Artful Spring Window Display

Retail Window Display is an art form....
and I've always described what I do as a visual stylist in this way:
"I create still life paintings using dimensional objects instead of paint or pastels."
This particular display brought together that art with actual fine art...

...Continue reading to find Artful Display ideas!

Successful Vintage Show Booth Design

Over the past twenty years, I've presented seminars to vintage vendors
at an antique show in the Pacific Northwest and at a vintage show in Southern California.
I've also written articles about vintage/antique shows for magazines,
AND participated as a vendor in some of the best vintage shows in the country.

After providing LOADS of information in my fast-paced one hour presentations, 

I provided the vendors with handouts filled with everything I spoke about [and more] 
so that they could refer to it later.
[the truth is, I talk so fast that they could never 'take notes' to capture everything I said!!]

A few years ago, I made that handout available here on my retail design blog.
Since it's always helpful for vintage and antique vendors to learn 
the principles of visual merchandising and display 
in a way that directly relates to their industry,

I am happy to share the information with you again!

 Click the 'read more' link for more info...

Winter Display with Brand Style

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Retail display is as much about telling your brand story as it is selling products...

This is a January display in the front of a winery gift shop
[one of several where I provided visual merchandising + retail design services]
It's a perfect mix for this 'bridge' season of late winter - early spring. 
Better yet, it starts inspiring customers the MOMENT they walk in,
enticing them with wonderful products beautifully presented
to enhance their enjoyment of wine, food, entertaining, and fine living. 

This area of the shop, straight in front of the entry doors,
served as a statement of who the business IS and what they offer their customer
and THAT is branding 101.

I loved this area and coming up with seasonal themes for it - 
it's the first thing you saw when you walk into the winery. 
Because of the location, it was dramatic. So we always went BIG here.

In this winter display, we integrated large-scale props reflecting nature outside:
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Product features are most importantly the wine with the newly designed label,
along with sculptural pieces of Vietri pottery in white ceramic, 
gorgeous brown linens, whimsical dotted glassware,
large rusty planters used as pedestals, and furniture made of branch-shaped metal + raw wood.

Props are HUGE moss-covered tree branches paired with fake ferns and florals
that reflect the natural theme of the products. 

 Lest you think that it's all about going big, here's proof that even small details matter:
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More Vietri from the front display, this time a cake pedestal. 
My assistant for the day, my daughter Anni took one look at it and said "It needs a cake!"
- but we did not have a cake.
She went to work with a few stacked nested baskets and napkins,
quickly creating this confection as a perfect finishing touch. 
that inspired customers to purchase every last cake pedestal in the display!

 Tell Your Story Visually, because no one else can do it like you can... 

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Five Ways to Increase Your Brand's Visual Impact

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People always ask me how to create fabulous displays...
but the truth is, your visual impact as a business
starts BEFORE you ever put products in your store.

When I work with clients to design their retail environments and displays,
I start with this principle: ‘Tell Your Own Story’ in all visual communications.

Make your brand a consistent expression of your business’ individual mission, purpose, style, and products or services – and then leverage that brand by using it in every visual medium at your disposal. This is the main opportunity for you to show your potential customers why YOU are different than others – be proud of your individuality and build on it.

Let me explain that concept this way: Have you ever tasted a Cabernet wine?

If you were to taste one each from Walla Walla, Yakima, Horse Heaven Hills, Indian Wells – all regions in the Eastern half of Washington state – you’d find that not all Cabernets are created equally. The vineyards each have distinct variations in soil content, rainfall, sun exposure, and other conditions, which cause the vines to grow grapes that have vastly different sugar and acid levels, affecting their taste (‘palate’). When harvested and fermented, those variances result in wine that is unique to that grape varietal in that particular location – a Cabernet from Walla Walla is not like a Cabernet from Yakima, or Italy, or France, or Napa, or anywhere else. Your business is not like any other – no matter what you sell, you’re unique because of all of the distinct variations and characteristics that make up your business.

In the wine industry, this concept is called ’Terrior’ (Tehr WAH) – loosely translated, it means ‘Pride of Place’. Or, ‘I’m a proud product of where I come from’. Wineries utilize this concept in the marketing and positioning of their businesses within the industry and to the consumer, by capitalizing on the uniqueness of their terrior. They combine their location, history, resources, processes, mission, and ultimately their product, to create a brand identity that Tells Their Own Story. It’s much the same concept as selling designer jeans or mineral makeup or floral design services – your competition is selling the same basic thing, and it’s your brand image that talks. Be a proud product of ‘where you come from’!

continue reading for more tips...