Here are some of the basic “MUST’S OF VEHICLE GRAPHIC DESIGN”
Focus on ONE Person. Your ideal customer. Don’t try to appeal to the masses as this will dilute your message and appeal to NO one. Your ideal customer must feel like you are the perfect solution to their problem and you are communicating directly to them.
Create EMOTIONAL attachment by using powerful graphics. Different Graphics create different emotion in different individuals. The graphic of a mother cuddling a baby, will have the most impact on a new mother. Not only will you get their attention but you will establish credibility with them. This is extremely powerful since statistics show that most people buy on emotion and justify with logic.
Use a powerful slogan to position yourself in the mind of the customer. If your objective is to create mind share, you need to occupy a position in their minds so they instinctively associate you with a desired product, service of need.
For example, be the computer specialists that caters to the elderly, or the dry cleaner that offers free delivery, or the restaurant that kids eat for free, or the financial planner that specializes in services for young couples.
Being first is powerful, but being perceived as first is even more powerful. Being the only one, or specializing is also good. It creates positioning in the customer’s mind.
You are an expert, a consultant. Think of how you can accomplish this with your vehicle graphics slogan. If should be short and designed to be effective, for repetitive viewing.
The design of your graphics should be consistent with the style and type of vehicle for maximum impact. Remember that there are millions of dollars spent on extremely competent automobile designers by companies like Toyota, Honda, BMW, Nissan, Ford GM, and others to come up with designs that appeal to the masses.
Why not take advantage of their expertise, by enhancing the look rather than contradicting it. It will only stand to confuse your target customer and result in little or no emotional impact. I have seen many vehicles with elaborate graphics that simply do not work with the vehicle. I must confess that some of them have also been produced by us, but only because the customer insisted that this is what they wanted despite our recommendations.
I have also seen vehicles with very simple designs or very little graphic treatment that look extremely powerful and produce outstanding results. They also cost very little for the customer and were easy to create and install. Usually they were customers who had little if any preconceived ideal and simply said, “Here is what I want to accomplish, surprise me”.
LESS is MORE, design for a glance, but create lasting impression. Remember that your target customer is trying to navigate a vehicle, sometimes at high speeds and only two to three seconds to glance at your vehicle. If they are interested, based on the first glance, you may get a second glance and they might even slow down to memorize your URL.
You need to decide what information you would like them to remember most. The graphic, your caption or, your URL. Unfortunately, all of the above is not usually a reality, so at best two out of three is excellent.
Focus on the areas of most impact on the vehicle. The rear window and the sides over the rear wheel are the most powerful viewing areas while driving. Even though graphics look much cooler, and flows better on the sides of the vehicle. It is not very effective design strategy if you are focused on communicating to prospects while driving.
It’s difficult to look at a vehicle beside you for more that a second, without feeling like you are going to slam into it. Try it for yourself. It’s almost impossible to read anything on the sides unless it is over the rear wheels and you are behind the vehicle.
What about parked vehicles you ask? The sides are definitely a great resource as it allows for more and larger information, but graphics focused on the back and rear still work well if parked strategically. We do emphasize the sides more when designing for contractors as they spend a significant amount of time parked in neighborhood driveways, targeting cars and nosy neighbors driving by.