The power of color:  Effectively using color to stand out among the competition

Have you ever been so overwhelmed by all the visual noise at a trade show that you felt like turning around and running the other way? With the vast number of crowded booths and over-stimulating exhibits, it’s hard to get people to stop and see you. One way to counter this is to effectively use color, which has been shown to increase brand recognition up to 80% in your trade show booth design.

When strategically placed, color can be used to induce feelings, evoke desired actions and calm chaos, allowing you to stand out among the competition.

Choosing the right colors
When deciding your color scheme, think about how you want people to feel when they enter your booth. Consider the image you are trying to portray about your company and its brand. What is the personality of your product or service? Think about what feelings you want to evoke. The list below shows different colors and their affiliated characteristics (although it is important to note that colors evoke different feelings within different people based on personal preference, culture or gender):

  • Red—energy, danger, strength, passion, desire, love
  • Orange—joy, sunshine, enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, success, encouragement, stimulation
  • Yellow—joy, happiness, intellect, energy, cheerfulness
  • Green—growth, harmony, freshness, fertility, safety, healing, stability, endurance
  • Blue—depth, stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, calming
  • Purple—power, nobility, luxury, ambition, wealth, extravagance, wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery
  • White—light, goodness, innocence, purity, safety, cleanliness
  • Black—power, elegance, formality, death, evil, mystery, strength, authority, prestige.

Displaying color effectively
The eye is naturally attracted to areas of high contrast, which should be used in your booth’s design. For example, if you have a black wall with a circle of yellow on it, your eye will be drawn to that yellow circle. A simple way to incorporate this technique into your booth is by placing a contrasting logo’d table runner over a table throw.

It is important to address the issue of color blindness in your booth design. This audience may have a hard time differentiating between greens and reds and therefore these colors should not be paired when contrast is needed. Yellows and blues may be a more effective choice in communicating your message.

Another color trick to utilize is a method called color blocking where you use the same color or complimentary colors above and below your message—creating a frame effect.

Tie it all together
Don’t forget to incorporate the appropriate colors into your giveaways and staff attire. Many imprintable totes come in a variety of colors that can add to your booth’s color scheme and can be used to hold literature and giveaways. Those staffing your booth can also complement your color choices with logo-imprinted T-shirts and badge lanyards.

The power of color can be great if used correctly. Give some of these tips a try when designing your next trade show booth and stand out among the competition.

“The Profit of Color!” Web. 15 May 2012.

Enright, Robin. “Trade Show Tip #8: Color Can Be a Powerful Draw.” Web log post. Merchandising Matters – Retail Display Blog. Web. 15 May 2012.

“Color Wheel Pro – See Color Theory in Action.” Color Wheel Pro: Color Meaning. Web. 24 May 2012.

“Trade Show Displays Best Practices.” HubPages. Web. 16 May 2012..

“Business.” Colour Blindness and Its Relevance to Business. Web. 30 May 2012.

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