Our FAQ for today… Who should design your vehicle wrap? We asked our front line staff of sales consultants, CSR’s, and designers, whom work directly with our customers every day, the most frequently asked questions they receive. This was a big one, so let’s dive into your options. Should you DIY the design, hire an ad agency, or work with a vehicle graphics design team?
Last year, TKO Graphix wrapped or applied decals to nearly 60,000 vehicles. We didn’t design all of those graphics. Some of the designs submitted to us were outstanding examples of the best in vehicle graphics design, and some needed a little help. Vehicle graphics not only should be eye-catching, but must deliver the message. Designs that are too busy, distracting, or poorly considered may detract from the message. And a bad design can send a bad message about the organization they represent. What message do you want to share with customers, prospects, and employees? Who should design your vehicle wrap?
So, Who Should Design Your Vehicle Wrap?
That’s a good question – who should design your vehicle wrap? It’s not your cousin’s niece who is in her second year of school studying graphic design. Your best bet is to hire a professional designer with experience in translating design concepts to a three-dimensional application; a design may look perfect on a two-dimensional screen, but must conform to three-dimensions. It must work on your vehicle not only on a piece of paper or a flat screen.
Should You Do it Yourself?
Unless you’re trained in 3-D, large format, graphic design…probably not. The best practice is to hire an experienced vehicle graphics designer. Most reputable vehicle graphics providers, including TKO Graphix, offer design services. I recall a race car design fail. The design was submitted by an advertising agency, they were experienced designers and they were good at it.
However, they weren’t experienced in vehicle graphic design. There’s a big difference. We printed a mock up of the design to show them why the design would not work in reality. The design was primarily an image of their product. On a two-dimensional screen it looked perfect. However, when the design was applied to the car around curves and angles you couldn’t tell what it was. If you’re considering a car or truck wrap design—hire a pro.
It’s essential to make the wrap fit the vehicle not the vehicle fit the wrap. What type of vehicle is it? What’s its function and purpose? For example, a small economy car used for local service runs will present a different challenge than a 53’ trailer used on interstate highways. Before beginning a vehicle wrap design, take a good hard look at the vehicle and ask yourself what image fits the car or truck and its job?
In an article by SignCraft, Six Reasons to Trust Your Designer, they tell the DIYer the brutal truth, “This can be hard to hear, but it’s unlikely that a novice graphic designer (that’s you, right?) will hit a home run on their early design attempts. Many won’t even get to first base. That means your business—the one you are striving to build and want to succeed—will likely end up with an amateur design for its sign, vehicle or logo.”
What Are the Most Common Mistakes in Vehicle Graphic Design?
That’s a great question, you’ve probably seen most the mistakes listed below.
Too many words. Too much information is distracting. Vehicle graphics only have seconds to capture prospects attention, we call it the fleet graphics 5 second rule. Sometimes vehicles with fleet graphics are parked, but the wrap should be designed to be viewed at 65 MPH. You have seconds, only seconds, to capture someone’s attention and share a message.
Poor quality images. Low quality or non-vector images become pixelated when enlarged, making them blurry. Vector graphics uses geometric shapes such as points or lines as the mathematical expression of the design. The shapes are assigned an exact position on the plane of the graphic where aspects such as color, shape, and thickness can be added. In this way, the size of the graphic can be increased without diminishing clarity or other qualities of the image.
Too busy. When too many images, shapes, and colors are placed on one vehicle, it’s easy to lose the message in the confusion.
Poor color contrast. Font colors need to be sharply contrasted from the background for anyone to actually read the message. So, make sure your message isn’t camouflaged by poor color choices or busy backgrounds.
No unified branding. Your fleet vehicles should complement your overall brand. Branded colors, fonts, logos, and taglines should be the same across all medias including fleet graphics.
Hard to read fonts. Some fonts, such as italics, might be attractive, but if they’re difficult to understand the message is lost.
Grammar mistakes. Using “your” when you meant “you’re” doesn’t make you look like your… I mean you’re… on top of your game.
Wrong vehicle specifications. Designing a vehicle graphic for a short bed pick up truck, and then attempting to apply it to a long bed doesn’t work.
3 Design Options for Vehicle Graphics:
So, who should design your vehicle wrap? You do have options when it comes to designing your graphics. For example, you could take your concept and work directly with a design team to bring your ideas to life. You could hire a design agency, outside of the printer, but be sure they have vehicle graphic design experience. Or you could retain a full service graphics provider, such as TKO Graphix, that offers design, print, and installation. Who should design your vehicle wrap? We think we’re a good option.
Years of Experience
The TKO Graphix designers are professionals with more than 50 years of combined experience. They make a demanding job look easy. Our designers can format your design, create graphics from scratch to fit your needs, or turn your idea into an attention-grabbing graphic. At TKO, we’re happy to work with your design, work with your agency, or create designs to your satisfaction.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your fleet graphics needs, be sure to Contact Us!
Use Your Commercial Vehicles to Advertise Your Business!
Looking for an effective and affordable way to create brand awareness, build credibility, and get your marketing message seen by thousands of potential customers every day? Vehicle graphics and wraps are your answer to getting your business name out there at an affordable price.
If you’d like to learn more about acceptable artwork submission please see our Artwork Guidelines.