How to design stunning van graphics

The first thing to think about when designing van graphics is the shape of your vehicle. You need to make sure there isn’t anything important under where you will be putting the design. take a look at their vehicles and find out what kind they are using and design around that. The key is to plan your design carefully before you start sketching your ideas

Van graphics are amazing ways to advertise your company, displaying your name and phone number on the side of a vehicle has proved to be more effective than any other form of advertising. Choosing your vehicle graphics can be fun!

van graphics
van wraps

What type of design they are looking for my vehicle graphics

Van graphics can be anything from a simple colour-filled logo to an intricate illustration of the company name and phone number as well as images.

If you don’t want the design to be done for your van graphics, you can use your design.

Mood boards with different styles you could approach the job

You should draw up at least 2 different mood boards for your client to choose from. The mood board can include anything you want, be it imagery or text. You should also think about the different options available when designing vehicles. The client may not have chosen a specific type of van graphics but have specified the size, so you should work with this in mind when designing the initial concepts.

You don’t want is to spend several days creating artwork only for the client to say that they’re looking for something completely different. To design high end van graphics can take a number of hours, so make sure your brief is clear before starting your vehicle graphics.

Check out any graphic design kits you might have and use the same style as inspiration

It is highly likely that your client will have seen other vans with similar designs and might want something very similar, check out examples of other van graphics. If you didn’t think about the layout beforehand you could end up spending hours creating artwork that doesn’t work on the vehicle.

Write about practicality and budgets

If the client doesn’t have any specific design ideas, you need to find out what they want from the design. If they just want a logo it is fairly straightforward, but if they want an image or lots of text it can take hours to create something suitable. It’s also important to mention any restrictions such as size or space available.

Half wrap vs full vehicle wrap

You will need to research what the approach of your design is going to be, whether it’s a simple logo or a complex design. And the next thing you need to decide is the type of van graphics you want. You have a choice between a half wrap and a full wrap. A half-wrap means that only the back and rear quarters of the van is covered in graphics. A full-wrap means that both sides, the front and the back are covered. Sometimes the roof can also be included within full van wrap.

Before you do anything else, make sure you check out any graphic design kits that you may have which will give you some inspiration for the sort of things you could use or give your client a better idea of what can be achieved.

full wraps can be very expensive compared to standard more cost-effective vehicle graphics.

Cast vinyl van wraps

Cast vinyl is pressure-sensitive vinyl but it has a thicker, more durable finish. It’s also available in matte or gloss finishes for different applications.

The vinyl comes on a paper liner and is placed into the printer for printing.

Polymetric Vinyl

Polymetric vinyl is available in different finishes, including matte or gloss. It has a similar feel but not quite the same durability as cast vinyl. It offers good outdoor durability though. Vinyl lettering is usually cut using a polymetric vinyl.

Put together an initial creative idea on how you think you should design the van graphics

Once you’ve chosen your colours and what you want to design, it’s time to start drawing up some ideas. You should always aim for 2 or 3 initial concepts as this shows the client what you plan on doing. They might like one of them but maybe not all, so show them all and remember that design is subjective.

Stunning van designs

Taking your ideas and working these into scaled visuals

Once you have decided upon your final concept, it’s time to take this idea and work it up so that the client can see if they like what you’ve come up with. You don’t want to spend hours working on artwork only for the client to say that they don’t like it or want something different.

Once you’re happy with your final design, take it into Illustrator or Photoshop and work it up into final artwork.

What are the costs associated with van graphics

You should always give the client a rough estimate of what it will cost. This will differ depending on the size and complexity of your design. Prices are impacted by coverage, materials used, and of cause the size of the vehicle. Van graphic discounts are also applicable if a fleet of vehicles is required.

Vehicle decals

A van wrap will cost considerably more compared to more basic graphics. It is always best to discuss your budget before starting your designs.

Choosing the correct vinyl to use for my van graphics

You should always use the correct vinyl material for your van graphics. Always check to see if the client has a preference or specific requirements. For example, some specialist materials are only suitable for short-term applications and will not last as long as standard cast vinyls, although it is less expensive and easier to apply.

The last thing you want is for it to be raining and the vinyls peeling off, so do your research before starting a project. Van signs and vehicle vinyls in general are multi-purpose, but choosing the correct ones is still important.

Cheapest vinyl graphics

The cheapest form of van signs would be simple magnetic signs. These are quality signs, but are far more cost-effective compared to other van signage. The cheapest options are not always the best though. If quality is important, make sure you use the correct decals. Poor van signs could put off potential customers from using your services. The only advantage for using magnetic signs is they can be removed quickly. If you don’t want to be advertising on your van all the time, magnetic signs are perfect.

vehicle wraps

Van signs and graphics compared to other advertising.

You have to remember that once your van signs are completed, they will last several years with no additional costs. Van signs have always been a very cost-effective way to promote your business or service. Your vehicle signage is a way of advertising your professional business services. A van wrapped in high quality signs can bring in new potential customers, leading to more business. It’s easy to forget that your van graphics are advertising your company to customers while you are in it, or it’s parked in the street.

What colour vinyls are available for vehicle graphics

Vinyls come in a multitude of colours and finishes for all sorts of applications. You can get cast vinyl in a matte finish or a gloss finish which might be better if the client wants to wrap a vehicle. With hundreds of colours available from a number of different suppliers, you will never run out of possible options.

Vinyl Colour Options

You can choose from solid colours, metallic finishes, textures, flip or even clear vinyls. The list is endless.
Vehicle graphics can be a mix of all of the above materials and finishes, you can really go mad, if of course you have the budget.

signs and graphics

What is the process involved to apply van graphics and how the design could impact the cost?

As with any type of signage, you should always use trained technicians to fit your design. This minimises the chance of mistakes and allows for a quick turnaround if required.

One thing to note is that even though your artwork may look perfect on the computer screen it’s very easy for slight problems to appear when printing or cutting vinyls as some designs will not be suitable for certain applications.

On larger vans it’s important to look into printing and cutting costs, as you could end up spending hours designing something only to find the price is way outside of what you are looking to spend. ensuring your vinyl graphics are cost-effective is mission-critical, especially where a fleet of van wraps or vehicle graphics is required.

Can the van graphics be removed if required? does this affect the paintwork?

Removing van graphics can be very tricky and time-consuming. You might find that after removing your graphics you are left with glue on the vehicle.

Always check with the client about whether they want their graphics to come off if this is an important consideration for them, then different vinyls can be used.

van wraps, especially full wraps can be complex to remove. It is advised to find out how much it will cost to remove your vehicle graphics, otherwise this could be a costly mistake.

More simplistic van signs and van decals can be easily removed without massive costs.

Materials to remove graphics

You can use specialist products to remove graphics, but you will need to check with your supplier as the chemicals used are not designed for all types of vinyl.

You have a number of options if you want to consider removing your van graphics. Generally you have to heat up the vinyls to stop them tearing. This also helps to lift the glue without leaving it all over the van.

How long does it take to apply van graphics?

This depends on the size and complexity of your design. Again, prices are impacted by coverage, materials used and of cause the size or volume of vinyls you need to use. A van wrap can take a considerable amount of time to install.

For smaller vans and logo’s these take around 1-2 hours to apply. For larger vehicle graphics such as full wraps this can be a time-consuming process, often multiple days.Conclusion

Van graphics can be costly and time-consuming to design and apply. But, if done well they can really make a statement to your clients about how professional you are. Ensure that the client is happy with the style and content before starting as this will save lots of time and money in the long run.

Make sure you use a professional team of fiters who can offer you a great service. Most businesses want quality signs which look amazing for years to come.


What kind of van should I advertise on?

Can the van graphics cover my windows?

How long do my vehicle graphics last?

What type of vinyl should I use?

How much does it cost to design and fit van graphics?

Can the artwork be removed if required? Does this affect the paintwork?

What is the process involved to fit my vehicle graphics and how will this impact my costs?

How long does it take to fit my vehicle graphics?

Can the van graphics cover the bumpers?