Here is my write up from seeing ‘The Hateful Eight’ in 70mm. I posted on my nine apple trees blog, but the movie experience is applicable to retail experiences, so re-blogging it here as well. Enjoy.



Checkout Lighting

Over the holiday I saw new check lane lighting installed at my local grocery store. I have to say I love it. They’re slim, cool white LED light strips that shin up on the magazines, and down on the candy.

The rest of the store is well lit with warm lighting. These cool white lights “pop” and bring a lot of interest to the check lane. I feel they really elevate the shopping experience – make it seem classy and higher end.

Some might wonder if all this lighting ultimately gets lost, but the use of cool lights really makes the experience stand out.

Well done.


Peg, Slat, Grid

We’re working on designing a whole new interior merchandising system for a national retailer this month. As I’m working on the design for their new fixtures I found myself revisiting a common question the retailers and brands have been asking since the dawn of modern retail design.

What is the best route to go when merchandising product on hooks – pegboard, stall wall or wire grid?

Over the course of twenty plus years of designing retail solutions, I don’t have an answer for you. Like most everything in life: it depends.

Here’s my take on these three ways to peg product in your store.


Usually made from masonite or hardboard, sometimes plastic, pegboard is likely one of my favorite ways to merchandising hanging product. The holes are usually 1″ x 1″ on center, and about 1/4″ in diameter. The board thickness is usually a 1/4″ as well.

Pegboard may be painted any color you want, or covered with a durable paper coating to make it look like wood grain, or your favorite pattern. You can even direct print right on the surface. Often time retailers will use perforated cover sheets of paper to color block in-line sections of gondolas. Target started this trend about ten years ago, and now it’s everywhere.

Pegboard is a great looking, great functioning solution that works great on endcaps, in-line and outposts. It’s not as common on power wings, but you certainly can use the material for that application. There are a ton of pegboard accessories available. The one inch centers can make merchandising a challenge, when trying to squeeze everything in.


Pegboard Skinz from Panel Processing turn white pegboard into a signage opportunity.

Slat Wall

Slat wall is typically viewed as “old fashioned” by marketers, retailers and brands. Which is a shame because it’s so versatile. The slats are usually spaced 3″ – 4″ apart, and offer unlimited spacing left to right, unlike pegboard.

It used to be that all you could get was slat that looked yellowed when it came out of the box. These days though you’re limited only by your imagination. Typically made from MDF, modern slat wall slats may be milled in a variety of patterns and spacing. Taking it a step further, you can get slat wall that looks like old barn boards, brick or faux distress metal.

Slat wall is heavy and cumbersome so you usually only see it fastened to real walls, and not on gondolas too often. But it’s a fantastic solution, if you can convince the marketing and retail peeps that it’s no longer old fashioned.


Barnwood slat wall from Dimensional Impact

Wire Grid

Go into any store and I bet you the power wings are all wire grid. It’s a ubiquitous way to peg these displays that’s worked for decades. Less common is wire grid merchandising in-line or on outposts, but it’s out there. We specified tons (literally) of wire grid for merchandising gift wrap and party goods when I worked corporate.

The grid wires are usually an inch on center. Wire grid is almost as good as slat wall for limitless merchandising left to right. You just have to look out for the vertical wires. They make hooks that are notched for the vertical wires, which helps in fine tuning merchandising.

The down side of wire is it’s not the most attractive thing in the world. You can powder coat it any color you want. One cool trick: put a backdrop of a contrasting color or an image behind the wire grid to snazz things up a bit.

cpw e display wire grid eg.jpg

Wire grid can be fun to play around with, such as the curved shapes on this battery concept. (designed by Chris Weigand ~2003)

Parting Thoughts

There’s a good chance you’ll be dealing with legacy issues – not wanting to throw everything out and restart from scratch. So you may have two or more types of hanging merchandising systems to contend with. I don’t think it’s too big a deal if you mix and match. Often power wings will only come in wire grid, and pegboard is pretty standard for in-line gondolas. Merchandisers are good at keeping track of accessories throughout the store, so they’ll know where their stash of pegboard hooks is.

Regardless of which route you go, standard hooks and accessories are prevalent for each system. And there are common sizing standards for each system, so if you do have leftover accessories you can usually continue to find a spot to use them. You can even find some hooks that work in multiple systems, such as peg hooks that work on slat wall.

For me, I make my selection on a case by case basis. All three can be made to look incredible and all are functional.

I hope this little snippet overview gets you thinking about merchandising, and that it was helpful. Cheers!


Chris Weigand is president of Chris Weigand Design, LLC, a full service retail design consultancy based in northeast Ohio. Chris has been designing awesome hanging product merchandising, and other retail design solutions for two decades. He’s lent his expertise to many of the world’s largest retailers including Walmart, Target, CVS and Lowe’s. Contact him at (330) 858-8926 to discuss your retail design needs. He and his team would love to work with you.


Easy Guide to Wall Color Selection

Looking to freshen up your retail or office space? While it’s great to hire a professional designer, and we’d love to help, that may not always be practical. But picking colors can be daunting, even if for a seasoned designer. So are some of my favorite tips to selecting a cohesive and effective color scheme for your space.

Different Colors, Different Walls

Accentuate the architecture of your space by highlighting a wall, walls, archway columns or other details with a different color or colors. The effect can be a subtle monochromatic approach, or paint an end wall with a pop of contrasting color for a more dramatic effect. If the space has windows, the colors will all change in tone, hue and shade to create a bona fide mood in your space.

Breakup the monotony of a large space by painting walls different colors, painting a ceiling, and painting architectural details a contrasting color.

Breakup the monotony of a large space by painting walls different colors, painting a ceiling, and painting architectural details a contrasting color.

Try a Monochrome Scheme

An easy way to differentiate rooms, or zones within an open area, or to tie together several smaller rooms is to pick one color for a space, and then select other tones of that color. Once again, if the light changes throughout the day, you’ll get a space that takes on a personality of its own. It also allows you to experiment with bold, or dark colors without them being overpowering. You can add color interest with furniture, art and accessories. Think of the scheme as a colorful blank canvas. How to do it:

Often paint suppliers will have color cards featuring several tones of a color on one chip - use that as your guide to monochromatic bliss.

Often paint suppliers will have color cards featuring several tones of a color on one chip – use that as your guide to monochromatic bliss.

Leverage a Free Color Pro

Every paint supplier provides color guides that make color selection a snap. For home interiors, I’m a fan of Sherwin Williams HGTV guides such as Global Spice. These companies employ color experts that take all of the guess-work out of choosing colors. You can mix and match to your heart’s content and there really no way to screw it up, so to speak. You can be as bold or subtle as you’d like. The best part is it gives you the confidence you need, and gives you more time to roll your sleeves up and paint.

Take the guess work out. Companies like Sherwin Williams have their color experts put together palettes all the time. As a designer, I have no problem relying on their color expertise.

Take the guess work out. Companies like Sherwin Williams have their color experts put together palettes all the time. As a designer, I have no problem relying on their color expertise.

Brand Guidance

Let your own brand be the guide. The most successful brands will play out in every touch point they have with guests or customers. Even if it’s your home – color says a lot about you and your lifestyle. Using these other tips in concert with your brand language you can create a very effective color story in your space. You’ll create a dynamic palette that will look and feel authentic.

Here you can see how we take a brand and from there gather inspiration, and craft a color story that employs several of the color tips I like to use.

Here you can see how we take a brand and from there gather inspiration, and craft a color story that employs several of the color tips I like to use.

Have Fun

It’s paint. It can be changed easily and inexpensively. If something isn’t working, change it. Don’t be afraid to do something bold. You can often times balance the colors of your space with furniture, accessories, and other details. A bright wall color can focus attention where you want it. A stark white interior can be just as effective as a monochromatic scene in setting the mood. Understand what you’re trying to accomplish and then confidently go communicate with color.

Yes, if you have the means to hire a design consultant, do so. We will help guide the process, provide insight and creative ideas that can amp up the experience (and allow you to focus on other aspects of your business). But if that’s not an option, I firmly believe that with the help of these tips you can create the experience you want for your space.


Chris Weigand is a professional designer specializing in retail displays, fixtures and interior spaces. He has over 20 years experience designing solutions for many of the largest brands and retailers in the world. Whether your project is a single store or 2,000 stores, his design consultancy will help you create an authentic, on brand experience for you and your guests. Contact Chris at 330-858-8926 or email him at chris@chrisweiganddesign.com for more information.

CLE Auto Show

We recently visited the Cleveland Auto Show and thought we would share a few photos with you. Auto shows are great for getting design inspiration from not only cars and trucks, but also the exhibits and displays.

And there was not a lot of duplicity in terms of exhibits with what we saw at the Detroit show earlier this year. In fact Subaru had a nicer presentation in Cleveland than Detroit (which is considered a larger and more “prestigious” show). We liked the illuminated slats on the display shown in Cleveland; these could be seen from a great distance and attracted us to the Subaru exhibit.

One thing we noticed in Cleveland vs. Detroit was a fewer interactive displays in Cleveland. The Motor City show had them everywhere, especially right next to each car. Our hometown show relied more upon traditional signs. Overall though the use of interactive signs is the highest it has ever been, according to our non-scientific visual survey.

Here are some pics from the Cleveland Auto Show. Enjoy.

Organic Seed Display

This week I spied this wonderful organic seed display at Lowe’s, and wanted to share it with you.

The display is clean and simple, with a nice higher end feel for a temporary display. It looks well constructed. It even spins. I like the repetition of four panels to create the display, which keeps costs down. It was around six feet tall, and easy to shop.

The header graphics take up an appropriate amount of space, showcasing the brand, and “100% Organic” message.

The seed packets are well designed with a high-end glossy finish. Bright color graphics of plants and vegetables allow guests to quickly navigate the display visually. A great example of letting the packaging do its job instead of relying on fussy, and expensive supplementary wayfinding signage. The packaging also was unique for it’s “zip-loc” like closure. Sometimes you want to save seeds for future use. The closure is a brilliant addition to seed packets, which are usually paper and once they are open they’re exposed to the elements, or could get lost.

Note, in regards to organic seeds, it’s important that consumers purchase seeds that are free of neonicotinoids, a form of insecticides found in many commercially grown plants and seeds. The chemical is placed in the seeds and is subsequently in the plants that grow from the seeds. Neonicotinoids have been found to disrupt pollinators ability to navigate and ultimately survive. When buying seeds for your garden, we encourage you to purchase responsibly sourced seeds that are organic, free of harmful chemicals and are GMO free (i.e. non-genetically modified).


Chris Weigand Design, LLC does not endorse Lowe’s or the makers of these organic seeds, or their display. But we do support any effort to create a healthy and sustainable environment for ourselves, our children and future generations.

North American Int’l Auto Show Roundup

We took the opportunity to visit the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan a couple of weeks ago. And I thought I’d share with you some of the things we found interesting there.

Auto shows are great venues to see the latest trends not only in-car design but also in color, textures, materials. And the cars are not the only attraction. For retail designers there are plenty of great displays and exhibits to get inspiration from.

If you can’t make it to Detroit, which is the premiere show in the U.S., visit one of the other big shows such as New York, L.A. or Chicago if you can. Otherwise find a show near you. The auto show in Cleveland is one of the largest in the country, and many of the cars and displays from the big name shows can be seen just up the road from us, here in Northeast Ohio.

Observations from Detroit:

  • hybrids and electric cards are becoming mainstream, and the design of their charging stations it unique opportunity for branding and design
  • matte paint finishes continue to trend. Volvo and Mercedes had a lot of matte cars
  • interactive kiosks were everywhere, even replacing the static info boards by the cars on display. (Also you can find them in car dealerships, by the way – was in a Jeep dealer this past weekend and they had kiosks all over)
  • the design of exhibits seemed heavy on hospitality with nice desks, benches and seating areas, including benches with tablets and headphones for listening to music
  • the Buick display stood out for its use of fine finishes and curves. Lots of curves and attention to details
  • great graphic design on display, both in exhibits and on cars
  • large video walls were prominently used. Infiniti, Scion and Chevrolet in particular. You could see through Chevy’s LED video walls.