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Sarmistha Tarafder's Articles


Trade Show Display Design: The Principle of Repetition


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In my recent short visit to the desert kingdom of Dubai, I was amazed to find the Mega Star Brad Pitt, in all his galore, popping out of the glitzy lobbies here and the fancy shopping malls over there. It seemed that the he was bigger than life, hotter than ever and very much at ease in the desert surroundings.In the midst of this fantastic Brad Pitt phenomena what caught my eye was this retail display that was so elegantly designed by Chanel. It is based on one primary principle; the principle of repetition.

I was intrigued by the thought that living in a global society has no way diminished our strong connection to the ethnicity of this primal design principle that is so prevalent in the middle-eastern art. Islamic art and architecture is built on this cardinal principle of repetition. Islamic artists developed geometric forms with a knack for “repetition, symmetry and continuous generation of pattern.” In this display, Brad is looking up at you with an aura of mystery, away from you and again at you. The right side of his profile is the repetition in form and the varied angles of his posture generates a continuous pattern in time and space. Indeed a very fluid presentation!

  tradeshow display design

The Principle of Repetition is a driving factor in designing trade show displays. Where contrast is all about showing differences, repetition brings a sense of unity, consistency, and cohesiveness. It helps to hold our attention in the maze of chaos and disarray.

Our Brains Love It

Remember, the waking nights learning multiplication tables in your third grade? That is because our short-term memories can forget something (like a person’s name) in less than a second. Repetition helps us to embed information in the longer-term memory. Designers use it with tact and skill. Marketers use it as a staple.

At a sub-conscious level, repetition is a key to persuasion. Repetition creates a pattern, which gradually grabs our attention and then creates the yearning for familiarity. Big brands are aware of it and hence the focus is always on building brand equity.

Use repetition in your trade show booth design and in the delivery of your marketing message, and you will have a phenomenal impact. Remember “Yes We Can“?

“The more strikingly visual your presentation is, the more people will remember it. And more importantly, they will remember you.” — Paul Arden

© 2013 by Sarmistha Tarafder