Have you noticed the increase of vehicle lettering on the road today? These days, more individuals are starting their own businesses. Many small business owners start their advertising campaign with their own personal vehicles. This has created an increase in the number of vehicle graphics that are on the road today. Stickers for vehicles are the most impactful way to create a buzz for your advertising message on the street.

Vehicle graphics are probably the most cost effective way to spend your advertising dollars. As most advertising is measured on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) basis, here is a breakdown of how vehicle lettering compares with other forms of advertising.

* Television: $23.70 CPM
* Newspaper: $10.89 CPM
* Billboards: $3.55 CPM
* Vehicle Graphics: $0.17 CPM.

The vehicle figure is based on a $3500 full wrap, five year period of exposure, and average exposure of 750,000 impressions a month. As you can see, your vehicle is the most cost effective means of advertising your business.

Vehicle lettering can be used by any company, regardless of size, and in most cases, business type. (A private investigator probably would not want his vehicle lettered, but, if he were to letter a surveillance van to look like a plumbers van, hmm… ) Large companies tend to letter their entire fleets, presenting a consistent and dominant presence in the market place. Smaller companies can use vehicle lettering to make themselves look larger as well. We have had our one van on the road, and several people have commented how they see our “vans” everywhere. At one point in time, we put different graphics on each side, creating the illusion of more than one vehicle!

Vehicle graphics choices:

Magnetics: Inexpensive. Make sure you have metal panels, and very little or no body work on the panel. The magnetic won’t stick to plastic, fiberglass, or Bondo. Only metal.

Window lettering: Use light colors on the glass, they read better. White and yellow work best, but a robin’s egg blue would work. Contrast is the key, and most windows are tinted.

Door lettering: The next step to looking like a commercial vehicle. When the lettering is on the door, there is a sense of professionalism.

Back lettering: The best place to put your phone number or website. Your number should be very easy to remember, like 303-366-SIGN. A web address might be better to promote. If you have a multiple word site, capitalize each word to make it easier to read. Don’t worry, no matter how your readers type it in, it will go to your website.

Nose lettering: Some people want the text in reverse on the nose, but I’m a believer that bold and straight on is the best way to go. The views from the rear view mirror are far less than the views from straight on as your going down the road, parked in a parking lot, or at a stoplight across the street. Take advantage of that extra impression!

Stripes: Some clients have text reversed out of the striping in their designs. Other stripes are for decorative purposes, such as pinstriping or racing stripes.

Tribal graphics: Very popular with the younger (than me) crowd. These work well on street racers and trucks. Can be made to match your tattoo as well!

Partial digital wrap: Typically a digital print of the graphics, usually from the front to back or the back to front. Often the design fades from a graphic into the vehicle color.

Partial digital wrap with window film: Usually on an SUV or minivan, this continues the graphics into the windows. While the graphic loses some intensity on the window, you can still see out of the window due to the special film.

Full digital wraps: Full wraps are becoming more common. Some large companies are even paying vehicle owners to drive their personal vehicles around with the graphics. It is literally a moving billboard, and if done properly has a tremendous visual impact.

Helpful tips:

* If you use your vehicle longer than five years, be sure to wax your graphics yearly, and they will last longer!

* Insist on high performance (cast) vinyl. Intermediate vinyl, while cheaper, will shrink on the vehicle, and leave an outline of glue around the letters, collecting dirt and making the lettering look terrible.

* If going with a full or digital wrap, you may want a removable film used. These aren’t always high performance, but that is OK if you are planning on removing it within two years. I would insist on the lamination though, even though it costs more. Without it, the graphics could be trash in six months.

* Keep it simple, and with less (copy, graphics, clutter) rather than more. The viewer only has a second or two to read and comprehend your message.

* Consider this a long term investment, and consider spending more to get more. The cost per impression is cheap!

* Ask for a proof, so you know what to expect. Most companies have computerized capabilities to provide you this.

As we all strive to get through these tough economic times, keep in mind the time spent on the road could do double duty as advertising time for your business.

If you would like vehicle graphics in the Denver area, please call us for a free estimate at 303-696-6106, or visit us at http://www.ArchitecturalSigns.com.