London and Barcelona, United Kingdom

London-Barcelona: Visual Merchandising

when 30 June 2014 - 25 July 2014
duration 4 weeks
fee GBP 2115


You will begin your learning journey into the practice and principles of visual merchandising in fashion and lifestyle retail sectors.

Teaching methods will include, lectures (including guest speakers), seminars, practical workshops, class discussion and analysis, group work, styling for a photo shoot; plus external visits to London retailers and manufacturers.

Two major projects will be given, supplemented by a number of small tasks; which will teach students how to research, analyse and collate information and consolidate this data into visual presentation formats.

Project 1: Research, plan and design a window display

Project 2: Research, plan and design an in store first threshold display, promoting a seasonal trend/collection

Students will be introduced to the fundamentals and purpose of visual merchandising and how its practice aligns with the retail industry and brand tactics. We will start with external communication methods and then progress to in store strategies.

You will be introduced to the various design principles: grouping methods, developing themes and inspiration, the use of colour, form, texture, pattern, graphics, lighting and use of mannequins. These are essential skills harnessed in the planning and implementation of store windows and in store displays.

Internal communication strategies will include in store layout and thresholds, fixtures and fittings, product handling-categories, styling and trends.

You will be required to collate visual information into appropriate visual presentation formats. Students will present your final work in class and gain the critique of your peers. It is advisable that you bring a laptop and camera to help organize and present your visuals.


The course will then move to Barcelona where you will explore the retail world and all the actions that will get a customer hooked, from the incorporation of a new product in the mass-market to how it will appear at the points of sale and its effect on the commercial space and mobile space. The classes will be organised as a series of lectures, workshops and some tours of Barcelona to analyze case studies. You will be asked questions about how the advertising strategy affects the professional visual merchandiser, how the consumer trend is affecting the way the brand displays and uses their product? What constitutes commercial space and point of sale and the classification of these? You will learn about the physical elements of merchandising: types of points of sale, materials, construction details, technology and lighting. As a project you will undertake market analysis and proposed a visual campaign and specific areas and strategic for it.

Course leader

Sue Fraser PGCERT is a recognised professional from the retail visual merchandising industry working as a Training Consultant and Presenter at Earls Court with an industry background from Selfridges and Debenhams. Sue has taught at the University of Arts

Target group

Prospective or current students and professionals working in architecture, interior design, decoration, graphic designers and those working in retail.

Those who attend will preferably have a basic design background in order to apply their skills to presentation formats. For example, having a basic knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator or Powerpoint will help with presenting your work. It would also be preferable if you have basic drawing skills. A digital camera and a laptop with design software is a help, but not essential.

Course aim


Evidence methods of gathering and collating data

Engage in analytical and critical discussion Develop design ideas and inspiration

Apply practical design skills to project work Produce practical design solutions

Demonstrate appropriate presentation skills.

Fee info

GBP 2115: tuition only fee is shown

accommodation, travel, insurance and living expenses are not included.