Vehicle Wrap Design Tips

Whether you are a potential client looking for a wrap company or you're a seasoned graphic designer here are a few points of philosophy that we employ when designing a vehicle wrap.

1. Show Don't Tell. There is a saying when it comes to making a movie. Show the audience don't tell. Example; character is angry so they state "I'm angry."  OR they shout and throw their plate of spaghetti at the wall. Obviously, the latter is more effective.

And just like the movies we would rather tell our client's story with pictures rather than text. A picture of a house mid-way through construction is a lot more effective than Bob's Construction Co.


     
3 Sisters Ford Mustang is a good example of show, don't tell tactics. Cakes and baked goods shown prominently on the sides and hood.

2. Simple is Better. When you drive past a pedestrian in a wrapped vehicle you have only moments to make an impression. If your vehicle is cluttered with too many bullet points, multiple vendor logos, etc. YOU WILL NOT MAKE AN IMPRESSION. Your message needs to be concise and clear.


     

Rhody SUP is a good example of a simple concise design. They teach stand up paddle board so there's a pic of a guy doing just that.

3. Don't Trust the Template. Well not 100% anyways. We use templates but mostly just for the design phase. You are essentially designing on a 3D object in a 2D medium (Photoshop / Illustrator) When we make the actual printable files we rebuild in high res or vector based on measurements of the actual vehicle. We take probably 50+ measurements of every vehicle we design on.  If we are building a wrap for a client that is out of state we will get pictures of their actual vehicle and go to our local dealership to measure the exact make and model. That's a good segue into the next tip.

4. Always get Pics of the ACTUAL Vehicle. So often when we get pictures of the client's vehicle we discover all sorts of discrepancies. A different bed length, cab configuration, side molding that we didn't know were there, etc. With that we will redesign accordingly.

5. Be Careful with Faces. Not literally but with the design. Not just with faces, but text and everything. You have to understand how the lines and curves of the vehicle will affect the wrap. Also, there are doors, gas caps, windows and you have to be aware of how it will affect the design. Here are some examples WE DIDN"T DO THESE.


     

Design is one of the most important aspects of the vehicle wrap process. Having a bold, clean and pleasing design is vital to catch people's attention and make them interested in your company.  Creating graphics for vehicle wraps is one of the most challenging projects there is for a designer.  A vehicle isn't flat like a sign or banner and there are hundreds of different vehicles on the road.  If your designer is inexperienced with wraps, it's not uncommon to end up with your phone number landing in the door handle or your email address chopped off into a wheel well. With Flash Forward Media we have the expertise to produce a vehicle wrap design that you will get excited about. Your advertising message will be bold and clear, and the placement of all graphic elements will be correct.

What Graphics Do I Need for My Vehicle Wrap Design?

When it comes to existing graphics for your vehicle wrap project Flash Forward Media is very flexible.  Whether your project is complete but not print-ready or you haven't started, we can help. On most occasions our client provides us with their logo and key contact information and together we create a design concept called a rendition. To maintain brand consistency we may consider translating the same broad look from your website or another medium onto your vehicle wrap design.  However, our designers pride themselves on complete design concept inception.  If you want to see something new - we're always excited to oblige!



Bitmap Formats
If you do plan to provide graphics to Flash Forward Media for your vehicle wrap project there are a few guidelines to follow. It is common to use bitmap elements (i.e. pixel based graphics like TIFF, GIF, JPEG) minimally the document size needs to be 1000 x 1000 pixels. Of course there are exceptions to the rule depending on how large the graphic will appear on the vehicle wrap. If you are wrapping a bus you may want to consider using even higher resolution graphics. Bitmap files can be submitted in PDF, JPEG, TIFF, Photoshop, BMP, PNG, or GIF formats.



Vector Formats
For logos, typography and company icons, vector formats are best. Acceptable vector formats are PDF, Adobe Illustrator, and EPS. If your company has specific CMYK or Pantone colors that must be achieved please be sure to send that information to us. If you have any questions in regards to graphic formats, resolutions and color for your vehicle wrap project, please feel free to call us.



Evolution of a Wrap Design
 As mentioned before we work with our clients, emailing them a design, then our clients get back to us either by phone or email with their feedback, we revisit the design making any requested changes. We send off a new design and then receive more feedback, revise the design again, and repeat the process until the client is happy with the design. Sometimes it takes 3 design revisions, sometimes it takes more.





A Vehicle Wrap's Design Needs to be Clear and Concise
When driving your wrapped vehicle down the street you might only have a seconds to make an impression. If your vehicle wrap design is bright and colorful but your contact information and your services or products are not apparent you will not make the desired connection. People will notice but then forget all about your company if they cannot immediately identify what is being advertised. This can happen when the design is too busy or the message is ambiguous. Designing a vehicle wrap is very different from designing a business card or website. You must consider that you have such a short time to convey your message clearly and concisely. A potential customer will not have much time to study your wrap, so your company name, phone number and website must jump out at them.

Our goal at Flash Forward Media is to make our vehicle wrap designs unique and original. Graphic options for vehicle wraps are limitless. You can utilize full color photographs, gradients and any combination of colors, patterns, and textures. There is no reason to settle for a plain wrap. Even if you are going for a more minimal look we can still produce a vehicle wrap design that attracts the attention of on lookers everywhere it goes. Professional doesn't have to mean plain.


When designing layouts we will utilize vehicle wrap templates. This is a tool that gives you a good idea as to where everything will land on your vehicle. When it comes time to create your final print-ready files however, actually measuring your exact make and model vehicle is the only way to ensure that everything will land where it is supposed to and all graphic elements are sized properly. The vehicle wrap templates are very helpful through out the design process but they cannot be used to produce the printed files due to the fact that you are designing on a three dimensional object in a two dimensional medium. This happens to be another easy mistake to make for designers who are inexperienced with vehicle wraps.



Flash Forward Media is located in Southern New Hampshire but can offer vehicle wrap designing services anywhere in the US. Using a combination of FTP email and phone conversations we are able to produce a vehicle wrap design that will be perfect for your business. We usually start with a phone conversation to review your tastes and start to get an idea of your needs.  From there we will produce the initial vehicle wrap mock up and send it to you via email for review. After reviewing the vehicle wrap concept you can communicate your thoughts and feedback either by phone or email. We will work back and forth with you until we have produced a vehicle wrap concept that you love.  With our client's busy schedules we have found this system is by far the most efficient way to design wraps.  Emails and phone conversations can be quick lists of changes or detailed discussions of your vision.  Our goal is to deliver your perfect vehicle wrap as fast and painlessly as possible!

 
We can offer vehicle wraps to the following areas:

Alabama | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Washington DC | Florida | Georgia | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington

 


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