Tate Modern – retail shop windows

The Graphical Tree was commissioned by Tate Modern’s retail team to create a set of eye-catching festive window graphics. The glass display was to be shown in parallel to, and insupport of their seasonal in-store Christmas props – in this case, oversize geometric origami ornaments. The ornaments themselves were inspired by the recent addition to the world-famous contemporary art gallery, the somewhat exaggerated, and interesting angles of the Blavatnik Building.

After undertaking a site visit with the client, and taking measurements of the areas to be covered, we decided that a series of flat colour, large-scale overlayed cut vinyl decals would be perfect. These would be produced using a mix of solid, translucent and frosted materials and cut to the shapes of the props. The shapes would create depth through the layers of vinyl, as well as an interesting dynamic display visible from the concourse, and from within the shop itself.

By creating our geometric origami’s as either solid shapes or as outlines, it allowed the graphics to be positioned in a way so as not to inhibit the view of items on display within the windows and therefore blocking something catching the eye of a potential window shopper. This was a Christmas window display, after all, and the chances of visitors being on the lookout for gift ideas was high.

There are many things to take into consideration when preparing and producing retail displays, including brand, product, environment and customer. All have to be considered to achieve the best possible result for the brief – who is the display aimed at; where is it going; what product, or products, are on show; and how should it look in relation to the brand aesthetic and style? You can read more about how graphics can convey brand personality here.

One of the really nice things about the final installation was making use of the lighting from within the Tate Modern shop. The store’s spotlights were positioned to shine onto the cut vinyl decals, both illuminating the different grades of colour, and creating a shadow pattern on the concrete flooring of the outside walkway. Effectively expanding the scope of the graphics beyond the glass, and into the iconic building itself.

As with all well known and iconic buildings, it’s an honour, a pleasure and a huge responsibility to undertake and complete a graphic display project well. This was also the case with our work for the Royal Academy of Arts and the Liberty department store in London too. As a result, we’re no strangers to enhancing the beauty and appeal of an already well known and much loved architectural environment using well thought out, expertly produced and lovingly installed graphic solutions.