Blood-soaked eyeball bouquets? Check. Giant murals of fantastical creatures? Got it. Some stores use their window displays as more than just a means of hawking their product. Check out these two and their commitment to high art.

CEO Richard Hayne established Urban Outfitters on Penn’s campus in 1970. Then known as “the Free People Store”, Urban Outfitters and Hayne immediately honed in on their target market — pseudo-hippie college students that, although enraptured by ‘70s counterculture, had mom and dad’s cash to pay for the concerts, courses and clothing necessary for self-discovery.

Hayne has since grown his humble store into a multi-billion dollar business that also includes Anthropologie and Free People, but Urban Outfitter’s continual success is earned by adhering to its original business model, which is reflected in the design concept created by Ron Pompei. Pompei has been the primary retail design guru for Urban’s stores for over 25 years, and keeps them packed by creating what Robert Dickman and Richard Maxwell, authors of business how-to The Elements of Persuasion, call “storytelling”. By placing each store in an architecturally intriguing space (the Cincinnati Urban retained the vaulted ceiling and stained glass of the space’s former church) and by regarding regional culture and personality in both decor and product (the Stockholm Urban sells studded leather Absolut Vodka cases), Pompei avoids the homogeneity of other chain retail stores and relates directly to each city’s customer base.

The stores’ interiors, resplendent with not only the aforementioned vintage store feel but also hip soundtracks and spiral staircases that lead upward to more floors of shabby-chic wallpaper and furniture, all contribute to the “transformational experience” one has when shopping at a Pompei outpost. With clothing piled tightly in hidden nooks and on lofty hooks, it seems that the quality clothing doesn’t want to be found — the store challenges shoppers with a keen enough eye to root out that perfect shirt among racks of dreck.

Urban’s decor is indeed transformational in its ability to personify a moment in time in the paradigm-shifting life of a college student. On Sansom, the juxtaposition of the minimalistic glass storefront and free-spirited clothing communicates everything Hayne, Pompei and company wish to say to the Urban shopper; at this juncture in your life you are a million different things, and no one expects you to choose.

It’s impossible to walk past Modern Eye without wondering what is going on in the storefront windows. Brooke Morris, the primary optician and head of the store’s lab, is lucky enough to utilize her BFA from University of the Arts to supplement the science of her job. After a year of working with Modern Eye as a sales associate, she joined up with Mitch Gillette, the store’s art director to design the unconventional and creative window displays.

Unlike typical stores, Modern Eye’s window displays never feature products. Instead, they utilize vision or eyes themselves as “springboards for visual pranks or surrealistic puzzles.”

The displays vary in content and style, ranging from the labels on the cans currently in the windows to “eyeball dolls”, handmade dolls made from finds from yard sales and thrift stores. The team is intent on making sure that each window is unique and as such, many hours go into handcrafting elements of each. According to Morris, the displays have even been the subject of art-class field trips.

But what happens to them after they run their course? There is no set schedule for the rotation of the window displays, which change after the store feels their time is up. Some of the art ends up inside of the store. Look for Morris’ favorite, a tree sculpture that has tinted optical lenses growing out of it, the first display she was able to use her opticianry skills for. The current window will end up donated to an animal shelter — under those labels are cans of dog food.

Surprisingly, the displays are not without controversy. “Alien Optometry,” a diorama that parodied the film Alien Autopsy, depicted “a ferocious multi-armed alien who had tied up an Optometrist Barbie doll in order to perform an eye exam on another child doll.” The display was a favorite of many and an outrage to some. Despite vocal protests, the store owner, Dr. Chris Anastasiou, refused to have it removed in a true commitment to the integrity of the work.

Next time you walk down Walnut Street make sure you take a peek in this window. What you see might amaze you — and if it doesn’t, you need to get your eyes checked.