How to Increase the Impact of your Trade Show Graphics?

How to Increase the Impact of your Trade Show Graphics?

Graphics are the critical, if not the most critical part, of any trade show exhibit. They tell people who you are and what you do. With the exception of well-trained exhibit staff, effective graphics are likely to leave the next most lasting impression on your audience. So don’t cut corners on the graphic portion of your investment. The appeal and image of a trade show graphic can make or break sales results.

Trade show graphic design is quite different from designing traditional media/print ads. So make sure you get a graphic designer who understands large-format trade show graphic design to do the job.

Key areas to pay attention to when designing trade show graphics:


On the show floor, you probably have only three seconds to draw the attention of those walking past your exhibit and tell your story. Using a few choice words and taglines that best describe your core business is the key to your pitch. Keep them relevant, clear and concise.

No heavy emphasis on text, your brochures or website can speak the finer details of your products or services. Design your graphics to drive people to pick up your brochure or visit your website.


Who are your target audience and potential customers? Design graphics that will appeal directly to that group. As far as possible, use images, shapes and icons to illustrate information and convey your messages, it is far more effective than words.

To ensure your images look as sharp as possible, always use high-resolution images and print from the native files. When taking or purchasing photo for marketing ads, always find out its resolution and enlargement limitations. Make sure you get the highest resolution available. Not all images can be enlarged and still retain their quality. It is hard to make a smaller picture look good bigger, it is likely to look grainy, blurry or pixelated.

Position and Composition

Position and compose graphics strategically so that company’s name and logo are legible when viewed from a distance and help visitors to locate you easily on the show floor. Always display them at the maximum height allowed. For island and peninsula booths, logos should appear frequently enough to be seen from all angles.

Graphics that present key points about your company such as tagline and its products/services are usually displayed at or just above eye level so that no visitor struggles to figure out who you are and what you do. Compose your graphics to create a flow and tell a story.

Before designing and positioning your graphics, make sure to study the overall structure of your stand. In particular, take note of panel breaks and other design elements so as to avoid breaking up graphics unnecessarily.

Colours & Fonts

Colour is an important element of visual communication, it is one of the keys to evoke the right emotional state to create a connection. Therefore carefullychoose the colour and tones that help you to establish identity, stand out and convey your message. Warm colours like red, orange and yellow reflect passion, happiness, enthusiasm and energy – they attract more attention when used selectively. On the other hand, cool colours like green, blue and purple are usually calming, relaxing, and somewhat reserved – use them to give a sense of calm or professionalism.

Having said that, for branding purposes, make sure the chosen colours stay consistent with the brand identity of your company. Also, as a rule of thumb, for the graphics to give a cohesive look, try not to use more than three colours in the design.

To ensure legibility of your message, make sure text colour provides a sharp contrast with the background and avoid overlaying text on a busy background.

To improve readability, design graphics from left to right, top to bottom and use no more two fonts per graphic. Choose fonts that are easy to read and suitably whisper or scream your message.

Materials for Graphics Printing

The effectiveness and appearance of the graphics also depend on the material on which they are printed. For example, laminates and vinyl are suitable for a glossy, bright and sleek visual. While tension fabrics are great to capture the vivid details of your graphics.


Lastly, do not forget the creative use of lighting can help draw focus to your booth. Should you use spot lights to accent? Or, maybe backlighting? To enhance the effectiveness of your graphics, make sure they are are well-lit.

Displaymax offers a wide variety of trade show graphics, large format printing and production options, for both big and small projects. If you require design services, please feel free to contact us!