Right or wrong, your business will be judged by your marketing and graphics, including your vehicle graphics, and how you choose to present your company on the road with your fleet of vehicles.

Use the following 5 tips to steer you in the right direction and avoid these vehicle graphic design mistakes.

1. The Vehicle Wrap Doesn’t Fit the Vehicle

Designing a vehicle wrap for the wrong vehicle is one of the most common vehicle graphic design mistakes made. Vehicle wraps need to be designed to fit the vehicle, not only the make of vehicle, but also the model. For example, there’s a big difference between a standard pickup truck and a crew cab, or a short bed compared to an extended bed. If the designer doesn’t consider this, the design could be too long, cutting off information, or be too short for the bed and not covering it fully. Either way, it’s not good and has to be redesigned, printed, installed again.

It’s critical, to your vehicle graphic project, to communicate the exact specifications of the vehicle being wrapped. Using accurate vehicle specifications, measurements, and reliable vehicle templates will all help to avoid the vehicle graphics mistake of ill-fitting graphics.

The designer also needs to understand the real-life application of the graphic. A vehicle is three dimensional with curves, body lines, door handles, trim, and add-on equipment. For example, little things like the gas cap need to be taken into consideration. Cutting a logo or letter in half at a door seam may seem insignificant, but it can ruin your vehicle wrap design.

2. Is Your Information Correct?

If you want to avoid vehicle graphic mistakes, you must thoroughly proof your vehicle graphics layout.  This critical step is often overlooked and can lead to significant disruptions causing delays and increasing costs to fix incorrect information and reprint the vehicle graphics.

Too often, clients only glance at the artwork proof provided for their vehicle graphic design, and that is a huge blunder that leads to vehicle graphic design mistakes.

Vehicle Template Used for Proof

An excellent place to begin proofing your layout is checking the vehicle specifications and vehicle template being used on your proof. Be sure your graphics provider is using the right vehicle template that represent your vehicle. Does the proof indicate the correct year, make, model, and trim package of the vehicle being wrapped? If it isn’t a full wrap, is the color of the vehicle shown correctly on the layout?

Check Spelling and Information

Do not underestimate the importance of checking the proof for spelling errors and correct information, such as phone number, website, correct spelling of services listed. Take the time to carefully inspect the artwork proof before approving it.

3. Keep It Simple

Your vehicle graphics only have five seconds or less to capture consumers’ attention. That’s not a large window of time so don’t go overboard with copy, images, and design. The adage KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid, holds true for vehicle graphics.

When designing graphics for a moving vehicle, less is more. Short and sweet, simple and to the point, are the keys to creating a vehicle graphic that does its job. And what’s that job? Its job is to capture people’s attention and then share a message. Too much information, too many words, multiple images, and distracting colors take away from the task at hand.

Complicated fonts with scrolls and fancy effects can be exciting and artful. However, many times they don’t work well on a moving vehicle. The number one most important quality of a vehicle graphics font is legibility. Anything else is secondary. If you want to reach your audience, share a message, or send a call to action, people must be able to read your copy immediately. A pretty italic font for your contact information may look artistic, but most people will not be able to decipher it before you or they move on. What’s more important, being pretty or legible? Don’t make this vehicle graphic design mistake.

Choosing the Right Font is essential, whether for web copy, a print brochure, or social media. However, using the best and most appropriate font is critical when it comes to vehicle graphics. The copy must grab the attention of passing motorist, be easy to read, share a message, and then accomplish all of this in a matter of seconds.

4. Does the Color Align with Your Industry and Brand?

Another design feature that captures attention is color. The color of the design should match your industry and brand. For example, yellow and orange denote energy and fun, so you often see them used for fun products such as fast food, while a financial institute might use blue, a more serious color.

“Different colors have different psychological effects on consumers – red encourages appetite, blue provides a sense of security, green stimulates harmony, orange promotes enthusiasm, purple is associated with royalty, and so on.” — The Psychology of Color in Marketing

The color of your vehicle graphics also needs to match your other branded marketing material such as your website, exterior signage, and collateral material. Just remember to stay consistent and recognizable.

Another key is color contrast. The best color contrast for a vehicle wrap involves several factors. Choosing the best and most contrasting colors for your vehicle graphics can make the difference between getting noticed and being just one more vehicle wrap. Taking into consideration such points as branding, contrast, and LR (light reflectance) can make all the difference.

5. Design over Message

Some designers get carried away with what can be done on a vehicle wrap. Just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should be. When the design gets in the way of the message, it’s a bad design. It doesn’t matter how great the design looks if the message is unclear, it doesn’t work. When a consumer doesn’t immediately know who the business is, what they do, and how to contact them, it’s a design fail.

Don’t Let Vehicle Graphic Design Mistakes Ruin Your Wrap

Avoid all these vehicle graphic design mistakes by designing a wrap that fits the vehicle, use legible typography, colors that fit your industry and brand, and a design that sends the right message.

Vehicle graphics and wraps are a big investment, so please remember these 5 tips and avoid vehicle graphic design mistakes on your next project.

Our graphic designers at TKO Graphix can steer you in the right direction and help Drive Your Brand.

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