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Melrose International

Color Theory in Your Shop

How color design at retail can create visual drama and sales!
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If you talk to Ken Fetgatter, AFID, the lead Melrose Designer, for more than a few minutes you’re bound to hear him talk about the wonders of color theory.  That is, how the visual effects of a specific color combination on the eye impacts how we perceive the world—and therefore, how shoppers shop.

According to Ken, “When you’re building a visual display, color is the first thing people relate to.”

For example, “When you look around a room the first thing you see is color, then the details start to reach out to you.”

So, when it comes to color theory in your store, “You grab them with color to create the impact and then share the rest of the story,” Ken explains.

But how does this work?
“There are different ways to use color to capture attention. Use a contrast color as a backdrop – if you’re selling a lot of blue product use contrast color orange– as your backdrop.”

Or course, it can feel scary to create a display that uses these contrasting colors. However, “as a visual merchandiser, you WANT contrast because that’s what creates the interest. It’s what makes the product jump out.”

Ken explains that contrast colors are especially important in a window display. “You have to create interest and the best way to do it is to use color to capture attention quickly.”

So, what are the contrast colors and how can we find them?
Ken explains that if you look at a color wheel, “Colors that are next to each other are neighbors, they are the comfort colors of a neighborhood.” Think of blues and purples together or yellows and oranges.Color Theory Windo Red and Green
“The colors across the circle, on the other hand, are the contrast colors.” These include red & green or blue & orange. And, while may not be comfortable using these combinations boldly in the home, “in a retail environment they create tension which generates interest. It’s harder to live with these choices day to da because they are more dramatic to the eye.”

That drama, according to Ken, is what catches a shopper’s eye as they walk past your store and draws them to displays once inside.

How do you use color theory in your store? Are you using contrasting colors? Which are your favorite? Share with us in the comments below!

Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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