Tips to Optimize Trade Show Exhibit Design

April 11, 2017

Designing a trade show booth is one of the most unique experiences in marketing. Not every business has access to a graphic designer when creating their trade show exhibit. Optimizing your booth of the highest level of readability and legibility is key to grab your audience’s attention and bring traffic to your exhibit! The design and presentation of your booth is the very first thing attendees see, so making sure you leave a positive impression is key to a successful show.

Remember: It’s important to make sure your display reflects your industry and brand mission. A way to help achieve this is to keep the “3 Second Rule” in mind. Of course this isn’t referring to when you drop a small piece of food on the floor, but rather how quickly your design should take to engage onlookers to your exhibit. Your displays need to pique the interest of potential traffic in 3 seconds. If it takes longer than that small window of time to attract them to your design, they will likely move on.

Think about your display as a billboard with one focal point. The graphic message should be clear and concise, so when an outsider looks to your display, they know exactly what you’re all about instantly or with a very small amount of reading.

Here are some quick design tips:

  • Keep it simple!
  • Avoid busy, patterned backgrounds
  • Make sure there is contrast between background color & type
  • Keep in mind color psychology when picking a color scheme
  • Whitespace allows for better legibility
  • Select clean and simple fonts that will be easy to read from a distance


Keeping in mind those quick tips along with your exhibit’s layout will help assure you an effective and successful trade show experience. Check out some awesome examples of exhibit design produced through Embarq Creative!

What now?

You’ve got the basics on exhibit design but where do you take it next? Getting your brand to shine on a large-scale exhibit can be tricky. Thankfully, we’ve got an expert for that!

Join us Thursday, April 20th from 3pm-6pm for guest speaker, Todd Palmer, Creative Director of design agency Virtual Farm Creative. Todd will be at Embarq Creative headquarters for a seminar on how to liven up your company’s brand for your next trade show event.

The beer and snacks are on us!