Masterpieces are not just created on canvases. Nowadays, many design companies are creating works of art in the exteriors of buses, cars, trucks, vans, and other types of vehicles. And why not? Vehicle graphics transforms modes of land transportation into graphics on wheels and mobile advertisements. Your design will be seen by thousands of people on a daily basis, and help your client increase revenue and brand visibility.
Vehicle graphics are hard to miss because they are designed to command attention. The design possibilities are endless. The trick lies in getting the message across with the proper use of contrasting colors, images, space, and typography.
Graphics and lettering used to be painstakingly (or rather paint-stakingly) done by hand. But digital printing technology and vinyl have made it easier for graphic designers and wrap installers to create half or partial wraps (which usually start at the rear of the vehicle and makes its way towards the driver and passenger doors) and full vehicle wraps.
Creative, well-installed vehicle wraps look like they have been hand painted on the car or truck. They also provide visual tricks that simply can’t be achieved using manual painting. A quality vehicle wrap can last between five to seven years – a good return of investment.
Here are some of the factors that you need to consider before you design your first vehicle graphic:
Choose a vector graphics editor like Adobe Illustrator, which will enable you to create designs that you can scale without losing clarity. Photoshop is also useful for designing vehicle wraps but Adobe Illustrator loads faster. Use vehicle templates so you don’t have to take photographs of the vehicle and measure the dimensions.
A wrapped vehicle is basically a moving signage so keep the message simple. It’s impossible to enumerate all of the products, services, and benefits. A design that is too text heavy is likely to be ignored so stick to the business name, contact information, and a tag line. Remember: wraps must be readable while cruising on the highway and when parked.
Highlight the important parts of your message by using contrasting colors. A good color scheme allows the message to stand out.
Resist the temptation to turn your vehicle wrap into a collage, particularly if you’re working on large vehicles like buses, trucks, and vans. The images should complement the overall wrap design, not take over it (unless your wrap is mainly for vanity).
The message must be legible while the vehicle is in motion or stationary. Choose a simple font and keep the size normal, not too big and not too small. Use the right spacing. Reverse the text on the hood to make the message readable on a rear view mirror.
Add white space whenever possible because it accentuates your design. The colors and images attract your audience – the drivers and pedestrians – while the white space allows them to zero in on your client’s message including the name, number, and address.