One challenge that we face regularly in the Trade Show design and build business is having to work around designing with low resolution photos. Companies will often come to us with what appears to be a quality resolution photo, but what happens when that photo is blown up to fill a 10×10 space? It takes an especially high quality image to take it to large format print. Although we go the extra mile to make the photos work in these situations, sometimes sacrifices in layout have to be made. In these situations the lesson is learned to always shoot in the highest resolution possible, because you never know where you’re going to need it.

Download the ICD Case Study


ICD Construction is a local construction company that specializes in industrial and dairy construction. They offer services in design build, construction management, and general contracting. We had the opportunity of designing a medallion display for them to show off their services at the World Dairy Expo in October of 2017.


One of the challenges that we faced when working on this project was the lack of high quality images for such a large print project. For any normal project the photos provided by ICD Construction would have been perfectly acceptable, but when dealing with a 10’ x 10’ print we have to consider how each image is going to print in that scale. There were also many photos that presented strange coloring or other elements that needed to be edited.

Another challenge that we came across was incorporating their two main types of construction (industrial and dairy) in one booth, without conflicting and confusing the two types. This emphasized the importance of organizing the content and utilizing the layout to display it in an organized fashion.

Lastly, we had to keep in mind the end product when designing, and therefore design for print, which can be challenging. Some elements we had to consider while we designed were the mounted TV monitor and the table that would be in front of the booth.


One way that we were able to overcome the challenge of only having to work with low quality images was by using professional re-sampling software to boost the quality as much as possible. We also used our Photoshop skills to clone in more of the image to increase the dimensions without decreasing the quality. For example, if the image was only 35 inches in height, but we could clone in 10 inches of the sky at the top, and 10 inches off the ground at the bottom, then we could increase the image to a 55 inch height without sacrificing quality. We were also able to take their photos into Photoshop and color correct the ones that displayed a magenta overtone and provide them with the new and improved images. After doing all we could to increase photo resolution and improve image coloring, we used the enhanced photo as best we could by adapting the layout to fit its needs.

We solved the puzzle of incorporating the two types of construction without mixing the two by simple converting the booth to a two sided set up for minimal added cost. This meant that we could use one side for industrial construction and one side for dairy construction and they could display whichever side best fit their needs for each specific trade show. By doing so we had to be especially careful in organizing the appropriate photos and content for each side accordingly.

As we designed this project, it was crucial that we keep the end product in mind and design for print. For example, during the design process we scaled out exactly where the TV monitor would go so that we wouldn’t run into the issue of printing, putting the monitor on, and then realizing that the monitor covers up important content. Another way we were able to use print design techniques to avoid disaster was by being mindful that a 36” tall table would be positioned in front of the exhibit. By keeping this in mind we were able to position all important content and photography above that level so that it wouldn’t be hidden by the table.