Coffee shop sign writing design and installation

4 Steps to Find a Reliable Sign Writer

Coffee shop sign writing design and installation
Sign writing is a craft that makes use of symbols, colours, and letters for the purpose of promoting a business. It covers everything related to signage, from design to manufacturing and installation.

Signs have plenty of benefits for a company. They convey information that can assist potential customers in making a purchase decision and showcases the merits of a product or service being offered. With all these benefits in mind, it is safe to assume that every business – regardless of its size – should look for a reliable sign writer to help them create effective and optimised signage.

Of course, in this digital age, seeking someone to do the job should be easy. In fact, you’d only need to type in your query in an online search engine and take your pick from the long list of results.

But how can you know which service provider is the right one? The key is to get sufficient and correct information. To help you make an informed decision, we have listed down four steps you must take when selecting a sign writer to help your business.

Step #1: Determine Your Needs

Before you can start looking for sign writers, you must first determine what you need them for. Specify the type of sign you plan to use, so you can see if the sign writing candidates you’ll be looking at can work with the medium you’re after.

For example, if you’re looking to place a sign on your company truck, you must include “car wraps” or “ute wraps” in your Google search query. The same goes for educational signs, real estate agent displays, and way-finder signages.

You also need to decide whether you need the sign writer to come up with a design for you or if you already have one ready to be printed. This way, you’ll also be prepared to ask whether the company has an in-house designer who can work with you on the project.

Step #2: Get Recommendations

Aside from searching for a sign writer online, you should also consider asking around for recommendations. Talk to your business partners and acquaintances about how they found the company who made their signs and see if they can recommend someone to you. Whenever possible, ask for output samples from those who endorsed specific sign writing companies.

Step #3: Look at Portfolios

Once you’ve compiled all the potential sign writers available to you (both recommended and found online), the next step you must take is to browse through their portfolios.

A good sign writing company should have a portfolio that speaks for itself. Aside from featuring sample works, it should also reflect a wide range of innovative design solutions they offer. This can include illuminated signage and vinyl car wraps, among others.

Step #4: Talk to Candidates

You can’t afford to settle for amateurs if you’ll be investing a part of your business’s starting capital for the signage. Before you make a decision, be sure to narrow down the options to providers who are most likely to offer a polished and professional sign for your business. This means you’ll need to determine the extent of their experience in design.

Speaking with potential vendors is an excellent way to know more about them. When you do, you should determine if they are knowledgeable in the proper use of materials, colours, and fonts, and messages to make the sign more effective. They must also be able to advise you on how to display the signage in a way that will be most advantageous for your business.

To get all the information you need, make sure that you ask the right questions. Below are some examples you can use when speaking to a potential sign writing partner for your specific needs:

  • How long have you been in the sign writing business?

Experience is as important as skill in sign writing. Aside from letting you know how many years they’ve been in the industry, this question also allows you to ask about the type of companies and media they have tried working with in the past.

  • Do you have a graphic designer?

If you don’t have a design ready yet, you’ll need to determine whether the sign writing company has someone in-house who can do it for you. He should be skilled, talented, and well-equipped with the right tools and technical know-how of sign writing.

  • What file formats and programs can you work with?

There are plenty of file formats and programs used in design today. This means you have to determine which ones the sign writer can work with so that there won’t be any problem converting files or working with different programs.

In some cases, incompatible formats and programs compromise the quality of the signage, so be sure to check if you and the sign writer can work with the same ones.

  • Do you give out proofs?

The proof serves as your copy of the final design. It can be used to check for errors before the sign is produced. While most companies provide free digital proofs, you can also ask for a hard copy of the design to be printed out.

  • How much will it cost?

Aside from the upfront cost of production and installation, you should also inquire about additional fees for design and proofing. These can unexpectedly increase the final costing of your signage, so don’t hesitate to ask for a breakdown of expenses in your initial quotation.

Getting Down to Business

Signs are valuable assets that help introduce your brand and business to the target audience. To ensure their effectiveness, only work with reliable sign writers who have been in the industry for a long time and have proven their expertise for years.

Colour Source is your one-stop print provider. We offer a wide range of services, including traditional sign writing and vehicle wrap printing. Give us a call or fill up a quote request or enquiry form to get started.

Yellow and white branded vehicle wrap by Colour Source

3 Urgent Reasons to Invest in Vehicle Wraps Today

Your company’s fleet doesn’t just move your team and products from point A to point B. With vehicle wraps, your fleet can do more. 

But in order to better understand how your company can benefit from car wraps, it is crucial to know exactly what it is. 

Car Wrapping: An Overview

Car or vehicle wrapping is one of the simplest ways to change the look of a vehicle. This process uses vinyl film to serve a variety of purposes, including adding a design or putting a protective layer on a car. 

After a design is selected or created, that design is printed on the vinyl film. After that, the vinyl film is laminated to prevent damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays as well as from scratches. Once the vinyl has been laminated, it is installed on the vehicle. 

The vinyl film can be applied onto the whole vehicle or only on certain parts, like the roof or door panels. Some car owners use partial car wraps to modify the look of their vehicles. In such a case, stickers or decals are applied. 

Unsure about whether to wrap your company’s fleet, because doing so might affect the resale value? There’s no need to be concerned. When performed by trained professionals, car wrapping doesn’t damage a vehicle’s original paint. In fact, your vehicles might even fetch a higher value in the market because of their fresh paintwork. 

Choosing Your Car Wrap

Currently, there are different types of car wraps to choose from. However, there are three common car wraps that you might want to consider for your company fleet. 

  • For businesses, advertising wraps are one of the more popular options. Through custom prints, you can turn your business’s vehicles into mobile billboards. 
  • If you wish to preserve a vehicle’s original paintwork while giving it a good measure of protection, you can opt for clear vinyl wrapping. 
  • Colour wrapping is similar to clear vinyl wrapping. The main difference is that with the former, you can alter the colour and finish of your car. 

Top Reasons to Invest in Vehicle Wraps

Apart from modifying the appearance of your company fleet, there are a few appealing reasons to invest in car wraps:

1. Mobile advertising

What business doesn’t want more customers? No matter how big or small your company is, it is highly likely that you have allocated a considerable amount of resources to advertise your products or services, whether online or offline. 

And while online advertising platforms have become popular over the last few years, different offline advertising platforms still retain a good measure of effectiveness. That includes fleet branding

As an advertising platform, car wraps offer a few distinct advantages. 

For one, vehicle wraps demand attention. Through the combination of bright and attractive graphics and texts, along with the right messaging, your fleet can grab the attention of potential customers traveling the same roads your fleet passes by.

Compared to online advertisements and even traditional platforms like print and radio ads, vehicle wraps have the potential to reach a wider audience. And that is with just one vehicle. Now imagine if all the cars in your fleet are wrapped. 

Another distinct advantage of vehicle wraps over other platforms is that car wraps are unobtrusive. Vehicles do not cause disruptions or distractions. 

2. Vehicle protection

You invest a considerable amount of money to acquire vehicles for your company fleet. As such, you would want to provide these with ample protection to ensure that you get the most out of your investment. 

Installed correctly, car wraps can provide an extra layer of protection on your vehicles from debris, scratches, and even UV rays. That can translate to lower maintenance and repair costs. Furthermore, your cars will always look professional, adding prestige to your business. 

And should you wish to sell or trade-in your vehicle, you are likely to get a better deal because of its pristine paintwork. 

In terms of costs, vehicle wraps can cost less than other platforms while providing excellent returns on your initial investment.

3. Professional Image

Whether your vehicles are cruising the roads or are simply parked, you can use these to boost your brand image and public perception of your company. 

When people see that your vehicles look professional and consistent, it can be easy to make a good first impression. And as any marketing professional will tell you, first impressions matter. 

Care and Maintenance

To get the most out of your investment on a vehicle wrap, it is vital to know how to properly clean and maintain it.

One of the easiest ways to guarantee a longer lifespan for a car wrap is to wash it regularly, ideally through hand-washing. Some types of films can be cleaned with a pressure washer. However, both the pressure and temperature should be set to low. 

Avoid using polishes on a car wrap. Most products available in the market contain ingredients that are abrasive and can damage the vinyl film. 

It is not necessary to wax the wraps. But if you choose to do so, make sure that you use either a pure wax or one that is specially formulated for car wraps. 

If you notice wear and tear on the wraps, you can bring your vehicle back to the shop for a quick repair. 

Are you interested in learning more about car wraps? Contact our team at Colour Source today.

Vehicle wrap in vivid blue, red and black colours

7 Design Principles for High-Impact Vehicle Wraps

Growing a small business is a balancing act. Striking the right balance between profitability and growth requires entrepreneurs to know how best to advertise their business. With so many platforms available to small businesses today, knowing how to maximize your ad spend is key.

Vehicle wrapping is one of the most effective forms of advertising available to small businesses today. Unlike other types of printed media like billboards, vehicle branding is a relatively inexpensive advertising medium. What’s more, it has none of the recurring fees found in advertising platforms like television or radio commercials.

There are several benefits to be had from wrapping your vehicle in brand messaging.

Using vehicles as a method of advertising allows businesses to use their existing assets for marketing purposes. This is ideal for local demographic targeting, which is particularly useful for businesses that provide a local service.

From a behavioural standpoint, vehicle wrapping is a superior form of advertising as this method does not rely on consumers to gain exposure. It’s a flexible and mobile way to target consumers where they are, potentially generating thousands of impressions.

The Basics of Vehicle Wrap Advertising

Vehicle wrap in vivid blue, red and black colours

A vehicle wrap involves a printed vinyl decal placed over a vehicle’s exterior. Vehicle wraps can be a partial wrap (known as vehicle signage) that covers certain sections of the car’s body like the windows, or a full wrap, covering the entire vehicle.

Car signage services like vehicle wrapping can be done on cars, vans, utility vehicles, and even fleets of trucks.

The cost of wrapping a vehicle will differ according to the design requirements, size of the vehicle, type of film used, the complexity of the process, and the amount of coverage. At Colour Source, we work with our clients to ensure their signage experience focuses on keeping the end result on budget, without sacrificing service and quality.

Businesses that opt for vehicle wrapping will find that their investment will last a significant amount of time — approximately five to seven years (although that number is subject to how the vehicle is maintained and the type of elements it is exposed to).

Ready to design visually compelling signage that captures the viewers’ attention and leaves a lasting impression? Here are seven principles to consider to guarantee vehicle advertising success.

1. Measure twice, wrap once

Before a vinyl wrap is installed on a vehicle, it must be properly measured. Having the right dimensions will help the signage company provide an accurate quote for your advertising needs. Inaccurate measurements can distort the design and ruin its overall appearance.

To correctly create a custom vehicle graphic, vehicle owners should provide the right dimensions. This includes measuring the vehicle across its length, height, and width. Measure along the body line to ensure that all measurements take into account the vehicle’s contours.

The vehicle should also be photographed so that the signage company has a reference for its design sheet. Photograph each side and avoid taking photos from an angle as this will skew the perception of the vehicle during the design process.

To expedite this process, you can choose to bring your vehicle into our Colour Source design shop. Our fully qualified and experienced designers use the latest measuring tools to ensure the most accurate measurements.

2. Keep it simple

An attractive, well-designed vehicle wrap is legible, not overly distracting, and most importantly, simple. Most mobile adverts have to deliver the right information in a limited window, so clarity of message is key.

Your vehicle design graphic should be legible from a distance and viewers should be able to fully comprehend the design’s message quickly and easily. Keeping your design and graphic simple will optimise its visibility to passersby and prospective customers.

3. Consider colours carefully

Certain colour combinations perfectly contrast with each other and increase visibility and readability, particularly from a distance. And like the design principle above, less is more, which means don’t overdo it. Stick to two or three colour combinations to maximise your design’s effectiveness.

Some tried and true colour combinations that influence positive reactions from consumers include:

  • Yellow and Blue. Gives a playful, yet confident impression.
  • Black and Orange. Creates an overall feeling of liveliness and power.
  • Red, Navy, and Yellow. Exudes confidence and power.
  • Black and Red. A fierce combination that displays intensity.
  • Blue and White. Communicates trust and tranquility.

If your business has already established its own brand identity, our designers will work with you to create a transformative experience that you’ll be satisfied with.

4. Be brief

To maximise your mobile advertising platform, use the fewest words possible. Don’t attempt to sell through your vehicle’s signage design. Rather, your design should be straightforward to ensure your message gets across to every demographic and buyer type.

A clutter-free environment will allow your business to convey its message from any viewing distance. The details of your products and services should be saved for the sale, the moment that the prospective customer is in your business.

When considering typography, pick fonts that are best for fast legibility. San serif fonts are more streamlined than serif fonts and are easier to comprehend on print mediums like vehicle wraps, brochures, and billboards. Examples of sans serif fonts include Helvetica, Gotham, and Avant Garde.

5. Use engaging shapes

Shapes are important visual design elements to include in your design. Shapes generate visual interest and can add depth, interest, and emphasis to your vehicle wrap. Curved edges, in particular, naturally appeal to the subconscious.

Shapes can be used by businesses to creatively transform their typefaces, frame their content, and establish a design’s focal point. Incorporating unique shapes in your design will improve the likelihood that your advertisement will be seen by its prospective customers.

6. Consider the finished look

Unlike other print mediums, how your design is presented can be altered with the opening of a door or window. Even waiting in traffic can greatly alter the design. This can distort the advert’s intended message.

This leaves viewers confused and results in a less than desirable impression of your business.

Before approving the design, confirm what it would look like from every angle and from the perspective of the viewer. This will ensure that the right elements are always visible and convey the right message.

7. Choose the right vinyl film

To ensure your design conforms beautifully to the contours of your vehicle, only the highest quality film should be used. Subpar vinyl film will have difficulty withstanding the elements and can even damage the original equipment manufacturer’s paint finish when removed.

At Colour Source, we only use the highest quality films and the best materials available. We provide our clients with a specialised selection of vinyl that is UV-resistant and designed to withstand the harshest elements.

Our latex printing process is eco-friendly, allowing our clients to get outstanding marketing materials while protecting the environment.

Wrapping It Up

Following these seven principles will help your business create an advert that is dynamic, colourful, and delivers a “wow” factor that gets consumers talking. Vehicle graphics have a remarkable effect on any type of business.

If you are ready to elevate your company’s advertising efforts, contact Colour Source today.

Black truck with faded white signage

5 Costly Vehicle Branding Mistakes to Avoid

Purchasing a fleet of vehicles for your company is one of the smartest business decisions you can make. Your employees will find it easier to go from one place to another to do their job, whether it’s to sell or deliver products or to provide services to your customers.

If you allow these vehicles to be used as company shuttles, your employees will appreciate this perk as well. They will be able to save money on petrol and commuting costs and use these savings for any other purposes they have in mind.

More importantly, you can also use your fleet of automobiles as additional marketing platforms. With proper vehicle branding, your cars or vans can become effective mobile advertising tools that can increase awareness of your brand, your products or services, and any promotions you have.

Turning Your Vehicles Into the Perfect Mobile Advertising Platforms

Black truck with faded white signage

Vehicle branding is also one of the most cost-efficient marketing strategies you can invest in today. However, making some mistakes regarding the design and process of having your automobiles wrapped can cause all your investments to go down the drain.

To gain vehicles that promote your brand effortlessly and effectively (and ones that your employees won’t be embarrassed to drive and ride around in), you need to avoid these mistakes when designing and having the signs installed:

1. Forgetting your brand style guide when coming up with the design

Choosing fonts and colours randomly to make your vehicle wrap design stand out is an easy yet costly mistake business owners tend to make.

Aside from advertising your business, your wrapped vehicles can also be powerful branding tools. They can help more people become aware of and remember your company. As such, your wrap design should be consistent with and exhibit your brand’s personality.

If you select fonts and hues that are different from the ones you established on your style guidelines and currently use on all your digital and printed marketing materials, you will miss out on an excellent brand opportunity. You might end up sending mixed messages and confusing both your existing and potential customers.

To avoid this costly mistake, keep your brand style guide in mind when thinking of the design. If you are working with a vehicle wrap design team, make sure you give them a copy of these guidelines and some samples of your marketing materials which they can use for inspiration and as starting points.

2. Cramming too many things into the design

Although you want more people to know about your business and all the products or services you offer, putting as much information and visual elements as you can in the design is one of the costliest mistakes you can make.

When the wrap design contains too much copy, you will make it hard for viewers to quickly determine what your brand is all about and what you offer. If your layout also has too many images or graphics, you will end up having a design that is too busy.

Keep in mind that your audience only has a few seconds to absorb everything they see on your vehicle. If your design is crammed with too many elements, you will make it hard for them to find out the most important pieces of information about your business.

To create an effective vehicle wrap design, keep it simple. Make sure it contains only your company name, logo, contact details, and key products or services you offer.

3. Using design and elements that are barely noticeable

No matter how well-thought-out your design is, if it is something that your audience can’t see, all your efforts and money will go to waste.

Using a design that people find hard to see can be caused by the mistake of failing to use the right contrasting colours. If you choose a light hue for the copy and white or any subtle tone for the background, no one will be able to read your message.

If you want your vehicles to get instantly noticed, select the best and most contrasting colours for your fleet graphics.

Additionally, keep in mind that when it comes to vehicle wraps, size matters. If the font size, images, and logo are too small, no one will be able to read and see them, especially when the car or van is moving.

Generally, 7-centimetre letters may be seen up to 7 metres away and 15-centimetre letters are visible for up to 10 metres. You can use this as a guide for your font size.

4. Using poor quality photos on the design

To show an air of professionalism, do not add low-quality pictures to the layout. These images will be enlarged so that they will be seen easily. If they come out fuzzy or grainy, your design and vehicle as a whole will look unprofessional.

If you want your fleet’s branding to reflect the high-quality work you do, use only high-resolution images in your design.

Additionally, stay away from clip art. These overused and nondescript images will do nothing good for the design either.

5. Failing to ensure the wrap fits the vehicle

Misaligned seams and graphics are often caused by installation problems. However, a poor fit can also be traced back to the wrap designer.

Proper seam placement starts with design. If you don’t want to waste time experimenting in creating the best layout, ask an experienced designer to do this for you. By doing so, you will have the perfect design that will look like it is painted on the vehicle once the wrap is installed.

Have the designer and installer look at the vehicles as well before having the layout printed. This will allow them to make any modifications to the design that can address any possible problem areas.

If you are getting vehicle signage quotes, ask if the rates you are given include design creation. If not, find out how much this additional service costs.

When you take note of and avoid these mistakes, your branded vehicles will become assets that serve more than one function for your company.

Get in touch with us now to find out how we can help turn your vehicles into the perfect mobile advertising tools.

Gravity Demolitions

A new client that was looking for a clean simple design that was well balanced on the large truck

Soilworx partial wrap for their utes

Based on the very successful design we developed for their fleet of large tippers and trailers we modified the design for the utes to give continuity with the larger vehicles.

Food works

We were approached to partially wrap their vans, using artwork supplied by them we configured the layout to provide them with a result that absolutely delighted them.