So, what are the biggest vehicle graphics mistakes? There are a few and some of them can be combined, which makes matters even worse.   

TMI — Too Much Information

Trying to share too much information is the number one mistake made when designing vehicle graphics. For example, multiple logos, you probably don’t need the logo for every product you offer on your vehicle. You’re not NASCAR, and sponsors aren’t paying you to advertise. More importantly, your logo, which should quickly identify your brand, can be easily lost in the confusion of too many brands.

Another mistake is listing too many services. Remember, this is a car or truck, not a brochure, and you only have seconds to capture your prospect’s attention.

Too many images is another branding killer, such as a heating and cooling company wanting furnace and A/C images, then adding, “Oh, by the way, we do plumbing, so could we add a sink and a pipe wrench?”

Using multiple slogans may seem like a good idea, but the most probable outcome is a muddied message. It’s usually best to stick with one slogan.

“In design, visual hierarchy is the placement of design elements by importance based on how the human eye takes in visual content. Vehicle graphic design hierarchy is unlike any other design hierarchy in that most design isn’t moving down the highway at 55 MPH, at least we hope it isn’t. 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


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.

“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.  KISS — “keep it simple stupid.” With the advent of digital printers, modern vinyl adhesives, and state of the art inks, there’s a tendency to overdo it. Just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should be.” —  4 Steps to Making Vehicle Graphics Pop!

Not Building a Unified Brand

Your vehicle should be part of your marketing plan, not a stand-alone.  Companies like Red Gold understand this; their 53-foot semi-trailers reflect their product branding. There’s no mistaking who they are or their message.

“Advertising on vehicle graphics is no different in principle to any other form of advertising. Once a strong brand identity has been determined, it must remain consistent and reliable to the consumer. Often the excitement of vehicular advertising leads companies to design each vehicle in a striking and visually stunning way, but with a complete lack of consistency across their fleet. If no two vehicles are the same in their use of graphics, or color scheme, then consumers will not consistently identify the brand.” — Vehicle  Graphics: How to Receive the Maximum Branding Impact on Wheels

Using the Wrong Colors

“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. One should first consider the brand, logo, and vehicle colors.” — FAQ: What Color Should I Wrap My business Vehicle?

The wrong color can destroy your message. For example, yellow letters on a white truck or dark blue on black will be difficult, if not impossible, to read.

Using Hard to Read Fonts 

Hard to read fonts like a script or Comic Sans diminish readability, and are typically unprofessional looking. More than two different fonts (three at most) clutter and confuse your message. “Any combination of font style, size, and color can and will affect the readability of vehicle graphics. Because, 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.” — FAQ: What’s the Best Size for a Vehicle Graphix

Not Advertising on Your Fleet Vehicles 

Vehicle graphics are more than identification. If your vehicles only share the name of your business and phone number you’re missing a golden opportunity. And worse yet are the the business fleets with no information at all. Yesterday, I sat for 20 minutes in our conference room and watched traffic on the busy street below. I was amazed that nearly one-half of the fleet vehicles that passed had no information. They were blank canvases “So, why haven’t you wrapped your company vehicles? You know you should every time you see a competitor’s wrapped vehicle on the road. And how often is that?” — Why Haven’t You Wrapped Your Company Vehicles?

“Fleets are rolling billboards. They’re one of the most effective forms of advertising, and every business vehicle without graphics loses this opportunity. The benefits of a vehicle wrap hit home when you compare the Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM) of other forms of advertising.” — What Does a Blank Truck Say About Your Company?

What Are the Biggest Vehicle Graphics Mistakes?

What are the biggest vehicle graphics mistakes? Too much information, poor color use, indecipherable fonts, and a lack of brand unification all can destroy a vehicle graphics purpose, which is to deliver a message. Many of the biggest vehicle graphics mistakes involve over complicating the message. When branding your vehicles with graphics, the best thing you can do is … Keep it simple.

If you’d like to learn more, Contact Us, we’ll help you stick to the basics.