Help! Desperate for help on exhibition stand design

Hi! This is my first time posting here… and my first time designing anything remotely this large scale - eek! I work on my own so have no one to bounce ideas off or anyone to tell me when I’m way off base.

The Directors of the company are quite picky about what should go where as far as content.

When I agreed to this, I expressed my concern having not done this previously but the company we are ordering from and who are printing did say they would give me advice during design. That HAS NOT happened, unfortunately. Now I am just freaking out a bit, as this is a big investment for the company and I don’t want to mess it up!

Just to explain, the height is 2.25m, it is composed of 10 individual panels, from L to R - end cap, 2x 700mm width, 1x 500mm flexi, 2x 900mm width, 1x 500mm flexi, 2x 700mm, end cap.

An additional challenge is the company wants to be able to use the above panels in different configurations later - maybe only one or two in different combinations. Something else to think about!

To me it looks really plain, but Directors are happy. I originally had more elements, but they have asked to remove and simplify. Please give me advice! Also, I have an Adobe stock image across top of left 2 blue panels, but will this print correctly at this size??? I am looking at removing it for worry - help! Any other advice to ensure this will print correctly at full size?

Many (many many many!) thanks for your help.

An exhibit booth is never seen empty.
There will be several dozen people walking by it and at least 1 or 2 people manning it.
If you put 2 people in that booth (one talker and one listener) no one will see your copy.
Same goes for the stuff below the desk under the video.
The important stuff should probably be toward the top third of the panel.

As for images, In most cases somewhere between 50 to 100ppi will work for imagery. For a tradeshow booth, you want to impress so good rez imagery is important. If just background imagery with no real purpose other than to decorate, if you are having resolution issues, blur it on purpose (rez up and apply a gaussian blur.)
When in doubt, print it out. Even a small section printed then taped to a wall at viewing distance will be informative. Are you proofing those blue densities? If that is a white transparency overlay for that lighter designwork, it will print differently than an actual solid Pantone callout. What you might see on your monitor might not be what you get.

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Then you should take steps to make it happen. Being in contact with the output provider before and during design, understanding their specifications, and limiting or eliminating the possibility of surprises on either end, are all paramount to pulling this off, whether it’s your first time or the thousandth.

PrintDriver’s already given you some solid advice above. Heed his words. But Internet strangers can only offer generalized guidelines, and could even be dead wrong on technical points, given their lack of first-hand knowledge of the output methods to come. Contact that printer.

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Thank you for your feedback - this is really helpful.

One of my biggest hangups is that the panel with the list of services in the centre is intended to later be used as a stand alone panel at the office. That’s stumped me as far as making sure these are all listed higher, clearly, without any cross over… in real life the podium will probably placed against/near the left panel, and the display will be slightly wider than the 90 degree angles shown here. I don’t know if that’s going to help me much? I’m going to have a serious think about how I can rearrange.

This might be a stupid question but the image in question is 6000px x 4000 - is this likely to come out ok at 1000mm width or am I pushing too much here?

I don’t think I did the blue densities as transparencies, but now that you’ve called that out I will triple check this!

I should clarify that I have plenty of information about specs and formatting for print, on this front they have been really great. However I had been told I would receive advice from their in-house design team on general layout etc, as I have no experience designing exhibitions or anything near this scale.

Imagine yourself at a trade show. They’re usually crowded and choatic. Every booth is trying to attract attention. The whole thing amounts to sensory overload for the attendees.

So let’s say there are several people crowded around and in the booth, with a dozen more in the aisle wandering here and there. The booths to either side are, say, bright orange and green or covered in all kinds of eye candy that screams for attention.

Then in the middle of all this commotion is your booth. It has typography that’s pretty much unreadable because people will be standing in the way. The dark blue and white color scheme just sort of recedes into the background in comparison to the surrounding booths that are pulling in everyone’s visual attention. If someone does manage to catch a glimpse of the words on the back of your booth, they’ll read, “Data Installation & Supplies.” Well, it’s not exactly clear what that means and it sounds sort of boring anyway.

So what would you do? If it were me, I’d probably just walk on by and head to the booth next door with the big, colorful imagery of exciting people promising to sooth my angst, improve my life and offering me real cool free goodies to stash in my tote bag.

A trade show booth doesn’t work all that well if it’s boring and doesn’t instantly communicate what it’s about. There’s just too much competition for attention. Instead, you need to look at your few square metres of floor space as being your area in which to create excitement and an engaging experience that will lure in curious passers-by to find out more of what you’re selling. And what you’re selling is not Data Installation & Supplies. What you’re selling is the solution to your target audience’s problems.

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A 6000x4000 px image is roughly 2116mm x 1411mm at 72ppi.
Do you understand calculating resolution?
If you don’t crop this image anad it is 2116mm wide at 72ppi, at 1000mm wide it is 152ppi, which is more than enough.
As long as the image hasn’t been mucked with by the photographer. The GIGO rule applies especially to images.
Garbage in = Garbage out. You can have all the pixels in the world, but if the image has been previously interpolated, is grainy, has artifacts, or any number of other effects applied, all bets are off.
When in doubt, print it out.

You will not get that advice from the vendor unless you contract for it. They charge money for that. If it’s in your budget, talk to your sales rep.

Thank you. You are correct, which is why I did push for the company to hire out the design. I am not a trained graphic designer and as I said have no experience designing exhibition stands. They have made the choice to give this job to me to save themselves money, so I just need to do the best I can. The text and colour scheme have been decided by the company, and I have been given very little time to design on top of other duties of my job.

I want to improve it the best I can under the constraints, and hope I can do something at least passable! I’m sorry I’m not better at this, in retrospect I suppose it was a mistake to post here. I am not remotely in your camp - but I still have to do this as part of my job like it or not, and I will take any advice that has been given and do my best to improve before print. Thank you for your time, it is much appreciated.

No worries asking here. Even designers doing these booth things for the first time get a little anxious.
I wish more of them would ask questions. I print these things, and sometimes…well…it’s always better if the question is asked before the product is printed.

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Thank you @PrintDriver - I’m looking to add an accent colour to be more eye-catching (will have to battle that with the Directors!) and am moving everything around to ensure text is at the top - I’ll put up a pic when I get it to a reasonable state!! I appreciate all the constructive feedback, it is pushing me to really improve the stand - at least I hope :slight_smile:

No, I’m glad you did post here. Honestly, all of us have been in similar positions where we’re figuring things out and clients’ not-so-good ideas are getting in the way. All you can do is the best you can do with what you’ve been given to work with.

If your company is telling you exactly which colors to use, where to put the type and if they know full well that this is your first time doing anything like this, well, make whatever improvements you can, make some layout suggestions to them that you can back up with simple logic. Make sure the resolution is high enough. Don’t forget the bleeds. And most important, don’t worry too much about it. Your company apparently isn’t expecting perfection. It’s all good experience for next time.

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Ah yes, The Bleed. Please do not forget that. These booth makers are really good about providing print templates for the elements. If you follow that, you should have no problem.

Be aware of the safety as well, as this looks like a stretched fabric affair. The safety should be marked in the template. Printing wide format is never an exact science. It’s quite possible for things to be inches short. Or long. You don’t want to lose important copy because it was too close to the edge.

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Hello all - it’s me again!

I’ve tried to take on board some suggestions while keeping to requests from Directors. I have tried to move any important text to the upper portion of panels, especially. I’ve not added any images to the right side as we will install a door entry system and dome cameras to these panels.

I’m not super confident, so any suggestions for improvement are welcome. I am on a tight time crunch so don’t have time to make complex changes or rework the whole design (was meant to send for print last Thursday!).

Thank you in advance!

The original CAD for reference:

Your solution is a little more engaging.

Uh…If it was meant to send for print last Thursday, what does a week’s delay do to your delivery timeline and budget?

Events are the worst kind of due dates. They don’t move. It happens whether your graphics are ready or not. And a machine can only print so fast, not to mention all the other prints in the queue ahead of yours. Rush charges, which can sometimes double your print costs, only work to the point where the machine and the finishing simply cannot get it done in time.

It adds a week delay to delivery, no extra cost. The event is 2 months away. I may be new to designing, but not new to managing deadlines and events :slight_smile:

Ok, that’s good.
:+1:
Like I said, I print these things and the opposite is more often true. LOL.

Yeah, we never really set a deadline for print with the company making the stand, although we’ve been in touch the whole time - Thursday was just the deadline I set for myself as I want to have plenty of time to get used to set up & break down and planning our camera / analytic elements and so on. However, I passed that on to the Directors so they are now keen to see it finished!

The company only does larger exhibition displays, so maybe that’s why they aren’t bothered. Guess we are lucky in that respect :slight_smile:

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