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5 Rules for Effective Vehicle Wrap Design

vehicle wraps coquitlam bc

A vehicle wrap can do many things for a business. From spreading name recognition to giving a sense of uniformity and professionalism to small fleets – there is perhaps no better way to advertise a small business than with a well-designed vehicle wrap. This being said, the success of a vehicle wrap as an advertisement depends heavily on its design.

There are several basic building blocks to ensuring a wrap design fulfils its purpose as an advertisement and not simply a missed opportunity of for business promoting it. The two most important factors are: proper branding and an easy-to-discern message. Beautiful design falls flat if the average customer cannot understand what the ad is actually trying to sell them – be it service or product.

The ultimate goal of any advertisement is to see a return on the investment made into the creation of the ad. This is a universal fact – from small, fledgling businesses to powerhouse corporations. Here are a few general rules to be followed in the creation of an effective and cost efficient vehicle wraps.

Rule #1: Start with A Great Brand

One of the most important elements to any vehicle wrap (or advertisement in general) is its representation of its brand. The brand and logo should be the core of the wrap, the most visible and recognizable element even when being passed on the road going 55 miles per hour. The one exception to this rule is a company who has managed national brand recognition, which for a small company, is very likely not the case. For small businesses trying to make an impact in their community, the message is always about the brand.

The professionals at Speedpro Imaging Coquitlam see hundreds of brands each day and know that having a poorly designed brand or logo is the first step to failing as an advertisement. The result being not receiving the return investment on their ad and ultimately losing money and opportunity. In the end, allowing a professional design the brand, like the pros at Coquitlam sign shop will result in a more effective wrap and an all-around more successful advertising future. The brand is the message, period.

Rule #2: Never Use Photos in Wrap Design

Everyone has seen a wrap that features a photo. Some of these wraps even prove to be relatively successful. The boiling point – they would have simply been more successful without the photo. Photos create a disconnect between the brand and the customer. There are many examples of this ranging from HVAC contractors, real estate agents, electricians, etc. The average potential customer has about 2.5 seconds to view the wrap. In those few precious moments, the average eye will be drawn to the image well before the brand. This means those passing the ad will know that the vehicle is yes, advertising air conditioner repair, but nothing beyond that fact. They will not know the company name – which means the ad failed that potential customer. A photo is a show stealer, not a brand identity. Professionals in the industry, like those at Speedpro Imaging Coquitlam (real estate being one of the most common culprit in loving to ad photos to vehicle wrap designs) will agree, brand before smiling photo. This can be confusing to many new designers because it is so common – especially among big national chains. However, these chains have true national name recognition. These companies no longer focus heavily on their brand, small businesses simply do not have this luxury.

Rule #3: Limit Your Advertising Copy

Strong brand implementation, a web address, a quick tagline message, and a phone number – these are the only things an effective wrap needs. A wrap is flash advertising, not a post in the Sunday Times. The more information on the ad, the less the potential customer is going to remember. Keep it simple, remember, 2.5 seconds is all the time the advertisement has of either being successful or being a flop. In general, the hierarchy should always be: brand and logo, simple tagline, contact information.

Adding to much text will distract from the core rule of brand focus. The result being a confused potential customer who got nothing from the ad. This is a wasted opportunity and could lead to a wasted advertising investment. Consider a design similar to something that would appear on a Coquitlam sandwich board. The less there, the more room there is for the actual ad. Too much is simply a quick way to see an ad be unsuccessful.

Rule #4: Design to Stand Out, Not Fit In

There is something to be said for tried and true and this isn’t to say success cannot be traditional – however, just because something works for one company, does not mean a dozen other companies need to design the exact same thing. Many popular ads feature visual clutter as the designers try to bring together a dozen small aspects from other popular ads. The result being something that is filled with noisy backgrounds, strange glows, bevels, and fills. Designs that are unique are more likely to win the potential customer as one that is very similar to all the other trucks on the road.

Rule #5: Simple and Obvious is Good

The professionals at any Vancouver sign shop will gladly tell new advertisers, vehicle wraps are not the same a as a print page design. It is not up to the potential customer to figure out an ad, they simply won’t. If the point is not clear, concise, and free of unneeded clutter they will simply move on. Brand above freethinking design. The wrap must be effective and communicate the brand without leading the customer down a path of “What is that? What was that picture? That was a bright color!” Distance legibility is another major concern. Can the potential customer read it after they have traveled down the road or is it lost within moments of passing? 2.5 seconds. This is all the ad has to win this new customer. Take as much advantage of those moments as possible and design a truly effective and efficient vehicle wrap.

5 Rules for Effective Vehicle Wrap Design

effective vehicle wrap design

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Speedpro Imaging Coquitlam helps you make an impressive visual impact on your customers. We create "photo-realistic" imagery at up to 1440 dpi with stunning clarity and amazing image depth. We make trade show displays, promotions, signage, events, decals and vehicles come alive. Have a look at our work and give us a call, we want to help you tell your story! Visit us at
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About Speedpro Imaging (Coquitlam)

We specialize in Signs, Banners, Trade Shows, Vehicle Graphics and Decals. From solutions for the small business, to vehicle marketing for those on the road, we are dedicated to giving you the best visual bang for your buck.

  • 51A Fawcett Road, Coquitlam, BC V3K 6V2
  • (604) 540-6385

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Have questions or need some assistance with the design of your graphics, logo or signs? Perhaps you have some ideas but are not sure what your options are. Give us a call for some “no obligation” support. No question is too big or too small.