Visual Merchandising: A Step-by-Step Process

July 30, 2021

At Studio Rêver, we work with a team of creatives where we go through a step-by-step process while designing any project for our clients. To help you better understand what we promise to deliver as visual merchandisers, we thought we’d give out some insights into this six-stage process.

Mood board for a pop up design for the bombay sweet shop
Mood Board for a bombay sweet shop POP-UP


To get an insight into a visual merchandiser’s role in the retail space, check out our previous blog here!

1. Understand

Before taking on any project, we first try and understand the client’s brief and what they expect from us, including their vision for their space. A crucial part in the pre-design stage of the process is to do a deep dive into the brand and what it stands for. In anything that we create, we always try and bring out the brand’s identity — be it highlighting their brand values and processes, showcasing a new collection or simply creating a branded experience for their customers. In order to achieve this, we want to make sure that we know exactly what the brand is, their target audience and the message they want to convey through their space.

2. Research

Our initial research and interactions with the clients give us insights into their past work and future goals. This helps us ensure that what we create for them is in line with the brand yet has its own uniqueness, making it stand out. In addition to researching the brand itself, we also look at different materials that can be used to be able to create something that speaks to the brand without compromising on quality and also accommodates the client’s budget.

Mood board for a visual merchandising project including a window display and in-store display for La Folie du Chocolat
Mood Board for a Visual Merchandising display for La Folie du Chocolat

3. Ideate

The next stage of the process is brainstorming ideas and creating mood boards of possible themes, concepts and routes that we can explore with the brand. We pick on brand elements that can be incorporated within the displays, keeping in mind the client’s vision. These include elements such as the brand’s colour palette, shapes, insignias, logos, tag lines and product collections.

3D visualisation for a window display at La Folie du Chocoat's store
3D visualisation for an upcoming window display

4. Design

Once the concept is finalised, we create a few initial designs for the space. While functionality is an important aspect to consider, in visual merchandising displays, aesthetic and brand relevance often takes precedence.

Incorporating material experimentation, the designs are then translated into 3D renders to give the clients a sense of how the display would look in a realistic setting, with the lighting in place. This is an extremely exciting stage of the process for us as we get to see our designs come closer to life and helps us visualise them better, giving us the chance to improve on them. At times, they would turn out to be exactly the way we imagined, but on other occasions, they might not. This allows us to regroup and come up with solutions and alternate variations for the design. On some occasions, we may even start from scratch and redesign the entire concept.

Through our designs, we aim to create spaces that are unique and successful not just in terms of client satisfaction but also engaging for the consumer.

Fabrication process of a visual merchandising display
An upcoming display during the fabrication stage

5. Fabricate

After finalising the designs, we move on to the fabrication stage. It’s probably one of the most fun yet time consuming stages of the process. It involves a whole lot of back and forth, emails, calls at odd hours, quality checks and overall supervision to make sure that the reality of the design is a reflection of our vision, if not better!

We work with local vendors to fabricate our displays and try to ensure that there is minimal wastage during the production process. Our aim is to ensure that the designs are transformed into reality with utmost ease and precision.

The Studio Rêver team installing a valentine's pop-up at the Bombay Canteen
OUR TEAM Installing a Valentine themed Pop-Up at The Bombay Canteen

5. Install

Following the production phase, we then install the display, whether it’s in a retail store, restaurant, cafe, mall or any other space. For Pallavi, our head of Visual Merchandising and Installations, the install phase is where the feeling of satisfaction sets in because she finally gets to see the whole display that probably started out on a piece of paper, turn into reality. Each element of the design is meticulously installed to transform the space into a branded environment.

At each stage, it is important for us to keep in mind that a brand’s essence is coming through these window displays, installations, pop-ups and more.

We believe people should ‘experience’ a space and not just visit it. We are here to turn your spaces into experiences and develop a narrative around your retail spaces, where each element comes together to tell your story.

Ready to transform your space? You can get in touch with us here!

Share article

Read More