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Visual merchandising tips from top designer Kris Ericksen

  • Design
  • October 9, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Visual merchandising tips from top designer Kris Ericksen

The Judge’s Choice award for the Welly Loves WOW Window Dressing Competition this year went to Danish jewellery retailer Dyrberg/Kern’s luminous window display. The designer behind it, Kris Ericksen of Plato Design, shares some tips on how to put together a stunning piece of visual merchandising.

To create the winning window display for Dyrberg/Kern, Ericksen transformed 12 metres of window frontage on the corner of Grey and Featherston Sts into a glowing landscape of bespoke pendant lights, giant wall panels and sculptures, all fashioned from yellow, black and white in varying shapes and sizes. The installation is inspired by the notion of spring and the exploration of patterns and textures.

The sculptures are made with Ericksen’s registered modular design concept, the Plato System, which consists of two dimensional interlocking pieces that can be fastened together and over-locked in a multitude of ways. 

Tell us more about your winning window display

This window display was created for luxury jewellers, Dyrberg/Kern’s flagship store in the heart of Wellington’s CBD. They wanted something ‘exceptional’ that would win them this year’s Welly Loves WOW retail competition. 

The theme for the WOW competition was ‘Inspired by Yellow’. I took this colour and boldly applied it with blacks and whites to create my overall theme of Honikoma - which means ‘honeycomb’ in Māori . Using my design invention, the Plato System, which comprises flexible, interlocking 2D pieces, I created 12 metres of display for Dyrberg/Kern, drawing ideas from my own WOW entry in 2014 - Phoenix Transformer*, which came second in the South Pacific section of the competition. 

I created a visual mix of geometric patterned panels. For the corner feature I created a form of rhombus, very similar to the centre panel of Phoenix Transformer. I then created three ‘light panels’ which each explore the many possible ways of interconnecting the Plato pieces and exposing the light through the gaps in the joins. One is a simple ‘tartan’ pattern in yellow and black that uses perpendicular interlocks. Another consists of 18 panels that each have different combinations of colours, orientations and textures. The final panel uses ‘triangular’ Plato pieces that demonstrate the emergent patterns resultant from the overlaps.

In your opinion, what makes a great window display?

Something that looks visually bold and simple from a distance, but which has intricacy and complexity when viewed close-up. This technique catches the eye, then captures the imagination.

Can you name some other retailers with inspiring window displays?

For this competition, I agree with the Welly Loves WOW Window Dressing Competition judges who gave honourable mentions to Abstract Design for going beyond a well-designed window and painting their storefront sunshine yellow, and Deryn Schmidt Lombard Lane’s gorgeous waterfall of paper cranes.

What concepts should aspiring visual merchandisers be thinking about?

While I’m not much of a shopper myself, I do appreciate a captivating retail display. For me, bold and simple works every time. That’s what draws me in. But then when I get there, I expect something more and that’s where I believe intricacy and complexity play their part. Visual merchandisers would do well to think about aesthetically pleasing the consumer as the first phase and then going beyond that and delivering something more than what they at first see.

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Picking up the scraps: The companies leading waste minimisation

  • Design
  • January 23, 2020
  • Findlay Buchanan
Picking up the scraps: The companies leading waste minimisation

In New Zealand, we discard 15.5 million tonnes of waste each year, an absurd amount for a small, agrarian, country at the bottom of the earth. Partly, the problem lies in our recycling systems – only a meager 28 percent of it is recycled. But, new radical solutions are being developed, we’ve already transformed water bottles into asphalt, plastic bags into clothes, and roofing into pavements. Plus, a company in the states, Joachim’s firm, plans to build a 53-story tower made with the waste, a vision for tall buildings and skyscrapers that could be made of plastic.

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2020 vision: What 2020 means for Dargaville retailers

  • News
  • January 22, 2020
  • Rachel Helyer Donaldson
2020 vision: What 2020 means for Dargaville retailers

In the final installation of our series looking at retail in seven New Zealand regions, we're examining Dargaville.

Read more
 
 

Container Door fined $54,000 over non-compliant bicycles

  • News
  • January 21, 2020
  • The Register team
Container Door fined $54,000 over non-compliant bicycles

Ecommerce retailer Container Door has fallen afoul of the Commerce Commission after supplying pedal bicycles which did not meet mandatory product safety standards.

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Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
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2020 vision: How Cambridge retail will perform this year

  • News
  • January 21, 2020
  • Rachel Helyer Donaldson
2020 vision: How Cambridge retail will perform this year

As part of a series looking at seven regional centres to consider what regional retail looks like this year, we're considering Cambridge.

Read more
 
 

Steve Mills becomes Countdown's new GM of Merchandise

  • Who's Where
  • January 21, 2020
  • Makayla Wallace-Tidd
Steve Mills becomes Countdown's new GM of Merchandise

Countdown has announced Steve Mills as the new general manager of merchandise.

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Larger retailers to discuss key issues in Retail NZ’s new group

  • News
  • January 20, 2020
  • The Register team
Larger retailers to discuss key issues in Retail NZ’s new group

Retail NZ is launching a new Leading Retailers’ Group for large and significant retailers. With its first meeting to be held in late February, the group will provide a safe outlet for senior retailers to discuss issues affecting the sector.

Read more
 
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