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Archive for the ‘Graphics’ Category

2017 Portable Modular Awards at EXHIBITORLIVE

March 22nd, 2017 COMMENTS

EXHIBITOR Portable Modular Awards 2017

Occasionally, we get to “Toot Our Own Horn.” At EXHIBITORLIVE, Classic Exhibits had six finalists for the EXHIBITOR Portable Modular Awards. Our most ever. We won two:  Best Inline and Best Use of Graphics. Here is background on each winner from an article that will appear in EXHIBITOR Magazine.

Best Inline

Exhibitor: Spirion LLC (formerly Identity Finder LLC)
Design/Fabrication: Classic Exhibits Inc.
Design: ProExhibits
System: Classic Exhibits Inc.
Event: RSA Security Conference, 2016
Budget: $20,000 – $39,000
Size: 10-by-20 feet

Bathed in Spirion blue and accented by a pop of orange across the top, the SuperNova lightbox featured nothing more than text proclaiming the product name and three benefit statements. By selecting a mere 13 words with maximum impact, Spirion communicated its key messages in a glance — and managed to wow visitors and judges alike.

In the words of one juror, “Spirion’s space is proof positive that one powerful graphic can deliver an effective message. Elaboration is unnecessary — and often functions as a powerful foe capable of fouling even the most skillful design.”

Best Use of Graphics

Exhibitor: Classic Exhibits Inc.
Design/Fabrication: Classic Exhibits Inc.
System: Classic Exhibits Inc.
Budget: $80,000 – $149,000
Size: 20-by-30 feet

Throughout the space, graphics comprised mostly grey-and-white line drawings of trees and apples, with delicate curls and curves used to craft the intended images. Accompanying text such as “It didn’t just fall from a tree. Introducing Gravitee One-Step Wall System” suggested the new product’s evolution.

The apple imagery comprised both line-drawn, neutral-colored fruit as well as full-color versions, whose shades of red, yellow, and green popped against the otherwise neutral palette. In addition, a roughly 10-foot-tall tower at the front of the space featured a tree illustration along with apple images that sporadically lit up, courtesy of imbedded LEDs.

Our thanks to Katina Rigall, Classic’s Creative Director, for all her work submitting the PMA applications. A very special thanks to Glenna Martin, our Graphic Design Manager, for her award winning design, which we loved so much that we used an updated variation on our 2017 booth. And finally, a huge pat on the back to the project managers and production associates at Classic Exhibits who managed and built these exhibits. There’s a reason why Shared Success is our #1 core value.

Finally, our sincere appreciation to Classic Distributors for your support and business. It means so much to us!

–Mel White


SEGD (Society for Experiential Graphic Designers) Conference Notes

June 24th, 2016 COMMENTS


John Zipay, GM of Exhibits Northwest (Observations)

Last week, I attended SEGD (Society for Experiential Graphic Designers) in Seattle.

The speakers covered topics from Landscapes & Way Finding Signage to Crafting Experiences & Shaping Space with Art. Each topic gave me insights into the creative process. Typically, the artist starts with an idea that evolves into something similar but different during the fulfillment process.

IMG_2076As the creative energies flow, the artist makes changes to get the look they want. More often, it’s the trial and error, the missteps along the way that creates something extraordinary. In other words, their failures contribute to their success. Attending SEGD allowed to take a deeper look into the creative world and understand the importance of creative failure as a stepping stone to creative success.

My brain sees the world as a square grid with capital letters and dollar signs. As a result, I have never been very good at managing designers. SEGD provide me with insights into their world. Going forward, I plan to create an environment that fosters creativity and that allows designers to tap into organic uses of a space, whether exhibits or corporate environments.

While at SEGD, I met with vendors at NEXPO, the conference for directional signage and substrates. Just like in our world, LED’s are the wave of the future in signage and substrates. In the trade show business, large backlit fabric lightboxes grab the most attention on the show floor. This is also true in the world of SEGD. I discovered signage companies backlighting 3-D acrylic letters, plastic-formed logos, and graphics.

Finally, I attended the SEGD Seattle Chapter Networking bash where I talked with local Seattle architects and other creative agencies, including a great conversation with a firm working on the Seattle Waterfront development. I was intrigued by the process of how they incorporate so many creative ideas into functional space planning along the Seattle Waterfront. For example, just imagine the time and spacial studies involved to ensure views of Mt. Rainer and the “Pikes Place” sign are maintained.

Katina Rigall, Design Director (Observations)

What a well-done conference! Several Classic employees attended the SEGD “Experience Seattle” Conference from June 9-11. It was well-attended by top professionals in the Experiential Graphic Design community, well-stocked with expert presenters, and well-staffed with knowledgeable personnel.

IMG_2071The “Experience” conference jumps from city to city each year. Last year it was in Chicago. Next year it will be in Miami. It capitalizes on the intrigue of each host city by pulling together historic and present-day experts who discuss the areas’ architecture and large-scale graphics.

Attendees are encouraged to explore the city. Tours of distinctive landmarks, such as the Space Needle, are part of the conference schedule, and restaurant recommendations are readily provided by all the locals – both presenters and attendees.

What a great way to experience a city! I’m from Portland, just a few hours south of Seattle, but I found myself learning so many things and falling in love with the personality of this place, what locals call the “Seattle Spirit.” How cool to be in the home of innovators like Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Microsoft, and Boeing (in its 100th year of business), just to name a few. Not to mention the valuable networking and education.

So as an exhibit professional, you may be wondering how much of this applies to what we do? Quite a bit actually.

  • Most of the agenda focuses on the large-scale graphics that are applied to built structures in distinctive and informative ways, a.k.a. Experiential Graphic Design. How valuable are well-appointed graphics on a trade show booth? I’m convinced after designing trade show exhibits for nine years now, that booth structures are close to worthless without strong graphics.
  • IMG_2083Quite a few of the presenters shared their expertise with permanent installations, from museum exhibit design to exterior applications of digital and 3D signage. The crossover Classic has experienced in retail and museum projects has steadily grown over the last five years, not to mention exhibitors looking for booth properties that can withstand the outdoor elements.
  • This conference brought together cutting edge architects, installation artists, museum exhibit designers, UX designers, fashion designers, and retail designers, in addition to experiential graphic designers. From a designer’s perspective, any chance to see how other creatives work and what they are doing is beneficial. By bringing together so many different creative mediums, I discovered new ways of approaching design challenges and new technologies. That aspect reminded me of the Gravity Free Conference by EXHIBITOR Magazine for several years which brought together a plethora of design experts to stimulate the cross-pollination of ideas.  The unique element that SEGD’s “Experience” brings is that the experts are all from one specific locale.

Creativity is fluid and crosses a lot of professionals. There is much to be borrowed from the experts in fields adjacent to the exhibit industry. I hope to see you all at next year’s conference.


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


How to Speak Graphic Designer (Infographic)

August 25th, 2015 1 COMMENT


28 Design Terms Marketers Should Know

Wow! Two sensational infographics within a week. This one should be printed, framed, and hung on the wall next to every graphic designer and marketing manager. No more misunderstandings about leading and kerning. No more wasted conversations about web-friendly fonts. No more confusion about UI and UX.

Our thanks to Sarah Matista at Pagemodo. The link will take you to the original blog post.


–Mel White


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


Classic Exhibits Welcomes Glenna Martin, FT Graphic Design Manager

August 13th, 2013 COMMENTS

Glenna Martin, Graphic Design Manager

Classic Exhibits announces the addition of Glenna Martin as a full-time Graphic Design Manager. Glenna is not new to the trade show industry, as her bio reveals. She’s been working with Classic and Classic Distributors for eight years as a contract designer and has been instrumental in the branding of Classic Exhibits since 2005. Now she’s at our beck and call, and we couldn’t be happier.

Should you need graphic design services for your client’s exhibits or for your company, such as website design, please give us a call. Our rates are very reasonable. And Glenna is a terrific designer.

Glenna Martin’s Bio

I grew up in Eastern Kentucky and started dabbling in web design at fourteen. My love of art combined with technology drove me to pursue graphic design. I was one of those annoying people who always knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. In 2004, I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in graphic design and almost immediately (I think two weeks after graduation) started working for an ad agency in Berea, Kentucky. It was the perfect position for me:  no project was too large or too small and I got to delve into the software head first. I quickly picked up the ins and outs of the full Adobe Creative Suite, and the on-the-job training was perfect for further developing the skills that I learned in school. As an added bonus, being the only designer on staff meant that I got experience in every facet of graphic design such as traditional identity design, hand illustrating signage, building websites, creating email blasts, and designing print pieces all while working with a wide range of businesses.

It wasn’t long before we broke into the trade show industry by designing identity materials and trade show graphics for Classic Exhibits Inc. This was back when tension fabric was still a cutting-edge new material and not yet the industry standard. Since then, I’ve worked in some capacity on nearly every piece of Classic branded material that has been created:  from hanging ivy on their EXHIBITOR booth in 2007 to the cheesy Aeroman and Kevio campaigns. My skills and creativity have grown with Classic’s success. As our agency built a name for itself in the exhibit industry, we also worked with several Classic Exhibits distributors on everything from identity and creative campaigns to large format graphics.

In 2010, I switched direction and started doing graphic design for a large newspaper, but maintained my relationship with Classic in a freelance capacity. While at the newspaper, I further developed my skills in Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator while learning a ton about color theory and optimizing files for offset print. Designing exclusively for print didn’t have the same creative appeal for me as trade shows so when the opportunity to join the Classic and Exhibits NW presented itself, I was thrilled to jump back in. In true Mel White fashion, there were lots of projects waiting for me. When I started in mid-July, he immediately asked me to complete the Classic website redesign (look for it to launch soon!). I’ve also worked on projects with Classic Distributors who wanted to WOW their clients with professional graphics but didn’t have a designer on staff. I’m excited to see what the future holds and even more excited be part of such an amazing team.

Contact Glenna

If you are planning to attend Shared Knowledge University (SKU) on Sept. 30 and October 1, I look forward to meeting you. If not, don’t be shy about contacting us about our graphic design services. We’re here to make you and your client look better.

Glenna Martin
Graphic Design Manager


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


What are Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG)?

June 10th, 2010 COMMENTS

You may have noticed something new at trade shows and events. Traditional fabric graphics are frequently being replaced by Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG). So what is SEG and what are the benefits?

What is SEG (Silicone Edge Graphics)?

Silicone Edge Graphic (SEG)

Silicone Edge Graphic (SEG)

SEG is a high-resolution dye-sublimated fabric graphic finished with a thin silicone strip (or welt/gasket). The silicone strip is sewn directly to the edge of the graphic, and the strip is then inserted into a frame with a recessed groove. The size of the graphic must be precise so the fabric is taut when installed in the frame. The result is a large format graphic that mimics the old fashioned hard panel graphics commonly found on custom displays and interior spaces.

What is Different or Special about SEG?

  • Lightweight Fabric. Fabric is lighter and more durable than tradition direct print graphics.
  • Versatile. SEG can be used on many SEG aluminum extrusion profiles (including ClassicMODUL TSP profiles).
  • Dye-Sublimation. Dye-sublimation graphics are durable, vibrant, and lightweight.
  • Less Frame. SEG graphics are the perfect choice when more graphic and less frame is desired.
  • No Sew Line. Unlike bead or pole pocket fabric graphics, the sew line is hidden within the extrusion providing a
    more finished look to your exhibit or retail wall display.

    SEG Two-Sided Lightbox

    SEG Two-Sided Lightbox

What are the Benefits of SEG?

  • Storage and Shipping. Fabric is lighter than many other graphics. When folded neatly, fabric graphics take up much less space than traditional direct print graphics.
  • Care. Fabric graphics can be washed and steamed and are more durable and long lasting than traditional graphics.
  • Lightweight. Larger graphics weigh less, perfect for draping or creating space definition.
  • Cost. More image bang for the buck!
  • Green. There are the obvious transportation and storage benefits. Even more exciting is the growing list of fabric options created from recycled materials.
  • No Glare. Fabric is the perfect choice for media walls or any backdrop that is being photographed or filmed.
  • Versatility. SEG fabric can be applied to most displays or event structures.
  • Less Visible Frame. The silicone edge means you see more graphic and less frame.

Here’s a great video from Optima Graphics about how to take a correct measurement for a Silicone Edge Graphic:

Some examples of trade show exhibits and event displays using SEG:

For more information about SEG including detailed images and photos, download the comprehensive FAQ Fact Sheet and Common SEG Extrusion Profiles. Have questions? Please call us.

–Mel White
Classic Exhibits Network (LinkedIn)