tradeshow booth design
A large part of my commercial work consists of designing booths and displays for tradeshows. It’s an arena that I very much enjoy working as it speaks to the fundamental definition of the industrial designer-that of the creative problem solver. The tradeshow world is one which demands solutions that exemplify the ideal blending of aesthetics, function, cost effectiveness, and the real world need to be able to be built and maintained with traditional carpentry materials. My approach is first and foremost aimed at exceptional functionality and proper ergonomics. It’s easy to make pretty shapes. My priority is, always, solutions that support the star of the show-the client’s product and informational graphics. A design that wins me an award in a design journal, but doesn’t inspire prospects to buy my client’s product or service, to me, is a failure.
some examples of work typical of my design sensibility in my favored media-the 3D design program sketch-up. I love this program as it’s output is crisp, descriptive, and keeps the focus where it belongs-on the structural elements of the design concepts, product display, graphics, and not on overly laborious photo-realistic effects. One of the reasons that this graphic style is so effective is that it is much easier for a client to buy into the proposal as an in-process concept within which they can participate and give input. Many clients, I’ve found, simply get past the “finished-ness” of photo-realistic renderings. Also, development using sketch-up takes a fraction of the time of programs such as 3D Studio Viz or Max. That means faster turn around and lower costs for my clients.
A typical example of an annotated plate ready for presentation-
An island design for Ak Pizza Crust. A challenging project as they needed a functional kitchen area and “cafe” areas to bake and feed their hand made pizza’s to their clients. The vibe that I suggested was a rich up-scale Italian cafe.
My design for their kitchen space. It incorporated multi-use sections (such as a sections of counter that, when removed exposed the wash sinks, and wheeled catch basins that could quickly be removed from the booth and emptied). In a booth like this, efficiency is the name of the game.
The final design, shifting the feel to a less formal outdoor cafe-
Enersys is a machine manufacturer that wanted a majestic, bold design that incorporated product display, storage, and loads of informal “hospitality” area to hold their conferences in. I used large areas of light weight fabric structure to achieve a bold graphic presentation that kept costs down-
this eye-level view shows the tiered identity and graphics approach that is central to my functionalist bent-don’t make your prospects guess at what they are seeing. The booths that I design are intended to be easy to navigate by the prospect, and easy to work by my client-
This was a fun one. I used the clients puzzle piece “bug” (logo element) as a sculptural element to give the booth a more organic and playful feel.
The next client, Mizco-an electronics purveyor, wanted a design that exudes prestige and substance. Here are two designs with dramatically divergent themes. Classical and industrial tech-
Takeya produces Japanese themed products for an American clientele. My approach utilizes my simplified interpretation of Japanese architectural elements. I suggested, per the clients wish for some hospitality element, a sushi bar in the right rear corner.
valley forge flags was a demanding project-how to desplay 3′ x 4′ products, flags, in a 20′ inline booth. My solution was a flip-book concept that could accomodate 20+ of the client’s flags, in the small space-all fully accessable for review by thier prospects.