VMSD - July 2015 - (Page 4)
FROM THE EDITOR
Let's Get Visual
Industry experts share the dos and don'ts
of winning store displays.
In this issue, we celebrate our 21st annual International Visual Competition award winners. It's
one of my favorite issues to produce, with an opportunity to showcase some of the most innovative displays in retail. (And a shout out to Associate Editor Carly Hagedon for managing the mammoth endeavor.)
This year's judges weren't shy about speaking their minds when evaluating the 67 submissions and 443 photos, spanning in-store promotions and holiday window displays to temporary/
pop-up retail spaces. As a spectator during the day-long process, it was fascinating to observe the
four industry professionals judging the entries: They focused so intently (and intensely) on every
visible nuance of a display - many that would escape the attention of most observers - from the
tilt of a mannequin's hip and the composition of a grouping of props to a graphic's typeface and the
cast of a light beam on a product. Informative, beckoning, subtle, bold, provocative, mysterious,
whimsical, or subversive - the winning displays were attention-grabbing and, most importantly,
showcased the merchandise while projecting a strong brand message.
Other contenders left the judges scratching their heads: They were confusing, chaotic, cluttered and without a focal point or clear message. As for in-store promotions, they
should reflect the retailer's identity and/or brand without being "dropped in
like an alien," as one judge described a display. You shouldn't have to ask, by
the way, what is this one selling, exactly?
Because, ultimately, that's the role of the retail display: to get customers in the door and to open their wallets. As one judge reminded us, "The
product is the hero."
There were several additional elements the judges enjoyed and some
trends they noted: strong storytelling; an inventive use of materials,
displays that weren't too "theme-y" or kitschy; a playful use of texture
and pattern; a projection of high energy; complementary fixturing;
seamless and strategic deployment of technology; and an unexpected element of surprise.
And did we mention animals? The judges were delighted
by the woodland creatures cleverly featured in a Holt Renfrew
window (and featured on our cover). However, a caveat: To work,
such attempts at cleverness must be done thoughtfully and not
just for the sake of doing it. Again, displays must tie in with the
retailer's message and intention.
If you didn't get a chance to submit a project for this year's competition, don't fret. Start documenting this year's best work and keep an eye
out for our 2016 call for entries early next January.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - July 2015
VMSD - July 2015
From the Editor
Vmsd Editorial Advisory Board
Babes in Toyland
VMSD - July 2015