Today we are looking at 10 reasons your fleet graphics suck…no offense. We’ve previously written about the, 6 Keys to Vehicle Graphic Design, but today we’re looking at fleet graphics from a different perspective and showing you what NOT to do with your fleet graphics. We’ve all seen fleet and vehicle graphics that made us stop and think, “What the whaaaaat?” or shake our heads in disbelief while wondering what the heck that hodgepodge was on the side of that box truck.
There’s another category of vehicle graphics, which may not suck, but are just as ineffective because they’re boring. Often without realizing it, we ignore vehicle graphics that make little impact. These graphics may not be as bad as those that are so unfortunate they discredit the company, but they’re still not good advertising. You want your fleet graphics to stand out, but for the right reasons. Here are 10 reasons your fleet graphics suck.
10 Reasons Your Fleet Graphics Suck
1. Too Much
The acronym KISS (keep it simple stupid) is critical when designing fleet graphics. The 5-second rule for fleet and vehicle graphics is this — a prospect has 5 seconds to recognize your brand, understand the call to action, and find your contact information. That’s all the time you have to get your point across. Trying to share too much information becomes confusing and can ruin your message and design.
However, this is just the first of 10 reasons your fleet graphics suck.
2. The Wrong Material
Adhesive vinyl for vehicle graphics and wraps isn’t one size fits all. There are lower-end products as well as vinyl’s designed for various types of installations. Using the wrong material for the application, or an inexpensive low-end adhesive vinyl to save money, will cost you more in the long run.
3. The DIYer
So, you think of yourself as a DIYer? Well, a full wrap is certainly not a DIY project, and that’s why your fleet graphics suck!…no offense. Whether it’s the design, fabrication, or installation, your fleet graphics are too important for the inexperienced to attempt on their own. Fleet graphics aren’t something you can watch a YouTube tutorial and then go for it. Every mistake made in design, production, and installation reflects poorly on your organization. And believe me, it’s not as simple as it looks — a lot can go wrong, which can cost you more money trying to fix.
4. You Got Away from Your Brand
If you have corporate colors, a logo, even taglines (if they’re not too complicated or lengthy), then use them. Don’t reinvent the wheel just because it’s a fleet vehicle. Every car or truck in your fleet should match your brand, not compete with it. Your vehicles should be immediately recognizable as belonging to your business.
5. You Don’t Stand Out
Fleet graphics are a form of advertising, so they need to stand out enough to reach your audience and capture attention. It’s true, too much information and design elements can be overbearing, leaving the viewer confused about the marketing message. However, there is a sweet spot between grabbing attention with color and bold graphics and completely missing the mark with an overwhelming design. A professional fleet graphics designer can help you find that sweet spot you want for your fleet graphics.
6. Incorrect Vehicle Information
A vehicle graphic designer needs to know all the details about the vehicle receiving graphics prior to starting the project. These details include the make, model, serial number, color, door options, trim package, roof height, wheelbase measurements, any add-on vehicle equipment, and photos of the vehicles. Not having all the correct information about the vehicle can lead to graphics that don’t fit when installed. For your fleet graphic project to go smoothly, be prepared to give your provider all your vehicle details so your fleet graphics don’t suck.
7. Not Thinking in Three-Dimensions
Many graphic designers aren’t familiar with designing in three-dimensions. A designer who works in one-dimensional design may not understand how a design will fit a three-dimensional vehicle, which can lead to vehicle graphic design failure. A design that looks perfect on a computer screen might not look the same on an actual vehicle with curves, seams, and breaks. Ultimately, it’s best to hire an experienced vehicle graphics designer.
8. Too Small
Did you know there are recommended letter heights to be used on outdoor advertising? For example, general ADA guidelines state that 3-inch letters may be seen up to 25 feet away and 6-inch letters 35 feet or more. But what happens if the “sign” is moving at 40 MPH on the side of a vehicle? The USSC (United States Sign Council) uses a formula to determine the optimum signage square footage required for a sign to be seen by moving cars. Just be aware that your small copy may never actually be read because it’s too small.
9. Poor Copy Placement
The placement of the copy can be critical. Critical information, like your contact info, should appear on both sides and back of your vehicle. It’s also important that letters aren’t cut short at doors or windows. Beware that the meaning of copy can be changed when the sliding door on your van is opened. Would you like to see a few examples? Some of these are pretty funny, but fair warning…some are pretty crude. Unfortunate vehicle graphics from Bored Panda.
10. Damaged Graphics and Dirty Vehicles
Keeping damaged and faded graphics beyond their lifetime speaks poorly of any organization and may cost you business. Let me give you something to think about…earlier this winter, when temperatures first dipped below freezing, my next-door neighbor’s furnace went out. The provider they first contacted arrived at their home in an older unmarked, dented, and rusted work van. My neighbor listened politely, said she’d think about it, and then called another residential HVAC company. Was it the unprofessional appearance of the van that cost the first company to lose the work? It’s best to keep your commercial vehicles clean and maintained.
Did You Get the Message?
There you have it! 10 reasons your fleet graphics suck and what not to do. We’ve seen vehicles with three or four of these mistakes on one car or truck. Ouch.
Nobody wants to have bad fleet graphics representing their organization on the road and neither do we. If you want your fleet graphics to stand out for the right reasons and send the right message, TKO Graphix is happy to steer you in the right direction.
TKO Graphix is a national fleet and vehicle graphics company helping customers since 1985. We provide full-service graphics solutions such as design, digital printing, screen printing, installation and removal of fleet graphics, vehicle graphics, and commercial graphics.
Give us a call today at 888-544-8051 or Request a Quote.