Simplicity in arrangement as well as in color is desirable. It is a safe rule not to display a great variety of articles in the same window, as a complicated arrangement usually appears confused. The most effective windows are made by the use of designs which are not intricate, and which are easily understood at a glance. The easiest way to dress a window tastefully is to arrange a unit, composed of as many articles as desirable, and to repeat this unit to fill one or more tiers of the entire window. Examples of this style are illustrated in subsequent pages. Where the primary purpose is to display as many goods as possible without regard to color-effect or harmonious arrangement, it is advantageous to trim the window close up to the front, and to fill it full enough to entirely cover the front space. Where color and form are considered, fewer articles may be used; they may be placed farther apart, and should be set back in the window deeper. Great height is undesirable, as it makes the display disproportionate as inspected from the vantage point in front, besides requiring a great quantity of goods.

In trimming a window with the purpose of getting as much of a show as possible with a few goods, the surroundings should be carefully considered; that is, the background, the light, and the distance from the front. Concerning the latter there is a good rule to the effect that a thinly dressed window should be arranged well back from the glass, and should be furnished with a strong background to bring it out boldly. A window dressed entirely to the front has no effectiveness as a whole, but depends for its effect entirely upon separate details, for the reason that it has not the requisite distance to give the eye the proper focus. But when the display is withdrawn two or three feet within the glass, the proper focus is obtained, and the eye takes in the whole design with pleasure. When the intention is thus to have the eye of the would-be purchaser take in the entire display at a glance, the arrangement of the articles should begin at a point at least two feet removed from the front, and there should be a similar distance from the glass sides (if any). Nothing is lost in beauty when the window is filled to repletion, provided always that care is taken to give the impression that many displays in one harmonious whole is intended.

It is desirable not to encumber the bottom of a show window with too many small objects. The bottom should serve to a considerable extent as a foil or background against which the articles shown may be strongly relieved and their value thus enhanced. This end is lost by crowding the ground; definiteness is sacrificed, and none of the articles shown are as effective as otherwise. The use of a background is to sharpen and strongly define what is placed against it. Many articles too closely grouped nullify this purpose. The same loss of effect ensues from allowing one object to overlap another; the outlines are confused and each article loses in effectiveness. Therefore, don't crowd your windows, don't crowd your floors; be particular to have each article clearly defined against the background, and don't allow one article to overlap or stand partially in front of another of the same tone or color. If the colors contrast, the overlapping is not detrimental, because the contrast then serves the same purpose as a background, namely, it defines the form sharply.