It seems nearly every company vehicle has graphics today — from a fully wrapped 53′ trailer showing product, to a smart car sharing an organization’s name, phone number, and web address. So, how are our 3 keys to designing effective vehicle graphics different? Some vehicle graphics grab attention by informing prospects about products and/or services. Others move prospects to jot down a phone number or web address.

3 Keys to Designing Effective Vehicle Graphics

Taking Action 

 The question is — what moves someone to take action? I suppose interest in the product is needed, but even then, a poor design may inhibit a call to action. I was speaking with a friend who took over a restaurant chain’s catering about vehicle graphics. Their vehicle graphics used wimpy pale colors, multiple vectors and images, and text so small it was difficult to read when the vehicle was parked.

An Ineffective Design

The graphics were ineffective. I used a competitor as an example of how it should be done. Their vans use a three-color background, overlaid with giant outlined letters stretched obliquely from cab to rear bumper, that simply announce — “WE CATER”. Guess which company caters more? What made the competitor’s wrap more effective?

• It got the most out of the space available. By making the letters fill the van from front to rear, including window film, they optimized visibility.

• The wrap limited the information. It takes about four seconds to digest a company name, phone number, and website. How much time do drivers have to access information?

• It kept the artwork simple — elegant may be a better word. The colors were perfect for the restaurant and easily recognizable. The colors used were that of the national flag for the origin of this cuisine. Images were limited, and nothing distracted from the call to action.


Keeping it simple is complicated; even the best call to action from the most popular product can be lost in layers of graphics. An effective call to action can be created by maximizing space, limiting information, and using color, design, and images to complement the text. Do you have vehicle graphics? Are they too busy, too much, and too confusing, or do they work?

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