These iconic silhouette images were created by Apple to promote the iPod around the world - and are a powerful example of cross-cultural communication.

How Much Copy is Appropriate for Booth Graphics?

Your Graphics Probably Have Too Much Copy!

 

Companies generally use too much copy (verbiage) in their booth graphics – which most people simply DO NOT READ! With so many distractions on the show floor – along with language and cultural barriers – it is challenging to capture attention, and to garner focus. Excessive verbiage does neither of those!

 

There IS a better way!

 

Bombarded with stimulus (particularly on the show floor), people need a way to filter through all of the distractions and focus on those fews things which are important to them. They want to a quick download – a quick assessment – to see if your product (or company) is a GOOD FIT for them. So, don’t make it harder for them by using too much copy!

 

How can you create graphics which are more effective across any culture?

 

Here are my BEST PRACTICES for handling copy in your trade show graphics:

 

1. TELL A STORY: Designer Jan Lorenc often speaks of “design as narration” – which tells brand stories through the physical environments they create. Graphics are part of that narration – and should be viewed as moments or chapters in a story, not just as stand-alone billboards which display the latest technical specifications of a given product.

 

Graphics are part of that narration – and should be viewed as moments or chapters in a story

 

2. APPEAL TO UNIVERSAL HUMAN CHARACTERISTICS: Use images which appeal to universal human commonalities – those things we all can relate to as humans. Powerful images convey messages instantly and transcend language barriers. Images are interpreted differently by the brain, and evoke emotional responses – making them far more memorable than words alone.

 

Powerful images convey messages instantly and transcend language barriers.

 

3. GIVE SMALL DOSES: Reading comprehension requires focus and time. Less copy is more! Give them quick bites – something they can grab and consume. Save the longer stuff for brochures, websites and online downloads.

 

4. SIMPLIFY YOUR STATEMENTS: Use words, phrases, and messages which are memorable and easy to interpret. Avoid complexity.

 

5. USE LOCAL LANGUAGE: Using the local language for graphics means that more people will catch the meaning immediately. Have locals approve the copy to ensure that it reads well, and conveys the right connotation. There are countless examples of tragic translations. Here are further insights on handling LANGUAGE ISSUES.

 

Graphics should be integrated into the architecture of the booth, not just used to fill the empty wall spaces!

 

6. INTEGRATE WITH THE ARCHITECTURE: Graphics should be integrated into the architecture of the booth, not just used to fill the empty wall spaces! Ensure that your exhibit designers (3D) and graphic designers (2D) are collaborating together on the overall exhibit concept, narrative, theme, and design. View the exhibit as both a canvas and a sculpture which communicates.

 

Do you have other best practices to add?

Please share your thoughts