September 13, 2018

Shell Scheme Graphics Guaranteed To Get Your Brand Noticed!

A Printdesigns Guide To Making The Most Impact With A Shell Scheme

Exhibition checklist:
Pamphlets to hand out…check.
Free pens to give away…check.
Samples of your new widgets…check.
Eye-catching visuals for the stand…

As people walk up and down the exhibition hall, research says that in the first five seconds someone sees a stand, they’ve already decided if it’s of interest to them or not.

That’s right.
You’ve got five seconds or less to make an impression. 5 seconds to ensure they don’t carry on and walk right past.

So, it goes without saying then that the more visually appealing a stand is, the more chance you have of pulling in the prospective customers.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to make the most out for your exhibition floor space.

Shell Scheme Graphics

Image showing a shell scheme booth from a blog post about shell scheme graphics by Printdesigns


An exhibition hall is split up into different areas. There’s the main space where an exhibitor will have nothing but floor to work with (we’ll cover this in a future post), and an area that is taken up by pre-erected booths.
The show’s organisers call the mini-booths ‘shell schemes’ because, in essence, you’re getting an empty shell that’s ready for your individual visuals. There will be one, two or three sides to cover with graphics and the space on the ground.

Just because these booths are a standard size and layout doesn’t mean that your individual touch needs be standard as well.

Think of a shell scheme as a blank canvas and let your imagination loose!

The panels in a shell scheme are usually around 1m wide x 2.5m high. Think of these as the building blocks of your design and use each panel individually or perhaps consider designing a large graphic to cover multiple panels in one-piece (see Shell-Clad below).
From soft display fabrics to rigid foam PVC, there are many substrate choices to print the graphics panels onto.


Image showing a shell scheme booth from a blog post about shell scheme graphics available from Printdesigns

Don’t just think of which looks more appealing.
Think of panel weight – are you having to lug the panels around to different exhibitions? How are the panels being stored between exhibitions? Are they for a one-off exhibition or ongoing?

If you’re unsure as to which substrate is ideal for promoting your brand, get in touch and we’ll help guide you through the options.

Attaching the graphic panels to the shell scheme is normally done by Velcro. Hooks on one side and loops on the other keep the panels in place for the duration of the exhibition and means easy removal once the days are finished.
For more info on printed shell scheme graphics, click here.

Shell Clad Systems & Graphics 

The next step up from individual graphic panels is the Shell Clad system.

Image showing the Shell Clad system available from Printdesigns


Shell Clad provides a method of fixings graphics to almost any exhibition shell scheme and allows the printed panels to butt-up edge to edge. The capability to butt-up panels without gaps in-between allows for much more creativity in terms of the design of the panels. With shell clad you can create murals of artwork and display it on the walls of your booth as one continuous spread rather than a series of individual panels.

So, how does it work? 

Shell Clad adapter clips are simple, plastic adapters that snap-into place on the upright posts of the shell scheme. The adapters are covered in velcro that provides a receptive surface onto which your graphic panels attach.

Graphics are produced to specific sizes dependent on the type of exhibition shell scheme that you have. When attached to the adapter clips, the panels form one image that encapsulates the whole wall of the stand providing a high-impact visual.


Image of an exhibition stand using the Shell Clad system available from Printdesigns


If a Shell Clad system is right for your next exhibition, we’ve got costs and further information here.

Curvorama Shell Scheme Kit

Image showing the Curvorama exhibition system available from Printdesigns


Curvorama works on a similar idea to the Shell Clad system but utilises a different method of attaching the panels.
Rather than attaching to the vertical posts of the stand, adapters hook over the top and bottom cross beams of a shell scheme and tension vertically between the clips to keep the print taut and in position.

With Curvorama, multiple panels overlap slightly to create an eye-catching seamless graphic wall. When the show is over these panels can be rolled up for transportation and the fixings are a universal fit with all types of shell scheme so you can re-use the graphics at multiple events regardless of the type of shell scheme that you are provided with.


Image showing the Curvorama exhibition system available online from Printdesigns


Curvorama’s benefits don’t stop at the shell scheme though. It is also available with optional legs and feet that turn the system to a free-standing display.  Ideal if you decide to participate at some events whereby you are not provided with an exhibition shell scheme!

If it does fit the bill, find out more on Curvorama here.

ShowSuit Shell Scheme Graphics 

Although both Shell Clad and Curvorama allow multiple panels to be butted up or overlapped in order to provide the appearance of a continuous mural graphic, there are seams between the panels that are not invisible.

ShowSuit graphics are printed onto display fabric and provide a truly seamless solution to graphic walls since the panel can be printed in one continuous run to fit the wall of the booth.


Image showing the show suit fabric exhibition system by Printdesigns


ShowSuit’s printed polyester fabric is clamped between aluminium rails at the top and bottom of the print and the same adapters as Curvorama fit to the shell scheme’s aluminium cross beams to support it.
To stop any sag, vertical tension is achieved by pulling a cord at the bottom of the graphic. Horizontal tension comes courtesy of push-fitting a silicone bead into the shell scheme’s upright post.
ShowSuit has been fully tested with Octanorm shell schemes. If your show organiser uses a different scheme, let us know the details and we’ll make sure your new system works.

Need to see it in action? Have a watch of the assembly video on our ShowSuit page here.


Image of the show suit fabric exhibition system available from Printdesigns

T3 Shell Kit

The last option for shell scheme graphics is the T3 system.

Image showing the T3 shell scheme system available from Printdesigns


The T3 Shell Kit consists of a frame that goes within the existing shell scheme and the graphics are simply attached to the frame.
Options for the graphics include non-crease easy-fit fabrics through to solid foamex panels and crystal textured anti-scuff films.

The T3 uses adapters to fit securely to the shell scheme aluminium frame and even though it’s built within the existing booth, it only takes up 60mm in depth. The T3 Shell system really shines when you’re exhibiting in numerous location. The size of the frame can be adjusted by adding or removing sections as and when necessary.


Image showing the T3 shell scheme system available online from Printdesigns


With no compatibility issues, the T3 Shell Kit can be used at any exhibition worldwide.
We’ve got an assembly video here showing the T3 and how it works.


That’s all the options for shell schemes covered.

We’re sure there’s one to fit in with your vision whether you need simplicity, cost-effectiveness or reusability.
If you still need some impartial advice, let us know and we’ll help you (in plain English) to find the one that is right for you.

The only thing left to do is put together your message and branding!

Fortunately, we’ve even got 5 design tips for making the most impact with your shell scheme graphics.


5 top tips for designing your shell scheme graphics from Printdesigns


  • Be Bright! Make sure you stand out by using colour. Don’t sink into the background with greys and neutrals.
    Even though your logo and corporate colours may not be the boldest, add a splash of colour to your design to catch that prospective customer’s eye.
  • Make Sure It’s Legible! Don’t design it with 16pt text and whatever colours you do use, ensure they can be easily read against the background.
    Both the images and the text need to be super sharp and clear. If it looks unprofessional, I’m carrying on walking!
  • 3. Use Images. Speaking of clear images, make sure you use them. No shell scheme should have a wall of text and certainly, no-one is going to read it. Informative or inspirational images and graphics work wonders. Remember, a picture can paint a thousand words and at a quick glance, your brand needs to say something about you.
  • 4. Don’t Confuse! Make sure it makes sense! Use images and graphics that match your theme or brand, not just because they look cool. Think about what you want to convey (keep a brand book) and incorporate this into your design.
  • 5. Keep On Brand. Don’t sell socks and use images of sports cars! In that quick glance, the passerby needs to know who you are and what you can do for them. Don’t make promises with your exhibition graphics that you know as a company you can’t keep.

Keep to these five tips, look to one of the shell scheme systems outlined above, and happy exhibiting!

March 27, 2018

Printable flooring options for the exhibition season

As the exhibition and events calendar begins to kick-off following the Easter holidays, many of our customers attending exhibitions and events are keen to explore new and innovative methods of drawing attention to their exhibition space.

Printed flooring is a great way of creating a lasting impression but is also extremely cost-effective and easy to install. Because our flooring can be removed/re-used, it delivers maximum value for money whilst looking superior to boring throw-away, plain carpeting.

For temporary exhibition use, our Fotoboden floor product is the perfect solution. Manufactured in Germany, this premium 2mm cushioned flooring is ideal for exhibitions, events and retail displays. It’s designed for indoor use but can even be used short-term outdoors! Fotoboden flooring is printed in widths up to 2M wide and can be unrolled and laid side-by-side in sections to fill almost any exhibition space. If you don’t want to cover your entire floor space then Fotoboden flooring can be profile cut to create small floor graphics such as centre-pieces or doormats etc.

You can find information and prices on Fotoboden Floor Graphics at our website here:

If you are looking for a super-tough and durable printable flooring designed for use in the harshest environments then look no further than our G-Floor solution.

G Floor is a clear, plastic material that is between 2.5mm and 3mm thickness depending on the finish. The printed image is actually applied to the underside of the material which is then over-printed with a layer of white-ink. This means that the printed graphic cannot be scratched or damaged by heavy traffic as is the case with traditional floor graphics that are printed on the top-surface.

G-Floor is manufactured in the USA where it’s popularity has taken off especially in the automotive sector because it’s so tough that you can actually drive-over it. For exhibitors displaying heavy plant equipment or machinery, why not consider a personalised G-Floor graphic to help draw-attention to your product and brand!

If you are exhibition at an outdoor event then you might think that floor graphics are not a possibility but guess-again. Our brand new AlumiGraphics floor decals are made from tough, pliable aluminium foil with unique properties that make it suitable for application to almost any hard exterior surface including walls and floors.

Fill outdoor walkways, paths and drives with stunning graphics that are tough and long-lasting. AlumiGraphics are non-slip and designed for Months of outdoor use.

Whatever your requirement, Printdesigns can offer expert advice and friendly service. Just call and speak to one of our team who can help make your next exhibition or even a complete success!

February 2, 2018

The Printdesigns Guide to Dye Sublimation Printing

We are always telling our customers about our range of fabric display systems because we firmly believe that there are numerous benefits when compared to old pop up stands that use heavy, fragile graphic panels.

All of our fabric displays are printed using a dye sublimation process for the best possible printed results. We thought that we should take the time to explain more about the process given that many customers are unfamiliar with the benefits it provides when compared to other methods of printing.

There is a buzz around the term ‘dye sublimation’ printing in the exhibition and events industry and for a good reason!

The science behind dye sublimation printing involves the chemical process of sublimation which is where a solid turns directly into a gas without going through the liquid stage. What does that mean exactly…

After printing, the dry ink is heated between 180-200 degrees Celsius which turns the dye particles into vapour. This process involves feeding the print through a large set of heated rollers called a rotary heat press. When the ink particles cool and turn back into a solid, they become one with any polymer molecules present in the fabric and are therefore ‘fixed’.

Dye sublimation ink can be printed either directly to the material (fabric) or onto transfer paper which is then heated against to the fabric through the heat-press in order to transfer the image. We use one method or the other to achieve the best printed result dependent on the type of fabric we are using.

Our Fabri-Vu printer is capable of the highest quality dye sublimation fabric graphics


Dye sublimation printing comes into it’s own when producing fabric graphics because colours and vibrancy are far superior to other methods of fabric printing that involve printing ink that sits on the surface of the material where it could get scratched or cracked.

Our fabric graphics can be folded for convenient transport without permanently damaging them. Fabric display graphics can even be washed should they become marked or dirty in use.

We offer a wide range of portable display frameworks that are specifically designed for use with fabric. Why not visit our web store to view the huge range of Fabric Display Stands on offer or why not visit us in person to view our in-house printing and finishing facilities for yourself.




September 12, 2017

Why entrepreneurs should always be behind their own trade booth

Entrepreneurs can find it hard to release control when it comes to opening up their business to others. It’s especially hard if they’ve nurtured their business through the lean, early years, and are just now seeing their rewards flourish.

It’s not that wanting this kind of control over a product they’ve grown carefully is unusual, or is a bad thing in any way. What it does mean is that, if it’s a smaller business, the best person to be behind the trade show booth is the entrepreneur themselves.

Even bigger businesses can benefit from having the original entrepreneur make an appearance at their trade stand. Every business had to start from somewhere, and even the big business which dominate the high street began as a one-person operation, with a single idea.

They know the product inside out

An entrepreneur who helped to create the lines they are selling will be naturally more engaged than a new staffer whose only exposure to the product has been seeing them in the office and then selling them at a trade show. Entrepreneurs are fonts of knowledge, and have no need for flash cards to help if a customer asks a difficult question. New staffers, though, are typically underinformed about the product and shouldn’t venture guesses if customers ask them specific questions.

They believe in the product

With the best will in the world, it is more difficult to believe wholeheartedly in a product if you were not involved in its creation. You approach the product as a sceptical customer. However, if you’ve created it, pouring time and money into it, you have believed in it from when it was just an idea in your head. Naturally, this means your enthusiasm for the product will come across.

They’re hungry for business

Entrepreneurs, especially those who have lived close to the breadline while trying to make their business work, are keenly aware of how the market works and reacts. Things that are in vogue today may be completely ignored tomorrow. They know you should never rest on your laurels, and will be eager to find business where they can. A trade show is a golden opportunity they don’t want to waste or throw away, and an entrepreneur who has seen so many other products fade away and disappear will know how quickly everything can change.


September 8, 2017

How can you get noticed at a trade show?

Trade shows are a necessity for almost any business, whether you work in education, for a local authority, or in retail. And if you’re there, you can bet that your competitors will be there too, eager to vie for customers with you.

You can’t do anything to affect perception of your competitors’ brands. The only thing you can affect is your own brand; how it looks, feels, and presents itself to its audience.

Advertise to your clients that you’ll be there

If your clients like you, they’ll want to know that you’ll be at a trade show close to them. Let them know they can meet someone they’ve previously only spoken to via email or phonecall before. Corporates will typically book for many of their staff in one block a month or so before the show, so time your advertising there if you work B2B. Retail customers are a trickier bunch, and you should check your customer research to figure out when’s best to contact them.

Make your stand interesting

A minimalist stand in pure white and just one thing on the table is interesting; so too is a stand which has exploded in plenty of colour. Make your stand interesting to look at, and then make sure that the people manning your stand are interesting to speak to. People who look interested in speaking to others will attract more potential customers. Make sure any information you have on hand, like leaflets or brochures, are fun to look at and use too. If you miss this critical step, people will pick up your information and never read it.

Back up your claims

It’s easy to claim that you have plenty of top-notch clients, they are all pleased with your work and would buy from you again. But it’s worth having information that backs this up. Not only does displaying this make your company more credible, it also makes for a handout you can give out and make people remember you.

Focus on your strengths

If your company is excellent at infographics or animations, make sure you have a plan for a big screen where these can be viewed by customers who come to your stall. If you know your failure is in writing snappy slogans for your trade stand, don’t try. It’s always better to succeed than try but miss the mark when you’re presenting to customers.