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Principles of Design for VM Part 13: Repetition

Welcome to Part 13 of our Elements and Principles of Design for Visual Merchandising series where we will discuss the design principle ‘Repetition’.

Repetition is not repetition. The same action makes you feel something completely different by the end.

– Pina Bausch

About Repetition:

Something that occurs more than once is said to be repeated. In design, repetition refers to the use of elements more than once which can often create visual or tactile patterns or textures.

How we use Repetition:

Repetition creates visual continuity and by providing ‘maximum sameness/minimum difference’ can simplify a composition. It also gives structure due to the consistency of the component. In association, variation is introduced by changing a component whether by quantity or size, position of shape to create focus.


1. The gradiation of the repeated arrows from a central point creates a strong visual focal point in this window display.

2. The repeated colour swatches, paint tins and handbags in alternating colours, strengthens this composition.

3. The repetition of the humble post it note to form an image in this backdrop unifies this fashion display by mirroring the colours and geometric patterns of the garments.

4. The repeated artist’s mannequin in a variety of sizes is a unique way to visually display a beauty product to create interest.

5. The repetition of these hanging jeans creates a strong masculine look where one pair hanging on its own would fall flat.

6. Repeating this oversize life preserver and mannequin in the window amplifies the effect of the first to catch the attention of passersby.


Coming up is the 14th and final part of our Elements and Principles of Design series where we will learn all about the principle ‘Pattern’.

Catch up on our previous instalments:

Part 1: Introduction to the Elements and Principles of Design for VM

Part 2: Elements of Design: Line

Part 3: Elements of Design: Shape/Form

Part 4: Elements of Design: Space

Part 5: Elements of Design: Light

Part 6: Elements of Design: Colour

Part 7: Elements of Design: Texture

Part 8: Elements of Design: Scale

Part 9: Principles of Design: Balance

Part 10: Principles of Design: Dominance/Emphasis

Part 11: Principles of Design: Contrast

Part 12: Principles of Design: Harmony/Unity

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