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Blue-Collar Fleets

(January 2012) posted on Tue Dec 13, 2011

"They do require that you take a few additional steps here and there, but overall they have a high probability for success and will certainly add to your company’s bottom line."

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By Jared Smith

Perfecting the design
With all the logistics taken care of, next comes the creative part. The key to any good wrap is a solid design. I see two common requests when working with small fleets: First, they need to professionally deliver a message; and secondly, all small fleets want to look like a big fleet. The second request requires a bit of finesse in toning down some of the outrageous requests you might receive.

The elements we use for the custom motorcycle painter’s truck or an SUV for the local hard-rock radio station shouldn’t be inspiration for any small fleet. The crazy fonts and obnoxiously loud color schemes are typically avoided for these small-fleet projects. We like to make these very clean, very professional with easy-to-read text in standard positions to project a feeling of security and trust. But, even with a conservative design, it’s still your job to make the wrap look as cool as possible. No company wants an ultraconservative boring look. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true, but I think you get the point. It’s always best to lean toward a more professional look while still putting out a design that will get the company noticed and convey the appropriate message.

Another design issue often seen in small-fleet wraps is that the fleet is made up of multiple vehicle types, so the design must translate across different vehicle styles. Make sure you don’t close them on the greatest truck design ever made that doesn’t translate to the passenger cars and vans in the fleet. I recommend presenting design options as mock-ups on each of the vehicle types. The customer should be judging how the entire fleet will look when they make their final decision. This takes a little more work, but keep in mind that you will be issuing a higher priced invoice, as well. Take the time to do this and you will prevent having to re-do it later.

The last design item to pay extra attention to is the approval signatures. With high dollar amounts involved, you have to require real signatures on the final proof as insurance in case there is a typo or mistake. We always approve content by PDF and color by an Epson match-print. We tell customers that we don’t want them to “have to pay twice.”