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What is a Vehicle Wrap?

white and black porsche 911 on road during daytime

A vehicle wrap (also known as graphics, car wrapping, and commercial vehicle lettering) will give your car a makeover without spending a fortune at the body shop or waiting weeks for an expensive paint job. This form of graphic design transfers your company logo, photography, and other designs to your car in one easy step. Vehicle wraps can be made from a number of different materials and offer a safe, low-cost way to advertise your business on the go.

Who should use vehicle wraps?

Businesses, charities, and individuals can all enjoy the convenience of a vehicle wrap. For example, businesses can advertise a new promotion or upcoming sale directly on their vehicles to target customers who frequent their location. Charity organizations use wraps as a cheap way to raise awareness about important issues. And car owners can turn their transportation into rolling billboards for anything from bands and clubs.

However, vehicle wraps do not necessarily have to be used for commercial purposes. The graphic design possibilities are endless, and wraps can customize and revitalize a vehicle.

How do vehicle wraps work?

A typical vehicle wrap is made from a tough vinyl material with a carrier film. This makes it easy for businesses and individuals alike to install graphics by simply cutting out the desired shapes, removing the backing, and sticking them onto the vehicle. This process is similar to applying a temporary tattoo.

Graphics are available in adhesive sheets, precut banner-style strips, and stripe kits that include every shape needed for the vehicle’s exterior. On the other hand, Decals can be customized with customer logos or photos before being applied to the vehicle. This option is popular for individuals who want their vehicle to reflect their unique interests and hobbies.

What types of designs can I use?

There are no limits to the design possibilities for a vehicle wrap. Graphic designers can create original artwork or work with customers to create custom graphics such as photos, logos, and stylized lettering. In addition, specialty materials like chrome vinyl make it possible to mimic the look of real chrome and give a vehicle a sleek and polished appearance.

Customer logos and photos can be used creatively, such as colorized vector art. This option is popular for individuals who want their vehicle to reflect their unique interests and hobbies. It should be noted that like painting a car, a vehicle wrap should be done in a clean environment, like a spray booth. Professional vehicle wrappers often purchase a spray booth for sale, to ensure the uniform application of a wrap. These spray booths are essential clean rooms free from dust particles and external environmental factors like wind and heat that can impact the finish of a vehicle wrap. In addition, vector graphics are resolution-independent, making them ideal for vehicle wraps since they can be resized as needed without losing quality.

What are the benefits of using a vehicle wrap?

There are many reasons to invest in a commercial vehicle lettering or wrap, including:

  • Cost-effective – Vehicle graphics cost much less than customized paint jobs and offer more advertising options.
  • Easy to change – Vehicle graphics can be easily removed and replaced with a new design.
  • Get your brand noticed – Vehicle wraps will put your company name in front of potential customers daily.
  • Improve fuel efficiency – Wrapping is eco-friendly since it does not add weight to the vehicle.
  • Stay safe – Vehicle graphics are made from safety-rated vinyl laminated with a clear coat for scratch resistance. This material meets the highest safety standards and can help protect drivers in an accident.
  • Customize any type of car – No matter what type of car you drive, wraps can be customized to fit.
  • Help your company stand out — Vehicle wraps will help ensure that potential customers see and remember your brand.

What other materials and products can I use?

There are a variety of options for vehicle graphics, including:

  • Banners: These versatile vinyl banners come in various styles, including mesh banners with grommets for easy hanging.
  • Bumper stickers: These can be die-cut to fit any make and model, and they are also available in non-vinyl materials for short-term use or indoor applications.
  • Decals: Customize these graphics with customer logos or photos, then stick them to the desired location.
  • Fabric banners: These lightweight materials are ideal for indoor use and come in a variety of colors and styles.
  • Reflective graphics: These highly visible vinyl graphics do not need any light source to make them stand out; they will appear illuminated during the day due to their special material.
  • Static clings: These can be customized with logos and photos using various adhesive options, including permanent and removable adhesives for metal and glass surfaces.
  • Wall graphics: These graphic materials are ideal for indoor applications that need full-color printed graphics.

How long does the process take?

The length of a vehicle wrap installation will vary based on several factors, including:

  • Size and complexity – A large truck with many angles and surfaces will take longer to wrap than a sedan or compact car.
  • Whether or not the graphics are custom-designed – A pre-printed kit may be easier to install.
  • Availability of equipment – Placing an order ahead of time will ensure that everything is ready for installation.

Final thoughts

By investing in vehicle lettering or a complete wrap design, you will be giving your brand the exposure it needs to attract new customers. Whether you want to capture attention by promoting specific products and services or simply increase visibility along busy roads and highways, vehicle graphics can improve your brand visibility and help you stand out from the competition.


Stanley Gatero is a writer at Disrupt Magazine. He covers topics concerning technology, entrepreneurship, news, and sports. He is an avid traveler.

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