Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for May 20th, 2016

Meet Kim DiStefano, Classic Exhibits Designer

May 20th, 2016 1 COMMENT


We’ve been talking with Kim DiStefano, an exhibit designer, for awhile. Kim lives a few miles from our shop in Milwaukie, OR. Enticing her to join us has taken some persuasion. Not that she didn’t like us, but as a contract designer with a family, she was uncertain if she wanted to work in an office. Well, eventually Kevin convinced her, wore her down, or she changed her mind. Probably a little of all three.

We are delighted to have Kim join us in the Design Department. She’s been on board for about a month. Now we get to do the formal unveiling. Kim was kind enough to write a bio summarizing her background and interests. She can be reached at

BTW — She’s quickly becoming our resident design expert in Gravitee.

Kim DiStefano’s Bio

I was raised in New Jersey, studied design at Rutgers University, and graduated with a BA in Art. The art school, Mason Gross, is part of the Rutgers college network, and I was lucky to study a wide variety of arts, as well as minor in Economics and Biology. My career started in graphic design with a background in advertising and illustration. When I moved to South Carolina four years after graduating, I was in search of a new design direction and gained more experience in all things Apple and Adobe. But I was still looking for something new.

Soon after, I moved to southern California in the late nineties, which had always been a dream of mine. In CA, I got married, and in my frenzied job search, I discovered the world of trade show design at Skyline Orange County. I began working in an environment surrounded by talented designers who facilitated my transition into the world of structural design. My graphic design background married well with exhibit design, and I became very good at helping clients showcase who they were graphically and structurally. I was hooked, and never looked back at graphic design again!


After several years working for Skyline OC, I chose to work from home when my first son was born.

After my second son was born, we decided Portland, OR would be a better place to raise our family. We sold our home, moved to Portland with no jobs and a dream of a new life. In no time, we were both employed, and I found my way back to Skyline again by working for the Skyline Displays of Oregon.

When the economy slowed down along with the trade show business, I switched to freelance design for trade show distributors around the country. My reputation for beautiful work, friendly demeanor, and timely turnaround kept me busy. I now have experience designing graphics for small companies that need help representing themselves, as well as for large corporations that want someone to take the reins and show them how their exhibit space can work best and how clean and exciting graphics can pull it all together.

My years of experience taught me to listen to the client — even if they are just talking in colors and feelings — and to create an exhibit space that fulfills their needs and that they love. I show them what works best, within their budget, and how they can stand out from their competitors.

When Classic Exhibits approached me, I was unsure if I wanted to give up my freelance work. But as I got to know them and saw all the exciting opportunities they had available, I decided to join their creative team. I am ready to spread my wings in the custom design field and work with Classic’s talented designers to collaborate and grow even more. I am excited to be part of the Classic family and to see what amazing things we will create together.

When I’m not at my desk designing, I enjoy riding my road bike, mountain biking, hiking, or making art projects with my two boys and husband.


Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or



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May 20th, 2016 COMMENTS