1. Carefully consider your sign-writing company
You are giving your graphics supplier the responsibility of dressing your vehicle with your brand. On the road they become 24/7 moving billboards, seen by thousands of people every hour of the day, representing your company and therefore must be a true representation of what you stand for (quality, creativity, reliability).
Everyone from designers, account managers, production staff to vinyl installers must be qualified and professional. Industry and manufacturers accreditations can help you make an informed choice. Look out for 3M certifications as they are the industry leaders in terms of material technology, fitting standards and warranty levels. Ask to see examples of their work. Check reviews.
2. Beware of false economies
Don’t be blinded by cheap prices! Low-quality vinyl costs less but doesn’t last and leaves a large amount of glue residue. Good quality vinyl used for the wrong application can also result in vinyl failure. Companies with industry accreditations may charge a little more but they have the know-how, internal processes and training in place that ensures optimal service delivery and high levels of aftercare services.
Ensure you understand what vinyl is being used and always compare apples with apples in any tender process. There is a multitude of vinyl technologies developed for specific applications and it is imperative that vinyl is fit-for-purpose, be it for promotional campaigns, glass application or long-term vehicle graphics. Industry experts can advise accordingly.
The fitting location can also be crucial: vinyl wrapping requires a temperature-controlled, clean and well-lit environment to ensure a flawless finish. Anything less could potentially lead to material failure and imperfections. So, check these elements with your prospective suppliers, as well as training schemes for fitters, public liability cover and warranties.
All these elements will ensure you get the best value for money and will make your fleet look professional from day 1 to the day the vehicles are de-fleeted. If not, you may still spend a considerable amount of money and end up with graphics that peel off, bubble up or shatter, resulting in wasted money and potential detriment to your brand.
3. Select graphics coverage that supports your corporate and strategic goals
Always be clear on what you are trying to achieve with the graphics: whether it is a simple logo for specialist trade companies that need to look professional but understated or B2C vans that need to build local awareness and compete in an information-rich area where creative graphics and prominent contact details will be essential. Or perhaps you have a niche business that will benefit from using imagery to describe your offering. In any case, your sign writers should be asking relevant questions to determine what type of graphics will best suit your budget and needs, and advise accordingly.
Joyce Design employs dedicated account managers with extensive knowledge of fleet branding, marketing and vinyl fitting. A personable approach allows us to gain the necessary understanding of our client's business, together with technical knowledge in material and design to advise on how to achieve your strategic goals.
4. Trust your graphics supplier to design cost-effective graphics
Designing fleet graphics can be a complex process which requires skills to adapt a 2D design to a 3D vehicle. A proficient graphics supplier will have extensive experience in producing artwork that matches your corporate branding and keeps in line with your budget. Clever designing maximises vinyl yield to allow more cost-effective graphics. So whilst you may well have a strong idea of what you want on for your fleet, do expect your graphics supplier to advise you and adapt your ideas to a design that will work on your vehicles.
Things we’ll consider are for instance swages lines, panel breaks, bulbous curves, vinyl width, and the various vinyl grades required for each application. For example, by avoiding wrapping over the corner of a recessed panel, you may avoid using specialist cast vinyl, using polymeric instead and reduce the cost of the overall graphics.
5. Select a base colour for your vehicles that works with your existing branding
This will give graphic designers more flexibility in terms of how much coverage is required to make the design work. Swage lines and deep recesses on the vehicle panels should also be considered as these may require a more specialist conformable material, which may affect the fitting time involved and the overall cost.
However coloured vans are becoming increasingly difficult to get hold of. There is always the opportunity to colour change wrap your vehicles and add branding onto them. Full vehicle coverage can be a costly option and whilst available, Joyce Design would always recommend a part-wrap option as the most cost-effective alternative. Find out more
6. Enquire about an Accident Repair Management programme
Your vehicles are most likely to need replacement graphics at some point due to road collisions etc. It is important that your graphics supplier should keep parts inventories and be able to replace specific graphic panels within 2 or 3 days maximum to minimise vehicle downtime.
At Joyce Design, we produce all the graphics in-house and use the latest HP Latex 570 printers: this assures colour consistency and a super quick turn-around, which are essential to back up our Accident Repair Management Programme.