7 Creative Retail Window Displays to Inspire

Pranil Chandra August 2, 2023

7 Creative Retail Window Displays to Inspire

When it comes to creating an unforgettable first impression, nobody needs to nail it more than RETAIL.  

Window displays are often the first point of contact your potential customers see – and subsequently, your chance to shine. Using high quality print can help you stand out on the high street, luring folks in for a peek and – hopefully – a purchase. 

Today, we’re looking at window displays that WOW!  

What Makes an Impressive Retail Window Display? 

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When it comes to retail displays, it’s all about the eye of the consumer! If you don’t catch their eye as they wander by, shoppers are not coming through the door! 

Think how many people pass your retail window every day. Depending on your location – city CBD or remote suburb – there are a few to a thousand feet (and eyes) passing you, all of whom are potential customers. How about giving them a reason to pop in? 

Print allows for almost anything nowadays, whether directly involved in the main advertising piece – as a product stand, for example – or serving as a backdrop. It’s all about conjuring maximum pulling power when you put together a retail window display, and there are three must-haves window display designers swear by: 

Colour: Nothing lifts a window display more than colour. Whether you’re using multiple colours from your brand palette or building a theme around a single colour, bright prints bring vibrancy to your shop window display and draw attention to it. So, go bold and bring in the crowds! 

Clarity: Even the largest window display can soon look cluttered if you over-fill it; in fact, the larger the area, the more likely you are to go overboard. Keep it clutter-free so passers-by can see your products clearly, and use print to emphasise the sales message. 

Creativity: The shop window display is one of the oldest types of marketing around, which means almost everything possible has been done before! Be as creative as you can with your display to ensure a point of difference. Clothing brands can still use a mannequin or two – just be sure to add some contours and creative printing around them!  

Let’s chat Window Displays

Best Materials to Maximise your WOW-full Window Display 

Printing has evolved, allowing you to bring almost ANY idea to life, creating incredible scenes for your customers, old and new.   

You need to use the right materials to get the best out of print in your window display. These days, there are several to choose from, some providing a more suitable ‘blank canvas’ than others for high-quality printing. 

Lots of visual design teams these days work with Re-board®, thanks to its being so incredibly robust like MDF yet kinder to the environment. Super versatile, it cuts into all kinds of shapes to help create a winning window display. What’s more, Re-board® LOVES print, taking on images and colour without compromising the quality. 

When you have less need for durability and more need for delicacy, Paper is a great cost-effective material for your window displays. Printing to paper is easier than ever, with modern techniques helping you print to sizes previously unimaginable.  

Fabric is another fantastic material when looking for something flexible and luxurious, bringing a unique texture to your window display. Today’s textiles and print methods mean attaching colour to fabric is no issue, whatever the design, pattern or size.  

Let’s chat Window Display Materials

Tips for Top Creative Retail Window Display Ideas 

Thanks to print, there are thousands of ways – millions, even – to create a masterpiece in your shop window. All you need is an idea, and you’re already a good way there. 

Do you need some inspo ahead of your retail display refresh? Here are seven tips on creating retail windows that wow, along with some of our favourite window display ideas to help whet your appetite! 

1. Know your audience 

We all get how marketing begins by understanding your audience. Shop window displays are no different; they present the perfect opportunity to speak directly to your market.  

Make sure you know your audience deeply, which goes beyond your products. You can use plenty of other common traits shared by your demographic to connect with them. H&M did a brilliant job of this in their shop window display recently, using festival attire to speak with their mainly teen buyers with appropriately dressed mannequins and text. 

H&M window display

2. Shape up! 

A window display is your chance to set the tone before people walk through the IN door.  

In fact, it’s the job of your display to make sure that they do! And shapes can help you. 

Whether it’s a simple oversized version of your product or an elaborate zebra dipped in multi-coloured paint, shaped objects are eye-catching – do them well, and they are too hard to ignore.  

ReBoard® is the perfect material for shapes; simple to cut, flexible, durable and printable. See what it did for this Paul Smith window display! 

Paul Smith Window Display

3. Draw eyes YOUR way! 

It sounds simple, yet creating a point of focus is trickier than you might think. Yes, you can opt for the straightforward and place your No1 product on a pedestal under a spotlight – job done! It serves a purpose, but it’s far from creative.   

Today’s communications need to pack a punch more than ever. If your shop is wedged between others selling similar or identical products, how will you stand out opting for straightforward? Look what Louis Vuitton achieved by adding candy-striped hot-air balloons to an otherwise basic display of its iconic bag. 

Red and white stripes behind balloons and a bag.

4. Let there be light! 

Simply put, your window display needs light – daytime and after dark!  

In the daylight, using lights to illuminate your window display produces depth, whether it’s spotlighting a product or bouncing light off a cut-out to create shadows. And once the natural light of day turns to evening, what better way to ensure your window display continues doing its job after hours, causing a scene for night revellers to enjoy? 

Here’s what Next Printing partner, Nordwerk, created using only Re-board® and some creative lighting! 

A large dimly lit winter wonderland Re-Board display filled with cardboard trees.

5. Use words AND pictures 

High-quality colour prints look incredible and speak volumes to onlookers – although your window-based communication will do wisely for having some text thrown in too.  

Words can add much to your message, from frosted lettering on a window to several-sentence poetic pieces printed on the back panel of your display. Indeed, when you don’t want your visuals to leave your target market wondering, ‘What?’, words help cement the detail. Clothing brand Holt Renfrew didn’t want to rely on its giant giraffe heads selling the message in their new year sale retail display window and used a sentence explaining the animals’ resolution ‘to hold your head high’. 

Mannequins with giraffe heads.

6. Benefit from your location 

Consider your geographic position – do you sell something that benefits the consumer’s immediate surroundings? If yes, use your unique position wisely! 

See what this store at Sydney Airport achieved in its window display, showing off products specifically beneficial to travellers. And what better way to do so than with a beautifully carved Re-board® cityscape to hang products from?  

Chanel with eyeglasses and sunglasses

7. Go interactive 

Nowadays, there is no need for a glass window to prevent your potential buyer from interacting with you – even after hours. Thanks to the QR code, those voyeurs behind the glass can quickly engage in your world using their phones to scan the code and see all your products and promo goodies.  

How about some motion sensors so the QR code appears as someone walks by? Or, if the budget allows, why not add audio and touch activation to support the visuals within the window? Begin the customer experience outside and you’re far more likely to beckon people inside. 

Print can play a major role in your retail displays – take it from someone with experience: NEXT Printing! 

Our expert team helps designers, visual directors, and marketers bring their brand to life in their own front room (aka shop window!). When you’re next working on a new retail display or refreshing an existing one, chat with our team and we’ll provide an idea or two about creating something spectacular! 

Ready to talk creative window displays? 

Let’s Talk! 

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