12 Steps to Creating a Dynamic Trade Show Banner

Promotional trade show banners or large format printing go hand in hand when producing posters, display panels, murals, photos and banners. The ingredients for creating dynamic printed matter are as simple as size, color and shape combined with the message you want to convey.

This is a display for Glory Bee Foods

Designing the Display

While these basics define the essential elements of a poster or trade show banner, creating appropriate content requires many decisions. Here are some questions that will need to be asked:

  • What size and aspect ratio should the document be?
  • How do we want to word the message?
  • Where do we place this text?
  • What font(s) should be used?
  • What size of text is fitting for the presentation?
  • Do we use relevant and descriptive images?
  • Do we create them or buy stock images?
  • Will the image(s) be full density and true to life, altered or should they be faded to be a background?
  • What colors will work best for impact and readability?
  • Are my resource image files adequate for enlargement?
  • Will the image orientation and proportion work in the layout?
  • If I crop the image will it be a large enough file to print properly?

There are many computer tools at our disposal now to help accomplish this work, but here’s one of the most important questions to be answered. Can I do this myself or do I need to hire a professional?

If the answer is hire a professional, then a budget should be established along with an outline of the work to be accomplished. A graphic designer is probably a better choice than your sister’s son who took a computer course one time. (This decision should not be made lightly as the result is going to represent your business) It would not be the first time that more effort and expense goes into saving a few dollars than if a professional was hired at the start.

Printing Options & Materials

sterling high quality printersOnce the document file is produced there are other choices to be made, such as the type of printing needed for the job. These are the questions that should be asked at this point:

  • Do we need it to be indoor only or indoor/outdoor?
  • How long does this need to last?
  • Will vinyl, fabric or paper print media work best?
  • Should it be able to be rolled up or stay flat?
  • How will it be supported and displayed?
  • Does it need grommets or a hanging bar?
  • Should it be mounted on a substrate?
  • Will it need to be laminated for protection and what type of laminate is required?
  • Will a self adhesive media work and to what is it being applied?
  • Is this a traveling graphic or “permanent” installation?
  • Will it be in a high traffic area where it can be touched?
  • Who will install it?

It may now be evident that there is more that goes into producing a viable promotional graphic than meets the eye. Hopefully, by asking the right questions, your project will go more smoothly, appeal to that consumer’s eye and be retained for prompt action.