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Truck Lettering + Vehicle Wraps: What’s the difference & why it matters

Auto Wraps and Truck Lettering..

Does your new vehicle have an auto wrap or truck lettering yet? You just signed away the next 3-4 years your life and committed thousands of dollars in a shiny new truck for your business (a car, SUV, van, transit, trailer, etc ).  Now how would you like that new business vehicle making you money instead of just costing you a payment every month? Umm yes! that would be nice wouldn’t it??

If you are using a vehicle to conduct your day- to -day business with a commercial truck , a personal vehicle or whether you have a 1 or fleet of 100, vehicle branding can and will bring you new business and brand recognition when properly outfitted with *well-designed effective truck lettering and vehicle graphics. So why wouldn’t you? It’s out on the road every day. yup working  24/7? *(“Well designed and effective signage is a whole other topic for another post)
Did you know The ROI and cost per impression, (that’s return on investment in marketers terms, Bang for your buck in layman’s terms)for truck lettering and vehicle wraps – cannot be matched by any other advertising media? Makes branding your vehicle with lettering or a wrap kinda a no brainier right?

This leads to our next question: Do you actually know the difference between vehicle lettering , graphics and auto wraps? Do you care?

If your answer is no (unless you’re in the sign business, you wouldn’t so don’t feel bad) We are going to educate you so you can make your business vehicle awesome and spend your advertising bucks wisely! Read on!

If you were to call us, what would you ask for? An auto wrap ? truck lettering? vehicle graphics? What is your impression of each?( leave us a comment we are really curious what you think before you read the rest)
Generally, most people consider them to be all the same; however, there are very big differences between them. Price being the biggest. The good news , besides that we’ll rock at doing either for you 😉 is that both truck lettering and vehicle wraps are equally effective in bringing in new business, but again ONLY if done with an effective killer good design.

The difference between the two begins with the type of company you call  for the service.

A “wrap”shop may not offer truck lettering and a sign company may not offer vehicle wraps. ( we do it all!) But why should you care really?? Typically (but not ALWAYS) the cost of  vehicle wrap is in the thousands and truck lettering is in the hundreds for the average business vehicle. So if you call a wrap shop you may get up-sold on something you don’t necessarily need to be an effective marketing tool and a sign company that either doesn’t specialize in wraps or have the proper training  could cost you thousands on an inferior product.

Another major difference is the actual product – solid color vinyl, what we refer to as standard vinyl for lettering or digitally printed vinyl with UV laminate for wraps. Both are decals making both vehicle graphics. The real difference between vehicle lettering and vehicle wraps involves the coverage, material and process in how they are produced and installed. To explain in more depth:

Vehicle lettering includes a combination of lettering and or decals that are digitally printed wrap vinyl and then cut into a shape or cut out of standard solid colored vinyl. The keyword here is CUT meaning the shapes or letters or combo of all vinyl is cut and then applied, individually.

Vehicle lettering can be and usually is much less expensive than an auto wrap.

Truck lettering uses less vinyl, less expensive materials and takes less time to install –The less time your vehicle is in our shop the more time you can use it to make money. That is a big plus for truck lettering besides the price tag.

When we say auto wrap, we are referring to most of the vehicle covered with only digitally printed and UV laminated wrap vinyl (some know as 3M wraps) It is applied in large sheets similar to wallpapering. The full vehicle wrap is designed to utilize all the real estate of any type of vehicle and usually covers most of the vehicle, some even choose to cover the roof and or Windows. Full wraps are the most expensive and will be with us for a minimum of 3 days.Printed wrap vinyl must be laminated with a UV clear to keep the ink from fading. Left in the sun without it the print would fade within months. Lam as we refer to it contributes to the higher cost of wraps. vs cut truck lettering.

To confuse the wrap term even more, Wraps are also referred to as full wraps, partial wraps or color change. ( we won’t get into color change because it’s not typically used in business advertising )

Partial wraps can be just as effective for advertising and can be half or a third of the vehicle as well as a half or a third of the cost of a full wrap. The cost will depend on how much of the vehicle we cover.  Vehicle color will be incorporated into the design of a partial wrap,  it will make a difference from a design standpoint. Unlike a full wrap where the color of your vehicle makes no difference at all.

 The installation of vehicle wraps not for the do-it-yourself-er. or inexperienced installer.

3M vinyl, the largest manufacturer,  will not honor their own warranty of the vinyl unless the installer has completed a course and passed a test in application techniques to be what we call 3M certified. (Of course our installers are 3M certified).

Once you have invested all that money in your business vehicle, a kick ass effective design and the expense of the vinyl, you wouldn’t want to see your moving billboard with a crooked logo, or peeling lifting and cracking vinyl Would you?

We don’t recommend installing cut lettering and graphics yourself but it is possible. However DO NOT even think about installing wrap vinyl yourself, no matter how easy the YouTube videos make it look. It is not. I promise! You would pull your hair out within a half an hour not to mention the use of cuss words you didn’t even know you knew! Just don’t do it or try to find the cheapest shop. It won’t be a good experience in the long run. Do your homework, look for references and certification. You can’t see the vinyl failure in a picture on the web. Like the old saying goes,  you get what you pay for.

Vehicle or fleet branding is a must for businesses regardless of which route you take (no pun) It really depends on your goals and which is going to more profitable for your business and needs. Contact and tell us what you goals and expectations are and we will be happy to go over your budget and artwork  to come up with a solution your business can profit from- without another loan to do it! see examples here

Whatever you decide, an investment in your business vehicle as an advertising medium is a smart choice that will pay off year after year..

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