The sign is perhaps the oldest form of advertising. Originally it did no more than let passersby know that a particular shop or store was near and open for business. Now, sign design has become more complex and there are all kinds of rules and tactics for maximizing the effectiveness of your graphic signs. The essential purpose of a sign still hasn’t changed after millennia, however. They still exist to draw one’s attention. For our purposes, that means drawing attendee attention to your exhibit booth.
A trade show can be a tough place to stand out from the crowd. As an exhibitor, you’re far from the only game in town. There are likely to be dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of your closest competitors all striving for the attention of attendees at a particular expo. And that’s why the best display stands will employ not only effective design within the exhibit booth itself, but also effective signage meant to draw eyes from afar and pull people in when they get closer as well.
The Hierarchy Of Sign Design
One of the most important things to remember when planning signs to advertise and promote your display stands at a major expo is that the most effective signage adheres to a hierarchy which is designed to engage attendees and increase your ability to draw attention at various distances.
Starting from signs which draw eyes from the farthest distances to those which are designed to induce attendees to actually stop into a particular exhibit booth, sign design follows a strict set of rules. Here’s the basic hierarchy.
Level 3 – These are the largest signs, which usually have a very simplistic and bold design which conveys only the most important information. Usually this is no more than the name of your company along with a tagline.
Level 2 – These are the mid-level signs designed to provide a bit more information about a particular exhibit booth. They may include smaller text, but still aim to attract attention and visitors with slightly more detailed info and usually a call to action.
- Level 1 – These are the low-level signs that are usually right outside of (or even inside) your display stands. They provide detailed information about the booth, your company and its products or services. They also form an immediate segway between passive signage and set visitors up for booth staffers to engage them.
The Art Of Visual Aesthetics In Sign Design
Of course, messaging is only one part of sign design; the other being the graphics and art which make a sign aesthetically pleasing to the eye and further draw people in. This aspect of sign design is the realm of graphic designers who are usually tasked with creating an appealing visual to combine with the messaging of a given sign. Whether you contract this work out to a freelance designer or firm, or have it done in-house, the essential aim is the same: to draw attention and get the message across while embodying the best of your brand image.
To achieve this, graphic designers will typically focus on a number of things. These include color schemes, logo design and integration, density, font matching and more. Altogether, the design and messaging provides an effective sign which can draw in visitors and confer more attention on your display stands. Signage is more important because it often will provide the first impression of your exhibit booth as it is the first thing that attendees will notice from across the room.
Don’t Forget That Signs Can’t Do It All
Even the most effective signage can’t do everything for you. You still need to focus on training and preparing an effective staff for your display stands. Staffers need to be there to answer more detailed questions about your company and your products, to capture leads and to generally develop relationships with visitors to your exhibit booth. Sign and even exhibit design can only do so much to create an image of your company. The people you hire and select to staff your exhibit booth have to take the next step and close the deal.
Signs provide an important part of drawing attention to display stands and creating interest in your trade show display. They are often the first point of interaction between trade show attendees and your company’s booth so spending a bit of time and money on making them as good as you can is always a smart idea.