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3 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing a Vehicle Wrap

vehicle-wrapBy Tim Hilcove – Manager, SmartWrap.

If you want a marketing tactic that can get your brand a lot of visibility for the money, look into vehicle wraps. After all, the cost per thousand impressions tends to be just 4 cents, with wrapped vehicles reaching more than 95 percent of Americans. If you’re ready to join the over 46,000 wrapped vehicles in the country, take these design tips into consideration first.

1.  Poor logo design.

There’s no quicker way to ruin the perception of your brand than to flood the marketplace with your poorly designed logo. Poor logo design gives your company an unprofessional and cheap feel that is almost impossible to overcome. If you start with a great logo, the rest of the design can flow from there. But if you start with a poor logo, then it’s not going to matter much what the rest of the design is; it’s not going to be enough to save the project. A great logo is simple, readable, and memorable.  

2. Too much copy.

You’ve probably heard that a vehicle wrap is like a moving billboard, right?  Have you seen any billboard advertisements that have bullet points, multiple phone numbers, two tag lines, and multiple offers? I doubt it. What you see is Budweiser, Miller, Geico, etc. You see brands. Why is that? Simple; nobody has time to read all that information. If you want to get in an accident, take your eyes off the road for several seconds to read a brochure. Your vehicle wrap should not be a brochure. It should be a billboard, a billboard like the big boys produce: Brand and logo first, tagline second. And that’s it!

3. Photography.

Digital photography and printing have come a long way in the last 10 years. But just because you can print realistic looking flames or a picture of an air conditioner doesn’t mean you should. Photography distracts from the logo and the tagline. Therefore, it distracts from your brand. Furthermore, what does a picture of an air conditioner say about your company? Nothing. It says you do air conditioning work, just like thousands of other companies. Doing what the other guys are doing does nothing to distinguish you from them. Currently, it’s very popular to put photos of all sorts of things on wraps. If you want to do what’s popular right now, then go right ahead. But if your focus is building your brand and building the value of your brand, why would you go directly against that by distracting people with imagery that does nothing to communicate what you stand for?

If it sounds like I’m hammering you with these three points, I am. I’ve talked to thousands of business owners over the last eight years at SmartWrap, and there are definitely some recurring misconceptions about what the purpose of a wrap is and more generally what branding is. My purpose is to help educate and direct my clients into making choices that build brand equity, not create confusion or negative impressions. And these tips can provide the guidance you need along the way.

By Tim Hilcove – Manager, SmartWrap
Tim Hilcove is Manager at SmartWrap and has been involved in the vehicle wrap industry since 2009.