Bergdorf display

Join our Visual Merchandising bloggers as they reveal the ins and outs of a Visual Merchandising education at LIM College.

Visual Merchandising Blog

Product Presentation Project - Henri Matisse

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 @ 12:55 PM

by Meghan McDermott

In our Product Presentation class we had the opportunity to create a full mannequin display for LIM’s Fifth Avenue location. After being told that Henri Matisse would serve as our main inspiration and being given instructions to design a window display and four plexi display cases geared towards the Macy’s customer, we were eager to get to work.

We targeted our design to reflect Matisse’s later work comprised of paper cut-outs, often referred to as “Painting with Scissors.” We created 3D replicas of these cut-outs to scatter as our background on a very stark white gallery-feel wall as a backdrop.

We chose to use a blue mannequin that was very feminine and whimsical to represent Matisse’s blue nudes work. Our team believed that a transparent kimono was the best way to maintain the imagery that Matisse aimed to portray in his blue nudes. Everything in the display had a purpose and intent, from the curve in our second half-wall that was placed a foot forward to add dimension and depth, to the shadow reflection of Matisse’s signature to add emphasis on our last plexi case.

product presentation project

I took on the marketing and promotional aspect of the project. I developed a flyer and coupon using Illustrator to convey the “collaboration” between Matisse and Macy’s for the Springtime event. Below is the logo focal point I designed and created exclusively for the display.

product presentation project

This was a very fun and interactive project. As it was a small group project, challenges did present themselves, but we all had the passion to power through it and deliver an eye-catching visual display that was both aesthetically pleasing and educational.

Product presentation project

Tags: product presentation, Henri Matisse, group project

Graphic Design

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 12:17 PM

by Meghan McDermott

I recently took LIM College’s Advanced Display Graphics course, which is the follow-up to Display Graphics. While it is required for Visual Merchandising majors, I’ve always had a passion for graphic design, so I thoroughly enjoyed the work. We were instructed to create a brand and then design a style guide and marketing package to convey our concept to the class.

Outlet logo

I chose to create an internet cafe called OUTLET as a play on words between an emotional or creative outlet, as well as a physical outlet used to charge gadgets and technologies I chose to design my own website from scratch, create social media platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter), and design business cards, coffee cup sleeves, subway ads and an ad to be placed in magazines like Nylon and AP to cater to my ideal customer. This was the most fun I had with a project in a very long time, probably because I was and remain incredibly passionate about the concept.

Outlet advertising

We were guided through Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to design a logo from scratch, going through a lengthy process of trial and error. Some days we would have to do 50 thumbnail sketches of our logo to test out a multitude of options to go through the process of selection by our professor, classmates and peers. Exercises like this were common and while they seemed tedious, they really helped us evolve our concepts from something basic to something remarkable. Throughout the semester I probably had more than 100 different variations of my logo and it wasn’t until the night before my final that I came to a final decision on which one I absolutely loved.

What's your outlet campaign

Creative technology courses, whether they are Photoshop, Illustrator or even CAD, are very time-intensive. I would work on elements of my final every single day, and still felt like I could have used more time! I think the most important things to remember when taking this course are: 1. Time is of the essence and to use it as efficiently as you possibly can and 2. Never be afraid to take risks and try variations you wouldn’t consider, while absorbing the constructive criticism you receive from a multitude of parties. You never know what may ring through or resonate with your process hours, days, months or years after the conversation has passed.

outlets and shapes

Tags: graphic design, Advanced display graphics, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop

Creating the Set for the LIM College Fashion Show

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 @ 10:58 AM

by Meghan McDermott

Here at LIM College we take our fashion shows very seriously! Once the concept and theme are decided and settled, it’s game time until show time.

This past semester I was fortunate enough to become the President of our Visual Club. I had been a member of the club, but taking on the role of President was a challenge. I struggle when it comes to delegation and organizing elements of projects that need to be handled outside of my control. But this was the perfect opportunity to test and train myself to adjust while still demonstrating a positive attitude and building morale for my team.

Confectory stage drawing

This year our show was titled Confectory -- an industrial and darker version of our childhood game Candyland. We were instructed to design and create props - such as giant candy pieces with industrial elements - that would blend into the three sections of the show. The sections were the Peppermint Forest, Licorice Forest and Candy Castle. My team and I came to a collective decision to execute giant Blow Pops, 6-foot tall licorice trees and trippy candy mushrooms.

confectory white board planning

With our venue (Hammerstein Ballroom) being double in size from last year’s, it was certainly a challenge to design props that wouldn’t become entirely lost in the venue. The props seemed massive in the visual studio, but relatively small in proximity to the actual stage at first. After adjusting and gathering input from the Fashion Show Production team and Stage Director, we came to a perfect creation, beyond even my original vision or 3D rendering.

confectory planning 3d image

If you’re a Visual Merchandising student or even just a creative and hands-on person looking for something more at LIM College, please feel free to inquire about and join our Visual Club! We’re ALWAYS thrilled to welcome new members and eager to see what you can bring to the team.

Confectory real stageConfectory prop creation










Tags: LIM College Fashion Show, Confectory, Hammerstein Ballroom, Visual Club, 3D rendering

Visual Merchandising: History, Theory, Practice (and Blow Pops)

Posted by LIM College on Wed, Aug 06, 2014 @ 02:54 PM

by Meghan McDermott

If you were in any of our visual studios during the Spring semester, or attended LIM’s Fashion Show, you’d know that the giant Blow Pop props you saw were my little brainchild of a project. Once I mastered the process of creating them in a way to make them as realistic as possible, I realized I wanted to carry the project on into inspiration for a final class project.

In Professor King’s Visual Merchandising: History, Theory, Practice course you are presented with a multitude of challenges every single time you step foot into the classroom. While it was a bit stressful at first, it was easily one of the most influential and effective courses I’ve taken at LIM College. Being presented with a challenge, time constraints, specific requirements and limited resources you are truly forced to find a way to be both innovative and inventive all while making it work with what you have on hand.

Blowpop drawing

Our final project was to create a POP (Point of Purchase) display. I chose Blow Pop and decided to implement my recent itch for graphic design into the design. I updated the entire packaging of a traditional Blow Pop box by drawing it out in Illustrator and created a sticker film, applying dimensions to transfer on to the actual box fixture that I created out of foam core. The box mimicked the large cardboard ones filled with 50+ lollipops that you would find in Costco or a convenience store on display.

Giant blowpopgiant blowpop with stick












 To really tie it all together, I made another giant Blow Pop with a wrapper that tied into my new color scheme and flavor launch for Spring. The final element, which I enjoyed most, was ripping apart a toy car to create a way for the giant Blow Pop to rotate to add an element of interaction into the POP. The bottom sleeve was filled with lollipops for customers to try and provided a way to house the product, which is the most important part of a fully effective POP.

To see this POP in person take a walk through our Fifth Avenue location and check out the alcove by the computer lab where our class projects are housed.

Tags: fashion show, visual studios, Blow Pops, point of purchase

Summer Internship in Italy

Posted by LIM College on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 @ 10:46 AM

Visual Merchandising major John Lynch is spending a month in Italy this summer interning with the retail design company Grottini. Recently, a fellow Visual Merchandising student, Liz Berardi, joined him there in Porto Recanati. This past weekend, the two of them spent time in Florence exploring all of the beautiful sights the city has to offer. Here they are in Santa Croce.

LIM College students in Santa Croce

Tags: Grottini, Italy, Porto Recanati, Florence, Santa Croce

Saks Window Display Challenge

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Jun 30, 2014 @ 12:41 PM

by Meghan McDermott, Class of 2015
Saks LIM College window

Window by John Lynch & Alexis Gonzalez

design:retail and Saks Fifth Avenue hosted their third annual Student Window Challenge on June 5. This daylong challenge was held inside the windows along 49th Street at the Saks Fifth Ave flagship store. The competition included twelve students, six of whom were from LIM College -- John Lynch, Elizabeth Berardi, Alexis Gonzales, Monai McCullough, Vinessa Soluri and Christian Alzate.

LIM senior John Lynch described the challenge as an amazing experience. “Being surrounded by such prominent people in the industry and working with them one-on-one was so gratifying. How many people have the opportunity to say that their name is on a Saks window?”

Students were paired up and presented with a challenge to create a window display with only the supplies they were given on the day of the challenge. Nobody knew what the supplies would consist of until they were presented to them, so a great deal of innovation, creativity and thinking on your feet and under pressure were necessary in this competition. While teams worked independently, they had the advantage of gaining insight from prominent industry professionals and guidance from the visual directors at Saks.

Saks LIM College window

Window by Elizabeth Berardi & Monai McCullough

Senior Liz Berardi reflected upon her experience in this competition as well as her time here at LIM. “LIM College has provided me with many great opportunities that are preparing me for my future. Getting the chance to work with industry professionals along with classmates to construct and execute conceptual designs is very rewarding.”

You can check out the incredible work by these dedicated students at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store through June 20.

Tags: Student Window Challenge, design:retail, Saks Fith Avenue

Old School’s New School

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Jun 23, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

by Meghan McDermott, Class of 2015
mannequin next to picture

Graphics by Lindsay Nunnyer
Mannequin by Alexis Gonzalez

For the past seven years, LIM College has collaborated with George Little Management, the producers of the National Stationery Show at the Jacob Javits Center, to design and execute the display for the show’s Best New Products section.

This year our driving force of inspiration was a middle ground between left and right brain. We were heavily influenced by technologic advancements in society as well as the natural and organic creative process that comes with being a young industry professional -- a play on Old School’s New School.

The team was able to convey these contrasting elements in a cohesive way by incorporating technology, hardware, geometric shapes in a 3D manner, and a bold color palette against matte black and white.

big green gem necklace

All Things Wedding by Meghan McDermott

The team decided to design display tables trimmed with computer parts that we extracted from old units by hand ourselves. Each one of us had the opportunity to trim a bust form. Each and every bust form revealed not only our interpretation of the evolving mind of a young and modern industry professional, but our own personal flair as well.

LIM College is renowned for providing students with opportunities outside the classroom that allow us to evolve and excel as individuals and industry professionals. Through client meetings in the board room and visual team brainstorming sessions, to the sourcing of supplies within a budget and time allocation for effective install and breakdown, the National Stationery Show is a challenging opportunity that provides as an extremely beneficial learning experience.

mannequin with yellow bikini

Do-It-Yourself by John Lynch

mannequin with artistic bikini

The Desktop by Liz Berardi

Tags: George Little Management, National Stationery Show, Best New Products

Road Trip: An International Education in Visual Merchandising

Posted by LIM College on Mon, Jun 02, 2014 @ 03:11 PM

In May 2014, 13 LIM College Visual Merchandising students, one alumna and three faculty members hit the road and headed to Montreal to get an international perspective on their field as guests of JP Metal America. JP Metal America is one of the largest store fixture producers in North America and is at the cutting edge of retail design trends.

Visual Merchandising Chair Eric Feigenbaum blogged about the experience for VMSD. Read about the trip here.

Road Trip   Eric Feigenbaum   3 students resized 600

Photo by: Ashley Woo

Tags: visual merchandising, retail environment, international business

Looking Forward to My Final Visual Merchandising Internship

Posted by LIM College on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 @ 11:40 AM

by Erin Meade (Class of 2014)

During your senior year at LIM College you do a final internship for the entire Spring semester. This semester has flown by and I can’t believe it’s already time to do my own Senior Co-op internship at Alexander Wang.

Although it was a struggle to find one, I am very happy with the internship I chose. I interviewed at many places, including: Chanel, Dior, and John Varvatos. I was very nervous to hear back, as I didn’t know who I was going to hear from first.

It is an exciting experience because you’re entering your final semester and you’re hoping for a job at the end of it all. I am well-prepared to start my Senior Co-op internship in Visual Merchandising and have gained a lot of knowledge from my professors here at LIM College over the last three and a half years.  I am ready to grow even more as a person through this internship and I’m looking forward to starting it. As for now, I can only hope to have the best experience and get as much out of it as possible.

VM 121813

Tags: visual merchandising, senior year, senior co-op internship, Alexander Wang

Visual Merchandising Project: Graffiti Meets Luxury

Posted by LIM College on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 @ 11:38 AM

by Erin Meade (Class of 2014)

One of my last projects in my Product Presentation class was to design a storewide promotion. The inspiration we were given was graffiti. As a group we had to design four vitrines and a mannequin presentation. They are now on display in LIM College’s 5th Ave building.

We decided to drive home the graffiti theme by implementing the design on the skirt and all the vitrines, which would house props that would tie back to the display.

Erin Meade - Grafitti Skirt

Erin Meade - Graffiti Skirt

Our store concept was high-end, therefore we had to take the graffiti and make it look elegant and neat. We decided to grid the backdrop of the mannequin by using frames that would be graffiti-ed as well. We also added one mirror on the backdrop to help give it that high-end luxury look.

Erin Meade - graffiti jewelry

We used black pumps, a gold rich necklace and vibrant lipstick throughout the vitrines. Each vitrine had it’s own purpose – to promote the fashion apparel and accessories that would be featured at this high-end store. Overall, the concept was fun to design and implement.

Erin Meade - graffiti shoes

Tags: Product Presentation class, graffiti theme, 5th Avenue