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Ten Ways to Design and Kit Out Your Pop Up Space

When designing and kitting out your pop up shop, you need to create an interior that looks smart and professional, but is functional and helps you achieve the aims of your pop up. Don’t forget that whatever you do, it must help you get to the end point that you’re after, not divert you from it!

Your pop up's signs

Signs are important. Look at the shops around yours; they more than likely have invested in clear signs, corporate identities and clever displays to make it comfortable for customers to come in and spend money.

The main sign above your shop may be your brand name or the name you’re using for your pop up project. Alternatively, you may like the sign that’s already there and keep it; many pop ups are very honest about their temporary nature and keep existing signs and shop fittings deliberately.

Interior decorations for your pop up

The good news is that you can make any interior look great without major work, and it makes a huge difference to the experience you offer your visitors. Start by giving the shop a really good clean. You just need hot water, soap and the willingness to put in some hard work.

After you clean the shop, you can evaluate whether you need to undertake any repairs, whether it just needs a new coat of paint, and how you can brand the interior.

If some of your shop is painted and looks fresh and new, it can make the rest of it look even scruffier, and you may find you have to paint the whole shop! You can decorate yourself, but if you’re not handy with a paint roller, hire somebody to decorate for you. Most shops are a fairly neutral space, so white emulsion is ideal just to freshen up.

Add key colours from your branding

Consider using the key colours from your branding to add highlights or create features. Use the colours of your brand in decorating your pop up. If you match a feature wall, some furniture or even just hang bold fabric that’s the same colour, you’ll reinforce your brand.

Retail psychologists have studied the way colours work in shop spaces. At the most basic level, neutral colours can calm people, and vibrant colours can excite them. Light colours make spaces feel bigger, and deeper colours make them feel more intimate.

Lighting your pop up

Make sure that all the display lighting in the shop is working, and highlights the areas you want customers to focus on.

You may decide to replace or refurbish existing light fixtures. This task can be simple, for example replacing bulbs or changing a simple fitting that’s broken. If it’s more complicated, such as changing a whole range of fixtures, employ a qualified electrician.

If your shop still has dark and gloomy colours, consider using floor-standing lamps, table lamps or angle-poise lamps in different places to brighten up the shop. You can buy small clip-on spotlights quite cheaply to create a dramatic effect.

Branding inside your pop up

Bring your branding (which is usually a two-dimensional logo and set of colours) into the three-dimensional space of your pop up shop.

Use whatever fonts you’ve settled on for your branding consistently across your pop up. Restrict your fonts to one or two, no more. Think about how you can apply the fonts from your brand style to everything, from price tags to posters. You can spend your budget getting these commercially printed or take a more creative approach by using stencils and rubber stamps.

Whatever form your branding takes, when it comes to the inside of your pop up, apply it in a way that’s:

  • Clear

  • Creative

  • Consistent

And don’t forget, your branded elements must be demountable – you need to clear it all away when you leave so that the shop returns to an empty, unbranded shell ready for future tenants.

Your pop up's window displays

Your shop window is a vital part of your branding and sells your pop up to passers-by. It needs to be individual and eye-grabbing, but also explain what your pop up’s all about in visual terms. In short, it’s a piece of shop-front storytelling.

Here are a few tips for making your window displays pop:

  • Use a backdrop to separate the window from the shop. This backdrop doesn’t have to be solid; it can just be a freestanding screen or a hanging cloth. But a backdrop makes your window display stand out more clearly by separating it from the visual clutter in the shop behind it.

  • Make maximum use of the height and depth of your window. By displaying products or props at different heights, you catch the eye of people at different places in the street. Use purpose-built plinths or stacks of boxes to create different heights and levels or suspend items using clear nylon fishing line.

  • Consider the size of the products you’re displaying. If they’re small, using a plinth and a backdrop may help give them a big visual impact if they’re seen from further away. If they’re large, use just one or two and they’ll have a big impact!

  • Use lighting to make your products or props stand out even more. Many windows have built-in spotlights, but if not, you can use clip-on spotlights or even angle-poise lamps effectively.

Stock displays

Everything you’ve considered for your window displays applies equally to the displays you create inside the pop up. Here, though, you need to mix the big visual impact with the display of a wider range of products.

However you furnish your interior, remember that it must be functional, match your brand and meet the aims of your pop up.

Organize your pop up in zones

One key space in your shop is the transition zone – the area immediately inside the door, where customers who walk in work out where to go and what to do. The transition zone is a space where people need to adjust to the lighting, the displays and all the other stuff they can see. You’ll see people slow down or even stop near the door.

Think about the other zones you may need. These zones are specific to things you need to do in your pop up, so they’re tailored to your specific project.

External decorations for your pop up

Redecorating or redesigning your shop front doesn’t need to be expensive. You can do a great job yourself or employ a professional. Whatever you do:

  • Keep it clean.

  • Keep it simple.

A-boards and street signs

Putting signs on the street is an effective tool that you can use in a variety of ways. The most common type of sign is an A-board, which has two identical sides joined by a chain or rope to form an A-shape. But you can also get signs that spin or stand on a pedestal.

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