You’ve heard people talk about it. It’s the most cost-effective form of advertising available. It can get your business in front of hundreds of people everyday, building brand awareness and attract new customers. Vehicle wraps.
So, you want a vehicle wrap but which company will you chose to wrap your vehicle? How do you find the best company to work with? Where can you find the best value for your investment?
We understand your situation, so, we created this list of what to consider when choosing a sign company to work with.
First, what are vehicle wraps?
We’ve heard the term all over the place, but it is one of the fastest growing segments of the sign industry. A vehicle wrap is graphics that cover the entire vehicle, not just portions of it but the entire vehicle from front to back.
It’s a large advertising platform for your brand. If you think about some of the larger service vans out there for heating and air companies, plumbers, etc, the sides of these vehicles are very large, and they can be a rolling billboard or an advertising platform for their brand.
Vehicle wraps are very different from spot graphics. You’ve probably seen a lot of spot graphics where a company has their logo and phone number on their door of their vehicle or the rear of their vehicle. Those are forms of advertising, but they are not the eye-catching advertising of what vehicle wraps are.
The factors to consider in choosing a vehicle wrap partner.
There are many partners in the Atlanta area and across the country that can wrap your vehicle, but there are some key things to consider when actually choosing the partner.
History & Experience
First of all is their history and experience, not just the history and experience of the company itself but also the history and experience of the people in the company that will actually be doing the installation of the vehicle graphics. It is a very, very specialized type of installation.
Next, design capability. Has the company or your partner been able to design vehicle wraps? Vehicle wrap design is a very tricky process. It’s a three-dimensional object, not a two-dimensional object. A lot of people can design in two dimensions. Three dimensions is really a talent that it takes to be able to do that.
Production process and materials.
What types of printers are going to be used? What type of inks are going to be used? What types of vinyl are they going to use to actually print the wrap on? And what are the manufacturers of those materials?
And then the installation team.
As I said, it’s important to know who your installation team is because that installation team will determine the quality of the final and finished product. What may look good on a piece of paper or in a proof may not necessarily line up the same way as when it’s on the vehicle, which is three-dimensional.
So let’s talk first about company experience. The first question you need to ask is, “What kind of facilities does the company have in order to do the vehicle graphics and vehicle wraps?”
Most vinyl, if not all vinyl, has certain properties that it has to stay within in order to adhere properly to surfaces. One of those is temperatures have to be over 55 degrees and not over 95 degrees.
Does the company that you’re working with have the facilities to do a vehicle? Not only that, do they have the facilities to do multiple vehicles?
Do they have the capability to store the vehicles if you want to leave them for a couple of days? Is that facility secure once you’re storing those vehicles?
Those are some of the things that we need to think about when we’re picking a company.
Secondly is the insurance.
Does the company have enough insurance from not just their insurance but what is called garage-keepers insurance to insure the vehicle that you’re going to be leaving there? You’re leaving a vehicle. It could be completely outfitted with tools and equipment that may cost significant amounts of dollars for you. Does the place where you’re dropping it off have the insurance in case something unforeseen happens to that location?
And then the experience.
Has the company had experience in wrapping vehicles? Have they had the experience in doing fleets of vehicles so that they make sure that the vehicles are the same vehicle to vehicle when the graphics are laid out? So those are some key things when looking at a company.
From a design capability, I mentioned earlier, a three-dimensional graphic design is a lot more difficult than a two-dimensional one. But one thing to look at is layouts to fit the vehicle.
We have one customer. There’s one customer that I know of that has seven or eight different types of vehicles from box trucks all the way down to Priuses, and they want the look and feel of those vehicles to be very much the same. Well, you can imagine that the real estate that you have on a box truck compared to a Prius is significantly different.
So the question is, do you have the design capability to make all the vehicles look similar with the same different design elements to make that all tie together?
Do they have graphics to catch the eye? Part of the reason why you have a vehicle wrap is to go ahead and catch the eye of someone. And then, once you catch the eye of them, to make sure it gives off the mention that you want, and that it has the design elements to drive the business.
You could have a vehicle wrap that’s very eye-catching. It drives by you, and you want to look at it again. But if the design elements to drive the business are not there – meaning the logo, the call to action, a phone number, a website, etc. – then your vehicle wrap won’t be effective.
The key is to catch the eye of the observer and then kind of lay out what your business is. It doesn’t have to be extremely wordy or anything, but it does need to say what the call to action is, the contact information, who the company is, what their logo looks like, and then maybe some description of what the services provided are. But if you don’t have the design capabilities, then you wouldn’t know to fit those in.
Key example is, when you’re sitting in traffic, what part of the vehicle do you believe gets the most exposure from someone? It’s the back. Why? Because a lot of times, you’re sitting behind a vehicle in traffic. Behind the vehicle, you can read it, you can kind of look at what the information is, you can look at the contact information, versus if it’s on the side and you’re driving by in traffic. You may be able to catch a gist of what it is, but you really can’t get all the information, so it’s extremely important to have the vehicle information on the back.
Let’s talk about the production process with the materials. The printing capabilities. What kind of printers are they printing on? Are they printing on eco-solvent printers? Are they printing on solvent printers? Are they printing on certified wrap material? Are they using 3M material, Avery material, or Oracal material? Those are the types of things that the printing capabilities and the machines that are used are key to.
Then to the vinyl used. The three types I talked about earlier — Avery, 3M, and Oracal — are the most commonly used in this industry, in this practice. But, again, if your printing capabilities don’t match the vinyl that’s being used, you’re going to have an issue with that.
And then the laminate used. Every type of vinyl has a matching laminate. It is matched for a reason. That laminate lays down like a glove over that vinyl. So if you use inferior laminate to superior vinyl, you’re going to have cracking and peeling. If you use a different brand of laminate to a different brand of vinyl, you might have cracking and peeling. The key is to have a complete set of vinyl and laminate from the same manufacturer.
And then installation team. Are the individuals that are going to be wrapping your vehicle certified?
3M and Avery both have certification programs from a wrap program standpoint. What that means is that the individuals that have been certified have gone through extensive training and extensive knowledge and a test to certify their skills to be able to wrap a vehicle.
Again, this is a skill set that is highly specialized, and that’s why the certifications exist. There’s also certifications in the Professional Decal of America Association, which also looks at things like this.
Their experience in all medias.
Have your individuals who are going to be wrapping the vehicle, have they experience in the different types of medias? And have they worked on many different types of vehicles? I’m not talking about a box truck versus a pickup truck. I’m talking about ATVS. I’m talking about golf carts. I’m talking about boats. I’m talking about airplanes. I mean, how many different types of vehicles have the individuals worked on? That will show their broad array of capabilities.
So in conclusion, when you’re looking for a vehicle wrap partner, consider all of the factors we discussed: the location, the company itself, the materials used, the process, the certifications. Consider all those factors before making a final decision.
I will tell you that cost is not the largest consideration. If you’re buying a vehicle wrap solely on cost, you may be disappointed.
Choose a company that meets your needs. Does a company have all these? Are you comfortable working with that company? Are you comfortable with the design capability of that company? Are you comfortable that company is going to go ahead and put forth your design and your best foot in your advertising?
And lastly, you’re going to drive new business, pun intended, with vehicle wraps. Wrapping a vehicle is the most cost-effective use of advertising dollars in the Atlanta market and beyond. So when you’re looking at ways to advertise your business, consider using vehicle graphics and vehicle wraps to be able to do that.