I hope that this blog/booklet project was able give you some insights on Visual Merchandising.

However there is of course so much more to be explored on this fascinating subject.

As seen in the final chapter, New Directions for Visual Merchandising, ever-evolving technological changes are constantly modifying the way we interact with fashion, and the way we buy fashion.

This makes me believe that now is the starting point of something extraordinary, and it’s so exciting to be part of it, studying it and living it.



Chapter 5. The new directions


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right hereRight here, right now… the future of Visual Merchandising is happening and is obviously merging with the future of shopping.

In the present day, we are already buying online, mobile and scanning products with QR codes* and stores are modernizing in order to attend to consumer desires to interact with the shop.

New technological features such as magical mirrors, intelligent shop windows, interactive displays, digital screens showing movies and products are a reality and others are being developed.

Click on the link below and look at this video featuring this interactive window display concept made for the Module Advance Display design at Hyper Island hosted by North Kingdom.

Click on the video below and see Adidas Interactive window display on action:


Fendi , “magic” digital mirror


Kate Spade,Interactive pop up store

But don’t panic if your shop isn’t in the super high-tech era because  service is still the core of every business, and good atmosphere helps.

However one thing is certainly crucial: the shopping experience.

Shopping experience is everything that the customers experienced within the store environment from a nice window display, an appropriate music choice to a very good service provide by the staff and store facilities. Visual Merchandising is a key component to the shopping experience and one which can be an important factor to influence sales.


*QR codes – A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile

Chapter 4 .Window Displays

Window displays are so important that they deserved a little chapter of their own.

They are the meeting point between the public the public and the store, the living advertisement present 24 hours a day from the streets. Since the beginning of the history of Visual Merchandising, shop owners have always tried to make the most of it.

A good window display doesn’t need to be expensive, but does need to be creative and communicate well with the public target. Sometimes you can even dispense with  the mannequins


Two examples on how to produce a simple and effective display are the famous Selfridge’s and the White Company.

selfridges 3 the white company 2

A little bit of drama

However a dramatic window display can generate attention and create interest for the shop.


Dior, Paris 2012


Dior , Paris 2012

hitchcock-style-06-010 fashion school daily

Chap 3. Visual Merchandising Trends – Local and Global


Trends for Visual Merchandising are closely linked to fashion trends because these are planned years ahead and once they are launched in the market, the store environment needs to be in harmony with the current trends.

Trends can be global or local.

Christmas is a global trend. Another example is how sometimes movies or celebrity can launch a global trend.

selfridges display 2012


Local trends are different. They can change from country to country, city to city. There are many  factors such the weather or climate, local holidays, cultural differences, to name but a few. Mother’s Day, for example is celebrated in different dates in depending of the country.

In London during the Chelsea Flower show some stores inspired themselves on the show.

IMG_3106.JPG.image.w637.original Dodo

In other hand in Brazil when Carnival the stores use this a main inspiration.

bg-630x418 Decoração-de-carnaval-para-lojas2 vitrine carnavalbaixa

Chap.2 Basic visual merchandising guidelines

But what is Visual Merchandising?

Visual Merchandising could be defined as the process of promoting the sales of products by producing mental images that urge potential customers to purchase them. ( Bell&Turner 2006)


Visual elements help to create a more ”seductive” shopping environment, such as the way we arrange the products on shelves, clothes on the rails, lighting, music and even smell.

Color,Harmony and Rhythm

These elements from the art world are essential to create a good atmosphere for customers to shop and to make their experience more stimulant, effective or remarkable.

In visual merchandising, design is about the way we arrange products,singing,props, and so on, to create a shopping environment that  is pleasuring for the eye.We work with various elements-color-for instance to bring unity, or a sense of wholeness and completeness.

Unity is one the principles or goals design. The others harmony,repetition,balance,rhythm, contrast and emphasis.For visual merchandising , we also use surprise.

desing principles explained


Color is stimulating, calming, expressive, disturbing, impressional, cultural, exuberant, symbolic. It pervades every aspect of our lives, embellishes the ordinary, and gives beauty and drama to everyday objects. If black-and-white images bring us the news of the day, color writes the poetry.

(Understanding color: an introduction for designers ,2011 )



A good example of the use of color in Visual Merchandising


Australia  young orchestraIn an effective Visual Merchandising arrangement, all elements of your shopping environment should be in “harmony’’, like an orchestra playing a symphony. These elements work together to create an atmosphere. 


In this picture you can see a beautiful example of Harmony for Visual Merchandising, by the Coveteur website.




















Repetition is the use of the same object a lot of times in order to create interest.

visual m colors raulph lauren

Balance in Visual Merchandising is when symmetry or asymmetry principles are applied systematically in order to create an effective display.



Rhythm This is achieved when the visual elements are arranged so that the eye travels effortlessly from one component to the next in a smooth flow.


Contrast is when different material, colors or strategically positioned are created to give emphasis to a product.


contrast. www,shesaidbeauty,com.shallowdrlnd.blogharveynhicholslondonvisualmerchandising


Is when all the display design works together to highlight a determined product or products in the visual merchandising scheme.


Is when the Visual Merchandising design bring an expected element to scheme.

Dupenny surprise achica



Chapter 1. A little Visual Merchandising history

Some authors say that Visual Merchandising is as old as trade itself. Some Trademan’s signs have been traced back to the early Roman Empire.

From the middle ages we have a register of a ‘displayman’, a man covered in his products in order to attract public attention and sell them.


As trade grew more competitive, signs grew larger and more elaborate.During the sixteen and seventeen centuries in England , they reached gigantic proportions. In 1762, a commission was established to implement regulations on street advertising.

A famous  symbol which dated from this time and is still used today is the barber pole, for example.

download (1)

And to some degree symbols used in the streets of Europe were taken to United States where the most usual point-of-sale symbol created was the cigar store Indian .

However after the Industrial Revolution the retails business grew and along window displays and the department stores established themselves.



These days shopping has become so vital in society that it is a very strong economic driver, as well as  a leisure activity; Visual Merchandising plays a crucial role in this.

And the leisure of looking  and desiring is now not only in the streets but on the internet, on personal computers, laptops, mobiles. In the midst of these fast-paced technological shifts, what are the new directions for the Visual Merchandising of the future?

0008.jpg.image.w940.original images

The booklet Project


The Project

Title: Show it !. A Visual Merchandising booklet.

The concept behind the idea of creating a booklet is to share the knowledge gained during my research.

I planned this booklet as a manual with basic information about Visual Merchandising, while keeping it simple, and easy to read and take around.

I am posting the booklet content in a blog, making it easier to disseminate more content in a more accessible way.

Regarding the booklet print format, I choose an A5 format because it is less intimidating and can be taken anywhere easily. Printing cost and timing were other important points to consider, which were more plausible for this project’s time-frame and expenses.

Many of the Visual Merchandising books out there are comprehensive and sizable with glossy pictures, and seem to always be aimed at big clients or super important people.

I purposely wanted something smaller and friendlier which speaks to everybody.

Booklet Structure

  • Introduction – 1 page.
  • Short history about VM – 3 pages
  • VM basic guide lines – 2 pages
  • Window Display
  • VM trends: local, global and the future – 3 pages
  • VM and art a clever relationship – 2 pages
  • Conclusion – 1 page

Format Specifications

•Format A5 – 210 x 148 mm /8.3 x 5.8 in
•Number of pages in total 13
-Cover and back cover
-Introduction – 1 page
-Chapters – 9 pages
-Conclusion – 1