Tips of the Trade for Designing Vehicle Wraps

For more than 20 years, the team here at Pensacola Sign has been designing and installing vehicle graphics and vehicle wraps for companies in Pensacola, Florida, and surrounding communities like Perdido, Cantonment, Pace, Milton, Gulf Breeze and Navarre.

Putting that expertise to work for you, we’ve compiled the following tips on how to create a beautiful, effective design for your vehicle wraps.

Pensacola Sign vehicle wrap

Our graphic design experts channel that experience into each decision they make when crafting a custom design to best suit our clients’ needs. Here are just a few tips of the trade they suggest:

Brand Identity And Consistency Are Key in Vehicle Wraps

Branding lets your customers know who you are and what you represent. Whether you’re having us install a vehicle graphic on a single car or we’re customizing your entire corporate fleet with full-color vehicle wraps, it is critical that your brand typeface, colors, logo and overall style are perfectly consistent.

  • Provide your corporate branding guidelines setup, manual or both for the designer to follow. At Pensacola Sign, we feel the best way to accomplish this is through the use of vector files such as .ai, .eps or .pdf files that have been properly setup. We reference your brand manual to double check our work.
  • If you prefer to design your vehicle wrap using your internal team, it is highly recommend that you allow your signage company to provide a scaled template for the vehicle being wrapped. The template assists the designer in ensuring the accurate amount of bleed required, while also guiding them to create the file at proper resolution. At Pensacola Sign, we require 100 dpi at full size to produce quality print graphics.
  • As a final double check, make sure you receive a proper proof prior to installation. We always present the client with digital proofs and recommend printing large, hard-copy proof samples of the actual wrap on the 3M material we will be using to give the client a 100 percent accurate representation of the wrap.

Pensacola Energy Vehicle Wrap

Use High Resolution Images

With a large surface area to cover, vehicle wraps will require a high-resolution image so that the graphic design is appealing and visually crisp. For Pensacola Sign vehicle wrap projects, we recommend design files be 100 dpi at full size and CMYK or RGB is acceptable. All fonts should be converted to curves/outlines.  All links within the files should be rasterized at a high resolution. We also recommend providing a layered original .psd/.ai file. This enables the sign design and installation team to make adjustments to help the installation of the wrap go smoothly.

Simple Can be Great

A common error in wrap design is that one feels they need to be loud or outlandish with graphics.  For example defying brand standards and designing a background with super bright texture. In fact, that isn’t always the most eye catching or the best, long-term choice for a company. While this approach does have its place, most companies are best served by a clean-looking, well-designed wrap that is more likely to be noticed and understood.

Consider a Partial Approach

When designed properly, a partial car wrap can be just as effective as a full wrap and perhaps better suited for some companies’ vehicle fleet and budgets.

Andrew's Institute Trailer Wrap

Make a Concise Promotional Statement

Consider the speed at which most potential customers will view your completed vehicle wrap. Make sure whatever text you place on your car, truck, trailer or van is concise and impactful.

Account for Dead Space

On every type of vehicle, you’ll encounter areas of dead space such as the door handles or antenna. Take into consideration these spots when placing text and graphics into the layout. You don’t want your primary message or visual to be interrupted or disadvantaged in any way.

Do Your Research

Check out what other businesses have done in the vehicle wrap and graphics arena to help discover what type of approach you like most. Also be sure to thoroughly research your sign company before making a decision on who will install your wraps. How experienced are they? Do they openly share performance and examples of other vehicle wraps projects they have done? Does their work align with your standards of quality?

Vehicle Wrap for Dominos Pizza

Think Outside of the Typical Corporate Car Box

Our sign design team can craft an eye-catching vehicle wrap for just about anything with wheels (or without). We’ve completed bike wraps, boat graphics, model car wraps and much more. Have an idea for your company? Give us a call or send as an email. We’d love to help.


To Learn More About Vehicle Wraps at Pensacola Sign:

Visit our vehicle wraps product page for more information

4 Comment on “Tips of the Trade for Designing Vehicle Wraps

  • Daniel

    March 10, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Very true in all cases. I think the most important one is knowing that simple can always be the difference between a good wrap and a bad one. Thank you so much for this good read.

  • CRD Wraps

    March 21, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Amazing post.. Thanks for sharing.. Much needed tips and guides.. really helpful. The wraps look amazing.

  • How to Guide for Vehicle Wrap Installation - Pensacola sign blogPensacola sign blog

    June 26, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    […] Blog: Tips of the Trade for Designing Vehicle Wraps […]

  • Kenneth Gladman

    December 20, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I like that you mentioned that you don’t need loud and bright graphics for your vehicle wrap to be effective. Sometimes a nice brand name with your company colors can be all you need. It is a great idea for a young business to get some simple advertising.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *