Ann Fine Patterson makes a case for the priorities and levels of involvement of the visual element in store organization and product merchandising. She makes a good argument for not consulting the visual team last and least, rather early in the process.
As an engineer I like to use highway signs as a good example of visual organization and subliminal and supraliminal communication. We all recognize black or red type on a white, typically-rectangular background is regulatory (you must do this), while black type on a yellow, often-angular background is warning or cautionary (you should do this). And who doesn’t recognize white type on a red octagon (Stop sign). Does your store or display use color, shape, type, design and all the visual elements to communicate and brand as clearly and unconsciously. Do all your elements work together as well thought out as simple highway signs?
Sorry if my example is too childlike and leaves out the artistic element. I make my argument, my way. Link to DDI August 2011 Edition to read Ann’s more literate and retail oriented position.
For a challenge to your design and merchandising visual acuity SEE “Subliminal or Supraliminal Retail” here on Fixtures Close Up.