Skip to main content

Trade Show Displays: Essential Printing Tips for Success

By July 10Services13 min read
Trade Show Displays: Essential Printing Tips for Success

In the competitive world of exhibitions, our aim is always to stand out. We understand that trade show displays serve as the frontline ambassadors of our brand, catching eyes and drawing in potential clients from across the exhibition floor. The importance of visually appealing and strategically designed banners, table covers, and backdrops cannot be overstated in this bustling environment. Choosing the right materials and designs for our booth can significantly impact the overall success of our participation in any event. The right combination of vibrant custom printing and engaging booth design can transform our space into a customer magnet.

As we dive into the specifics, we will explore the selection of materials that can elevate our trade show displays, including considerations for durability and visual appeal in banners and tablecloths. Design tips will guide us toward creating eye-catching displays leveraging retractable banners, vinyl banners, and step and repeat banners to maximize our booth’s visibility. We’ll delve into essential printing techniques that ensure our message pops and resonates with our audience. Further, assembling and setting up our display effectively ensures our message is conveyed precisely as intended. By focusing on these key areas, we’re not just preparing for another exhibition; we’re gearing up for success.

Choosing the Right Materials for Your Trade Show Display

Creating the perfect exhibit for a trade show involves selecting high-quality materials that not only complement your business but also ensure durability and visual impact. Here, we will explore the types of materials you should consider, their durability, and cost factors to help you make the best choice for your trade show displays.

Trade Show Displays Essential Printing Tips For Success 1

Types of Products

When it comes to trade show options, a variety of products are available, each offering unique benefits. Popular choices include:

  • Fabric Banners: These are favored for their lightweight, ease of transport, and versatility in mounting. Fabrics can be displayed in numerous ways, making them a practical choice for dynamic trade show environments.
  • Foam Boards: Known for its lightweight nature and beautiful satin finish, foam boards, including brands like Sintra and Komatex, are easy to work with, making them ideal for creating eye-catching exhibits.
  • Vinyl Banners: This material is excellent for mounting graphics on diverse surfaces such as aluminum and acrylic, providing flexibility in design and application.
  • Acrylic Signs: Often used for signage, these materials are durable and provide a clean, professional look.
  • Coroplast Signs: With its light weight and attractive finish, Coroplast is versatile for painting, laminating, or direct printing, offering a cost-effective solution for striking displays.
  • Posters: Utilized for their durability, posters printed using Lambda, Inkjet, and Lightjet are common for their ability to withstand frequent use.
  • Backlit Displays: To truly stand out, backlit displays, including alternatives to traditional Duratrans, offer vivid display options that capture attention.

Retractable Banners 8

Durability Considerations

Selecting materials that can withstand the rigors of trade shows is crucial. Most damage occurs during setup and dismantling, so it’s important to choose materials robust enough to handle mishandling. Consider how often you’ll use the graphics throughout the year and the typical conditions at events. Materials like modular aluminum frames, heavy-duty polyester, and durable vinyl ensure longevity and maintain a professional appearance throughout their use.

Cost Factors

Budgeting for trade show materials involves balancing cost with quality. While some materials may seem expensive upfront, their durability can offer savings in the long run by reducing the need for replacements. For example, investing in modular displays can be cost-effective as they are reusable and adaptable for various shows. Additionally, understanding the shipping and handling costs associated with different materials can help in making a budget-friendly decision without compromising on quality.

By considering these factors, we can choose the right materials that not only enhance our trade show display’s effectiveness but also align with our budget and durability needs.

Design Tips for Eye-Catching Displays

When we set out to design our trade show displays, our primary goal is to capture attention and communicate our brand message effectively. Here are key design elements that can significantly enhance the visual impact of our displays.

Color Selection

Color plays a pivotal role in how our brand is perceived. Utilizing the 60% – 30% – 10% rule can help create a balanced and impactful color scheme. This means applying our primary color to 60% of the space to unify the design, our secondary color to 30% to create contrast, and an accent color to the remaining 10% to highlight important elements. We must consider the psychological impact of colors and choose those that align with the emotions we wish to evoke in our audience. For instance, while blues and greens convey professionalism and calm, warmer colors like red and yellow can draw attention but should be used sparingly to avoid overwhelming visitors.

Font and Text Sizing

The clarity of our message relies heavily on our choice of font and text size. Key messages should be large and placed higher than waist-height to ensure they are easily readable from a distance. It’s advisable to keep text simple and limit it to a few impactful headlines. When selecting fonts, we should aim for those that complement our brand and enhance readability. Fonts should be large enough so that they can be read from at least 3 feet away, with a general rule of thumb being 1 inch of text height for every 3 feet of viewing distance.

Great Logo Design 3

Incorporating Visuals and Logos

Effective use of visuals and logos is crucial for reinforcing our brand identity and making our booth stand out. We should ensure that our company logo is visible from different angles around the booth to strengthen brand recognition. Incorporating high-resolution images and well-formatted graphics is essential to avoid any visual fidelity loss, which can detract from the professionalism of our display. Consider employing a professional designer to ensure that all visuals are up to spec and reflect our brand’s aesthetic accurately.

By focusing on these design elements, we can create a trade show display that not only draws the eye but also effectively communicates our brand message and values.

Essential Printing Techniques

In our journey to create impactful trade show displays, mastering essential printing techniques is crucial. We need to ensure that our visuals are not only eye-catching but also of high quality. Let’s delve into some key aspects that will help us achieve stellar results.

Yes You Still Need A Business Card In 2024 1

Debossed business card design by Startup Heroes

High-Resolution Printing

When dealing with large format graphics like banners and backdrops, understanding the appropriate resolution is vital. For large graphics intended to be viewed from a distance, a resolution of 100dpi at full size is typically sufficient. However, for graphics that include fine details or are meant to be viewed closer, such as in exhibition backdrops, the resolution needs to be higher. In these cases, working at 300dpi at a scaled size is advisable, which effectively provides a high-quality output at the actual size. This approach ensures that even when viewed up close, our images remain sharp and clear.

Adjusting Print Settings

The correct setup of our artwork is fundamental to achieving the best print quality. We should always communicate with our print vendor to understand their specific requirements, such as the necessary scale, resolution, and whether bleed or crop marks are needed. For instance, if a vendor requires a .25″ bleed on each side, we must adjust our artwork accordingly. Additionally, large format items often require different color modes, typically CMYK, to ensure color accuracy and consistency. By adhering to these specifications, we can avoid common printing issues such as poor color matching or unsatisfactory resolution.

Fashion Lookbook 2

Using the Right Inks

Choosing the right ink is essential for both the appearance and durability of our trade show displays. For digital printing, options like UV ink offer a robust solution, providing a durable finish and high-quality print on various substrates. For screen printing, plastisol inks are popular due to their ease of use and vibrant colors. However, for more eco-friendly options, water-based inks are preferable, though they require longer drying times and specific conditions to cure properly. Understanding the properties of different inks and their applications allows us to make informed decisions that align with our display needs and sustainability goals.

By focusing on these essential printing techniques, we ensure that our trade show displays are not only visually striking but also professionally executed. This attention to detail in printing will significantly contribute to the overall success of our exhibition presence.

Assembling and Setting Up Your Display

When we’re at a trade show, the assembly and setup of our display are as crucial as the design and printing stages. Proper assembly ensures that our display looks professional and functions as intended, attracting and engaging visitors. Here, I’ll guide us through a step-by-step process to assemble our trade show display efficiently and address common issues that might arise during the setup.

Top 7 Trade Show Printing Services In Nyc 1

Step-by-Step Guide to Assembly

  1. Preparation: Before arriving at the venue, we should ensure that all components of our display are accounted for and in good condition. This includes banners, backdrops, table covers, and any structural components like frames or stands.
  2. Layout: Start by laying out all the pieces on the floor of our booth space. This helps us visualize the final setup and confirm that we have all necessary parts. It’s important to refer to any assembly instructions provided by our display manufacturer.
  3. Frame Assembly: If our display includes a modular frame, we’ll begin by constructing this base. We usually connect the poles and support structures, ensuring each piece locks securely into place to provide a stable foundation.
  4. Graphic Installation: Once the frame is up, we can start attaching the graphics. For banners and backdrops, we’ll use hooks, clips, or Velcro strips to secure them to the frame. It’s crucial to smooth out any wrinkles and ensure the graphics are aligned correctly for the best visual impact.
  5. Electrical Setup: If our display includes lighting or digital components, we now connect these elements. We must carefully organize wires and cables to avoid a cluttered appearance and ensure safety.
  6. Final Adjustments: Walk around the display to view it from various angles, making sure everything looks aligned and professional. This is also a good time to make any necessary tweaks to the positioning of graphics or structural elements.

Common Issues and Fixes

  • Loose Graphics: If banners or backdrops sag or come loose, we need to tighten the attachments or add more securing points. This might involve additional clips or stronger adhesives.
  • Unstable Structures: Should any part of our display feel unstable, we must immediately reinforce these areas. This could mean adjusting the connectors on modular frames or adding extra supports to heavier elements.
  • Lighting Problems: If our lights aren’t working, we should check all connections and replace any faulty bulbs. It’s also wise to have spare bulbs and cables on hand to quickly remedy any issues.
  • Alignment Issues: For displays that appear off-center or uneven, we should adjust the base or reposition the graphics. Sometimes, simply shifting the weight distribution or tightening the frame joints can resolve these problems.

By following these steps and being prepared to handle common issues, we can ensure that our trade show display is assembled correctly and presents our brand in the best possible light. This attention to detail in the setup phase plays a significant role in the overall success of our exhibition efforts.


Embarking on the creation of a trade show display involves a strategic blend of choosing the right materials, mastering design elements, and employing essential printing techniques to ensure our booth stands as a beacon of our brand’s identity. Through careful selection of durable and visually appealing materials, we lay the foundation for success. Implementing eye-catching design principles and precision in printing ensures our message is not only seen but also resonates with the attendees, fostering brand recognition and engagement. The meticulous assembly and setup further cement the display’s effectiveness, smoothing the path towards achieving our exhibition goals.

As we conclude, it’s pivotal to reflect on the collective impact of these factors on the ultimate success of our trade show presence. The synergy between material choice, design finesse, and printing excellence sets the stage for a compelling presentation that captivates and connects with our audience. Looking forward, it’s essential to view each trade show as an opportunity to refine and perfect our approach, drawing insights from each experience to enhance future displays. With dedication to continuous improvement and attention to detail, our trade show displays will continue to evolve, propelling our brand toward greater visibility and success in the competitive market landscape.


What are the key elements of an effective trade show display?

An effective trade show display should be open and welcoming, allowing attendees to feel comfortable entering and exiting without feeling confined. Removing any physical barriers can help make your exhibit, company, and brand more noticeable and appealing to potential customers.

What strategies can help you succeed at a trade show?

To achieve success at a trade show, ensure the event is a worthwhile investment before committing. It’s important not to manage the booth alone; having assistance allows for necessary breaks. Dress appropriately, be prepared to engage and answer attendee questions, use a checklist to stay organized, and time your arrival strategically.

How can you make your trade show booth more eye-catching?

To enhance your trade show booth’s appeal, select an appropriate size for your space and make the most of your location. Maintain your brand’s theme consistently, use bold and bright colors to stand out, create an interactive experience for visitors, and consider offering giveaways to attract more people.

What features should a good trade show banner have?

A good trade show banner should include high-resolution images and maintain consistent branding with your company’s name and logo prominently displayed. It should also feature clear, easy-to-read typography and compelling call-to-action phrases. The design should effectively combine brand identity with visually attractive elements to draw visitors to your booth.

© Printing Digital™ USA Inc.
Manhattan, NY 10013, USA