Most vehicle graphics providers use checklists for designing, fabricating, and installing vehicle graphics. Checklists are essential to maintaining efficient high quality products. They can be used to educate and inform a customer throughout the process, but what can a consumer use before they’re a customer? How does any consumer know where to start? If you’re considering vehicle graphics this checklist is for you. Because it will lead you to choosing the best vehicle graphics for your business.

A Vehicle Graphics 7-point Checklist

By taking the time to use this checklist with your team before you contact a vehicle graphic provider you will save yourself potential pain. When you know what you want and why you want it, it’s easier to communicate what your organization needs in fleet graphics. Doing this will help you avoid a fleet graphic disappointment. It can save you time and money. And by making time on the front end of the project to focus on your wants and needs you will save even more time and frustration on the back end.

1. What is the year, make, model, and color of the vehicle?

Having the information available to providers will speed the process. So, what information does the graphic designer need? “The easy answer to what does a vehicle graphic designer need to know about your vehicle before she or he begins the vehicle graphics design process is – everything! But that’s not true, they don’t need to know the size of the motor, the color of the interior, or your favorite radio station but they pretty much need to know everything about the exterior of the vehicle from top to bottom.

“This includes the make, model, color, options, and add-on equipment of the car or truck. One of the best ways to help a graphic designer serve you and meet your needs, as well as your expectations, is to furnish the designer with accurate and complete specifications in a timely manner.

For example, to say you have a 2019 Ford F150 isn’t enough information. The F150 is available in at least a dozen packages from XL, XLT, and Lariat to the Platinum. They’re available in regular cab, extended cab, two-door, four-door, and with multiple options. One graphic design will not fit all the variations of the 2019  F150.” — FAQ: What Does a Vehicle Graphic Designer Need to Know About My Vehicle?

2. What’s the purpose of the wrap?

Are you rebranding your business, advertising a new product or service, issuing a call to action, or replacing damaged graphics? “Do your fleet graphics have a purpose? A better question might be — do your fleet graphics  fulfill the purpose of your organizations marketing? If your reason for fleet graphics is filling the top of the lead funnel (and if it’s not, should it be?) what will achieve this? For example, if your vehicle graphics are nothing more than a magnetic sign with your business name and phone number, then it might be time to consider advertising on your rolling billboards, not only identifying who you are.” — Do Your Fleet Graphics Have a Purpose?

3. What artwork do you need?

If you’re not a graphic artist familiar with three-dimensional applications, the best route is to work with a designer who is. “Native files are not suitable for digital print, which requires the use of RIP (raster image processing) software. They must be exported as high quality PDF files before they may be used.

With any job, be sure to provide all images, links, fonts, or additional information used within the print files to ensure nothing is lost in translation. For accurate color matching, it’s best to provide a physical color proof for comparison. Digital print files, CD, DVD, and flash drives are all acceptable media for submission, and TKO also provides an FTP site for uploading files.” — FAQ: Will This Artwork Work?

4. Do you need a full wrap, partial, or decals?

Consider, which option may best meet the purpose and fit the vehicle. There are full wraps, partial wraps, window film, decals, and plotter cut letters. Many of these options can be combined such as decals and plotter cut letters. Fleet graphics aren’t one size fits all, and not every vehicle in your fleet needs a full wrap. “…when you understand the options available, rather than categorizing all adhesive vinyl vehicle graphics as “wraps,” it opens up creative avenues. And knowing the options can also save you time and money. These six options can be combined in many ways or used independently to achieve your vehicle graphics goals.” — Vehicle Graphics Coverage Options.

5. How long do you need it?

There are hundreds of materials available to fit your needs. Applying a seven year warrantied adhesive vinyl on a one year lease is overkill. It’s also critical to know how long the installation of adhesive vinyl graphics will last.

Using  material that will only last two to three years on a seven year leased fleet vehicle can become expensive, “How long will your fleet graphics last? The answer is that a lot depends on who you choose to provide your graphics. Using the best materials for the application. Hiring certified and experienced installers. Taking climate and color in to consideration. And properly maintaining your fleet graphics can and will extend their life.” — FAQ: How Long Will My Vehicle Wrap Last?

6. Who will install it?

The difference between a professionally trained installer familiar with the specific application required for your fleet graphics choices, and someone less experienced, can make all the difference in the final product. “There are two primary vehicle graphics installation certification programs. Installation PDAA (Professional Decal Application Alliance) which is administered by SGIA (Specialty Graphics Imaging Association), and UASG (United Application Standards Group), through 3M.

“The UASG stands for United Application Standards Group. It is the country’s leading group of professional graphic installers – proven and tested to be the best in the business. The UASG has distinguished itself by being the first organization of its kind to require every decal installer to meet high standards of professionalism and installation skill.” — How to Find the Best Vehicle Graphics Installers.

7. What’s your budget?

Having an idea what you’re able to invest in the graphics will help a provider advise the most suitable options. “People can always find reasons to avoid taking action, to delay making a decision. However, there is almost no good reason not to advertise on organizational vehicles. Maybe if the vehicle is temporary or being replaced—just maybe, or if a company has no marketing budget. If a business does have a marketing budget, vehicle graphics are one of the most cost effective methods of adverting.” — No Excuse NOT to Advertise on Your Vehicles

Choosing the Best Vehicle Graphics for Your Business

Choosing the best vehicle graphics for your business begins with knowing what you have, want, and need. Knowing this before beginning the process will help you avoid disappointment with your vehicle graphics choices. Organizing your ideas, purposes, and information before contacting a vehicle graphics provider puts you ahead of the process. When you prepare you can create a clearer vision of the finished product. So, when you’re ready, bring your checklist to us, we’d be more than happy to check it out.

If we can answer any questions about your fleet graphics needs please Contact Us.