Design a Vehicle Wrap or Decal that Gets Noticed

Advertising is a key part of any business and there is more than one way to get your brand name out there. Vehicle wraps or decals are an innovative advertising tool that certainly stands out from the rest. While a vehicle wrap can certainly get eyes on your business there is an art to these mobile billboards. If you’ve never designed one before it can be hard knowing where to start. Here are ten tips to make sure your vehicle wrap stands out from the rest and gets your company noticed.

Ten Tips For Vehicle Wraps And Decals Design To Make It Stand Out

1.    Start With Your Brand: your wrap is based off your company’s brand. So if your brand is weak or ill defined then a wrap won’t be an effective tool. First and foremost make sure your company brand, logo, and image are all clearly defined. Once your company image and logo are sharp and clearly defined then it can be transformed into an effective vehicle wrap.

2.    Take Your Time: don’t rush into a finished product. Take your time with your wrap design if an idea isn’t working move on to a new idea. Work on details, consider your market, your customers, your product, and your competition. All of these factor into the direction your design takes.

3.    Consider Your Audience’s Taste: a lot of creative endeavors reflect the artist’s views or taste. When designing a wrap or decal consider what your target market will want to see or find visually pleasing. Your personal taste should not be completely ignored however, the general views of your target market should always take precedence. A wrap is an advertisement and it doesn’t work if it stands out to the wrong target market.

4.    Remember That Vehicle Wraps And Decals Are Not Stationary: a mistake a lot of companies make is reusing design concepts and ideas from pre-existing print advertisement. A print ad gives you a lot of time to read it and a billboard is large and stationery. A vehicle wrap is driving around at very high rates of speed. So a vehicle wrap should be designed for the unique environment they are seen in.

5.    Don’t Use Generic Photos: photos while striking in certain cases can be ineffective as part of a wrap. A wrap is meant to represent a brand identity a picture of say a house doesn’t say much in terms of exact information. Remember when driving a wrap may only be viewed by the people seeing it for about 2 to 2.5 seconds. So use logos, company info, and exact information that only speaks about your company specifically.

6.    Keep It Simple: a wrap needs to be simple to make the most of the few seconds of viewing time they have to reach drivers. Your wrap elements should include your company logo, a tagline or catchphrase, website address, and possibly phone number. No bullet points, no lists, no paragraphs, keep it simple because there is very little time to read.

7.    Stand Out By Using Minimization: standing out does not mean loud and garish. A lot of creative design (and this includes vehicle wraps) over relies on ‘loud’ design concepts. Things such as flames, metal texture prints, tribal tattoos, and the like have been overused to the point of being overexposed and are now considered passe. A simple clean design that is clear and to the point stands out from the background noise. In this respect the basic becomes memorable by simply being different.

8.    You Can Still Be Bold In Design: while keeping the above tips in mind remember that simplicity and minimization in design does not mean boring. You can still use bright colors and big design concepts provided they’re not overly cluttered, confusing, or an overused concept. Remember boldness means being noticed not being noisy.

9.    Don’t Make The Viewer Work Too Hard: a person viewing your wrap or decal shouldn’t have to put too much thought into what they’re looking at. What your company is and what it does should be understood in just a glance. There should be one single message put across by your wrap (not several) and it should be obvious. Make sure the message comes across and make sure it does so easily.

10. Technical Aspects: when designing a car wrap or decals there are technical aspects involving design you have to keep in mind. For example make sure the images you are using will look good when blown up to full size. If your images already look pixilated in computer design software the same will be true when made into a vehicle wrap or decal. Using high resolution pictures helps prevent this problem. Also wraps aren’t all one piece they are made of several different section pieces that go onto the vehicle. Make sure the different pieces (bonnet, sides, bumper, etc.) all fit together when combined into a finished vehicle wrap. Remember it has to not only stand out during the design phase it also has to stand out as a finished product.


As the above tips show there is an impressive amount of design concepts to keep in mind when designing  vehicle wraps or decals. What all of the above tips condense into is the core idea that a wrap or decal has to communicate a clear message to the people who see it. Over complexity and bad design ideas lose this message and make the wrap itself ineffective as an informative tool. A wrap can still look striking, get noticed, and communicate a message to all who see it provided careful planning goes into its design.

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