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.

Vehicle wrap in vivid blue, red and black colours

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