Whether it’s a matter of a cheerful, colourful garden party, a beach house look or a touch of Caribbean flair…everyone has a different idea of what makes a perfect summer. Some yearn for the sea and palm trees; others prefer to relax in a hammock in their garden at home; others again like to enjoy a refreshing day beside a lake. Whether you go on a long-distance trip or not, when you have sunny weather and ice-cream, then a good mood usually comes over you all by itself.
What the summer theme actually looks like in your own shop largely depends on your choice of colours. The Caribbean feeling is reflected in blue, turquoise and aqua tones. Accents are set by pink, coral and bright yellow – as a reference to the multi-coloured underwater world found on the Caribbean seabed.
Retailers wishing to bring a “beach house” feel to their shop should choose a muted colour palette: natural tones, white, cream, beige, matt blues and anthracite.
The colours of a summer garden party are cheerful and colourful. Colours such as strawberry red, sunflower yellow, orange and turquoise in the form of polka dots, stripes and flowers bring a touch of fun and a good mood into your shop window.
The summer staging of products in shops has just as many facets as summer itself. Anything that is pleasing and visually fits in with the theme is permitted. To ensure that the décor is not a motley mess despite the countless possibilities, the design should be well planned in advance. A mood board helps you to visualise your ideas. On a large sheet of paper or on a PC (e.g. as a PowerPoint slide), the designer defines all the aspects of the theme. Colours, materials, key visuals and the styling of the campaign are presented as a collage, and suitable assortments are selected or ordered in the shop. A Caribbean theme mood board would show as a key visual the image of a sandy beach with palm trees, a hammock strung up between palm trees, a sunshade made of raffia, exotic fruits or a colourful beach hut with a palm roof. The choice of materials would then be raffia, weathered wood, and fabric with structure, material that is rough to the touch such as coarse clay, palm fronds, baskets or woven cords. The colour palette would tend towards the turquoise tones of the sea, the wide sandy beaches, the colourful underwater world and the sun-ripened fruits.
The script of the story could be, for example, a home office on a Caribbean beach. All the products needed for the workplace at home are visually coordinated with the script. Set in this unusual environment, they are perceived in a new way and become a must have.
If retailers want to focus on trend-oriented customers, they have to design the summer layout with their target group in mind. For example, the Pantone colours of 2021 can be used as a colour theme: PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray (a matt grey) and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating (a cheerful yellow). The colour combination is reminiscent of river pebbles in sunshine or a chic lounge corner on a sunny terrace.
Natural materials, soft colours and clear shapes are also in vogue in the summer months. The nature-based trend fosters a relaxed attitude to life on warm days. Products made of wood, raffia, clay and cork fit in with the theme.
After a year of online shopping, many customers are longing for haptic and emotional experiences, live and in colour. They want to touch the products again and experience visual stories about the goods. The high street needs shop windows that radiate a summer mood and invite passers-by to experience live the way the goods are staged in the shop live – at least via Click & Meet.
About the author
Sabine Gauditz is an expert in visual marketing in the retail sector. Since 1986, she has been designing and arranging sales-promoting product presentations for various industries and redesigning the ambience of retail spaces. Together with Hans Schmidt, she founded the visual marketing consultancy, Arte Perfectum, in 2002. Since then, she has been holding seminars and workshops and offering in-house consultancy services.