Must Know Facts for Designing Xpressions

1. Understand the X Factor!

Xpressions skins are tension fabric. When designing an Xpressions 1×1 skin, draw an imaginary X from corner to corner. Starting at the center you have zero distortion but as you move further toward the corners where the skin attaches to the hub, you will experience greater image distortion. Utilize this effect within your design and take full advantage of the unique design tool!

2. Contrast is for your display / Copy is for your brochure

Leave your copy to your brochure or iPad apps… Layer con-trasting skins with none to five words maximum and your display will surely turn some heads. Remember, your booth space is not a library. Catch the attention of the exhibit visitors so that properly trained sales staff can engage the audience face-to-face.

3. Work the entire display – not just the individual skins

This is the most common mistake we see designers make on Xpressions:  designing nine or ten individual skins as independent layouts. The most successful layouts are ones that utilize the two planes of the frame and visualize the many skins as if they are one. These style displays explore the dimensionality of the Xpressions system. All the skins work together to create a single back wall in contrast to a bunch of separate layouts that are more akin to the old Velcro graphic on fabric pop-ups.

4. Lighting

Design your display to catch light and or incorporate lights as the only color on all white skins. Lights also make any printed Xpressions graphics appear brighter and more saturated.  Don’t rely on the lights of your environment – add them in your design process when you can.

5. Incorporate Graphic Change-Out

For multiple days of an exhibit, it’s a hot trend to create alternate skins and change them out each day of the show!  Catch the eye of someone that you missed yesterday, add a new message each day of the show, create A and B marketing messages and review then implement new messages based on the results at your next show. New skins are easy for you or your client to change and add possibilities not easily available on other systems.

6. Communication

Always indicate your intention when working with any tension fabric graphic product. Xpressions is no different. If no distortion is the required effect on the final product, please let us know this ahead of time. Your Xpressions PreFlight experts are trained to help suggest alternatives within your layout that will minimize expectations.

7. Use the Tools At Hand

Always consult Visproducts for Xpressions templates. has Xpressions graphic templates for your use… details like “All Xpressions products require 1.5” of bleed overall and more to make designing for Xpressions a Snap!”

8. Think 3-D with the fabric

When else can you take a flat image and twist it or thread it to the display? Probably never – so, let your imagination wander and twist and thread those skins from the front to the back or back to the front all over the Xpressions frame. Plan to design your skins so the tension fabric will pull the image, and visualize the final product in its full distorted, twisted, threaded, exciting glory! Remember to proof your display as a 3D render as a whole. A flat image will not effectively communicate your design to the client; always opt for a render of your display.

9. Design in modules

Combine frames to create exciting environments: two 1×3’s, one 2×3 and a 4×3, create 20′ inline spaces with three 2×3’s and a 1×3…. it’s easy for your client to set up. They look so good standing together and multiple units create a value of flexibility that is hard to duplicate with other systems.

10. Break all the rules!

Remember to forget everything you’ve been told and create something that will surprise and delight the viewer!


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