The last several posts have discussed issues that cause Pathetic Aesthetic in booth display. Improving your display quality is a minimum requirement for success and this includes a sign identifying your name, or company name which will be consistent with your signature booth aesthetic.
The white paper print out with your name & number identifying your booth (provided by the craft show organizer) is NOT a sign. Sorry for the big bold scream (I'm containing a scream of frustration)!
Dinky photo banners at the back of your display do not create an inviting impression with that customer walking right "by Bye" your booth. How will they know your name? Without remembering your name they won't even be able to look you up in the show map to come back when they are ready to buy.
Your name needs to be up high and done in a creative way. I wrote a number of posts with inexpensive ideas. The links are at the bottom of this post.
Steve Rossman (a reader of ASK Harriete) says:"I owned a custom exhibit design and fabrication company for almost 30 years. When it comes to signage and messaging, I believe strongly that, for a small booth (8\' to 20\') you have something like 3 to 5 seconds to \"capture\" a prospective visitor. So signage should concentrate on 3 basic things...
- Who you are
- What you do
- Why visitors need to stop
It is time that artists and makers start being more creative than the standard printed banner. But something in "good taste" is better than nothing. Here are a few examples from ACC San Francisco that include signs in their signature aesthetic along with a few comments.
Can you take these ideas, improve upon them and make them work for your booth?
The round white sign for Jonathan Spoons included their descriptive tag line "Wild Cherry Spoons." Though I still don't care for the black drape, the sign popped against the dark background giving it high visibility. The font and styling matched the other price tags in the booth.
You might be wondering why I keep showing photos of Jonathan Spoons in my posts. Well there is a reason why -- they won Best Booth at ACC San Francisco 2015. They did so many details right, keeping a signature booth aesthetic in every detail.
Melissa Finelli had a very eye catching sign that matched her business card exactly. It turns out that the business card design came first, and then she duplicated it as a sign. Ironically, the vintage typewriter mistake styling with jumping letters that were faint and more precise felt very contemporary.
The one improvement that I would make is to put your name at the top of the sign. This way if there are a lot of people in front of your booth, or in the aisle, your name is still visible. When your name is low, it can easily be hidden by your own cases or even one customer.
Beverly Tadeu has her name at the top of the sign. That is good. She added a short description "metalsmith" though I wonder if that could be improved upon for a more unique and informative description.
Note that beverly tadeu's sign is done in lower case lettering, a current trend in font styling. I wonder how long this texting influence will last before it looks common and everyday ordinary. On a positive note, the earrings in the sign and the sign itself were large, going full length from the top bar to the floor.
What would I want to see for more signature sign styling? Amazing metal letters done in Beverly Tadau's signature style. The letters can hang from the bar at the top holding the drape. They could fit in one suitcase along with some touch-up paint.
Ealish Wilson and emiko oye put their names up high and on both sides of their booth. Good move! This way their potential customers will see their names no matter which direction they are walking up the aisle.
The rub off decal on the hard wall looks professional but Ealish Wilson in metallic lettering did not have strong enough contrast. As you can see in the photo (left) the silver lettering is hard to see. Either this should be applied to darker paint, or the lettering needs to be darker.
emiko used her trademark "reware" to reinforce this branding of her jewelry. If you do use a business name rather than your own name, it is important to keep reinforcing this alternative identity for your work. (The question of whether you should market your work under your own name or a business name is another huge topic in itself.)
The mirror done in Legos helps reinforce the identity for emiko's medium - Legos. It is also intended to be a "selfie hot spot" for selfie photos when people try on her work. This way every photo will include the identity for "emiko reware" jewelry.
Our final example is Victoria Moore jewelry. She had three different signs in her booth as shown below. I've condensed the three signs adding arrows to point out the point of discussion.
(left) The left sign went all the way to the floor with a large image. Her name is at the very top. Unfortunately, the jewelry case was pushed so far forward it obscured part of the image.
The center sign has larger text for her name in a brighter, higher contrast color that improves readability. This is a definite improvement. She has also added a "tag line" damascus steel jewelry which describes her work.
Notice that victoria moore is using the lower case text style on her signs. As just the third example of four example booth signs you can see that lower case doesn't feel like signature style any longer.
The right sign was an earlier version of her sign and is too short. With a much smaller sign her name seems tiny and harder to read especially with the pattern of the jewelry behind the lettering. The image of the jewelry is smaller and less dramatic just because of the size of the sign. Despite the difference in size, it was good that Moore put a sign on both edges of her booth to capture the eye of the customer no matter which direction they are walking down the aisle.
I'd like you to notice in the images that the cases obscure the jewelry image on the signs. This is because the jewelry cases are pushed to the very front edge of the booth. It seems that many jewelers are trying this for booth layout, and it has a huge marketing problem called "butt brush factor." (This will be discussed in the next post in the series WANTED Better Display. )
SUMMARY of a SIGNATURE SIGN that works:
- Your name up high.
- Your name in high contrast lettering.
- Large lettering big enough or bold enough to impress.
- Your name in a signature style matching the aesthetic of your booth.
- Optional is an informative tag line or short description about "what you do"or "why visitors need to stop."
- Make your sign memorable.
YOUR NAME UP HIGH POSTS: