From speaking with many veterans in the craft show world, their booths evolved over time. I'm sure mine will too, however, I put a lot of thought into the overall look and feel of my booth for my very first craft show that I think the general design will stick for a little while.
I approached my 6'x8' space like I would with my home improvement projects. I tried to think of the big picture- what was the overall mood or feeling I wanted to capture. How could I evoke that feeling through color and texture. Where did I want eyes to fall? How could I create a space that might be similar to where my customer would use my product? It's easy to get caught up in analysis paralysis. If you are trying to come up with a nice booth design, a great starting point is to look at your logo. Are there any colors that are dominant in your logo? If you don't have a strong or identifiable logo, think about trends in your products. Do you have a design aesthetic that gravitates to certain colors?
Side note: I actually just created my logo earlier this year for the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash media information, but since I made it, everything has sort of fallen into place with it. I've created a similar logo for this website, a icon for my Instagram account, my business cards, and all the other places that I want to showcase my brand.
Since the main feature to my maps are the blue water bodies, my dominant color is a teal-turquoise-blue color. I used this color as my major accent color to my booth. However, to keep from being too over-powering, it's a good idea to utilize neutral colors as your base. I focused on whites, blacks, grays, and browns. That actually seems like a lot for the base colors now that I write it out, but some of those colors came out more in the form of texture rather than color- in other words, wood around my pricing chart or burlap for the table cloth.
One of my main booth design goals was to create a space that gave the customer the feeling of being in their own cozy living room, as this is where I envision my art being hung. Obviously the scale is totally different, but if you think of a hospital, things tend to be flat, sterile, and drab. Part of this is because there isn't a lot of texture to soften things up. Adding a little bit of texture can bring some life to your booth. A great way to add texture is through the use of wood. I've seen a bunch of booths use wooden boxes to stack objects and give some height. As I mentioned above, I had a wood-framed pricing chart as well as a wooden box to sit some of my prints on top of. I also used got about 4 or 5 yards of burlap from www.fabric.com to use as my table cloth. To add some more layers of texture and dimension, I added two throws- one on the table and one on the wood bench that Nick built for our house a while back. To help pull the scheme together, I added a small rug that I found at Target.
Okay, so we've covered color and texture. Now think about metals. Do metals play into your booth design? If so, which metal? My personal preference for home décor is polished nickel, but I decided to warm things up for my booth and go with copper. I stored my maps in a variety of copper baskets and used copper place setting holders as the holders to display the print sizes. I also found a great vase from West Elm that had both the blue and the copper elements. And going back to texture, I threw in some pink roses and eucalyptus. This strays from my pops of blue concept, however, it's a warm, inviting element that gives the eye a place to break at in between all of the products.
Two more elements to consider- height and lighting. Nick built me a simple pegboard wall that we hung some of the prints on. I painted this white- a good, neutral base that allowed the maps to show up. Based on the size of the booth, I created one side wall. This gave some height to the booth and also helped enclose my space. As for lighting, I used clamp lights, however I couldn't get them to hang down over the art. Rather, the pointed out, towards my booth. I initially bought 40 watt equivalent LED lights, however those ended up being way to bright. At the last minute. I ran to Home Depot and bought two Edison bulbs. Ideally you want to showcase the art with bright lights, however, I had to make the best of the situation and I think this ended up working well, giving the overall feel of warmth and comfort.
And there you have it. A simple and coordinated craft show booth design. Will I change my mind about things in the future, probably, but for now I'm really excited about how everything turned out.
Interested in purchasing some of these elements as well? Here is my source list:
Small, medium and large copper baskets- Container Store
Long, narrow copper basket- CB2
Copper name tags- CB2
Gray and white throw- CB2
Gray, white and blue throw- West Elm
Blue and Copper vase- West Elm
Wood crate- Michaels
Chalkboard stand- World Market
Burlap cloth- Fabric.com
Business card holder- Container Store
Copper clips- Container Store
Peg board stand- My loving husband