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5 Tips for Developing Your VM Style

The best visual merchandising displays are the ones that clearly reflect individual styles and tastes. Looking at a beautiful display should inspire us all to want to go and create spaces, outfits, etc that show off our own personalities – but sometimes that is easier said than done. If you’re feeling stuck or just getting started, here are some tips to help you be mindful about developing your own unique style. Seek Inspiration Spending time online is a great way to see what is out there and the benefit of being online is that you get a glimpse at displays from all over the world. Don’t just look at an image, but decide what you like and don’t like about a display. Remember not to imitate a display that you like, it is much more interesting to seek inspiration from various sources to build your own vision. Collect images that appear to you in a mood board or folder. As you look back at you collection you will begin to see unifying themes and have a better understanding of your likes and dislikes. Get personal Take a day to go through your favourite personal belongings – it could be items that you have collected over time like photographs, books, rocks, bowls etc. Think about things you love whether it be food, cultures, colours, movies and take time to think about ways you can incorporate the thing that you love and have a special meaning into a display that is visually appealing. Some of the best visual merchandising displays have that personal touch. Mix and match A refreshing movement in...

Principles of Design for VM Part 11: Contrast

Welcome to the latest instalment, Part 11 of our Elements and Principles of Design for Visual Merchandising series where we will introduce you to the design principle ‘Contrast’. There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. – Charles Dickens About Contrast: Contrast relies on a relationship to exist. It occurs when two things are different in regard to a common principle or aspect such as size, colour, or length. The degree of contrast can vary from subtle differences to extreme differences. The resultant level of contrast will affect how the thing appears. In an overall composition, one aspect may be contrasted while others are not. How we use Contrast: When differences attain their maximum degree, we speak of diametrical or polar contrasts eg. large-small, white-black, cold-hot. High levels of contrast may appear aggressive, dynamic, energetic, bold, forthright or attention grabbing. Low level may have the opposite effect appearing more subdued, static or even bland although they may also be perceived as soothing or peaceful. The level of contrast that is appropriate depends on the desired effect and impact. 1. This window display cleverly uses a contrast of colours with the background of white purses making the colourful purses in front take centre stage. 2. This jewelry display also uses a white background to contrast with pops of colour, but the inclusion of the soft feathers adds an additional contrast of textures with the glossy jewels. 3. The array of bright colours and clashing patterns in this window actually creates the reverse effect of low contrast with the elements balancing each other rather than contrasting. 4. The...

5 Tips to Elevate your Visual Merchandising

Your “retail space” has to be your most productive salesperson and how you go about maximising the potential for it to create revenue is through the art and science of visual merchandising. It is a discipline that requires creativity but there are also many tried and true methods that produce results which you can utilise when creating your own displays. Here we will be sharing with you some of our best tips for effective merchandising to not only catch your target customer’s attention, but get them to make that all important purchase as well.   Know your customer Know your customer inside and out, beyond the demographic data such as age, income and education, by digging deeper into their psychology and behaviours. When you have a grasp on not just the individual but their lifestyles, it can help you tremendously when creating effective displays.   Engage the senses Remember that People Have 5 Senses, Not 1. It can be really easy to only focus on the visual aesthetic of a display but the secret of super successful VM is to create an immersive multi-sensory experience or ‘sensory branding’. The music you play in a store has a meaningful yet subtle effect on customers behaviour and can be as simple as choosing a style to suit your chosen demographic. Touch is an easy to get right by ensuring you allow your customers opportunities to feel, try on etc the product. Retailers are catching onto a new science known as “scent marketing” with retailers targeting a sense which is strongly connected to emotion and memory. Taste is especially important if you...

Principles of Design for VM Part 10: Dominance/Emphasis

Welcome to Part 10 of our Elements and Principles of Design for Visual Merchandising series where we will introduce you to the design principles ‘Dominance/Emphasis’. False eloquence is exaggeration; true eloquence is emphasis. – William R. Alger About Dominance/Emphasis: Something is recognised as being dominant if it has greater emphasis within a setting a setting or composition. Emphasis, in turn, is defined as the intensity that something has or the stress placed upon something so that it is given importance or significance. The element that is dominant will draw attention to itself and emerge from the other parts of a composition. It can create the centre of interest within a display or window that causes the eye to return again and again.     How we use Dominance/Emphasis: The way we place the design elements can give dominance to one if placed so that it: contrasts others by size is distinct from the background has a distinct form or character is isolated from the rest is part of a group within a field of isolated elements is located at the end of a directional line or the focus of a symmetrical arrangemenet. One way of achieving emphasis is by creating a focal point which is the point that catches the focus of the viewer’s attention. The focal point may be the largest, brightest, darkest, or most complex part of the whole, or it may get special attention because it stands out for some other reason. No more than one component should vie for primary attention. Where several components get equal billing, emphasis is canceled out.   1. The fan blowing...

Principles of Design for VM Part 9: Balance

Welcome to Part 9 of our Elements and Principles of Design for Visual Merchandising series where we will introduce you to the first of our design principles ‘balance’. It’s all in how you arrange the thing… the careful balance of the design is the motion. – Andrew Wyeth About Balance: Balance can best be described as a feeling of equality of weight, attention, or attraction of the various elements within the composition as a means of accomplishing unity. Balance provides stability and structure to a design. It’s the weight distributed in the design by the placement of your elements. There are two forms of visual balance. These are symmetrical balance, also known as symmetry or formal balance, and asymmetrical balance, also known as asymmetry or informal balance. When components are balanced left and right of a central axis they are balanced horizontally. When they are balanced above and below they are said to be balanced vertically. And when components are distributed around the center point, or spring out from a central line, this is referred to as radial balance. How we use balance: In visual balance, each element of the design suggests a certain visual weight, a degree of lightness or heaviness. For example, light colors appear lighter in weight than dark colors or bright colors visually weigh more than neutral colors in the same areas. Balance is not achieved through an actual physical weighing process, but through visual judgment on the part of the observer. To balance a composition is to distribute its parts in such a way that the viewer is satisfied that the piece is not about to pull itself over. 1. This composition...

Spring Fashion with a Handmade Touch

 “She turned to the sunlight     And shook her yellow head, And whispered to her neighbor:     “Winter is dead.”  ― A.A. Milne We custom designed and built these sleek visual merchandising structures for one of our favourite clients and had the added joy of styling their Spring Summer fashion campaign to coincide with the installation. The soft textural spring elements, each handcrafted by an Australian artisan, contrast beautifully with the clean lines of the brand new visual merchandising pods. The pods were designed to elevate the fashion displays within the shopping centre whilst providing a neutral canvas for seasonal embellishments over time. Each structure was designed with versatility in mind – to look beautiful when used separately, or combined in pairs or altogether for a larger display. The pedestals for the mannequins offer additional opportunity to customise the displays each season by being positioned inside the structures for a cleaner look, or throughout the display for a more organic arrangement. The geometrical play of the pod structures was created by reducing any superfluous cross bars and braces to create the illusion of one continuous line winding through the elements. The weightless effect was enhanced with floating perspex display cabinets  incorporated into the vertical lines. A powdercoated gloss white finish ensured a high end polish to match the luxe finishes and fixtures of the shopping centre. The circular risers for the mannequins feature a monochromatic marble veneer to continue the aspirational feel. For the spring seasonal embellishment our artisan created soft, pastel accents to hang from the pod structures to contrast with the geometric style of the pods with a subtle movement and vibrancy. A combination...