Wednesday, January 4, 2012

12 Visual Display Trends: # 3 Splash!

Okay.... No.3 display trend?   

it is 4 days into 2012, and I have been up and down shopping space, cyber space and in between and all I keep hearing about is blue. Blue, cobalt, iris, turquoise, robins egg, indigo, sapphire, teal, heather.... every reference to a shade of blue. Now I know Navy was a strong contender last fall and continues to be a beautiful colour with lots of possibility, this spring navy will get a bit soft and colours a bit washed and almost ethereal. Blues, sand tones, bright greens - basically the colours of a Greek ocean.   *sigh*

The Barthelmess Group - a merchandising company from Germany sites 'splash' as this for retail displays 

     " The "splash" trend feels like an immersion in cool water- bubbly and exciting. Objects have a  refreshing effect on  the viewer. Plants are involved, but in a unusual, surprising way: hanging and natural, like they were only just pulled from the ground, but also in combination with clear geometrical shapes. Circles, squiggles and rectangles are arranged in natural surroundings like they belong there. with this theme it is important to take everything with a grain of salt. When it colours, 'Splash' goes for a fresh image as well: Crisp greens, aqua and intense turquoise dominate the range of hues. Light gold tones provide glamorous accents and give objects certain radiance" 
More on the Barthelmess Group below.

what an informative little blurb, huh? well- in typical DisplayologyTO fashion, I am giving you my thoughts on this trend. When I read this, I think: 

Splash is a trend with a happy, fresh and optimistic point of view- and can be used with a certain coolnes, a sensuality if you will. How about some ideas ..

I am entirely inspired my sea shells right now, and think its a great source of creative ideas. How neat would it be to use bundles of twine to re-create coral on a wall? Absolutely do-able- Monochromatic, textural and definitely an interesting display to look at 

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How about bubbles! This display is absolutly beautiful, more centered around the holidays but think of it- can be re-constructed to have soft blues and washy greens, clear bubbles suspended with fishing line in a window or even above your cash desk. 
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Something like this... Does not have to be fancy glass either, try from paper mache balloons, instead of using construction paper or newsprint, use thin tissue paper in cool jem tones. Poisition your lighting around the bubble sculpture accordingly and you can light this puppy without any hazards. 

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Wouldn't this be a lovely idea? Pretty literal, however perfect for displays that centre around cruises wear, travel and fun spring/summer concepts. This strand could look messy and cluttered if done within a display that includes lots of other 'ocean' like materials. do a simple strand, create some symmetry with it and light  the back drop up with cool blue lighting. 

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Kinda like this, etheral and almost as if the whole thing is floating, sumptuous display without being overdone. Perfect smooth lighting. 

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LOVE this idea, a great idea on this "splash" trend. Literal, but totally unexpected these humdrum white ceramic pottery gets lift with splattered blue paint. Try this! it is super easy and ultra inexpensive, and for my more darling clients... how about a full mannequin, dressed and then half splattered in paint! How amazing would that be for retail or tradeshow booths with swimming, surfing or beach wear. 

Another literal take on 'splash' and this would be gorgeous on a window front. painted. Yes! I said it, Paint the inside of your window something like this, the runs and globs of wet colour will be incredibly attractive and exciting to pedestrians and shoppers alike.  Adding a garment? when painting, create some room in the glass for the garment or body form, almost as though the body form is melting with it, but you can still see the items.

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speaking of painted windows... These stylized waves would be a great window painting. Right colour palate too. 
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And again, perfect inspiration of window display paintings, or perhaps some murals in your store. change room perhaps? 

I love this image and it is totally inspiring. Have been trying to do this within retail forever; Create sails with gorgeous printed fabric, sheers or natural materials and create visual appeal by propping sails in the centre space in your store. Not hard- rope, material and some bitchin' hot glue gun skills ( or sewing machine) and you could make some serious waves. ( HA!) 

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This window display has great colour and tells a beautiful story, and one of awareness. This display is making us aware of the realities of some fishing techniques - while it sends a message it is also a beautiful concept and well executed. 

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Okay, yes. This craft is clearly for children.. however I know the simple design is making the creative juices flow. How much fun would these look in warm gold tones, hell some detailed sequin action and pretty paper for the jellyfish legs and this could be a great idea with some serious impact. Sexy Jellyfish? 

Window farms are gorgeous, green and really special to look at. City dwellers and country folk alike are inspired by these clever 'window farm' ideas, and they make attractive window displays. We have all the makings to walk alongside the 'slpash' theme - water, clear texture, fresh green.... maybe add some blue or white rocks to make these look a bit more oceanic. 

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Plastic bags, twine dirt and bulbs. Simple window display inspiration with the same window farm look. Add a bit more turquoise and this could be your next window display. 

As always, find more Splash! ideas on my Pinterest
Need help? email me 

The Barthelmess group is an incredible reference for visual merchandising trends and news, with the finger on the pulse they are a huge influence to me.Find them at

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