How To Design Trade Show Graphics

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A strong trade show booth display doesn't focus on text; it's the graphics that drive the truly outstanding presentations. Trade show graphics are the most important part of any unit. They must fit properly with your company's other graphics, such as a logo or a common color scheme. They must also represent the product you're promoting at each convention, while not conflicting with that product. Finally, they must be eye catching on their own, or they won't lead you to success. Balancing all of these needs can be daunting, but with a little preparation, you can ensure that your tradeshow displays are a popular hit.

Step 1: Set Up For Success
Becoming a great designer requires you to think like one and have all the tools that one would use. Among these tools, the most important are proper drafting utilities and computer assistance with design software. Programs like Adobe Fireworks and Photoshop are very helpful, as they will allow you to visualize what your tradeshow displays will look like without having to print anything. They don't take the place of physical scale models, but they can be a big help to someone starting out in trade show booth display design.

Step 2: Pick Your Shapes
After you've got the right tools, it's time to get to work on the meat of the design. The rest of the process is highly subjective and will depend largely on your impressions of what your company represents and what the product you're marketing means to consumers. Trust your instincts, and then get ready to make some choices. The first decision to make is what basic form you'll use. This basic form should be something that will underlay all the trade show graphics you produce, and may even be carried over into the physical structure of your trade show booth display. It should be something that represents your company, but it need not be terribly complicated. For instance, if you want your company to represent soothing, you should choose curved shapes like circles, ovals, and half moons. If you want the feeling to be more edgy, use a square or another sharp-cornered shape.

Step 3: Choosing Colors
Once your shape is defined, you need to think about your color palette. This palette will guide every choice you make, far beyond the simple logo design. Everything from the background color on the tradeshow displays to the text of fine print needs to be harmonious, or very carefully picked to contrast. There are many online utilities to help you create color schemes, but you can also use one of your own devising. You need not shy away from using shades of one color; although it may seem boring, the effect can be quite dynamic.

Step 4: Start To Sketch
The shape and colors that you will use lay the foundation for the real work. You can only debate the fundamentals for so long before you're ready to make your first sketch. If you have an inspiration, you can jump to this step first - just be sure that you don't neglect the others after you've gotten your ideas on paper. The sketch should combine all the elements you've previously envisioned, smoothly uniting them into something that will create the exact impact you're looking for. Don't be afraid to tweak the sketch, or to scrap it and start all over again if it just isn't working out. Remember the process, and don't be concerned if you find yourself back at step 1. Follow the steps again, and you will soon create trade show graphics that are perfect for your company.

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