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Presence on the Tradeshow Floor: The Importance of Signage

After you’ve worked hard in making your trade show exhibit stand out, after you have amazing events and speakers, after you have a great looking and very creative booth, you still need to make sure that people will be able to find you. There are a few ways to do this, but the most effective is still a good sign. And what makes a good sign? you may ask. It is possible to make a sign that will not help you at all, even though it might be beautiful and creative. These are simple rules of thumbs you should use in order to have both creative and beautiful as well as effective trade show exhibit signs.


Size and Position

It is a good idea, and a good investment, to spend some money on a good sign. Make it big and place it high, so people can see it from as far as possible.

And while the sign needs to be eye-catching and attractive, it also needs to convey your message clearly. In the next paragraphs we will explain how to do this effectively.



When I was a middle school English teacher I struggled to make my student focus on the message of their papers instead of on the font and color (even though only black, 12-point Times New Roman was allowed!). And many times they would choose fonts that were really pretty but impossible to read.

The same goes for your signage: avoid elaborate fonts, as beautiful as they might be, to write something you want people to read and understand, especially from far away. Clean, sans serif fonts are much more legible than more intricate ones. When it comes to fonts’ ornaments, less is a lot more.


Color Contrast

The same rule for typography goes for colors: keep it simple and legible.

The contrast of your sign needs to go along with your company’s colors, but it also needs to be pleasant to the eye and easy to read. Avoid colors that blend together or that hurt the eye.

Tools such as Adobe Color CC can give you an immediate palette of complementary colors, so you don’t have to waste your time with trials and errors.


Message Hierarchy

Do not put too much information on your biggest sign. They are just a way for people to find you, not to let them know everything about your company. But those big signs shouldn’t be your only signs. In fact, you should have a hierarchy of signs in order to get your message across.

1. Your primary sign needs to have just your logo and maybe a simple, short tag line. This needs to be seen from 50 to 100 feet away.

2. Your secondary signs don’t need to be as large, and they can include more interactive media, such as graphics, videos, slide shows, and pretty much anything that you think will make people interested to learn more about your company. This sign needs to be visible from 10 to 50 feet away.

3. Finally, all the extra information you want to offer to those who want to learn more about your company can be included in signs with more but smaller text. These signs would need to be seen from up close and be a supplement to the information offered by your staffers, or something basic to tell your visitors while they wait to be helped.


Types of Signs

Not all signs are born the same. While your sign can be made of plastic, fabric, cardboard, and other printed materials, it can also be a projection, creating an attractive moveable sign. It can be a laser projection of your logo or something similar. Before designing unconventional signs like these, make sure they follow the event rules. There’s nothing more frustrating in situations like this than planning and investing in something that you can’t end up using!


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