Life & BusinessTop 20 of All Time

Top 20 Business Posts of All Time: #17 How to Create Great Window Displays

by Grace Bonney

The #17 spot on our Design*Sponge Top 20 Business Posts of All Time list belongs to Kate Pruitt’s article on designing and building a creative and eye-catching storefront window display. In addition to being our DIY editor for several years, Kate also worked as a display coordinator for Anthropologie, which has some of the most legendarily amazing window displays made from unexpected materials. So when it comes to creative store displays, Kate knows a thing or two.

From brainstorming and digital mockups to finding unexpected sources of inspiration and keeping a handy materials library, Kate has all the basics covered for anyone who wants to set up a shop, pop-up store, or attention-getting trade show booth. xo, Grace


Updated Rosie the Riveter by Abigail Friedman

#17: How to Create Great Window Displays

  • Who Contributed This Piece: Kate Pruitt
  • DS debut: April 2010

Some highlights:

  • Inspiration: If you plan to include new merchandise in your display, gather a little family of products that create a cohesive narrative. Who owns these products and where do they live? What color unites my new line of products? What season are we celebrating? These are all great jumping off points for a display idea.
  • Thinking Outside the Box: You may run a business with a storefront where you wouldn’t consider putting a display: hair/nail salons, restaurants, massage therapists, etc. But challenge yourself to look at your window as a customer would and think about what they see when they look in… is it compelling?
  • Make Lists: Sometimes the ideas just don’t come, and that’s when I like to pull out some of my handy lists to help spark my imagination. Create lists of materials that you like to work with (or that you know are cheap!) and materials that work with your store’s identity.
  • Make a reusable sketch:  Between installing displays, take a photograph of your windows when they are clean and empty, and have it laminated at a copy shop. This way you can sketch compositions with a dry erase marker many times over. 


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