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DISPLAY DESIGNER/VISUAL MERCHANDISER Display designers design and decorate displays in stores and other public places. They sketch designs or use a computer to produce plans. They also source or make, the furniture and props for the display. Some work as visual merchandisers, arranging products according to company display policy. Most display staff work 37- 40 hours a week. Saturday work, early starts and late finishes may be required, especially in busy periods (eg Christmas). * Junior display personnel earn between �8,500 and �10,000 * More experienced display designers could earn up to �20,000 Visual merchandisers may travel with a display team. The work can involve walking, lifting and carrying, climbing ladders and working in the hot and cramped conditions of store windows. Display designers need: * creative flair * a good sense of colour and style * to be imaginative * to understand the image the business is trying to project. Practical skills such as carpentry and needlework are useful, as is the ability to use a computer. Good planning skills and physical fitness are needed. Educational requirements are not specified, but most complete a recognised course before starting their first job. These range from degree and HND courses, to BTEC National Diplomas and NVQs/SVQs. Most display personnel work for retail companies. ...read more.


Then, in liaison with store management and the buyers, they come up with ideas within a set budget. They sketch designs, or use computer-aided design and perhaps make models with colour swatches to show how the merchandise will be presented, making best use of the available space. Once the designs have been accepted, the display designer sets about sourcing materials. A display can be complex or minimalist, depending on current fashions or a display designer's particular style. A summer display could involve building a garden scene, using deckchairs, parasols and decking. Other designs may involve a simple series of panels, or a blown up photograph used as a backdrop. A display designer will have to consider colours and fabrics, lighting, the shape and grouping of props, the type of flooring and dressing of mannequins. Props can usually be hired or bought from specialist companies, but most display designers have to make some props and for this they will need a range of skills, from painting to carpentry. Stores are increasingly moving into what is called 'retail theatre', where they create a complete visual experience for the customer within a themed area. Displays must also be maintained and display staff are responsible for making repairs and dismantling and cleaning the relevant areas between each design. ...read more.


Training A display associate who has completed a college course is likely to start in a junior position within a store display team. They carry out a range of tasks such as cleaning and preparing windows and in-store display areas, ready for dressing. They will also arrange displays and make and repair props, all under the supervision of a display manager. A new entrant is likely to be given a practical test where they may have to suggest approaches to a window display or dress mannequins. Some stores promote talented retail staff into display positions and offer them the opportunity to attend courses on a day release basis, although this route is now less common. Relevant full-time courses include the HND in Display Design offered by the Central College of Commerce, Glasgow. Subjects covered include 3-D design, lighting, CAD and designing Pay and Conditions A display designer generally works a 40-hour week, including Saturdays. Although the work is not restricted to nine-to-five, unsociable hours are rare. It may be necessary, however, to work late in order to finish a display, particularly before Christmas when weekend work may also be required. A new entrant who is straight out of college might expect to earn between �7,000 and �10,000, depending on the location and their age. Starting salaries in London may be as high as �12,000. After two or three years, a display assistant can earn between �11,000 and �15,000. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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