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How should you create a message hierarchy in your trade show display graphics?

by Nomadic Display 4. June 2010 00:00
Every graphic element of your display has a job. This job may be to direct attendee’s attention to your display. It may be to identify your company. It may be to spotlight a new product or service.

Just as every employee in a company has a place in the organizational chart, clearly delineating what their duties are, each graphical element in a display should have a role in the messaging hierarchy. Every message communicated via your graphics is important, however, they’re not all equally important. Make sure that one message doesn’t compete with another. Instead, graphics should work together as a team, complementing each other and presenting a unified, cohesive message.

Graphics become progressively more complex as visitors work their way deeper into your exhibit and message. Initial contact should be bold, bright and simple, while interior pieces detailing technical specifi- cations, for example, will necessarily be more complex. Yet a unifying theme — color scheme, company logos, and design elements — should tie these graphic ‘levels’ together. The number of levels required at any given event will depend on the size and complexity of the exhibit, as well as the number of product groupings and products.

Moving from the simplest to the most involved, we encounter the following levels:

InsideboothCompany ID Graphics
These are your highest and largest signs, and typically they are the simplest. You need these graphics to be visible from outside the exhibit, possibly at different height levels, easy to read, visually bold and uncluttered.

Directional Graphics
Smaller, and used to direct visitors to specific product groupings or within a complex exhibit, directional graphics must be easy to locate, readable at an appropriate distance, and clearly worded. Additionally, care must be taken that directional graphics do not detract attention from the products or other messaging.

Product Graphics

These are your bite-sized graphics: just enough for one individual to interact with at a time. Location and scale are critical. This is the place to put your detailed information, formatted in such a way to reinforce your branding and marketing message. These graphics are often used to complement product samples or demonstrations.