Van Wrap Design 101: Tweak Your Ad To Engage Audiences On The Move

Van Wrap Design 101: Tweak Your Ad to Engage Audiences on the Move

The promotional power of van wraps is widely known, but if you want to make the most of your vehicle marketing assets, you’ll need to tweak your ads to engage audiences on the move.

After all, drivers have very different viewing conditions than the average in-store shopper, moving at high speeds, and with only seconds to spare before they have to get their eyes back on the road. Drivers also see van wraps from a different perspective, being seated behind the wheel and locked in their lane, whereas pedestrians can walk right up and study your design from different angles.

If your goal is to advertise to motorists on the move, consider implementing the following van wrap design tips, or call (661)-379-6545 to discuss your unique marketing goals with our team.

Van Wrap Design Tips: 4 Tips To Engage Motorists On The Move

  1. Default to proven high-performance fonts. Traffic sign legibility studies are an excellent source of van wrap design tips, since they are carried out with our target audience in mind. One such study by Garvey et al. (2001) sought to determine what fonts were easiest to read by drivers moving at high speeds. At the end of their report, they found drivers had the easiest time with simple, straightforward, sans serif fonts, like Bank Gothic Light and Dutch Regular, whereas fancy, ornamental, and cursive-style fonts, such as Commercial Script Regular, were much harder to read.

    Accordingly, for best results, keep it simple, sticking to clear, straightforward, sans-serif fonts whenever possible. If your brand vision calls for fancy fonts, be prepared to upsize your font, as Garvey et al. (2001) found these difficult fonts needed to be up to 4-times as larger to achieve equivalent legibility.

  2. Reduce visual noise in your design. Turning again to traffic studies, one report by the Transportation Research Record showed that traffic sign detection distances decreased from 110 feet to just 60 feet when there were high levels of “visual noise” surrounding the main messaging (Akagi et al., 1996).

    Obviously, we cannot control our van wraps’ surroundings out on the road, but we can minimize “visual noise” in our design by leaving plenty of negative space. By leaving some breathing room around your main messaging, you invite viewers to engage with your message, instead of scaring them away with a complicated wall of text and images, and you also make it easier to identify the most important parts. For more help implementing this tip, get in touch with our team.

  3. Go big with your main messaging. The International Sign Association recommends a minimum of 1” of letter height for every 25’ of viewing distance, but if you’re traveling at high speeds, bigger is better.
  4. Keep your message short and sweet. While it is important to go big with your message, it’s also important to keep it brief. Big letters are good, but verbose van wrap copy is bad, as it simply won’t be readable for most drivers. Save these longer messages for your on-premise signs, or better yet, your salespeople, and focus instead on grabbing eyes with short, pithy messaging that is consumable in a single glance.

Get More Help With Van Wrap Design: Book A Free Consultation In Bakersfield, CA

To learn more tips to engage motorists on the move, and get a free quote on any custom van wrap, you can:


Akagi Y, Seo T, Motoda Y. (1996). Influence of visual environments on visibility of traffic signs. Transportation Research Record, 1553: 53-58.

Auffrey, C., & Hildebrandt, H. (2017). Do Motorists See Business Signs? Maybe. Maybe Not.: A Study of the Probability that Motorists View On-Premise Signs. Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, 1(2), 100-115.


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