Digital Print Specialties, based just outside of Detroit, MI, is a custom print shop that uses large-scale dye-sublimation techniques to produce some really unique printed materials, including custom upholstery, wallcoverings, acoustic panels, office dividers, and even glass and tile. Their parent company, Banner Sign Company, produces much of the large-scale signage for Olympia Entertainment, including the sports jerseys that occasionally adorn the public art downtown Detroit.

Digital Print Specialties IDS14 booth design triangles

Last fall, DPS contracted us to design their trade show booth for the Interior Design Show 2014 in Toronto. They asked us to produce an explicitly trend-conscious, overtly custom, and eye-catching environment, to hopefully grab the attention of the tens of thousands passers-by, while succinctly describing their company and showcasing the range of their services.

Digital Print Specialties IDS14 booth design wide

The space was to be quite small – only 20 by 5 feet – so it required some strategic planning. Rather than fill the interior with physical examples of their offerings, we chose to place one custom upholstered iconic piece of furniture – an Eames lounge chair and stool – in the center, complimented by a marble-topped tulip table and arc lamp.

Digital Print Specialties IDS14 booth design medium

For the chair, we created a series of marbled acrylic prints, which were transferred to the uphholstery by DPS.

acrylic marble prints

Digital Print Specialties IDS14 booth design chair close

The surfaces of the space were printed with a non-repeating, asymmetrical, geometric design flowing seamlessly from wall to wall to floor. Within white panel overlays, we designed precise copy and typography, with a planned hierarchy of information based on where viewers would be standing at the booth.

On either end of the space was an array of sample materials, printed with a color variation of the marble. Below the samples, on the floor, was a triangle filled with the same marble print.

Digital Print Specialties IDS14 booth design right angle

Digital Print Specialties IDS14 booth design top

Digital Print Specialties IDS14 booth design left angle

Throughout this project, we kept returning to the concept of the purpose of a trade show booth. What are the goals? What are the obstacles? What are the trends in booth design, and what is their purpose? Do they even make sense, or is standard booth design just an example of sheep mentality? Our goal was to distill all of these conceptual questions down into an efficient and entirely purposeful exhibition for DPS.

And look at how happy they look in their booth

DPS in booth at IDS14 Digital Print Specialties at IDS14