Creative Principles of Visual Merchandising (post 2 of 12)

This post will identify how creative elements are used to achieve the primary and secondary objectives.

  • Contrast: By contrasting elements (shapes/colours) attention can be drawn to merchandise - or certain aspects of merchandise.

  • Repetition draws attention and creates order.  It helps make an impact by increasing the 'presence' of a product.

  • Harmony is about using all the elements, the merchandiser and the fixtures to create an aesthetically pleasing environment.

  • Rhythm is used to keep the attention (especially visual attention) in an unobtrusive way to guide the eye through the entire display.

  • Proportion is utilised by highlighting relative differences in size - usually by graduating the merchandise from small to large - or on steps to a focal point.

  • Blocking or grouping of items - especially colour blocking - is an effective way of emphasizing merchandise.  It is based on the principles of contrast and repetition.

  • Focus is probably the most fundamental principle of visual merchandising.  Most displays attempt to create a focal point.   This can be done through arrangement of merchandise (pyramids, zigzag, step-up) or even through astute lighting.  A good way to observe how focal points are applied, would be to look at the wall displays in fashion stores.  Often a particular display (story) has a triangular shape with the apex at the top.  Even the arms of clothing rails will be stepped in a gradient from lowest at the aisle.