Course in Visual Merchandising & Window Dressing

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This course aims to get closer to the world of retail and learn about its current situation through visual merchandising and window dressing. With a mainly practical approach and workshop activities, students will be able to get involved from an experiential and participatory point of view through different practical exercises carried out in class.

All the necessary actions to be carried out at the point of sale will be analysed to achieve a correct implementation of the visual merchandising, both at its internal and external disposal. The different animation techniques used in the commercial space will also be analysed. The current creative panorama of window dressing will be reviewed with an international vision, analysing the needs, objectives, typologies, compositions, and conceptual approaches.

Merchandising and window dressing are currently key tools to reach the new, more experienced, demanding, and informed consumer. The merchandiser and the shop window must know how to manage the increasingly saturated and more competitive commercial spaces, through the different specialized tools to make the consumer choose us, while enhancing the brand image.

Aimed at

Designers, architects, window dressers, interior designers, shopkeepers and students of these disciplines. To make the most of the course, it is recommended to have basic use knowledge of Office (PowerPoint/Word/Excel), Suite Adobe (Photoshop/Illustrator/ InDesign) and some design programmes such as Autocad/Sketchup.

Students must bring a laptop.

  • Understand the different components of visual merchandising and window dressing applied to a commercial space.
  • Analyze and understand the point of sale, its contents from the morphology and the concept of the exterior façade to the correct placement of the products on the interior shelf, thus studying all aspects related to the consumer and its route through commercial space.
  • Define the different elements that make up the animation at the point of sale, reviewing the different aspects of sensory merchandising and the elements that make up the interior of a commercial space.
  • To know the historical trajectory of window dressing as a social phenomenon, and to understand the current situation of window dressing and its objectives.
  • To know the current panorama of the latest trends in window dressing.

Structure and content

The daily work plan is articulated in a former theoretical part in which the content is studied, and a latter part in which the learned concepts are employed in an integral project which is developed throughout the course.

1/ Merchandising
  • History of visual merchandising
  • Business tendencies
  • Concept
  • Content
  • The role of the visual merchandiser
  • Branding: The Brand, Corporative Image. Brand Identity. Branding. Branding Strategy / Calendar of performances
  • Workshop in class
2/ Window dressing
  • Birth and history of window dressing
  • Objectives of window display
  • Big brands
  • The artistic window display
  • Workshop in class
3/ Point of sale
  • External disposition of the point of sale: Facade. Signs. Access and entrance. Shop windows
  • Internal disposition of the point of sale: Floor distribution, cold and hot zones. Layout of the commercial space. 3 Times: Permanent / Stational / Promotional. Circulation, disposition of the furniture, ubication of the counter, corridors. Furniture: function and typologies
  • Workshop in class
4/ The composition
  • Composition theory
  • Practices of composition with reference images, with digital and with objects exercises
  • Workshop in class
5/ Trip to visit and analyse points of sale in the city: shop Windows and compositions 6/ Product organization and distribution
  • Depending on sales
  • Sections: the selection
  • Article adjacency
  • Lineal: Exhibition levels or zones
  • Types of implantations: Vertical / Horizontal / Group / Crossways
  • Landscaping
  • Workshop in class
7/ Correction
  • Correction of the window dressing proposal
  • Correction of the final presentation
  • Workshop in class
8/ Sensorial merchandising
  • Implementation phases
  • Colours, smell, sounds
  • Other environmental factors
  • Workshop in class
9/ Final presentation of the project
  • Exchange
  • Presentation analysis

Claudio Astudillo

Retail. Branding & Education. Visual Merchandiser / Creative Director of his own studio since 2007. Specializing in commercial interior design and point of sale design.

Within the framework of the product, it participates in decorative and creative projects for promotional spaces, product presentations and corporate performances of the brand. He has worked for Antonio Puig’s In-Store Marketing department as a visual merchandiser, both at his subsidiary in Chile and at his headquarters in Barcelona. His participation in the field of teaching began in Santiago de Chile in 1998 and he is currently collaborating with other institutions in Barcelona.

Chené Gómez

Creative Director and Artistic Educator.

His professional career revolves around artistic education, design, and creative development. For 10 years he has been a professor of window dressing in Elisava’s Master in Commercial Space Design: Retail Design and is an artistic director and educator at the NGO Creart, working on early childhood education through the art. He was a professor in the Master of Creative Architecture at the Italian Academy of Design in Florence.

He has participated in international projects such as the Maritime Museum of Trieste. He has been the Artistic Director of the Domo Gallery of Contemporary Art in New Jersey and has been a juror several times at the Parsons School of Design in New York.