Vinyl Car Wrap vs Car Lettering vs Car Graphics

Vehicle graphics and vehicle lettering or car wraps are terms that many people use interchangeably.  However, they are indeed very different.  Learn about the key differences in this post.  Also be sure to read our additional tips on vehicle advertising in our Custom Sign Resource Center.

The key difference is that with a wrap, the background of the vehicle will be covered (or wrapped) and that background will have the images and messaging embedded within it. Versus with graphics or lettering,  most of the vehicle is left untouched.  Smaller portions or sections of the car are covered with a logo, text, graphics, or photos.  The same material is used for both applications and both can be replaced as needed.  Read on for more.

That’s a Wrap

A vehicle wrap involves wrapping the vehicle in a printed vinyl.  Generally very colorful background graphics are designed and then the key message placed as an “overlay” in text.  Many car wraps are done on all surfaces of the vehicle including the roof, windows, and bumpers.  Sometimes wraps are designed to cover the the sides, front, and back of the car only. Nearly any surface of the vehicle can be wrapped; however, door handles, textured bumpers, and side mirrors can be problematic to wrap and ensure long-term durability.  We typically will recommend a vehicle wrap design that blends these areas in nicely without actually wrapping them.

When working through the design of the vehicle wrap it’s important to remember that just because you have a lot of space to wrap … doesn’t mean you should include lots of photos, a large variety of colors, and high impact graphics in all areas.  This is the case where sometimes “less is more”.  If the design has too much going on, your overall message and branding can get lost.  Our team of designers have a lot of experience.  They know what works and what you should avoid and are instrumental in the process.

Full or Partial Wrap

A wrap can be a full wrap or a partial wrap, depending on how much of the vehicle is covered.  Coverage on all four sides is considered a full wrap, while any less coverage is considered partial.

Investment for a vehicle wrap can vary quite a bit depending on size of vehicle and type of design you would like.  Generally the range for a car or van wrap is between $1,800 and $4,000.  Box trucks and larger vehicles can be more of course.

Should you Consider Graphics Instead?

There’s no doubt that wraps can provide a very professional look and come with many advantages over graphics.  However vinyl lettering or graphics is a less expensive option and generally takes less time to complete.   Well designed graphics can provide a great alternative at a more budget friendly price.

We hope this has been helpful to clear up some of the confusion between these different types of vehicle advertising.  Contact us to discuss best options for your car, van, truck, or fleet vehicle graphics.