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Do’s and Don’ts of Vehicle Wrap Design

Designing a vehicle wrap is very different from a typical graphic design project. To make sure everything runs smoothly with your design, check out the DO’s and DON’TS of vehicle wrap design below:

DON’T start designing before getting a vehicle template and photos of the vehicle that’s being wrapped.

DO take good “straight on” photos of the vehicle that’s being wrapped and compare the photos to your template.

Before designing, you’ll want to make sure all obstructions (handles, hinges, gas caps, etc.) along with unique additions (toolboxes, ladders, racks, etc.) are in the correct spot and accounted for on your template. The whole purpose of a dynamic wrap is to get the company info out there. You want to make sure the information isn’t being blocked or distorted.


DON’T assume the entire vehicle can be wrapped.

DO talk with your install team to make sure what you’ve designed is feasible.

Some bumpers can be covered… some can’t. Legally, only certain windows can be covered… do you know which ones? Can a rub rail be covered? These are the types of questions your installer will be able to answer.


Now that you’re ready to design…

DON’T assume your vehicle will always be viewed straight on.

DO remember your vehicle is a 3 dimensional object that will be viewed from all sides.

Since a vehicle wrap is a “moving billboard,” people will be viewing the vehicle as a whole, even though you’ll be designing one side at a time. Think about how the side of the design will connect to the back, and so on (think of package design). For example, if you place an image to bleed over the edge, remember that it will need to connect to the next side. You want the design to look like it was painted on the vehicle, not like four sheets of vinyl have been placed on each side. Having a continuous flow of imagery will keep your design easy on the eyes while standing out.

Do's and Don'ts of Vehicle Wrap Design

This wrap has imagery that flows. Images are placed on the side near the back of the vehicle, and do not get cut off. The background color continues throughout the design.


DON’T place smaller text over grooves or creases on the vehicle.

DO place smaller text in smooth, flat areas.

If you’re required to use smaller text in a design, make sure it’s in a spot on the vehicle that will keep the text from getting distorted. Usually the flat area on a door is a good place for smaller text. If small text is in a groove, bump, or crease, it will become distorted and unreadable.

Advertising Vehicles

This design has small text that has been placed in a flat area, keeping the text readable.

DON’T use a font just because it looks “cool”.

DO use fonts that can be clearly read from a distance.

Display fonts are a lot of fun, but remember your audience will be passing by the vehicle at quick speeds. There is no time for them to try and figure out what the wrap says. Use a clear font so they can get the message right away. Check out the photos below… how long does it take you to figure out what the first van says compared to the second?

This will get you started. More DO’s and DON’TS will be available on the next design blog… stay tuned!