Car Wraps: Are There Rules to Dictate Your Design?

by Mary Mills on December 2, 2013

Car wraps are, without doubt one of the most operative and cost effective methods of advertising . . . when done well!  It is important to think carefully about the design of the car wraps you choose to advertise your business.  A well thought out commercial car wrap can really help to build your business and make your brand recognizable.  But, just like any other type of outdoor commercial marketing, there are principles involved which can help you to get the most out of this type of commercial advertising.Car Wrap - Blue Moon Van

So what makes a good branding campaign – when using car wraps or any other type of advertising?

 ·         You need eye catching graphics – It stands to reason that, in order for your business to stand out, you need your graphics to stand out in the crowd.

·         You need a clear, concise message which is easy to grasp and even easier to remember.

Sounds simple enough, don’t you think? So, why is that many commercial car wraps just don’t cut the mustard – actually failing in all that they set out to achieve. This type of advertising medium has so much potential, which is all too often not exploited to the fullest extent.  Remember these two things when you choose a company to design and produce your car wraps:

·         They’ve got to know what they’re doing… not just skilled printers, car wrap specialists must be skilled in the printing and design of car wraps, in particular. They need the essential skills, expertise, and equipment to create high quality large format printing.

·         You need to choose a graphic designer skilled in large billboard design or similar to really get your message across.

So here goes. Before spending any of your hard earned money on car wraps to help your business grow and your brand gain recognition, remember these very important points:

·         Remember that “design is king.” It’s not the content which matters the most, it is the design. Car wraps are most effective marketing tools when there is a clear brand or logo. So, unless you already have an instantly recognizable brand, make sure that it is the focus of your wrap. People need to remember your brand, which will enable them to catch up with your company at a later time. Do you have an eye catching company brand or logo? If not, get one before you go to the trouble of investing in car wraps.

·         Remember also that in this case less is more. Keep the messages short and simple, especially if your design is for a smaller vehicle. People only generally get a few short seconds to see the message, unless the vehicle is parked. This means that you only have a couple of seconds to get the message across.  All that you need on the wrap is the brand, the website address, telephone number, and a tagline if you have the room.

·         Avoid the use of photographs unless you have a very large space – they simply distract from the message. You really don’t want people to focus on the photographs; you need them to focus on the brand.

·         Make sure that you stand out in a crowd. After all, the roads are pretty crowded these days. Make sure that clients can see your message loud and clear. It’s got to have “oomph.” It’s got to get the message across. It is really no use having the most graphically intricate design in the world if nobody actually knows what you’re advertising. Keep it simple, keep it clever – being careful not to clutter up the side of the vehicle.

·         Make sure that your message can be read easily from a distance. A simple, short, clear message is all that’s needed. Potential customers may only have a couple of seconds for the message to be computed to their brains. Can your car wraps achieve that?

Remember, also, to check out your state legislation about the percentage of vehicle which can be legally covered in a car wrap. It may sound obvious, but don’t forget to avoid the windows and check out which types of vehicle can be legally wrapped. If allowable, vans can probably make the biggest impact with a larger, uninterrupted space.


Car wraps really are one of the most cost effective methods a company can utilize to attain brand recognition and help their company to grow; just remember these simple things and choose a company with experience in this sort of advertising campaign. It really does pay.

This post was written by...

– who has written 188 posts on Signarama Blog.

is the Marketing Director at United Franchise Group and Signarama in West Palm Beach, Fl. She has an extensive background in marketing, communications and Public Relations as well as television news & video production.

Contact the author

Previous post:

Next post: