Those of us who spend time at trade shows know how important and effective good banner stands can be. At their best, they cast your brand in an authoritative and professional light. They’re the first thing people see as they pass by, and they’re your first opportunity to make a connection and grow your business. When designing a banner stand, there are many important things to keep in mind.
And, considering the number and type of people who go trade shows, making a good impression is an important and valuable thing to do! Take a look at these statistics from the Trade Show News Network. The average person attending a trade show will spend 8.3 hours looking through exhibits. Additionally, 81% of those attendees have buying authority.
In other words, trade shows are full of potential customers, clients and business partners looking to connect with your brand.
How, then, are you going to separate yourself from the pack and make a real connection?
The answer lies in a designing a banner stand that stands out. While designing a banner stand may seem like a simple task, banner stand design is of the utmost importance and takes some forethought, especially when the perceived value of your brand is at stake.
That’s why we’re putting together this guide to our favorite banner stand design tips. We’ll discuss font choice and color, word choice and placement, effective branding and banner stand graphics and tips on actual banner stand construction, all of which combine to make your display as effective as possible.
If you follow our advice when designing a banner stand, we’re confident your brand will shine and you’ll start seeing an immediate return on your investment.
So what are you waiting for? Start making your job easier by letting the perfect banner do the heavy lifting!
Less Is More
The first and most important rule for designing a banner stand is to keep it simple. You should use short, catchy phrases that are easy to read, comprehend and make a lasting impression.
Once you have them hooked with a bold phrase, you can start to go into more detail. A banner is a conversation starter — not the full conversation. So don’t try to print all of that information on the banner.
Plus, you don’t want to force people to crowd around your banner stand just to read it completely. Not only is that an ineffective way to reach new people, it’ll also ensure there’s always someone standing in front of your banner, blocking it from view.
If they want further information they can take home with them, make sure you have a brochure they can leave with.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your text at two lines or fewer, with no more than 10 words total. You can include some additional information, such as contact details, but those should be minimal and should never introduce additional concepts.
But you also don’t want to be so vague that people don’t have a clue what you’re saying. Remember: You’re trying to invite people in with a banner. There’s a difference between piquing their curiosity and rendering them confused. You can do that by being direct and using bold calls to action.
The text on a banner should catch people’s attention so that you can step in and make a real, human connection.
Place Contact Info Up High
If you’re trying to reach new people who might be flying by, you don’t want to impede their ability to see your contact information.
Keep this in mind, though: A banner stand reaches the ground. If you leave your contact information at the bottom, it’s likely to be missed. Not only does this force people to look down, but if your stand ends up being set up behind something, this important information might end up being obscured entirely.
At the same time, putting contact details up high is not the same thing as making them the biggest thing on your banner. You don’t want people missing your tag line because all they see is a phone number.
Instead, just reverse the typical writing logic, in which you state your big thought first and your secondary details underneath them. On a banner, place those details above your tagline, but keep them in an otherwise subordinate position by making them smaller.
Avoid Information That’s Likely to Change
When choosing secondary information, you also want to be careful about including any details that may change in the future. You don’t want to falsely advertise or mislead people when designing a banner stand.
If you include prices, you’ll need to make sure they don’t change regularly. If you have a location change or expansion on the horizon, you may want to leave a physical address off your banner. You don’t want to spend money and time on an excellently designed banner stand only to find that you need to replace it because a few words or numbers are no longer accurate.
Don’t Be Tempted by Garish Colors
You want to grab attention. Therefore, you should use the boldest colors — right? Not so fast!
While you do want your text to stand out, colors that are loud simply for the sake of volume can backfire. A poorly thought-out color palette will only make your banner look unprofessional and badly designed.
Instead, think about contrast and branding when designing a banner stand. What colors most consistently represent your business? How can color be used to make your branding or product stand out?
For example, if you want to give your customers a refreshed and relaxed feeling, consider placid blues with a sharply contrasting white text. If, instead, you want to evoke richness and luxury, consider mahogany and leather hues. In a sea of trade show banners, you aren’t going to win the race for attention by having the brightest neons — you’re going to do it by making high-quality design choices.
Choose Easily Readable Fonts
Have you noticed how leading companies are using increasingly simple fonts? Designing a banner stand with a highly designed font — full of serifs and flourishes — may make you distinctive, it will likely be for the wrong reasons. It will make you look dated and run the risk of getting your message ignored because it’s hard to read.
So, while you may be tempted to use the wildest font available in your word processor, go with modern, bold and simple fonts instead.
Use Professional Images
Nothing ruins a banner quite like a pixelated image. Simply slapping an image found on a search engine onto your banner won’t cut it.
This may require a little more investment in order to ensure that your image is professional and at a high enough resolution. But remember: When you’re investing in a banner stand, you should be must more focused on return-on-investment rather than base price.
We also recommend using simpler images. A cluttered image isn’t much better than cluttered text. Remember: You’re trying to grab a person’s attention and then make a lasting impact. Overwrought design choices are less likely to make the kind of connection you want.
Be Wise About Size
When you’re designing a banner stand, you want to be mindful of the size. Bigger does not always mean better, although you definitely don’t want to be undersized, either.
The key is to make sure your banner stands out and is easily seen, but doesn’t overwhelm the physical space where it’s on display.
If you have a larger stand or area where you plan on displaying, you want to make sure you fill it. But if you’re a smaller operation, or you have a limited space to operate in, you don’t want a banner that becomes ungainly.
So take some time and really think about what your size needs are. You want to fill as much space with your banner as you can without overcrowding. You don’t want to invest in a banner stand that becomes hard to use because you decided to go with the biggest option.
Explore Different Shapes
Like size, you also want to think about the shape and presentation style of your display.
If you’re looking to really pop, a spring back-style banner can give your display a dynamic feel. On the other hand, if you want something more stately, a thin and simple construction will let your image speak for itself. A double-sided banner is a great way to get a lot of brand exposure in a smaller space.
Another great option that also gives you a lot of shape versatility is a stretch fabric banner. These can be made to replicate the shape of your products, or to create visual effects, like the feeling of depth.
Regardless of the style you choose, be intentional and figure out how your design will coordinate with your banner’s construction.
Consider Your Audience
The tone and style of the perfect banner will change depending on the target audience. If you’re trying to reach a younger audience, bold graphics and a little bit of attitude can go a long way. But if you’re trying to get people to trust you, especially in an industry where sensitivity is a job requirement, a snarky attitude probably won’t get you very far.
So let your design choices reflect the audience you’re aiming for. That may mean your banner is a little less bold than others. However, regardless of who you’re trying to reach, you want them to think you’re authentic, and that starts with representative design.
Think About Usage
You also want to consider how often, and where, you plan on using your banner stand. If you plan on taking it down and putting it back up regularly, then high-quality construction and durable materials are a must-have feature. Similarly, if you want to use your banner stand both indoors and outdoors, you want to make sure you get one that can stand up to inclement weather.
Remember: A sun-faded or raggedy looking banner is going to work against you rather than for you. You want something that pops and looks new, no matter how often you use it.
You may also want think about getting a banner that can be used for multiple purposes. For example, you might get a banner for trade shows and then use the same banner in your showroom when you’re not on the road. This is yet another way you can increase your return-on-investment while also being consistent with your messaging and branding.
Finally, you also want to consider setup and teardown. If your company consists of just one person, you’ll definitely want to consider a banner stand that’s easy to set up and transport on your own. Retractable banners are especially good for this type of situation.
Coordinate With Other Promotional Materials
Lastly, when designing a banner stand, consider how the branding will coordinate with the other promotional materials you’re handing out at your booth. If you’re going to be getting brochures printed at the same time, try to find a way to pull the same message and imagery across your materials. If your brochures already exist, think about how their design elements can be elevated in a larger banner format.
Remember: If you have people leaving with something in their hands, you want it to conjure up memories of the whole experience. Coordinating between banners, brochures and even t-shirt branding is one of the most effective ways to do this.
Turning Your Designs Into Reality
Now that you’ve got the perfect banner stand in mind, it’s time to get the thing made. Luckily, here at APG Exhibits, we have the experience and infrastructure to make sure you get the perfect banner made at a price that works for your budget.
With so many stand options, you don’t have to limit your design. Instead, you can find the perfect display option for your needs and brand.
Additionally, our banner stands are designed to be used both indoors and outdoors, giving you the display versatility you need. Plus, our ultra-durable materials ensure your colors will always pop.
However, if you’re still unsure of what direction to take your design, our professional design support is here to help make sure you have the best banner for your needs. Ours designers are super easy to work with, and have years of experience working with some of America’s most recognizable brands. You’ll be getting the best, industry-leading advice out there.
In addition, we offer a range of other design help services to ensure that the reality of your banner exceeds your expectations.
Plus, we price match! You can be confident that you’re getting the most value out of your banner stand.
Regardless of your needs, our courteous and customer-focused team is excited about making your brand shine through designing a banner stand that truly stands out. So, if you’re curious about our process or are ready to get the design process moving, contact us today!
We’re confident that, if you apply these design tips and work with us, you’ll be making the kinds of connections that will let your business grow, whether on trade show floors or in front of your own business. So let’s get that banner made and get your name out there!