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Masterpieces are not just created on canvases. Nowadays, many graphic design companies are creating works of art in the exteriors of buses, cars, trucks, vans, and other types of vehicles. And why not? Vehicle wrapping transforms modes of land transportation into graphics on wheels and mobile advertisements. Your design will be seen by thousands of people on a daily basis, and help your client increase revenue and brand visibility.

Vehicle wraps are hard to miss because they are designed to command attention. The design possibilities are endless. The trick lies in getting the message across with the proper use of contrasting colors, images, space, and typography.

Graphics and lettering used to be painstakingly (or rather paint-stakingly) done by hand. But digital printing technology and vinyl have made it easier for graphic designers and wrap installers to create half or partial wraps (which usually start at the rear of the vehicle and makes its way towards the driver and passenger doors) and full vehicle wraps.

Creative, well-installed vehicle wraps look like they have been hand painted on the car or truck. They also provide visual tricks that simply can’t be achieved using manual painting. A quality vehicle wrap can last between five to seven years – a good return of investment.

Here are some of the factors that you need to consider before you design your first vehicle wrap:

Tools

Choose a vector graphics editor like Adobe Illustrator, which will enable you to create designs that you can scale without losing clarity. Photoshop is also useful for designing vehicle wraps but Adobe Illustrator loads faster. Use vehicle templates so you don’t have to take photographs of the vehicle and measure the dimensions.

Message

A wrapped vehicle is basically a moving signage so keep the message simple. It’s impossible to enumerate all of the products, services, and benefits. A design that is too text heavy is likely to be ignored so stick to the business name, contact information, and a tag line. Remember: wraps must be readable while cruising on the highway and when parked.

Colors

Highlight the important parts of your message by using contrasting colors. A good color scheme allows the message to stand out.

Images

Resist the temptation to turn your vehicle wrap into a collage, particularly if you’re working on large vehicles like buses, trucks, and vans. The images should complement the overall wrap design, not take over it (unless your wrap is mainly for vanity).

Typography

The message must be legible while the vehicle is in motion or stationary. Choose a simple font and keep the size normal, not too big and not too small. Use the right spacing. Reverse the text on the hood to make the message readable on a rear view mirror.

White Space

Add white space whenever possible because it accentuates your design. The colors and images attract your audience – the drivers and pedestrians – while the white space allows them to zero in on your client’s message including the name, number, and address.

Take a look at some awesome vehicle graphics:

Godfather Wrap on a Sedan

Epson Bugatti Wrap

Mustang Flame Wrap

BMW M3 GT2 Art Car

Lamborghini Aventador Prototype

Porsche Cayman Wrap Concept

Ferrari 458 Camouflage Wrap

Matte Black Bentley

Lotus Elise Tiger Wrap

FHM Mini Cooper

McLaren MP4-26 F1 Car Wrap

Peugeot 3008 Ad Campaign

National Geographic Bus Wrap

Copenhagen Zoo Snake Bus Wrap

Toothbrush Bus Wrap

Limo Bus Ad

Street Sweets

Movie-themed Food Truck

Fro2Go Truck Wrap

Kit Kat Truck Wrap

Written by Francis Lucas

Francis is a web copywriter with three years of experience. He writes for a Los Angeles-based digital imaging company called Aretedi. When not blogging or creating content for web pages, he can be found running, dreaming that he is God’s gift to basketball and soccer, conspiring with the Dark Side, and inflicting his idiosyncrasies on family and friends.

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  • Max Quinn

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  • Tenvoorde Ford

    The car wraps are awesome looking! Hopefully these start to become popular because they really bring life to the appearances of cars! Great post thanks for sharing!

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  • http://www.exoticvehiclewraps.com/ Exotic Vehicle Wraps

    This truly shows the capabilities of what a vehicle wrap can do. Also very great points in the article of factors that go into designing a vehicle wrap to display the correct message. I’ve seen many of these wraps before there are still many within this post that are greatly designed, great collection.