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How to Create and Make a Window Display

Posted On - 23/04/2013 16:31:14

Designing a retail window display is a compromise between three things - what you want to sell; what passers-by will want to buy; and how best to present your offeringsDesigning a retail window display is a compromise between three things - what you want to sell; what passers-by will want to buy; and how best to present your offerings.

And even once you've decided and made trade-offs, crafting and creating one is an undertaking in its own right. To be successful, as well as being able to design window displays and visual merchandising you need to know how to construct and build one that does everything you want it to and looks great.

This is the second blog in a series of three providing a short ‘course' on window displays and visual merchandising. Spanning a total of 21 key visual merchandising and window display tips the series comprises:

  1. How to Design a Window Display. The first seven strategic tips – the stuff you need to sort before raising a finger. The key decisions that'll put you on the right track to a winning window display
  2. How to Create and Make Window Display (this blog). A further seven tips, focussing on actually constructing, building and crafting a retail window display
  3. The Art of Retail Window Displays. The final seven master tips, to take your window displays from great to stunning

‘How to Create and Make Window Display' gets to grips with the mechanics of a typical small retailers window display. As well as describing the foundations to a good retail window, this blog sets out key the key tips for creating a professional window display.

8. Equip your display space to work

You'll find it harder to put together a window display if your windows aren't display friendly. If you furnish your windows to work as displays it will help you enormously. How? Well, here are five considerations that'll help give your windows solid foundations as displays:

Spot-lights. Displays work best when well lit – especially when you can accent them and make them ‘pop' to draw attention. Doing this makes your goods really stand out and clearly 'presents' them to the shopper.

Displays plainly lit from above tend to be more dull and uninspiring that those that are crisply spot-lit. Since your goal is to make the best impression you can - getting the shopper to move from looking to visiting you - use good lighting. It'll really help you. Spot-lights are well worth installing in your window.

Principles of window dressing: present posters professionally using suspension framesSuspension frames/cable frames. Informational and artistic posters are important in many windows. They compliment and set off displays. Given a substantial part of your offer is services – PC Health-Checks, Virus Removal, repairs - posters promoting what they are and do are essential.

But I have to say I see so few of you making a point of promoting them. And worse I see some of you promoting them but doing it using the unprofessional, cheap ‘stuck-to-the-window' look.

Know what I mean? Professional poster displays are a critical part of how to present and promote your business. Consider installing suspension frames, otherwise known as cable frames.  

Tiers, pedestals and shelves. Displays are about presenting and offering merchandise to people in ways that are easy and comfortable to view. The idealised display is classically a pyramid of items in the centre of your window – with what you're selling at the top or centre. Look in any premium branded goods window to see this in action. It really focusses attention onto the item.

But practically this rule is rarely hard and fast. And neither is it necessarily practical and sensible for small independent retailers. You can achieve something similar with several different sized boxes around a tall one in the centre.

Being really practical and to help plain speed up making displays, just create some tiers rising increasingly front-to-back – two, maybe three levels will present your goods well to shoppers. You could even install shelving. This is a really practical approach as it both presents the goods well and makes for easy maintenance - the shelves can simply be accessed from the rear. 

Pin boards. You'll see many window displays involving things either suspended in space or positioned in ways impossible without a bit of ‘hidden help'. I'm talking about the use of clear fishing line tied to items and pinned into the surround of the window. So you can do this easily and not wreck your window frames and surrounds, consider installing pin boards all around your window volume – ceiling included.

Display backdrop.  This doesn't mean isolating the window display from the rest of the shop. This is about just providing a background to set off the display and mask any distractions from the inside. After all, you want people to concentrate on your display, not something they noticed inside your shop. If your window display area doesn't have a backdrop, consider installing one.

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Also in this series
  1. The Art of Retail Window Displays
  2. How to Create and Make a Window Display
  3. How to Design a Window Display
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