Signage that Sells: Getting the Graphics Right

Trade show signage has a big job. It needs to be compelling enough to attract an audience, and clear enough to educate visitors. It should reflect your brand and complement the overall design of your trade show booth.

Successful graphics for trade show banners, retractable banner stands, and trade show booth backdrops are generally clean, uncluttered and easy to understand. There is an art to distilling your message in a way that invites inquiries. “Don’t make me think,” says Steve Krug in his classic guide to effective web design. That mantra holds for communicating in broad strokes with words and images in trade show exhibits.

Speak Your Customers’ Language

To get the most mileage out of your signage, customize it for each target audience. Retractable banner stands, mural graphics, and demo counter graphic panel wraps make it easy and cost effective to change your messaging as needed throughout the year.

Also consider:
• Teardrop banners
• Hanging banners
• Poster displays
• Digital signage

Ask an Expert

An experienced trade show displays designer can work with you to refine your message to excite interest and engage both the casual passerby and trade show attendees who are already familiar with your company. Detailed attention to the proper use of color, font and layout creates effective signage that rises above the visual “noise” on the trade show floor. High-impact images can say more than words.

Graphic Guidelines

• Logos should be visible from 25 feet, headlines from 10 feet.
• Identify focal points throughout your booth and ensure that each is well lit.
• Clean, uncluttered designs capture and retain attention
• Quality images can enhance your message + create a mood.
• Images of people and lifestyle shots attract the eye.
• If using metal or textured signage, readability may not be consistent.
• Visitors will not read a wall of words; focus on the big-picture message.
• Graphics should have a cohesive look and feel that ties in with the overall booth.

A Few Don’ts

• Avoid using ALL CAPS. They are hard to read and have less visual appeal.
• If you want people to read, skip visually complicated fonts.
• Don’t be clever to the point of confusion.
• Don’t use italics or underlining for emphasis.
• Centered text is disruptive. It forces the eye to continually readjust to grasp meaning.


Looking for inspiration? Contact us at Bay Area Exhibits in Santa Clara, CA.