Displaying Jewelry

This Cartier window display is an exercise in restrained elegance....
it is simple, crisp, clear, clean, and precise.

And, forgive me, but it's also BORING.

If you are viewing it from precisely the distance and angle that this photographer was,
it's not so bad.
But back up a foot or two on the sidewalk.
Better yet, get into a car and drive past it.

The product disappears and you are left with whiteness.
Except for the stunning red jeweled neck piece, everything is too small to be seen.

How do you overcome this in displays?



Find out, after the jump...



Whether you are dressing windows or a booth at a trade show, 
you have to make sure that you give visual prominence to the products.
When working with tiny little items like jewelry, 
you have to find a way to make them NOTICEABLE.

How do you do that?
GO BIGGER & BOLDER!

* Add color.
See that photo up above? With apologies to Monsieur Cartier, it just needs something more...

While white is an excellent and effective backdrop for jewelry 
(it bounces light, which makes the jewels sparkle more),
adding a touch of color to enhance the jewels helps to draw attention from a distance.

 Run a strip of silky red fabric down the backdrop, to the right of the bust holding the red neck piece.
Add a swath of silky, luscious red ribbon across the bottom, 
encircling and swirling through the white bases of the pieces on display...

this would repeat and enhance the 'red ribbon' motif of the neck piece,
and make the display cohesive while leading the viewer's eye from piece to piece.

It would also be eye-catching from the street.

{ This is the best I could do in a quick graphic rendition of the idea ;) }

And of course, the ribbon and product color could change from season to season...
a great way to simplify and BRAND your window displays.

Speaking of color, grouping products by color in displays is always successful.
It helps customers focus on one area at a time, and see all that you have to offer in that color palette. 
When I look at this display, I don't know why the blue necklace is in it...
for me, it disrupts the story.


* Use photographs to show the details.

Take elegant, crisp photos of several of the best pieces of jewelry you sell/create.
Then have them enlarged into poster-sized photos and mount on foamboard.
Hang those up in the display, or prop them on a tabletop easel.

Image Credit: Adrienne Miniero . BentleyBorn.com

Jewelry is TINY, and the details are miniscule...
by enlarging photos, you bring the craftsmanship and design details into focus
(pun intended)
so that your customers can see the value at first glance.


* Make or find an oversize prop that reflects the products.

Picture a GIANT red heart-shaped box, opened to display a bunch of chocolates
and one single perfect heart-shaped ruby pendant in the very center.

A MASSIVE black velvet ring box, opened to reveal
one single perfect ten-carat diamond solitaire ring nestled on a bed of white rose petals.

A bouquet of over-sized roses in a HUGE vase
with jewelry boxes affixed inside several blooms and open to display sparkling jewels.

Those oversize props would be seen from a car passing by,
and do exactly what window displays are supposed to do:
entice the viewer enough to get closer to see what's IN the display.

You don't always have to go super-sized:

There's a company that makes over-sized glass 'diamond' solitaire rings as napkin rings.
Take a half dozen of those, and suspend them overhead from monofilament line at different heights,
and aim a beam of white light at them to catch the sparkle of light as they dance and twirl and spin.
Under them, place a few more of the large rings scattered about,
and then display one utterly astounding diamond solitaire ring
in a white box on a huge white pedestal with a laser-beam-focused spotlight on it.
The message is very clear, and very visible.

Cartier rarely 'misses' with their displays...
here's a perfect example of scale, color, movement, light and design
 that truly represent the brand and draw the viewer right in:
image source: thebestwindowdisplays . wwwthebwd.com

top image: sourced from a link that I forgot to save :( 
I could kick myself because I can't find it again online.
 
If you know who has posted that image within the past week, 
please leave the link in a comment and I will add it immediately.


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my take on retail visual design:

"The thing is, retail design is driven by psychology. It is by manipulating space, visuals, lighting, sound, smell, and mood that we influence customers to enter, stay, browse, buy, and return. It is an endless exercise in change, endurance, growth, education, and imagination that enables retailers to stay on top of their game and at the forefront of their customer's minds. Yes, what you sell IS important - but even the very best merchandise won't sell at full price if it's presented in torn boxes on dirty shelves in a store that is too crowded to turn around in. Visual impact is a huge part of business, and utilizing the principles that have been proven to work can help you build a better business." ~ DWK