Atmospherics and Aesthetics


Fixtures are used for storing and displaying merchandise. They may be floor fixtures or wall fixtures and are manufactured in various materials like wood, glass, steel, and synthetic. Examples of fixtures include tables, racks, stands, shelves, gondolas, bins and other materials, which may be used to display merchandise. Ideally fixtures should be flexible so that the size can be varied to suit the merchandise being displayed.

Flooring and ceilings

Floorings, ceilings and the walls work together in creating an image. Ceilings are important because they house the air conditioning ad the lighting. The right lighting is necessary for the merchandise to be seen in its true color and form. A store may adopt different types of flooring depending on the image that it strives to create. For example , a high priced jewellery showroom may use carpets while a supermarket would use flooring which is easy to maintain.


Lighting is a key factor of retail design. The lighting scheme to be adopted for the store has to be done keeping in mind the kind of products being sold in the store and the target audience. Effective lighting is a key in the sale of merchandise and also helps create a favorable first impression of the merchandise and its surroundings.

Graphics and signages

Graphics and signages inform the customers about the products merchandise, price and special offers and also direct customers. Signages and graphics when used in the store windows can compel customers to enter the store. It is common for many retailers to use posters, photo enlargements and other graphics in the windows. When merchandise is placed near such photos and signages the look is enhanced.

Graphics and signages inside the store an help identify brands, indicate items like new releases or new arrivals as the case may be offer direction to various departments within the store or simply help the customer locate the products that the seeks. Graphics within the store may be classified as:

1) Theme graphics: These are graphics which relate to a particular theme being followed throughout the retail store.
2) Campaign graphics: campaign graphics are graphics related to the current advertising campaign.
3) Promotional graphics: These are graphics that pertain to the promotional campaign being carried out in the store. This may be with reference to a particular department.

Signages on the other hand, can be,

Merchandise related: Signages related to merchandise inform the customers about the location, type prices or features of merchandise within the store.

Directional signs: Directional signs are needed in the store to direct customers towards the cash counters, gift wrapping areas, customer service , washroom or the location of the lifts and staircases and trial rooms.

Instructional signs: Examples of instructional signs include informing persons entering the store that the store is under electronic surveillance instructions about the malfunctioning of a lift, caution etc.

Courtesy signs: Examples include signs like Thank you Visit again.

Store Directory: A store directory informs the customers about the location of the various sections in the store. The most common places to find a store directory are the entrance to the store and places where customers may move from one section /floor to another, for example, lifts and staircases.

Signages do not always have to be in a single dimension alone. Posters, Light Boxes, Plaques, Neon’s Video walls and other forms of interactive communication like the touch screen technology , digitized sound and video, interactive kiosks, etc an be sued to effectively communicate with the customer.

Fast food restaurants are some of the best users of graphics and signages. Most of the people who enter a fast food restaurant are in the process of deciding what to buy. A good example of the use of graphics and signages is a McDonald’s fast food restaurant where all the products, their prices and the various meal combinations are shown graphically. The customer can see the menu while waiting for his turn to place the order. This helps him decide and may at times induce additional purchases.