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Behind the Booth: Gorilla Mill’s Cityscape Design Makes Booming Impact at IMTS

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It was time to say goodbye to Gorilla Mill’s previous jungle-themed trade show booth and say hello to a new design. We sat down with Gorilla Mill, discussed plans for change, and started designing the new booth for the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) Chicago, 2018.


For well over 30 years, Gorilla Mill has produced and sharpened cutting tools for the aerospace, automotive, medical, and manufacturing industries. In the past we collaborated with Gorilla Mill to create a jungle-themed trade show booth with a gorilla as the company’s staple. Though successful, we collectively decided it was time to increase booth space at the upcoming IMTS show and design an even more impactful space (while staying in line with Gorilla Mill’s brand).


Merging Jungle and City

IMTS, Chicago. How better to attract attendees and represent the Gorilla Mill brand than creating a cityscape taken over by gorillas? Our DRK team and Gorilla Mill collectively agreed to move forward with the idea and bring the city indoors. We started by creating a 3D booth rendering to show every angle of the envisioned booth. It included:

  • Fabric city backdrop
  • 6 TVs for continuous shared-screen video
  • 1 large Gorilla Mill building with “Fatty G” Gorilla statue
  • 5 surrounding buildings with tool display and video
  • Gorilla statue and park bench
  • Two “L-shaped” countertops with seating and tool display
  • 4-chair seating area and coffee table
  • Gorilla Mill water tower with keg
  • Additional Gorilla statue

In addition to the booth layout, we ordered custom Gorilla Mill cups for beer, custom Gorilla Mill bucket hats, and custom Gorilla Mill Oktoberfest hats for attendees to wear around the show. Not only were these pieces enjoyable for guests, but they also further promoted the Gorilla Mill brand.


The Tools

The most important aspect of the show, Gorilla Mill’s end mills and cutting tools, were displayed with LED illumination in various locations in the booth. We grouped each family of tools and displayed them at a comfortable viewing angle for attendees, complete with illumination and video. The tools were grouped as shown below:

  1. Yeti
  2. Phenom/Baboon
  3. KnuckleDragger/Sasquatch
  4. Missing Link/Gorilla Mills
  5. Primates/Chimps/Drills

We displayed other tools in acrylic blocks across the length of our countertops with LED illumination (as shown above).

The Sasquatch

Every city needs a mascot, but Gorilla Mill needed a ferocious one. We chose the Jack Link’s Sasquatch to parade the aisles of IMTS. There he was the face of Gorilla Mill, greeting attendees, taking photos, and showing off custom Gorilla Mill hats. The Sasquatch’s presence at IMTS gave the Gorilla Mill booth another unique quality to set the brand apart.



We began this redesign project with Gorilla Mill in hopes to welcome attendees into a larger space, increase awareness, and give guests a taste of the Gorilla Mill brand. Through each step of the process we collaborated to ensure each aspect of the booth reflected our collective visions and are proud to see the Gorilla Mill booth executed successfully. We look forward to more trade shows to come and future collaboration with Gorilla Mill.


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