11 Surefire Window Display Ideas You Need To Learn About

By on June 11, 2012 – Updated on September 13, 2014

Window display is one of the important elements of visual merchandising which serves as retailer’s 3D advertisement that is usually found in front of a retail store.  But, we cannot blame those retail store owners who do not know the great benefits they can get from a well planned and well-dressed store windows.

In fact, it safe to say that most small scale retail store owners all through out the world do not even know what visual merchandising is all about. It might be surprising but it is true.

In the country where I am currently working, Brunei Darussaalam (it is small yet rich country in South-east Asia), you can only count with your fingers the numbers of shop windows that can be considered attractive.

A year ago, one of our readers of this blog submitted the photos of his window display projects from his town and he shared that he was even mocked because he was dressing the windows of some stores in his town.

Despite of this truth, window display is still an indispensable tool draw shoppers into your store and drive sales. It has been used for more than a century (since Silfridge started in 1909) and the techniques being applied on setting up up great windows are becoming  more and more fascinating in every decade that passes by.

According to Sean Reed, CEO of Fashion Media, “Window displays are important in retail stores throughout the world extending from high streets to the mall environment. They are the shop front to consumers and influence the consumer’s decision on whether to enter the store or not. ”

Window-Display-Ideas

The 11 Essential Ideas

If you are thinking about how to capture the attention of the busy people and lure them into your store to make a purchase, let me share with you these 11 ideas.

Each of these point is link to an article from this blog which further discusses the topic that is being mentioned in each number. They are too long to incorporated on this single post that is why each of them are being discussed on separate pages.

1. Start with the Elements of an Effective Window Display

For sure you know that a water molecule is consist of Oxygen and Hydrogen. You cannot have water without any of these elements. The same is true with window display, you need the elements before you can have the whole thing.

2. Get to know the Principles of an Effective Window Display

The principles will serve as guidelines to create a better project. It will tell you what you need to do and what you need not to do.

3. Be acquainted with the Types of Window Display Setting

The types of setting you use should also depend upon your target market and theme. Kids might love fantasy than elderly, and geeks will mostly get attracted to futuristic type than abstract.

4. Identify  the Categories of Window Display Themes

Themes is the first thing to come in mind of visual merchandisers when planning a window display. Once a theme is chosen, the planner can to other necessary thing to make up a window. Finding good is easier when you which category of themes you wanted to focus into into.

5. Make sure to learn How to Do a Window Display

Dressing up windows is process and it requires skill to produce an effective display. Learning how to do a window have few thing to look into.

6. Realize the Importance of  Lighting to Window Display

I often mention on this blog that people are not moth but people are also attracted to light. Our eyes easily notice and identify objects in light than in dark – it is truth.

7. Be Inspired by the Best Window Display Images in the Web

When you running out of creativity which ofttimes happen during lot of projects to considers, you need inspiration to rekindle you right brain. A friend once told me that we need borrow some idea form other creative individuals and make it better.

8. Find out Why Window Prepping is Important for Visual Merchandisers

I mentioned on this article how window prepping can you you lessen you tasks and save time. The content also mention about the meaning of the term and how it is done.

9. Identify the Things That Grab Shoppers’ Attention

I know that you know that the first ultimate goal of a window display is to capture attention. Just just other marketing tools, you need a trick in your display to catch the attention of the people walking in the street in front of you shop.

10. Become Skilled at Giving Your mannequin a New Look

Mannequins are the most well-known props that are being talked about in visual merchandising. They are use in lieu of human being. Just like real human, they also need a make over  to look more elegant and pleasing.

11. Discover  why Paper Crafts are Important Props

We always want to focus on lees expensive materials to use on out venture of grabbing attention, presenting the merchandise well and increasing sales. This is the reason why we are giving more emphasis on the use of paper on our effort of achieving our goal.

Display Window vs. Window Display

These two terms are often time interchanged but there are two different terms. The “display window” refers to the window which is being dressed while the “window display” refers to the display in window.

Confused? Let us differentiate it further.

A display window is also called shop window by British people and store window by American people. It is the place where merchandise is being display to attract people.

A window display is the aesthetic presentation of merchandise and props inside a shop/store window. The act of decorating and putting up merchandise in a store window is called window dressing.

A man who does display window is called carpenter or maybe a construction worker.

A man who does window display is called widow dresser or maybe a visual merchandiser.

Window Display

Window Display as Art and Design

When we talk about “Art”, we deal more about on aesthetics and the viewer’s personal interpretation of the subject, but when talk about “Design”, we deal more about on the single right message that can be understood by different types of people.

In window display, we are trying to blend “Art” and “Design”. We want to show a spectacular display with unforgettable message.

Before we can do that, let us start from the basic.

Types of Retail Store Windows

Going back to basic, a window is define as an opening, usually covered clear glass, in an shop which allows people to view the shop and its product from outside (Wiktionary).

The first recorded use of plate-glass store windows is in 1909 by Gordon Silfriges in London where window lights were left on at night to allow people see the presentation even if the store is close.

Nowadays, different types of windows are coming out. They vary from sizes, purpose and location.

  1. Closed Windows – large glass panel at the front and solid wall at the back.
  2. Semi-closed Windows – large glass panel at the front and half-covered at the back so that the inside of the store is partially visible.
  3. Open-back Windows – large glass panel at the front and no wall at the back
  4. Open Window (or No Window) – no glass panel and no solid wall.
  5. Elevated Windows – it can either be closed or open window that is located in a higher level.
  6. Corner Windows – windows that are located at the corner of the building and are seen from two directions.
  7. Island Windows – windows that are often located at the lobby of a big store.
  8. Shadow Boxes – small box-like windows that are usually used for jewelry and cosmetics displays.

There are other types of windows which I have not mentioned here, but whatever is the type of window, the underlying principles to make it effective never change. We will discuss about it further later on.

Planning Your Display

Perhaps you already heard your teacher says, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” Well, it sounds like a worn out saying but it still very true as it was. Planning will help you sort you priorities and eliminate the unnecessary things which make you busy yet don’t give you a better result.

The famous Leadership mentor John C. Maxwell activity doesn’t equal accomplishment. Your goal should not be to simple stay busy. Control your day or you day will control you.

Because of many things you do in a day, the tendency is that you will just set up mediocre display especially if it is unplanned. You will simply pick merchandise which you wanted to and add props that are handy. The end result – clutter. Failed.

To avoid that happen, lay-out your window display plan and make a calendar so that whenever you encounter new idea or material, you know when and where you can apply them.  This makes your job lighter then squeezing your creativity and resources when the deadlines are getting closer.

Designing a Window Display

Producing a window that draws thousands of visitors is not a magic. There might be tricks that were applied to make it happen but it passes though a process. It started with a research, brainstorming, sketching, making a layout and applying the basics of design in able to delivers the right message the you want you viewers to understand.

Window display more is more on Design than Art. Here, your target is to deliver the same message to different types of people. You expect that everyone who sees your window will get the message that you want them to perceive.

Props and Budget

One of the barrier often time is the “budget” especially if you are a visual merchandiser who have a boss who is not willing to spend extra dollars to produce a display that can reasonable capture the attention of the people around.

I understand that this is really a difficult situation, but creativity often lessen expenses. This is why id you can observe from this blog, we have posted a lot of cost-effective display ideas .

Some windows may require larger cost while other may only need you effort on making custom-made props.

We stop here for the meantime and we recommend that you also read our article on visual merchandising.

Recommended » Visual Merchandising Tips and Basics

Images by james.mannequindisplay



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9 Comments

  1. tatess

    June 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    A window display is not as easy as we think.It needs a lot of hard work, learning , determination and of course lots of imagination.
    I invite you to read: Basic Yet Overlooked Tweaks That Enable Social Shares To Reach It’s PeakMy Profile

  2. metalpig design

    June 17, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Creating and designing window display needs not only creativity and out-of-this-world ideas, but also better understanding of the culture as well.

    I’d followed those links and found golden nuggets on each and every article posted.. ;)
    I invite you to read: Liquid Flowers High Speed Photography Series by Jack LongMy Profile

  3. RonLeyba

    June 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing links about window display. Gave me an idea how to start it out.
    I invite you to read: Learning the 5 Types of College ProfessorsMy Profile

  4. Amzath

    July 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    HI,
    I am sending this message regarding the window display, have store in dubai mall and we are looking for a company who can make good and concept window display. Waiting for your response. Thank you

    • zoltan adrian

      February 4, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      we can do your shop windows project if you want, you just have to implement the items with a local company.

  5. Benjamin

    December 28, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I have a niche shopping website dedicated to room divider folding screens with photo and art print images. These are perfect for window displays as inexpensive attractive backdrops. Over 200 different images to choose from. I would love to share some pictures.

  6. Swexie

    April 14, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I will consider this when I have my physical store.
    I invite you to read: Cucina Ilocana | BagnetMy Profile

  7. Zahn Bourq

    July 17, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Windows display are really need to be catchy, but there are stores which I think do not emphasize on using this as marketing tool. This article is really worth it to read. You are a skilled blogger. I’ve subscribe on your feed and remain upward with regard to trying to find access of your respective spectacular write-up. Moreover, I’ve got embraced your website during my social networks.

  8. Ramon Kasimir

    July 20, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Product that do not have colorful packaging should be placed at well lighted places so as to make up the bright color deficit.

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