Do Your Vehicle Graphics Pass the 55 MPH Test?

by Alicia Peregory on April 28, 2015

Maybe you can’t drive 55, but your vehicle graphics have one simple test: to be readable at a normal highway speed, say, 55 miles per hour.

(Well, normal highway speed around bigger cities.)

Your vehicle graphics — whether we’re talking about the full vehicle wrap, partial graphics, rear window graphics, or even just some cut vinyl lettering and a logo on a car magnet — have to be easily readable as you drive past your prospective customers, not just when you’ve stopped.

EL Harvey Truck WrapYour vehicle graphics need a few key elements that a fancy complicated design can overpower and hide. If you’re trying to decide between a beautiful photo background with fancy text versus cut vinyl letters with no background, simplicity should always win.

This means your vehicle graphics should follow these design rules of the road:

  • Use a large readable font: Pick the biggest font that a) fits in your desired space, and b) is a simple sans serif font. You should be able to read your vehicle graphics from at least 100 feet away.
  • Have a simple, bold logo: If you’ve ever seen the very first Starbucks logo (Google it), you’d have a hard time recognizing it, especially if it whizzed past you. Their current logo is recognizable from any distance, any speed. Make sure your logo is simple and easily recognizable from a distance.
  • Avoid taglines, quotes, or other text copy. That doesn’t mean you can’t have any text, it just means this is not the place for warranty information, a five bullet list about the benefits of your service, or testimonials. Save those for your brochures and website.
  • Use contrasting colors: White letters on a dark background or dark letters on a white background work best. Light blue or green letters on a blue background are too difficult to see, even under the best circumstances. They certainly don’t pass the 55 mph test.

Don’t be tempted to fill up your vehicle graphics with all kinds of extra elements, colors, and photo-realistic backgrounds. Yes, they look cool, but if your graphics aren’t readable from a distance as you drive past, they’re completely useless. Work with the professionals at Signarama, and they can help you come up with the best designs for your new vehicle graphics.

For more information about vehicle graphics on your car, please visit the Signarama website. You can also find your local Signarama store with our online store locator.

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