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What’s Wrong With this Picture?


By: Ali Levy
February 10, 201

Ali LevyTips By Merchandising Guru Ali Levy,

Take a look at the nice window display below:

This is technically a well-merchandised window display. Walking past it – it caught my eye – but as a visual merchandiser it caught my eye for the wrong reason.  What’s wrong with this picture?   There is no theme.  There are too many conflicting elements.  You have glasses, sneakers, skateboards, snowboard gloves and street wear styles hanging from the garment rack.  As a visual merchandiser, it’s in my DNA to analyze window displays. I don’t find this display effective – colorful, yes.  But as far as conveying a clear message that piques my interest immediately, it fails.

Now take a look at the two window displays below:

I passed these windows today.  Their message is clear – colorful and creative. There are several different items that share the same color scheme and theme. The same is true for the soap shop display above.  The colors are simple, yet cohesive and I am quick to stop and understand what it is they are selling.  It’s important to take these tips into account when crafting your next window display:

This is a great example of cohesiveness – the theme is consistent throughout while adding color and details to the display.

Remember to:

  • Keep your message simple.
  • Keep colors coordinated or in the same color family.
  • Vary the height of your display to create visual interest.
  • Tell a complete product story that is easy to interpret within 3 seconds.

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