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Elements of design
Trade shows and art. At first glance, two very different things. Upon a closer look, though, there’s no denying that constructing a visually appealing and inviting tradeshow booth or space is an art form in and of itself.In art, all appealing works share common factors that work together to entice the eye and the mind. But these building blocks of art, more commonly referred to as the elements of design, don’t just apply to paintings and sculptures. Indeed, anyone hoping to maximize booth space and the impact of displays can stand to benefit from taking these elements into consideration.At the next trade show, try leveraging these elements to make your booth stand out and draw people in:

In art: Space is the area provided for a particular purpose. Space can be of multiple dimensions and includes areas known as the background, foreground and middle ground. In a painting, for example, space refers to the areas around, between or within different objects.

In your booth: When developing the design and layout of your booth or exhibit space, be sure to pay special attention to setup and flow of displays and tables. Create an intuitive path in and out of your booth or create a setup that draws visitors toward the centre of an open booth space.

In art: A point is an element that has position, but no extension like a dot versus a line. Alone it can provide a powerful relation between negative and positive space, but when grouped with other points can create a line or a perceived connection or boundary of or between objects or space.

In your booth: Create a focal point for your booth—something that attracts attendees and encourages them to come in for a closer look. Use a large retractor banner to highlight products or services or place a product sample on a pedestal-like counter.

In art: Lines create contours and form and are often used to convey a specific kind of feeling or point to an important feature in a design. Characterized by length and direction, lines are also used to create perspective and dominant directional lines are often adopted to create a sense of continuance in a composition. In addition, lines that are grouped together often create a sense of value, density or texture.

In your booth: Create lines with your booth setup, draping and decorations to further draw visitors’ eyes to the focal point of your booth. Use table runners to lead the eye to important tabletop literature.

Shape (Form)
In art: A shape is defined as an area that stands out from the space next to or around it due to a defined or implied boundary. This boundary can be created implicitly or more subtly in differences of value, colour, or texture. Shapes can also show perspective by overlapping and can be geometric or organic.

In your booth: Use a variety of shapes in signage, displays and props for your tables or booth as a way to create visual appeal.

In art: Both a visual and a tactile element, texture is perceived surface quality. In art, there are two types of texture: tactile and implied. Tactile texture (real texture) is the way the surface of an object actual feels versus implied texture, which is the way the surface on an object looks like it feels.

In your booth: Experiment with different textures to draw people to your booth for a touch or offer giveaways, like a Bliss Travel Pillow or a Duo Textured Mug, that appeal to this sense. If they’re close enough to touch your booth, they’re close enough to engage in a conversation!

In art: Colour is seen either by the way light reflects off a surface or in coloured light sources. Colour, particularly contrasting colour, is also used to draw the attention to a particular part of an image or scene.

In your booth: Use bright colours to attract attention, yes, but pay attention to the emotions and tones certain colour palettes inspire at first glance. For example, dark blues and greens often mentally equate to professionalism while colours like red and yellow inspire excitement.

It’s also important to not overwhelm visitors by using too many colours or selecting colours that clash too much with the colours in your brand’s visual identity. Incorporate colour in a subtle way by decking booth staff out in colourful badge lanyards or professional polos.

Make your tradeshow booth a work of art—incorporate these design elements today!

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