On Display: Regional Style

 My current article in the Winter Issue of Gift Shop Magazine
is titled 'Let California Inspire Your Retail Displays'
and focuses on how to bring a regional influence into your store...
even if you're not in California.

That photo above is an example of this principle in action.
Taking elements of the outdoors found in National Parks,
this shop has created a display that immediately translates that theme.

The large canoe hanging overhead is your first clue :)
and then you take in the rustic woodsy-ness of the ceiling and shelving.
The green tone of the legs on the nested tables plays into the forest, as well.
Stepping closer, you can see the elements that bring more regional flavor:
a small faux pine tree, packaged seedling sequoia trees for sale
(those are the tan cylinders in the rear left-side cabinet),
keychains with national park logos (in the front left-side cabinet)
and small blue cans that hold poppy seeds... the California State flower.
Apparel products include a fun felt 'ranger hat' and tee shirts (both short and long sleeved)
and sweatshirts - all with Smokey the Bear and California logos.

This is enough to flesh out the theme... but there's more to this display.
Click 'Read More' to find out what it is and WHY it works!
 


There are basic mechanics behind this display that help make it successful:

The color palette sticks to what you see in National Parks
greens, browns/tans, galvanized metal, blue, white, gray, and red.
(Just think about the buildings, signs, vehicles, uniforms, and other man-made details
that you see when visiting a National Park - and you'll get it.)

Because of the limited color palette in this display, 
your eye doesn't stray beyond it.
The graphic of Smokey the Bear's face helps accomplish this, too.
Your view is focused HERE for a moment, 
and then the details of the merchandise draw you closer.

The placement of the fixtures and props work to make the display dynamic:
the 3 mannequins of three different heights/sizes 
are arranged in a triangular configuration - 
triangles and odd numbers create and convey ENERGY. 
The two small cabinets and the 3-tiered bowl on the tabletops
corral and lift small items up to viewing height,
making them easy to see AND to reach.

The shirts are all presented in small stacks
(which are not neat here because THIS IS THE REALITY!)
and the entire display is configured in a GRID.
Look closer:
The top of the low table in front aligns with the top shelf on either side.
The bottom shelf of the low table aligns with the bottom shelf on either side.
This creates a clean-lined arrangement of fixtures
so that the product/merchandise looks neater 
and it's easier for the eye to register the different items presented.

This grid system can be seen in many different uses in stores at this location.
(any guesses where this is?!)
It's a main guideline - along with color order and character heirarchy - 
to create displays that effectively present and sell product.

And it's easy for anyone to replicate...
So is the idea of taking inspiration from the world outside your store doors
and using it to inspire and transport the customers who come INSIDE!

Check out my article in Gift Shop Magazine for more ideas!

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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