The Right Vehicle Graphics for the Job

Feb 2, 2015 | Vehicle Graphics and Wraps

As I was thinking about all the attention given to vehicle wraps, and this obviously includes ourselves promoting the benefits of full and partial wraps to get your business name out there, I wanted to share sort of a flip side of going “all out” and rather just opting for some custom printed car decals, vehicle lettering, cut vinyl letters on cars, and other forms of more subtle, yet effective vehicle graphics. Because after all, no two person’s tastes (or budgets) are the same.

We recently had the privilege of working with Molly Hoff, a Fort Collins native and the owner of Freelance Bean Counter in Fort Collins, to “spruce up” her main business vehicle, a trusty VW Beetle, with some vinyl car graphics. Freelance Bean Counter is an awesome full-charge bookkeeping company, with specific focus on supporting the local Fort Collins and surrounding area businesses.

Molly told us she wanted her company name and logo on her car, but something nicer than just a car magnet. As in Molly’s case, we see this many times, the business owner knows the value in having their company presence on their vehicle but doesn’t really know where to go from there; maybe the vehicle wrap idea seems too costly, and maybe a car magnet just doesn’t provide the company image they want to convey….

It’s all good! Here’s the 1-2-3 step process we worked through with Freelance Bean Counter to get them EXACTLY what they were looking for using multiple elements of custom vehicle decals and cut vinyl vehicle lettering:

1 – Initial Design Consultation

Molly brought over her Beetle to the shop and in a matter of 15-20 minutes we were able to take some photo’s and walk around the vehicle while brainstorming several different ideas. This step is very important, especially when we can meet face-to-face to understand the project’s budget, and get a sense of general feelings the customer may have about different forms of vehicle graphics on their car. Trust me here – there is not a “one size fits all” when it comes to custom car graphics!

Here’s a couple “before” shots we took:

Beetle side viewBeetle back view

2 – Graphic Design of the Vehicle Advertisment

On certain vehicles (like the VW Beetle) you don’t necessarily need a ton of eye-catching car graphics since it’s unique shape draws some level of attention anyway. Our design team is experienced in taking that “first stab” at what the customer is looking for, especially after a face-to-face initial consultation. They work closely with the customer to narrow down different ideas to reach a custom vehicle design that meets the budget and exceeds initial expectations. In the case of the Freelance Bean Counter project, after a few exchanges of emails and a couple proofs, the final design of the car vinyl was completed. Here’s what the final proofs looked like (notice we used a photo of the vehicle and not just a std template)

Beetle custom decal proof passenger side resized 600Beetle custom decal proof back resized 600

3 – Installation

This is the step where folks may think that all installations are the same and every sign company puts this stuff on the same way… not true! From the initial consultation we knew the customer wanted a more long-term solution, so in this case we went with 3M premium vehicle wrap vinyl for the printed, contour-cut car graphics, and premium 7 year cut vinyl for the vehicle lettering. In some cases, especially on short-term lease vehicles, the graphics are not required to last that long and we can pass some savings along to the customer. There are many, many other options in vinyl selection and we can explain the pro’s and con’s to get the right match for your project.

As you can see in these “after” shots, the custom print vehicle decals and vinyl lettering turned out carbon copies of the final proofs.

Beetle custom decals - sideBeetle custom vinyl lettering - back


Simple, Fast, and Cost-Effective Advertising!

The whole process, from initial phone call to completed vehicle took less than a week, and we only tied up the Beetle for a couple hours during installation.

So, here’s to wishing Freelance Bean Counter great success and hopefully we’ll be decorating an entire fleet of Beetles in the near future with some cool car decals and lettering!