Skip to Primary Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to Main Content All 3M.com Site Map

Five Tips for Designing a Great Vehicle Wrap

If you've ever seen a vehicle wrap that was a jumble of too much information and too many graphics to get its message across, you know the importance of good graphic design for a wrap. Use these tips to help your shop create effective wraps that deliver a clear message to viewers:

1. Work with your customer to capture the message
What is your customer's goal for their vehicle wrap? Do they want more visits to their website, or more foot traffic in their store? Talk to your customers about their key messages, and the importance of narrowing it down to just one or two. Whatever the customer's goal, use that information to prioritize the design of the wrap and place the most important elements prominently.

2. Don't overlook corporate guidelines
Many companies have strict brand standards or corporate guidelines regarding the colors, fonts, and imagery that can be used in their materials. Be sure to ask your customer if there are policies you should follow. These guidelines will often dictate the proper placement of logos and other design elements. It is also important to make sure that any messages and images you use do not infringe on anyone else's copyrights.

3. Keep your design clean, and remember the five second rule
Most people viewing your wrap will not give it more than a few seconds of attention. Additionally, a vehicle traveling on the highway may have even less time than that. The more information you put on a vehicle wrap, the longer it takes to get its message across, so keep the design clean and – as mentioned in Tip #1 – focus on one or two messages. For an edge in creating vehicle wrap designs that quickly deliver a message, check out the 3M Visual Attention Service (VAS) helpful. This online scanning tool analyzes the graphic and text elements of a design and identifies where the typical human is most likely to look in the first three to five seconds of viewing. VAS analysis can help you revise a design until it performs exactly the way you want it to.

4. Use a template AND take measurements
Vehicle templates are readily available to help you begin your design, but it's also important to take your own measurements and evaluate the surface of the vehicle in 3D. It's not uncommon for angular distortion in a template to have an impact on the final result, so be sure to study the lines of the vehicle in person.

5. Make overlays work for you
In many cases logos and other graphic elements can be printed as overlays, allowing you to move the logos or graphics to flat parts of the vehicle easily. This can help prevent installation hassles and the need to rewrap the entire vehicle if a logo doesn't look right. It also allows your customers the flexibility to change select parts of their wrap as needed if the correct product is chosen.

This article was developed with assistance from Robby Burnett of Wrap Experts.

Back