Typography plays an important but often underestimated role in exhibit design. The font used in the design of a trade show display will often make a bigger impression upon attendees than the words themselves. Attendees and the general public are largely unaware of the influence that font choices can have on purchasing decisions, and you can use this to your advantage as an exhibitor.
Typical exhibiting goals include increasing brand recognition, generating positive brand association, marketing products and/or services, and distributing promotional literature, and typography can play a key role in helping you to meet those goals. It is important to be aware of what message you’re sending when you use particular fonts so that you can have tighter control of your company’s brand. Here’s a few brief points to ponder that may help you make better design choices when laying out the graphics for your trade show booth.
Over 90% of corporations use Helvetica-based or Helvetica-like font faces in their corporate logos. MODdisplays company logo uses a Helvetica-based font. Stripped of their ornamentation, Helvetica based fonts are very readable. Letters that are sized and spaced proportionally give viewers a strong sense of relatedness and order. Sans-serif Helvetica-based fonts give potential clients the sense that your company is made up of people like them, which instills confidence and promotes spending. We highly recommend using proportionally spaced type faces in company logos and slogans, as well as “skimming material”.
If unadorned fonts are more readable, why aren’t they used in books and magazines? Over the past thirty years, it has been consistently proven that serifed fonts are easier on the eye when reading large blocks of text. The serifed edges allow the eye to pass smoothly from one word to the next, which allows for increased reading speed and comfort. Visit any typography-focused website (one of my favorites is http://ilovetypography.com), and you’ll notice that (in general) headings and titles are displayed in sans-serif fonts and large blocks of text are displayed in serifed fonts.
Typography is a seemingly limitless field where the possibilities for learning are endless. Devoting some time to understanding why certain fonts are chosen will increase the quality and visibility of your trade show graphic design, and will hopefully generate some more leads for your company.