Before you delve into the realm of trade show graphics, take some time to learn a few tips and tricks so you don’t end up wasting valuable resources on errors that can easily be avoided. With these dos and don’ts you can ensure that you end up with a great design that attracts customers for the long term.
1. Find your message. What is it you are trying to communicate to your visitors with your trade show graphics? Sample messages could include professionalism, courtesy, expertise, affordability, and so on. By deciding on your message you will give yourself and your designer guidance as to what graphics will work best.
2. Get dimensions. In order for the printer to correctly render your artwork at the size you want it to be the files sizes need to be submitted accurately. For example, if you are printing a 32 x 80 banner then the trade show graphics need to correctly scale to that size. Ensure your designer knows what size you are printing so they can create file the right size. At KCB Graphics we have Adobe Illustrator templates for all of our displays which include the required bleed information and important details about submitting your files for printing.
3. Decide on format. What format of banner or stand are you using? Each type of display requires different layouts, so before you get into graphics you need to focus on what format you are using so your graphics can be designed correctly.
4. You need full files. Sometimes files can be flattened – so the individual layers of the graphic are all combined such as a high resolution Jpeg image. By submitting your native files with fonts converted to outlines and all the layers included, your printer will have a bit of discretion in adjusting trade show graphics to fit the print, rather than sending it back to you for redesign.
5. Go high quality. No one is impressed by poor graphics, so be prepared to up your budget if necessary to get the best. The same goes for print quality – higher is better.
6. Keep it streamlined. Just because you are paying for the design of trade show graphics doesn’t mean you should try to cram the most amount of items possible into your design. Some of the most successful designs are the simplest as they convey a clearer message to the audience.
7. Start now! The last thing you want is to have to rush the design and printing process, particularly if you have trade shows coming up. Start early so you have time to adjust your design and get it right.