graphic design

Recent Trade Show Graphic Design – Ultra Portable Displays

Posted by Andy Keeler on August 09, 2013
Exhibit Showcase, Trade Show Displays, Trade Show Graphics / No Comments

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Faster Graphics Uploader

Posted by Andy Keeler on September 30, 2009
MODdisplays Information, Trade Show Graphics / 8 Comments

MODdisplays is pleased to announce the launch of our new graphics upload system, which is 200% faster and much more reliable than our previous system. As always, we are able to process files as large as 2GB through our upload system, and all of our files are reviewed and processed by our team of in-house graphic designers. Unlike many companies, our graphic designers spend their days working with large format trade show graphics, and they specialize in providing quality output for exhibiting systems.

Our new graphics upload system makes use of a server that is specifically formatted to accept large file transfers, which ensures that your file is uploaded quickly and smoothly. If you have questions about our file upload system or our graphics requirements, please call 877.663.3976 and press 2 for graphics, or email

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Using Photos in Large Format Print Production

Posted by Andy Keeler on February 10, 2009
Knowledge Base, Trade Show Graphics / 2 Comments

Most trade show displays utilize large format printing in some form. Only the highest quality photographs can be blown up to the size that is required for the backdrop of a trade show display, and we recommend purchasing digital photos from a stock photography website such as When selecting your photo from a stock photography website, choose the largest size option available.

If you want to figure out if your image will work for your trade show display, you will need to know the size of the image (usually listed in pixels or inches) and the resolution of the image (usually listed in DPI or dots-per-inch). In order to avoid pixelation (which is the appearance of fuzziness or blurriness within your image), your image will need to be 100 DPI when it is blown up to actual size.

Image size and resolution are inversely proportional. As image size increases, image resolution decreases. If you magnify an image to twice its original size, the resolution of the image will be cut in half. Suppose your image is 1200 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high (100 pixels = 1 inch, so the image would be 12″ x 12″ when printed), and the resolution is 100 DPI. If you blow up the image to 2400 pixels x 2400 pixels, the resolution would be reduced to 50 DPI. If you shrink the image to 600 pixels x 600 pixels, the resolution would increase to 200 DPI.

With this in mind, the first step in figuring out if your photo will work is to determine what size it will need to be when printed. Suppose you need your photo to cover the entire back wall of your Exhibit One display (70.75″w x 82″h). It is highly unlikely that the image you need will be available in the correct size when you purhcase it, so you will need to blow up the image to the size you need before you can work with it. The largest images on stock photography websites will usually come at a resolution of 300 DPI, and the size of the image will vary. Using the relationship between image resolution and image size, you should be able to quickly determine if the photo will be large enough to remain crisp when it is blown up to the size you need.

You never need to worry about fuzzy images when you work with MODdisplays, because we have checks and balances in place to ensure that low resolution images do not make it to print. Our graphic designers check each file for images that may appear fuzzy when printed, and these problems will be pointed out in your e-proof. We never go to print without our client’s approval, and our e-proofs are very thorough and meticulous. Most resolution issues are fixed at this stage, and the chances of a client receiving a graphic with pixelation are extremely slim.

At MODdisplays, we place all of our emphasis on the final output. We understand what it takes to look great at a trade show, and we work hard to make sure our clients are pleased with the graphics we print.

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Properly Maintained Graphics Make a Big Difference

Posted by Heather Jordan on January 23, 2009
Trade Show Graphics / 1 Comment

Graphics are the most important part of any trade show display. Well designed graphics that accurately convey your company’s marketing message can elevate attendees’ perception of your brand, but even the best graphics will lose visual appeal when they are not properly maintained. Dirty, chipped, smudged, scratched, or otherwise damaged graphics reflect poorly on their owners even if the design and marketing message is impeccable.

No matter what type of graphics you purchase for your trade show exhibit, they will be susceptible to damage. Typically your trade show graphics (and your booth hardware as well) will suffer the most damage during dismantling. The goal of dismantling your trade show booth should be to pack it away neatly so it will be ready for your next event, but the combination of exhausted booth staff and the thought that “the next event is a long time from now” usually results in a hasty and careless process. Taking care of your trade show display as you dismantle it can make a big difference when you arrive at your next event.

To clean dirty or smudged inkjet graphics, MODdisplays recommends using a mild cleaner (like Windex) in highly diluted form. Keep moisture away from the edges of the graphics to ensure that it does not seep between the layers of laminate and come in contact with the sensitive photographic paper that is encapsulated inside. Chips or scratches can be repaired with a colored marker that matches the surrounding graphic area in many cases, but large chips and scratches should warrant purchasing new graphics.

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Upload Your Graphic Files

Posted by Heather Jordan on January 12, 2009
MODdisplays Information, Trade Show Graphics / No Comments

MODdisplays uses advanced project management systems to ensure that your trade show display arrives on time and looks exactly as you expected. By repeating the same procedures for every exhibit we produce, we minimize mistakes. Our returning clients are confident in our system because they know exactly what to expect. Trade shows are stressful enough without any contribution from MODdisplays, so we keep our clients informed and in updated about the status of their trade show booth.

Uploading your graphic files is only one aspect of our overall project management system, but despite its simple appearance, our graphics uploader is very advanced when compared with that of other trade show companies. When you upload your graphics to our website, you must include your company’s name, your email address, and your phone number. As soon as your file is processed by our uploader, emails are dispatched to the graphic designer who has been assigned to your project, and your information is dropped directly into our project management system for easy access.

Your graphic files are usually reviewed by one of our graphic designers within an hour, and you’ll receive a customize e-proof to approve that will show you the layout of your graphics and highlight any areas that may cause problems when your exhibit is printed. We never print files until your company has approved our e-proofs, which ensures that no mistakes are made in the printing process. Many of our competitors will print files as they are received, but at MODdisplays our graphic design services are completely free, so we will offer your company design support in any way you need it.

If you have any questions about uploading your graphics or graphic guidelines, please email or call 877.MOD.EXPO.

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Vector vs. Raster Artwork

Posted by Andy Keeler on September 06, 2008
Trade Show Graphics / No Comments

When designing trade show graphics, it is often important to know the difference between vector and raster artwork. Not every image is suitable for use on your booth display, because many images will appear grainy and pixelated when they are scaled up to the correct size. Understanding the difference between vector and raster artwork will make a big difference in the images you choose for your graphics.

Vector Artwork

Vector artwork is usually produced using illustration software (such as Adobe Illustrator), and it is always comprised of mathematically-drawn lines and shapes. For this reason, scaling up (or magnifying) vector artwork almost never results in a loss in quality. The word “vector” implies magnitude and direction, and that is exactly what vector artwork captures. In order to increase the size of this type of graphic, you simply need to increase the magnitude and direction in proportion.

Raster Artwork

Raster images are usually produced using digital photography or photo-editing programs (such as Adobe Photoshop).  Raster images are comprised of tiny blocks of color called “pixels”, which are aligned in a grid in order to form images. Unlike vector images, raster images cannot be magnified without the risk of pixelation. Increasing the size of a raster image forces the design program to add pixels that were not captured in the original photograph or drawing, which results in fuzzy or blurry images.

Whenever possible, MODdisplays recommends using vector images in the design of your trade show displays. Vector images will always look crisp and sharp no matter how big you make them. Since all photographs are raster files, nearly all booth graphics will utilize at least a few raster images. If you plan to use a photograph in the design of your exhibit, we recommend viewing the file at 100% (the actual size you will want the image to appear on your graphic) on your monitor. If the file appears blurry when viewed at 100%, then the resolution is too low. Low resolution files result in poor print quality.

Stock photography websites such as iStockPhoto and GettyImages are a great resource for high-quality raster photographs. Files can be purchased in a variety of sizes, and usually the “large” size is good enough to provide a crisp, clean image when printed. When in doubt, you can always send your files to and we will check them out for you. At MODdisplays, we never print low resolution or low quality files, because all of our graphics go through a rigorous screening and proofing process.

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Typography in Exhibit Design

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, 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.

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Simple Design, Big Impact

Designing trade show graphics can be a daunting challenge, especially for a graphic designer who lacks experience in large format printing. Using bold images and large text is a great way to garner attention, but it may weaken your marketing efforts if the final product does not reflect well on your company. Creating a simple design for your exhibit is easy, but creating a simple design that communicates your company’s message is a challenge for any designer.

XR Wave Simple

So how do you know you can trust MODdisplays to create a professional, simple graphic design that will work for your company?

  • We staff professional graphic designers that are well trained in the principles of exhibit design. Our graphic designers understand the need for high-impact graphics that are simple enough to convey your message in a short amount of time. Having spent time interacting with exhibits and attending trade shows, our exhibit designers understand what it takes to exhibit well.
  • Browse our website to find past examples of high-quality exhibit design. Our clean, modern approach is recognized across the portable trade show industry, and is easily distinguishable from the graphic design work of other companies. Our graphic design department works much like a marketing firm by analyzing your exhibiting goals and creating a solution that effectively presents your company to your target audience.
  •  Compare the design of our website to the design of other websites in our industry. When you realize how little time and effort other companies spend on their own marketing presence, why would you trust them with your marketing presence? In the same way that our website is simple, clean, and intuitive, our large format graphic design is simple, clean, and effective.
  • Because we offer our graphic design services for free, you can rest assured that you’ll never waste a single dollar on graphic design with MODdisplays. Even if you staff your own graphic designers, why not save their time for something else and put our designers to work for you?

You only have three seconds to grab the attention of a passing visitor or attendee, so make those seconds count by utilizing MODdisplays free exhibit graphic design services.

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Using Color in Trade Show Exhibit Design

Posted by Andy Keeler on March 13, 2008
Exhibiting Strategy, Trade Show Graphics / No Comments

The colors you choose for your trade show display graphics send non-verbal signals to visitors and attendees at your show, so you need to be very careful that you are sending the right signals. Some basic colors are listed below along with the positive and negative effects they may have on your potential clients.


  • Positives – Indicates passion, energy, and excitement.
  • Negatives – Indicates recklessness and emotion-based decision making.


  • Positives – Creates a calm, soothing environment. Blue is associated with professionalism and strength.
  • Negatives – Creates a feeling of coldness and depression.


  • Positives – Indicates comfort, peace, money, and nature.
  • Negatives – Indicates greed.


  • Positives – Attracts attention better than any other color.
  • Negatives – Can be distracting and disconcerting when overused.


  • Positives – Indicates power, modernity, and urbane culture.
  • Negatives – Indicates arrogance, dishonesty, and evil.


  • Positives – Indicates a desire to be unique and is associated with nature.
  • Negatives – Indicates an air of informality and dirtiness.


  • Positives – Stimulates creative thinking, works well as a backdrop to help other parts of your display stand out.
  • Negatives – If not used well, gray can be boring and dull.

Most companies are very limited by the colors of their company, but if you have a choice about what color your trade show displays use, always think carefully about what effect your are giving off.

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MODDisplays Now Offers Free Graphic Design

Posted by Andy Keeler on March 07, 2008
Press Releases, Trade Show Displays, Trade Show Graphics / 1 Comment

Leading trade show display company works with clients to get them the graphics they want.


Harrisonburg, VA – (PRWeb) – March 6, 2008 – MODdisplays, a leader in the portable trade show display industry, now offers free graphic design services with the purchase of any trade show display or banner stand. Designing trade show graphics can be a complex and challenging process, and usually ends up costing exhibitors more time and money than the display itself. The design professionals at MODdisplays can take the headache out of designing your own graphics and help to ensure that you look your best at the show.  MODDisplays can be found online at: .


The graphic designers at MODdisplays are experienced in the field of trade show marketing, which means they understand what works well for exhibitors. Trade shows are fast-paced environments, and experienced design professionals can help your company produce a display that is eye-catching and professional at the same time.


Most companies in the portable trade show display industry charge between $75 and $200 per hour, and an average 10 x 10 trade show booth could take as long as eight hours to design. Graphic design charges can add up very quickly, and many companies hide the total charge until after it is too late for the client to back out of the purchase. At MODdisplays, graphic designs for your trade show booth are completely free, and there are no strings attached to this offer.


In addition to the obvious cost benefits for clients of MODdisplays, the addition of free trade show graphic design simplifies the ordering process. “People who are in search of a trade show display really like what they see on our website, but they aren’t sure how the process of designing and producing custom graphics works. Now they can purchase our displays with confidence, and we send them their first graphic design rendition the next business day,” says MODdisplays President Andy Keeler. Combined with the custom exhibit rendering service offered by MODdisplays, the process of purchasing a trade show exhibit has become much easier.


When you purchase a trade show booth from MODdisplays, a member of the Graphics Department will immediately contact you to get a feel for what you are trying to accomplish at your trade show, as well as what types of graphic design appeal to your company’s unique style. From that conversation, a designer will take the time to produce an initial rendition. Through continued dialogue with our graphic design department, we will help you come to a graphic solution that works well for your company. Nothing will ever be printed without your signed approval, so there is no need to worry about paying for something that you are not entirely satisfied with.


In the portable trade show display industry, it is easy to get complacent and fall into routines with clients. MODdisplays is proud of the steps that have been taken to improve customer experience and continually improve the service that we provide to our clients.



Andy Keeler

1.877.663.3976 (Toll Free)

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