from the
• Effective entrance signs are crucial, because they
form the first impression customers have of the
retailer’s business. Unique and seasonal entrance
signs prepare customers for the shopping experience
by creating a sense of excitement and anticipation.
► Departmental signs are located inside the business, are
usually located above the product, and are highly visible to
Handouts, maps, and icons
Made of fabric, plastic, or paper, banners are used
extensively by retailers to spell out a theme, deliver a
message, define a department, or just provide visual
excitement and color in the store.
These can be used in a number of ways, but the
overhead variety, suspended from the ceiling by wire or
chain, is the most popular.
► Handouts, maps, and icon
Handouts may contain specials or coupons, along
with information and tips.
Maps are particularly good on large properties that
contain several retail structures.
Another way to communicate to shoppers is by
displaying icons that present a list of destinations on the
► Service signs
Service signs tell customers what the retail center can
do for them in addition to selling quality plants.
Service signs need to be located above the service
► Wall signs
The logical place to locate a sign is on a wall or a
column. The message may denote a department, its
entrance, a theme, or a specific informative message.
The materials used depend on the expected
permanency of the sign and its role in the visual
► Marketing signs attract customers to displays, so they
should be colorful and easily transported.
• These can be set up and taken down quickly, so
they are ideal for advertising special deals for the
week or month.
Cardboard and corrugated plastic signs
• Generally, these signs are 3 to 4 feet tall and
advertise specific brands that customers can quickly
► Information signs describe the product for the consumer.
They provide details on information and care of the product
• These are very effective because they can be
placed directly beside the product.
• Tags are signs, too! Large, colorful tags and
locking-type tags are increasing in popularity
because they are more visible to customers
► So powerful has the influence of signage that most
visual merchandisers are constantly searching for new
signs and graphics to make merchandise presentations
more exciting and provide better direction for the shopper.
► Below are more types of Signage
Fixture contained signage
Signs on glass
Moving message signs
Neon signs 440
► Backlit transparencies
The power of signage and graphics is most evident in
photographic transparencies that are backlit with the aid
of a light box.
This is inexpensive and simple to be produced. Any
slide, transparency, or color negative can be converted
to a large transparency.
These are used for exterior of the store as well as for
in store graphics and signage.
► Fixture contained signage
Combining a permanent sign with a merchandise
fixture is a method often used to publicize the name of
the vendor whose merchandise is featured.
► Valance signs
The valance, a structural piece used primarily to
connect the upright panels of a case and to conceal
light fixtures, is an excellent place to install a permanent
Most often signs give the name of the collection or
name of the vendor’s merchandise found in that area.
With so much emphasis placed on designer or
manufacturer labels or logos, many visual
merchandisers use a replica of their logos on the
► Signs on glass
Some visual merchandisers feature a message
directly on the glass of the store’s windows. Adhesive
letters can be applied easily to the glass and removed
effortlessly when the presentation has outlived its
Used to adorn merchandise or used by themselves,
pennants are quickly and inexpensively created. Paper
is least expensive and best suited to pennants because
it may be curled or draped, but felt, vinyl, and other
materials also work well for a pennant message.
► Track signage
A carrier beam is attached to the ceiling into which
strips for signs are fitted. Each strip has a channel or
track providing for the addition of another sign or panel.
The system is perfect as a directory that can be seen
from a great distance to tell the customer where specific
merchandise may be found.
► Moving message signs
A device that is ideal for attracting attention inside
stores and windows is the electronic moving unit. The
messages can be easily programmed with a variety of
letter styles and symbols.
The speed, at which the letters move, can also be regulated.
Its availability in various
shapes and designs makes it
a perfect adjunct to brighten
and highlight a department,
product, or an area.
Tips for Effective Retail Signage
► From a human factors point of view, here are some keys
to remember when creating visual consumer displays:
Lifespan of the sign must be good.
Simple Color scheme
Easy to Read
Clear, Simple message
Use of proper Font -Type
Common Errors in Display
Common display errors that decrease the effectiveness of a merchandise
Lack of Underlying Theme
►The customer should be able to understand what the
display idea is in just a matter of seconds.
► Display should have a strong message or underlying
► Too often merchandise is placed in valuable display
space without any kind of message to the viewer.
► Also, there can be too many themes in the display
simultaneously, making each of them ineffective.
Too Many Props
► The use of props that do not enhance the merchandise
is a common error.
► Props must be evaluated as to whether they are
seasonal, masculine or feminine, rustic or modern, and
whether they will appeal to the proper age and income
groups, according to the merchandise they are to enhance.
Changed Too Seldom
► There are several timetables for the changing of
► Many interior displays are changed daily, because they
are effective and merchandise sold directly from them must
► Most large windows will be changed anywhere from
twice a week to every other week, depending upon the
season of the year and the extensiveness of a current store
► Frequently changed display areas present more
merchandise, more messages, and more opportunities to
purchase to the consuming public.
► Displays must be kept fresh. 452
Changed Too Slowly
► The time that a display area is vacant (or covered) is
time that it is not selling.
► The longer it takes to remove a display from an area,
clean the area, and put in a new display, the more profits
are reduced from that area.
► Display must learn to plan a new layout so that all props,
merchandise, signs, and lighting equipment are prepared
and assembled before the old display is taken down or
► Display should be changed at the time when traffic in
front of and in the store is at its lowest. This may entail late
evening or early morning work.
Maintenance of the Display
► Maintaining a display for long can be a problem.
► The display can be set up to be very attractive, but
customers may request removal of the merchandise or may
simply pull the belt to one side or untie a scarf.
► The display areas should be checked throughout the
day to see that they have not suffered from tampering.
► Adequate funds for display materials are important, but
one can learn to avoid the low-budget look.
► Good theme development without elaborate background
materials is possible.
Not Asking The Right Question
► What really counts in visual merchandising is how the
presentation affects the customer.
► When a display has been completed, the critical
question remains: Does this display sell?
► Even though the elements of display are present and the
design principles have been used correctly, the bottom line
in visual merchandising is whether or not the customer is
moved to act.
► Interior displays must be set up carefully, with traffic
patterns in mind.
► If, as in a supermarket, outsiders are allowed to display
their company’s point-of-purchase materials anywhere in
the store, aisles get crowded, customer traffic becomes
jammed, and the shopper experiences loss of time and
► The appearance of the store also suffers when it
Lack of Attention to Detail
► It is very necessary to pay the attention to the small
details. This is generally the first thing the customer
Remove pins or hide them.
Clean and dust all surfaces
Be sure signs provide all the necessary info.
Be certain any merchandise suspended from the
walls or ceiling will stay fixed for duration of display.
Remove all display tools from display area.
Always check display area from all angels to be sure
all merchandise is easily visible and aesthetically