Saturday, 13 April 2013

Spring time at Black Duke & Cashman...

As you know by now we are suckers for a good window display and always go to a huge effort into making our window look extra delicious and crafty!
Hanging a few paper pom poms in a window is hardly going to cut it in today's cut throat market! There's a lot of competition out there so if you want your shop to stand out then you really must go that extra mile.

We've used hand made paper maché tea cups with fabric applique inserts to give that extra lovely look... The paper pom poms were also made by us in a selection of relevant colours IE Spring!

Over sized paper maché tea cups...I love the way they are slightly wonky and rough. I think it gives it a hand made charm!

For over 8 years I have designed and produced window displays varying from degrees of simple and sweet to elaborate and to the down right "more is more"!

But it's really easy to get it wrong so here are my handy tips to help you display not just your window ( We're aware not everyone has a shop window ...) but also your stand display or even your craft fair stall... these tips can be carried over to help you achieve an awesome "buy me" display!

W.I.P. Window in progress!

For our latest window display we went on the Spring Time Tea Time theme as the shop sells not only hand made items and vintage furniture but also a selection of teas and coffee! I so wish we had a few taxidermy pieces to add to this...

So here are my top tips...

Tip one:
If you're going to bother to decorate... then bother! Don't do a half hearted job. As much as paper doily bunting looks nice a sad lonely string of beaten up doilies looks uncared for and can be perceived as an after thought! You are no longer selling just a product...I hate to use this expression but...hell, I'll say it: You are selling a life style! It might make me cringe but it's true...

Tip two:
Work on a theme and draft out a design. Things like the colour pallet of your products or even the facade of your shop can influence your choices.
Having a layout is good as it will give you something to go by. You don't have to be a Khalo or a Rembrandt but a sketch will help you look at the over all balance before you actually go to all the trouble of doing it. Also it's not written in stone so follow your layout but don't be too rigid... it's there to guide you not to restrain you!

Tip three:
Don't be afraid to experiment and use your imagination!
Using materials which you don't normally associate with a specific item or idea is not a mistake. Do a few samples before you use it as your final material, final design or final layout. You might not like it so this way you'll have time to  remake....but you might just absolutely love it!

Tip Four:
Now that you're ready add your elements one by one. Adding each individual item gives your eye time to focus, adjust and construct the design elements in your mind so that you can tell if they sit harmoniously or not plus it's an easy way to add layers.
You might find that even though your original design used 12 of something that it actually looks great with just 9!
 *Note - using odd numbers makes a more pleasing visual then pairs.
For extra reading on harmonious design have a look at the "golden ratio aesthetics" philosophy.

Tip Five:
Keep your window/ display neat, clean and tidy! If your display is cluttered and looks like someones just thrown the items on there from the other side of the room then that can come across as if the person selling the items doesn't really care about what they are selling. If it looks unloved then that's probably because it is unloved! Remember you are trying to sell not turn people away...

Tip six:
Step back and look at the bigger picture!
Have a look at it as though you were a costumer approaching it for the first time.
Check the decorations/display additions aren't taking over what you are trying to sell...unless you are selling decorations!
Allow yourself plenty of time to "tweak" elements... sometimes it might be an item that needs moving by an inch. Believe me the more you do it the better you'll get at it.

Tip seven:
Don't over "Tweak" and don't stress... that's the danger if you're super fussy like me but as perfectionists it's in our nature but know when to stop!
For example after putting away the step ladder I noticed one of the pompoms was sitting almost to the same level as another so it looked cluttered and messy. I brought the step ladder back, scrambled back up the runs and literally it (the pom pom) just needed to be pulled up a fraction of an inch but it made all the difference! But after that I was happy and content with the over all look of the window as a whole.

I hope these tips help and inspire you!

Our sweet and very spring like window! Pop by to see it at Black Duck & Cashman: 83 Grove Rd. E17 9BU London

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That looks amazing. I'm very impressed with the giant papier mache teacups. I'll have to pop down to take a look.