I Do Windows

Discuss this Display

Posted in Discuss This Display by Arcadia on March 22, 2010

This isn’t a display, per se, but a retail store.  Discuss if you think this is good design work, ironically the name of this store in San Francisco is called So Good!?!:

Tagged with: ,

L’Occtiane

Posted in Fashion 49, Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on March 22, 2010

Another great student store study:


L’Occitane by Mino S.

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

I see a character in this store.  It does bring the image of Provence, France in the store by the overall ambiance, use of unique color, fixtures, and lighting.

Describe the store’s target customer?

I’m sure that most of the target customers should be women of all ages since they have been growing so fast in the last few years and have retailers in every city and every country.  I’m one of their customer’s too!

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

Yes it is.  When I was at the store, I felt like I was visiting someone’s vacation villa located in Provence.  They have common but stylish fixtures that help customers access the merchandise easily.

Is it stock piled or more minimalist?

More like stocked piled since they have displayed a bunch of the same products arranged friendly and nicely.

Do the fixtures suit the store’s image?

Yes they had some wooden standing shelves and black stainless shelves arranged nicely in harmony with overall ambiance.

Is the ambiance fitting for the store’s image?

Yes, it shows me where the origin of the brand and merchandise comes from and it seems like they are proud of where they come from.  When a brand does that it lends credibility.

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

They don’t have bright and straight beam lighting, but they have warm (like orange color) lighting and it was not hard to see the merchandise though it does not have a function to emphasize a particular product.

How is color used in the store?

The store has the combination of yellow ocher, red clay, and dark brown (when they used lines) and I thought that the colors mixed very well.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

The window of the particular store I went to was very small, so there was not much of a window display.  But the door was wide open and big so I could skim the store’s ambiance through the door well.

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

I like the fact that the store was selling bunches of lavender flowers (it helps the “villa” image) but the flowers had not much of a fragrance any more, so I wish they changed the flowers more often.  I would buy a bunch if they had their full fragrance left.

Tagged with:

What a leg!

Posted in Just Genius by Arcadia on March 10, 2010

We’ve all seen legs displayed in the hosiery section of a department store, in which I’ve always found those “half legs” kinda’ odd.  Well here’s one that’s been super sized!

I found this photo at Jezebel.com.  Apparently it’s from an exhibit in Budapest titled “The Magnificent Innovations for Women”.

(photo credit: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images)

Tagged with: , ,

Gap Store Turned Upside Down!

Posted in Store Design by Arcadia on March 9, 2010

How’s this for getting your attention, visually.  PSKF.com has a story on the Gap store in Vancouver, BC – which turned itself upside down in order to promote its Sprize (customer loyalty) program!  So far there is no Sprize program here in the US.  Read the full story at the link above, but I think photos tell more:

(photos via: psfk.com)

Tagged with: , ,

Make Your Own Prop

Posted in Props by Arcadia on March 7, 2010

Wood cubes, the most used props is also the easiest to make.  Once you’ve made one, you’ve made them all; it’s just a matter of changing the size to the fit your needs:  a small stand to display shoes or a large platform to display mannequins.  You don’t always have to add a bottom (helps to lighten the weight), but always make sure it’s level!

(tearsheet: Fresh Home magazine)

Tagged with: ,

Design Inspiration – Maison Moschino

Posted in Just Genius by Arcadia on March 7, 2010

Susie over at the blog Stylebubble has posted some amazing photos from her trip to Milan.  She went to visit the Maison Moschino and their hotel is truly inspiring:

I love this use of dress silhouettes as lampshades

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf!

I will be building this bed shortly!

I actually did a design similar to this in college.

To learn about the hotel go to Hotel Philosophy – Maison Moschino

(All photos are via  Susie at stylebubble.com)

Bell Jar

Posted in Fashion 49, Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on March 2, 2010

Another student’s Store Study Assignment:


By Carmen Y

Bell Jar – 3187 16th St., San Francisco, CA

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

The merchandising alone is enough reason for someone to visit Bell Jar.  The merchandise is carefully selected and beautifully displayed.  As soon as yo enter the store, you feel as if you have entered a different realm of fantasy full of vintage finds mixed with designer duds.  To top it off, the color contrasts of the walls, wallpaper, furniture patterns, prints, and textures all ties Bell Jar together and definitely classifies it as a one-of-a kind boutique in SF.

Describe the store’s target customer?

The target customer is a woman in her 20s to late 30s age group who is sophisticated, chic, and has a creative taste for both vintage and designer finds.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

Yes all the merchandise is displayed in an accessible manner for the customer.  Their vast range of merchandise includes, candles, soaps, home décor, clothing, stationery, small knick knacks, and so much more.  Every item is carefully displayed in a very accessible manner – never too high up and certainly never too far from reach.

Is it stock piled or more minimalist?

Some merchandise is stock piled, such as small vintage finds (ie: postcards, books, soap, lotions, and small knick knacks).  The merchandise that are definitely minimalist are special one of a kind items such as a large antique item, shoes, and certain pieces of clothing.

Do the fixtures suit the store environment?

The fixtures in this store range from various lighting fixtures, vintage carriers, bird cages, various unique paintings, tables, and stands of all different shapes, and sizes, a moose head on the wall, and the list goes on and on.

Is the ambience fitting the for the store’s image?

The ambience is very fitting for the store’s image because it automatically gives off a very unique yet chic vibe.  All the different colors, patterns, and textures splashed throughout the store definitely creates a unique one of a kind experience for their customer.

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

There is plenty of lighting at Bell Jar.  They have two large storefront windows that gives plenty of natural light into the store.  There are also plenty of supplemental lighting fixtures (both small and large) inside the actual store that definitely highlights the merchandise assortment that Bell Jar carries.

How is color used in the store?

There are a lot of different colors (both bold and soft) and various textures used in the store.  Each wall and each room is decorated different with a mixture of patterns and textures, thus creating a very creative yet chic environment.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

Bell Jar has two very creative and inviting window displays that are always fresh and definitely draws the customer inside the store.  They use a mixture of furniture and other items to beautifully merchandise an innovative concept through their displays.

If you could make changes in the store, what would they be?

There is such a large selection of merchandise at Bell Jar that it can get a little cluttered and confusing inside the store when you are browsing for certain items.  Things are arranged together on the same tables, or rack and sometimes I feel confused on how or why the layout of the is set the way that it is.  Therefore, the change that I would recommend for Bell Jar would be more organized when it comes to arranging their vast array of merchandise.

Thanks Carmen for turning in a great assignment.  Job well done!

Window Display Set-Up

Posted in Fashion 49, Window Lessons by Arcadia on March 1, 2010

Windows displays are a lot of fun, but they require a lot of planning!  A good display area will have a number of items to allow you install a variety of different concepts.  Here we will discuss some of the practical necessities you will need for installations:

  • Solid Walls
  • Floor panel if you wish to change the floor coverings
  • Ceiling grid for hanging items
  • Secure Door
  • Lighting Tracks
  • Electric Sockets (very important!)
  • Window Shades to pull down when working your magic!
  • Speakers so you can hear announcements going on in the store
  • Fire Sprinklers (obviously)

First make sure you have solid walls to form the backdrop together with the side walls. It should be a smooth, even surface that can be painted or covered with fabric.  Make sure the walls are strong enough to handle screws or nails:

If you wish to change out your floor coverings then having floor panels is a great idea.  They are typically made from MDF (medium density fiberboard), which is a very light weight wood material.  It can hold a  staple or nail which will allow you to change the floor by changing the fabric or painting it:

A sturdy metal ceiling grid painted the same color as the existing ceiling will allow you to hang banners, props, sometimes even mannequins (if it’s strong enough) from it.  Don’t install it too low where it is in the eye of the window, you want it high enough above where it can still do its job but be out of sight.

Good windows are made great with good lighting.  Lighting tracks are a must.  Plan before hand how you will light your window, it should never be an after thought:

(notice the ceiling grid on top as well)

Speaking of lighting, the location and number of electric sockets is super important.  You want them hidden on either side of the the window next to the glass, install a couple up in the ceiling as well.  Nothing is worse than having an ugly orange extension cord hanging from your display!  Are you the one responsible for installing electric sockets? No! This should be done by a qualified electrician:

By making sure you have at least these items in your window display area; you are free to just design and create, and that’s where the real fun begins!

Discuss This Display

Posted in Discuss This Display by Arcadia on March 1, 2010

What changes would you make to improve this store’s windows?  Discuss…..

Window Displays

Posted in Fashion 49, Window Lessons by Arcadia on March 1, 2010

Let’s talk about windows for the next few posts, especially since this blog is called I Do Windows, I figured I finally better get those lesson plans up here!

There are bad store windows:

and there are good store windows:

(these cakes are all made from paper!)

Stores use windows as a sales and advertising tool.  Whether they are large like a department store or simply small, a well dressed window display not only attracts shoppers but also enforces the retailer’s image.  This is the one marketing tool you don’t have to pay extra for, because they are a part of the store’s architecture.

Whatever reason you use to create your windows there are a number of things you have to consider:

  1. The type of window
  2. The best way to group merchandise
  3. The use of a theme
  4. The use of props, lighting, graphics, and signage

The size of the window you have to work with will affect what you can achieve.  There are two types of windows, closed windows and open back windows.

Closed Windows: You find these most often in department stores.  They resemble a room, with three solid walls and an entry door.  They are the most fun to dress!

You really need to sit down and plan these types of windows well as they can become “showstoppers”!  They often times require lots of merchandise and props to fill them up.

From the customer’s viewpoint you really only have to pay attention to the front because they can only be seen from that angle.

Open Back Windows: These windows have no back wall, but may have side walls.  Some retailers prefer them because they let in lots of natural light and they make the interior of the store visible from the outside.

You have to pay attention to all the angles when dressing this type of window because they can be seen from all sides, both inside and outside the store.

Customers also have access to this type of window (meaning they can walk up and touch the display), since it is not enclosed in a room.

Here are a few other windows you may come across: Angled Windows, Corner Windows, Arcade Windows, and Shadow Boxes


%d bloggers like this: