How to design a stunning shop window display

In shop window display design for fashion, mannequins and other elements come together. (Pixabay / Pixabay)

To be a good fashion window display designer you need to have knowledge of styling, trends and creativity

By Judith Vives

How many times has it happened that you are walking down the street thinking and, suddenly, the shop window of a store catches your attention? Every day we go past many stores, but not all of them manage to capture our interest. Why do some of them manage to do it?

Only the shop windows that stand out for their originality and creativity make us stop to look at the things on display, and we might even end up going into the store.

When that happens, it’s because something has connected with our mind, our eyes and our emotions. And the credit belongs to the shop window display designer.

We are surrounded everywhere by stores, advertisements and images, but only a small percentage get us to pay attention. That is why the figure of a professional specialised in the creation of attractive and persuasive shop windows is increasingly important.

How is it done?

Of course, creativity is fundamental but it is not the only element to be taken into account.

As explained by Lisardo Mendo, professor of display design and visual merchandising at LCI Barcelona, ​​a display designer must be up to date with fashion and trends and have a lot of styling knowledge.

They should also know all the fabrics, textures and materials very well, especially when it comes to designing shop windows for fashion stores. These showcases present a differential factor because “the work is very focused on the busts and mannequins” and you have to know how to handle all kinds of fabrics and materials.

In the shop window design specialisation course, Lisardo Mendo makes his students work with materials that are very difficult handle, such as cardboard or plastic. In this way, they acquire skill and practice for when they have to create shop window displays with pieces of clothing.

A display designer must be up to date on styling and trends (Pixabay)

Another important factor that is not often paid enough attention is lighting. However, Mendo says: “60% of the success or failure of a display depends on it.”

For the LCI Barcelona teacher, it is also very important that the designers are people with a background in general culture, so he recommends that they read books, go to exhibitions and watch films that could inspire them.

Creating a window display step by step

The process of designing a window display begins with the ‘briefing‘ that the shop or company gives to the designer: this report details the initial ideas, the concept and the products that must be displayed.

The display designer enlarges this document with new ideas and proposals, and then begins a research phase in which the designer must get informed about the store, the brand and the product to be displayed.

Lisardo Mendo explains that you have to look at all kinds of details, from the type of fabric to the buttons, finishes, textures and more.

From here, you get to the brainstorming stage, from which the display design proposals arise: whether to use props or supports of some kind, the composition, lighting, graphic elements and technological supports, among others.

Finally, the most creative phase is when all these pieces come together “as if it were a puzzle”. The goal, explains Mendo, is that the window display is “easy to read”.

We must bear in mind that a shop window is a three-dimensional space that we see when we walk down the street. It cannot be overloaded with ideas and messages, but rather should try to give a simple idea that can be easily captured.

For the LCI Barcelona window display design professor, ​​what makes a display different is risk and innovation. “You have to be daring, it’s a mistake to follow the general trend because the fun is in surprise,” advises Mendo.

If you are interested in shop window display design and visual merchandising, check out the specialisation courses offered at LCI Barcelona.

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