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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Wolfson

The Art of Visual Merchandising and Display

Updated: Jun 7

Visual Merchandising is the art of conceptualizing, designing, and bringing to life captivating displays and experiences within diverse settings. It is a discipline that combines creativity and strategy to transform spaces into engaging stories that resonate with customers, attendees, and buyers. I began my career as a visual merchandiser and window display artist in 2004 creating visual displays for retail, hotel, and corporate clients.

Visual merchandising is a multifaceted art form - from crafting compelling retail window displays and trade show booths that drive traffic to creating immersive retail environments that reflect a brand's essence. It involves everything from curating product displays to arranging and styling mannequins, furniture, props, and floral installations. Being strategic about the flow of space and designing floor sets that keep customers moving organically is so important to a brand's success.

Enhancing Brand Visibility and Engagement

At its core, visual merchandising aims to enhance brand visibility and engagement. By thoughtfully designing displays, brands can connect emotionally with their audience, making their products and services more appealing and memorable. This can be seen in various settings, including:

  • Retail Environments: A well-designed retail space can significantly influence a customer's shopping experience. Strategic placement of products, thoughtful arrangement of mannequins, and eye-catching displays can draw customers into the store and guide them through the shopping journey. Working with ZenGenius, a visual merchandising company that provides VM support to retailers across the country, I styled 2 bedroom vignettes at Joss & Main at Oakbrook Center to showcase their new bedding collection, RE:FINE. A real bedroom setting helps customers engage with the product and imagine it inside their own home. Plus, giving them something to touch, feel, and sit on is so much fun!

  • Trade Show Booths: At trade shows, the competition for attention is fierce. A captivating booth design can attract visitors, encouraging them to explore the brand’s offerings and engage in meaningful interactions. At The Inspired Home Show at McCormick Place, Corelle Brands tasked me with merchandising products in various tabletop settings using furniture, linens, plants, and props. Because there was such a large array of merchandise, we broke things down into smaller categories to make it easier to take in. Providing breaks for the guests visually (having negative space) gives them a moment to digest it all.

  • Special Events and Brand Activations: Events and activations provide unique opportunities for brands to create memorable experiences. Whether it's a product launch, a pop-up shop, or a promotional event, visual merchandising plays a crucial role in conveying the brand's message and creating an immersive environment for attendees. California Closets hosted an event at Rockwell on the River to launch a new collaboration with Martha Stewart to its internal sales team. I was hired to create different vignettes including an office, pantry, living room, and men's and women's closets. We used apparel and accessories, kitchen and office supplies, loads of plants, and meticulous attention to detail to bring each story to life for the sales teams. Color is a wonderful tool for making a cohesive look, so you'll see a pastel palette of pinks, blues, and creams to tie it together.

So when you're not sure if having a visual strategy is worth it, remember that visual merchandising is a powerful tool for brands looking to create impactful and engaging environments that customers will remember. By combining creativity with strategic planning, you can transform a space into a captivating story that connects with your audience and enhances their overall brand experience.

For more information about the visual merchandising and display services I provide, please reach out to



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