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Design and durability: Getting the livery mix right

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 16:16
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EXPERT: Sally Hubble, of Signs Express

We all know that it’s important company fleets are branded to reflect the professionalism of the business and increase brand awareness.

These days it’s no secret that aesthetics go a long way in getting your brand noticed more and ultimately increasing your customer base.

People like things that look good – we’re all guilty of that and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

With that in mind, do companies still need to seriously consider design versus durability when it comes to applying graphics to their fleet?

I’d say no.

What many companies often don’t understand, or are poorly informed by lesser qualified vehicle graphics applicators, is that actually, in this day and age, you shouldn’t need to compromise one in order to achieve the other.

In other words, gone are the days of design versus durability – it should be more a case of design AND durability, as long as you chose a company experienced in what they are doing who has the right equipment – even down to a dedicated vehicle bay to make sure that graphics are applied at the right temperature (because yes, that can make a big difference to durability).

So – when you’re considering branding your fleet – these are the things you should focus on in order to achieve a finished result that incorporates good design with durability (in this order!):

1)      Design

Your graphics should; be instantly recognisable, easy to read, highlight who you are to your potential customers, clearly show what it is your do and have very clear contact details.

In short, your message is key.

2)      Materials

Once the finished design has been agreed upon, you need to consider the different material options that are available to you – ones which would also compliment the look you have chosen.

There is a huge array of coloured vinyl’s available and many companies can even offer ‘colour matching’ to make sure your branding isn’t compromised by a poor colour match of your pantones.

Companies shouldn’t scrimp on cost and cut corners just to lower the price – the highest quality vinyl should always be recommended if you’re looking for graphics that will last.

Good quality vinyl (if applied correctly) can ensure a life expectancy of many years.

3)      Preparation and application

It’s of the utmost importance that vehicles are prepped in the right environment.

New vehicles will often have had a Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) which can include waxing and rain and dirt repellents being applied – this can prove a real challenge when getting vinyl to stick!

Your sign maker can make sure that in cases like this your vehicles are cleaned comprehensively, without damage, to ensure that the graphics are applied to the correct surface.

The environment in which graphics are applied is also essential.

It should be completed indoors, in a clean, dedicated area with the correct temperature and humidity.

4)      Aftercare

This is vital to ensure the durability and longevity of your fleets graphic.

Your applicator should be able to advise on the correct aftercare (and if they can’t, I’d panic if I were you!), they should also be on hand in the future should you have any questions about the graphics.

If the above four-step process is followed correctly, then you should have fantastic graphics that you’re over the moon with and which last for years on end.

My top tip?

Pick a signs and graphics company who you know have a proven track record in applying successful vehicle graphics – it’s a no brainer really.

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