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Gallery Design Tips

Beauty, Brawn, and Brains: Wizard Z1 CMC

Jim Miller

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What's important in designing an art gallery/frame shop front end? Can you suggest a checklist of attributes? Here's a start - add your ideas:

1. Versatile displays that can be moved and/or modified to suit certain sizes & kinds of art & objects (such as sculptures)

2. Neutral wall colors? Strong wall colors?

3. Clear identity - when visitors step in, they immediately realize they're in a gallery and frame shop. Avoid mixed messages about purpose of the business. I.E., don't display pet collars, motorcycle parts or food items in the gallery, even if those things are available for sale.

4. Moulding samples neatly displayed in plain sight - sliding panels? How many samples?

5. Hard floor covering, neutral color and easy to clean.

6. Design table(s) with generously-sized, flat, smooth spaces to lay out projects, set up to remain uncluttered between customers.
 

Paul Cascio

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Sliding panels are a great way to offer a lot of choices without overwhelming the customer. Bypass (sliding) door hardware and tracks made by Stanley is readily available at Home Depot. It's cheap and it doubles your display area.

Lighting is the other element that's very important for a gallery. Flexibility is important. I'd recommend hiring a lighting consultant and visiting as many galleries as possible to see what works and what suits your taste and budget.
 
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Ylva

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I'd say it also depends on the area.

When I designed my shop at first location, I was strongly advised against my red velcro walls.
I disagreed and went for it. I was right.

Where the shop is located is important. If you're in a high end location, your interior design has to reflect that.

I catered to my special location and it works for me, I am 100% sure it would not work for anyone else though.
 

FramerInTraining

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Jan 10, 2014
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New York, NY
Have more than one design table in case two or three customers show up at the same time as they usually do during lunch. :)

Beautifully designed framed samples.

Giant glass displays in tandem with the small displays manufacturers provide.
 
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Greg Fremstad

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Sep 4, 2002
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955
Location
Eugene OR
If you're gonna do gallery shows, either serve champagne or other white wines. Red wine stains are very hard to clean up! Our gallery had many roll-around panels. L shapes and H shapes of different sizes and we moved them every week to create an indirect path to the back wall where our design table and samples were. After we hung a new show, we'd patch up the nail holes from the last show. We were always paid for our framing BEFORE we would book a show. We sold mostly original, one off, art pieces. Artists would bring all of their friends and family so we could show our framing skills.
 
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