When it comes to creating a trade show display that has maximum impact, good graphic design is essential. You only have a matter of seconds to grab someone's attention as they walk past your display, so your graphics need to communicate who you are and what you do within the shortest time possible.
Many times the role of display graphics is underestimated. Trade show graphics are your primary communication tool so they need to reflect your company or product's sense of style, appeal to your audience and be easy to read. Design for display graphics is very different from brochure, packaging or website graphics. Your designer needs to balance additional factors into exhibit graphic design including viewing distances, lighting, surface shapes and sizes, text, fonts, colors, imagery, and messaging hierarchy.
What makes this even more difficult is that exhibit graphics often come last in the decision-making process about the display, which means there may be tight time constraints, and of course everyone involved with the display design may have differing opinions. What we've found through working with thousands of exhibitors is that it helps to have a framework for working through the design process. While each graphic has its own role in your messaging hierarchy, your graphics should also complement each other, and work together well as a unified whole.
In general, your highest, largest areas are reserved for company identification. These graphics tend to be visually bold and easy to see from a distance. Once visitors are at your display, there are graphics designed to direct them to the various areas within your floor plan – live presentation areas, product demonstration areas, and so forth. Finally, there are up-close graphics meant for individual consumption. These might include product benefit descriptions, service locations, or maybe instructions for self-driven interactions. Your display may utilize some or all of these types of graphics.
It's a good idea to ask your designer to provide a rendering of your display with the graphic images superimposed on it, so that you may preview the overall graphic direction. In addition to getting a feel for how the display looks, a preview also enables you to ensure that the location of graphic areas won't be obstructed by booth furnishings, your products, or visitors engaged with interactive elements.
Use our handy checklist to evaluate whether your graphics are working.
How do you know that your graphic design is working for you?