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In Search of the Perfect Daytime Storefront: I. Defining the Challenge

It is probably obvious to anyone following my blog that I am after a formula for the perfect daytime storefront. The challenge is how to make the window display standout against all the visual noise in the environment. Whenever, in my travels, I see a candidate for analysis I snap a photo. There is a thing or two to learn from this drugstore in Vienna. First, as noted on previous occasions, bold white graphics applied on the glass work in daylight because they are, by contrast, lighter than everything else in the visual field. Here they both frame the window and define the main sign. Second, in order for an object in the window to compete with the dynamic visual motion created by the varying light levels, shadows and reflections on the storefront it must be the one thing that these are not; i.e., a really bright color as in the bright Christmas tree decorations shown. Third, there must be enough of this color and at a large enough scale for it to be visible from at least 10 ft and probably 20 ft away.

Bridget Gaddis, is a Licensed Architect and LEED-accredited Professional practicing nationally, and locally in the Washington DC area. She holds professional degrees in both Architecture and Interior Design, and with a comprehensive background in commercial retail design, planning and construction has completed projects for such for such well known brands as Chloe, Zegna, and Bvlgari. Her career began in tenant coordination and site planning for two well-known Cleveland developers, followed by six years in store planning for a national retailer. After a move to New York City in 1997, she spent the next years working for architecture firms specializing in retail projects. In 2011 she started her own practice in Alexandria, VA. Ms. Gaddis is the author of two blogs dealing with architectural subjects.

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