Class or Crass? 4 Tips for Designing Effective Vehicle Wraps
Bumper-to-bumper vehicle wraps transform a set of wheels into a moving billboard, making them an affordable advertising option for small-business owners. Yet, a vehicle wrap's marketing potential often falls short for a variety of reasons, says Derek Creavalle, owner of Vehicle Graphics Academy in Toronto.
Creavalle offers these four tips for designing effective vehicle wraps:
- Don't succumb to personal tastes. Just because you saw a wrap on the road that appealed to you doesn't mean it will appeal to your target customer, Creavalle cautions. Remember that advertising is about your target market, not your personal likes and dislikes. Choose a classy, understated design or a bold image with shock value based on what you think will grab the attention of your desired clientele.
- Don't ask your brother-in-law. Similarly, what garners rave reviews from relatives and friends may not resonate with your target demographic. Soliciting the opinions of loved ones can dilute your message. "You need to figure out what it's going to take to connect with that person and work backward," Creavalle says. This may be a wow factor, such as sensational signage, he adds, or "it may be some key subtleties that are going to get them to connect with you — and that's really the key to successful vehicle graphics."
- Send a clear message. A motorist has 3 to 6 seconds to read your signage. Designs should control where people look first — and leave a lasting impression. "If you position graphic elements randomly on the vehicle or put them in the wrong spot, people may not see them, or they miss what's most important," Creavalle says. For example, people look at images first and read from left to right, so "if you put the image on the right-hand side and the text on the left, they're going to go right to the image and miss the text."
- A wrap should match a vehicle's attributes. If you're driving a Hummer or a rugged SUV, forget pink — unless you're selling Mary Kay. "Work with the style of the vehicle, so that it's consistent," Creavalle says. Play on the vehicle’s rugged quality to promote your business. Conversely, if you own a Smart Car, he suggests vehicle wraps with a savvy, cute, or efficient theme (like the one he designed, above).