Imagination Center: Large Format Printing and Trade Show DisplaysSupporting the Design Community since 1986
Imagination Center News

New? Don't miss the next issue.
Sign-up now.

The booth backwall: the largest draw to your exhibit

There are many options for graphics to adorn your exhibit. Tabletops, retractables, and hanging banners are some of the many options available to convey your message at your trade show. The graphic that has the largest impact and speaks the loudest is the backwall booth exhibit. There are may options that will create a powerful backwall for your trade show endeavor. Each solution has advantages and disadvantages. Just as the solutions vary, the pricing for these solutions also vary greatly.

Retractable Backwalls -Tension Fabric Displays from the Imagination Center, Frederick, MD
One of the more versatile and cost effective solutions to creating a professional booth backwall is utilizing retractable banner displays. 8’ wide by 77” tall retractable banners are available or you may use several 3’ wide or 4’ wide retractable banners in tandem to create a backwall for your exhibit. The 8’ wide retractable with graphics will cost about $ 800.00 (not including design). Using 3’ wide retractables in tandem will cost anywhere from $ 289.00 to $ 750.00 per 3’ unit with graphics, depending on the model and type of graphics used.

Fabric Backdrop -
One extremely easy to transport backdrop option is a fabric backdrop. The graphics are printed via dye sublimation on to a lightweight, stretch style fabric. This graphic attaches to the pipe and drape that adorn the back of most trade show booths. The graphic has pole pockets and grommets on the top and side of the fabric, allowing you to hang it from the pipe and drape poles and pull the graphics nice and taught using bungies attached to the side poles. Your entire display folds to fit into a case roughly the size or an airplane pillow. The 10’ wide graphic for the fabric backdrop is $ 1,180.00

Tension Fabric Displays -
Stretch Fabric Booth from teh Imagination Center in Frederick, MD
Affordable, lightweight, professional, and easy to set-up are some of the most common descriptions for this solution. Like the fabric backdrop, the graphics are printed onto a lightweight, stretch fabric using dye-sublimation printing. The graphic is then applied to a lightweight frame via velcro sewn directly into the fabric. One graphic covers the entire 8’ or 10’ backwall frame, so there are no seems from one panel to another. The unit sets-up and breaks down in less than a minutes time and weighs less than 35 lbs. Backwall tension fabric and displays cost $ 1,700.00 for an 8’ display, and $ 2,000.00 for a 10’ display, including graphics.

Pop-Up Displays -Large scale pop up display from the Imagination Center in Frederick, MD
Pop-Up displays have long been the staple for booth backwall displays. These unit are relatively easy to set-up with average set-up times ranging from 15 to 25 minutes. The units have a solid frame design and use magnetic rails to attach graphic panels to the unit. The graphics are primarily constructed using printing on paper, with a texture overlam and a light blocking backer applied. The graphic using this solution are exceptionally vibrant and “pop” unlike any other option. The graphic panels are roughly 2’ wide x 7’ tall. When they are applied, the butt snugly against each other giving a seamless appearance. These solutions range in price from $ 3,000 - $4,500 depending on manufacturer and model.

To see these solutions, kick the tires, and find more information about these solutions, feel free to stop by our showroom to find which option best meets your needs.

Standout with Standoffs!Standoff wall display from Imagination Center in Frederick, MD

Standoffs are a simple and low cost solution to add a polished finish to your lobbies wall graphics. Standoffs are made of brass or nickel, and used to raise your graphics off of the wall. They can be used to most rigid materials including metal, Plexiglas, glass, or PVC. For about $ 20.00 more than the signage, you can add standoffs to make your image stand out.

Designer’s Corner

Removing the anomalies caused by PostScript drop shadows in PDF’s.

PDF’s have made life a lot easier for everyone, especially for designers. PDF’s allow people outside of your organization to open your documents, regardless of the application in which it was created; regardless of which fonts were used; and without having to embed or provide linked photos.

Problem: As great as PDF’s are, there have been a few flaws that have caused anxiety, especially when printing. One of these flaws revolves around using drop shadows created with filters in PostScript applications like Illustrator or InDesign. Often, when drop shadows have been generated using the PostScript applications and then exported as PDF’s, lines can be seen on the screen around the drop shadowed text. Other anomalies that may be experienced are color shifts around the shadowed text when the file is printed, or other undesirable side effects around the shadowed text. The problem is caused by the way some PostScript RIP’s and interpreters rasterize the transparency information that the drop shadows use.

Solution: An easy way to generate a PDF without having these anomalies rear their ugly head is by using certain PDF settings or making some modifications in your PDF settings. To fix this problem, go to your PDF settings. Under the “Advanced” setting, there is an option there for “PDF Flattener”. Make sure that the preset for “PDF Flattener” is set for “High Resolution”. If you would like to use an existing PDF preset without changing any options, use the PDF/X-1a:2000 setting.

If you have information that others may find useful, whether it be information on a new design program, current underutilized tools, or marketing advice, please feel free to write an article and submit it to the Imagination Center Newsletter. You may submit any articles to