While facilitating a meeting with the TKO Graphix sales staff I asked them for ideas for helpful advice that TKO might offer customers when ordering vehicle graphics. One topic suggested by several members of the sales team was how to proof your vehicle graphics layout.

It seems too often, customers take a quick or incomplete look at the layout, and then sign off on it. If there’s a mistake, and TKO doesn’t catch it — that’s a problem.  A provider, such as TKO Graphix, may find errors, but if it has to do with color, style, or content, the customer is the best person to review the information. Here are the basics of how to proof your vehicle graphics.

6 Checkpoints for How to Proof Your Vehicle Graphics

Colors 

Are your branded colors being used? Be sure to not only check the color on your logo, but also on the background, foreground, and fonts. “When choosing colors for your vehicle graphics, it may not be what color, but how colors of both the vehicle and your graphics contrast. Using poorly contrasted colors reduces the impact of vehicle advertising. Poorly chosen hues, designs that hide the message, and colors that don’t match your brand waste your marketing dollars.” — What Color Should I Wrap My Business Vehicle?

I asked Glenn Burris, executive national account manager at TKO Graphix what he might add about color, he had this to share, “Regarding colors the main issue we have is clients do not assign or supply PMS colors with their project. If they supply a CMYK art file without PMS colors there is no way to guarantee a consistent color from one print machine to the next. For example, if you have artwork set up for CMYK and print it on 10 different printing presses, you will get 10 different colors.”

Copy 

Is the content what you want and is it grammatically correct? A misspelled word or misplaced apostrophe can ruin a vehicle graphic and hurt your brand. I saw a sign the other day that omitted the last digit of the business’s phone number. I wonder who proofed that layout.

Materials

Do you understand the adhesive vinyl being used and does the material fit the purpose of your vehicle graphics? For example, “Cast, or premium vinyl, is a process similar to making a cake. Ingredients are mixed and solvents are added, and then poured into a casting sheet, which is baked, allowing the solvents to evaporate. This process makes a very flexible, thin, shrink-resistant material. Another manufacturing option is the calendar or economy process. In this method, ingredients are mixed, but solvents aren’t added. Like pizza dough, the vinyl is rolled and stretched into the desired shape. This material is thicker and having been stretched, it’s susceptible to shrinkage.” — Are There Different Vinyl Graphics Materials?

Fonts

Does the font fit the style guide of your organization and is it easy to read? Is it the best size? “Any combination of font style, size, and color can and will affect the readability of vehicle graphics. The key to effective fleet graphic design is combining appearance with legibility. There are too many designs, which although visually striking, are difficult to decipher, which detracts from the purpose of vehicle advertising.” — What’s the Best Font for Vehicle Graphics?

Hierarchy

Is top billing given to your most important message? Are your priorities in line? “Before setting vehicle graphic design hierarchy in order, an organization must consider what messages take precedence, what is the hierarchy of your messages? What do you want to communicate and what do you want people to understand about your business.” — Vehicle Graphic Design Hierarchy

Placement

Are the graphics placed where they need to be? For example, is contact information visible on all sides of the vehicle? Every side of the vehicle should be shown on the layout and then proofed individually.

Other Points to Consider

  • Do not sign and approve a layout until every member of your team who has the authority to approve or disapprove the layout has reviewed it. Unfortunately, we’ve experienced producing an approved layout to learn the COO didn’t like it and wanted it changed.
  • Measure twice cut once. Don’t take a quick look at the layout and sign off. Take your time and review it thoroughly and then review it again. It also might help to have others on your team proof it as well.

Don’t Sign Off Early

When a vehicle graphics provider sends a layout to a customer for approval, the sales and design team are asking, “Does this meet your expectations?”

When a layout is signed and approved, the design goes into production. Changes after a layout has gone into production can be costly and time-consuming.

When clients don’t take the time to thoroughly check and double check the layout, mistakes can happen. Before signing off on a layout, take enough time to check and recheck the six checkpoints above, and then get the okay from everyone on your team who is involved.  If we can answer any questions for you, please let us know. Contact Us.