Artist Toolbox: The Art of Display

Friday, November 22, 2013
Today on Artist Toolbox, we are talking about the art of display.  During the working year most artists, craftspeople and designers will step up and sell at a craft fair.  We have come up with a few pointers that should help you find the best way to display your work....
  • Height - Eye levels, you want people’s eyes to roam all around the space you have so don’t lay your items flat, use furniture, props, boxes and shelving to create height. You could also consider lifting the entire height of your table to allow people to view your items without stooping. You should consider the overall impression you are giving to potential customers. Ensure that your display is still approachable and not too intimidating for customers to interact with you or your items. 
  • Table cloth? Think about your table covering. Perhaps use brown paper, graph paper, wall paper in the place of a table cloth to stand out from the crowd. You could echo this material in your labels to draw the whole display together. Make sure whatever you are using is clean, smart and looks professional. A creased table cloth will only detract from your beautiful stock.
  • Props - Use interesting props to display your items and give height as well as to indicate how to use them and who might use them. Placing an old mobile into one of your phone cases will help customers instantly identify the function for example. Use objects to fit your theme and attract a certain demographic. For example displaying an expensive ceramic bowl filled with inexpensive sweets would not be as appropriate or effective as filling it with fresh coffee beans, chillis or peppercorns.
  • Price Labels – Clearly label items and display a price list if possible (if you have masses of different types of items a huge list will be far too difficult to read). Customers may not want to ask how much an item costs for fear they cannot afford it. Take time and effort to match your labels with your display and the type of goods you are selling. Beautiful labels will add to your overall presentation, shabby labels will detract from it. The most important factor is legibility. If you have terrible handwriting print out you labels. Ensure your spelling and grammar is correct! 
  • Banner - You want people to remember your stall but also your company name. It’s important to display a banner or sign on your display. 
  • Space - Use all your available space – “Think outside the table”. Is it possible to add a stand to the side and use a smaller table? – especially useful for selling cards or accessories. It may be better to remove your table completely so people can walk into your space and see your stands/racks up close. Perhaps use a packing cases or a dresser in place of a table to create height and support your branding, selling homewear in this way can help a customer imagine what your product will look like in their home. Also be flexible so you can adapt to the space you have been given at an event.
  • Safety - If you make fantastic props, stands and banners be sure that they are sturdy not only to prevent your goods being damaged but also to ensure nobody gets hurt. Keep wires out of the way and ensure your table covering is not too long causing a trip hazard.

Why not have a mock up - ask your friends and family what they think.

Next week we shall be discussing what to bring to a craft fair or market, if you are a seasoned pro, please share your tips below, we'd love to know what are your must have essentials....

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