|You decided on your new trade show
display . . . but youíre not done yet. Now, itís time to design the
graphics. Every day we see completed graphics, many of which we feature
in Past 5 Days. Some amaze us. Others not so much. You want
Below are 10 tips to consider when designing your next trade show
1. Look Up. Think about what elements you want seen either 6 ft. away or across the show floor. Avoid putting important elements at floor level. Higher elements will draw your customerís attention. Those should be the ones you emphasize.
2. Hire a Graphic Designer Who Understands Trade Show Graphic Design. Most donít. Donít spend thousands of dollars on a new display only to use lackluster, unprofessional graphics. Itís the equivalent of working out to build a 6 pack and then wearing a muumuu. A professional graphic designer will know how to source quality files, format them, design your graphics, and hit your deadline.
If you donít know what resolution, PMS color, vector art and bleed are, trust me, you donít want to be responsible for file preparation. Hire someone who knows what theyíre doing. The graphics are as important as your physical display, if not more important, and they can make or break your display presentation.
3. Your Display isnít a Paper Brochure. This is the single biggest mistake most exhibitors make. You want your messaging to be clear, concise, and to the point. Leave the details for the printed or electronic collateral. No one is going to read text heavy graphics so keep it simple and impactful. Get the help of a copywriter if you can. Avoid clichťs and tired expressions like ďinnovativeĒ and ďunique.Ē Get to the root of the problem and state your solution. Strong messaging that can be digested in 15 seconds or less will make your display MUCH MORE effective.
4. Image Quality Counts.
Photos should be high resolution or vector, especially for your logo.
Always have native, clean artwork for projects. This is critical! Spend
the extra money to get good quality stock photography. Itís not that
expensive and can make a HUGE difference in your booth. This isnít a
billboard ó people will be walking up and even touching your graphics.
Nothing makes a graphic designer cringe more than being handed a
business card and asked to pull a logo from it. If you worked with a
designer to create an identity for your company, ask them for the native
files. You may not be able to open them, but that doesnít mean your
designer wonít be able to. This is why you hired a professional in the
first place, remember?
5. The Devil is in the
Details. View your graphics rendered on
the display. Sometimes elements of the physical booth really have an
affect on the flow of your graphics. You wonít know until you see them
so make sure that you view them before you print them. Be sure that you
know where accessories like shelves and monitors are placed. Exact
measurements are critical. Too many times the graphics arrive and they
look amazing, vibrant, and perfect . . . until you realize that the
monitor cuts off half of your logo. Seeing the graphics rendered will
help prevent mistakes and be worth the added time.
6. Create a Flow. Sometimes clients have a million ideas in all different directions. Just because your display has four different graphic surfaces that doesnít mean that you should treat them as such. Make sure your graphics tell a coherent story. If your client wants each of their four products featured, one on each panel, thatís fine. Find a way to tie them together. Make sure that the color scheme and design as well as your copy works together. Donít re-invent the wheel with each panel. You want the overall design to work together ó not confuse.
9. Scale is Everything.
You have the opportunity to create graphics of a larger than life
magnitude. Seize the day! Go big or go home. Donít waste your time
designing 20 foot graphics that are only meant to be viewed from two
feet away. Again, let them use your collateral for details and smaller
views of things. Think about what you want people to see from three
aisles over. Show them something that makes them want to visit you.
10. Cut Your Losses. If your client wants to do something really dumb and youíve tactfully advised them why they shouldnít, then let them do it. Theyíll learn. They can only smack their thumb so many times with a hammer before they eventually discover how to hit the nail.
© 2013 by Glenna Martin