Texture is back—and in a big way. Many trade show exhibitors are using textured surfaces in their exhibit design to increase visual interest, draw attention and add depth and richness to their exhibit's look and feel.



And unlike Zolatone, the spray finish that gives exhibitry a faux-stone look that exhibitors have been using for the past 30 years, the textures we're seeing now are dimensional materials with real depth—such as routed wood and pvc, poured plastics, layered objects and metalwork.


What can you accomplish by adding texture to your trade show exhibit design? Here are six suggestions:


  1. Draw attention to your message. Subtle to medium textures add interest as backgrounds for logos and simple signage—so long as you stick to something that reads as neutral in tone.

  1. Evoke a mood or type of environment. Textural materials conjure images of specific types of places. Pair the right one with your brand and your exhibit will intuitively express your brand. For instance, exposed vintage brick says quaint urban, concrete equates with modern, and rough-hewn wood denotes rustic.

  1. Exude calm. Subtle, repeated textures blend into serene patterns that create a peaceful ambiance.

  1. Contribute an upscale vibe. Textures convey elegance, order and organization.

  1. Add attitude. Bold textures make a statement and add a sense of motion to your display.

  1. Add drama and draw attention. This is especially true when you highlight your texture with bright—or even colored—lighting.

Are you using any textural elements in your trade show exhibit design? If you are, we'd love to hear about what you're doing.