Car signs and vehicle graphics are a popular type of advertising. With car and truck graphics, or full vehicle wraps, you can market your business wherever you go, even in places you would not normally be allowed to advertise. Imagine what would happen if you tried to put up a sign to advertise your business in a restaurant or shopping mall parking lot. Yet with vehicle graphics, that's exactly what you are doing. Depending on where and how much you drive, a car sign, vehicle wrap, magnetic sign, custom window decal or rear window graphic can get more exposure than a billboard. And, this exposure is targeted to people within the areas you drive and park your vehicle.
In many cities, sign ordinances prevent you from being able to put signs in front of your business, but parking a vehicle with a car sign or vehicle graphics can be just as effective and is generally not covered by such ordinances. Plus, unlike a traditional sign, this one goes wherever you do to increase your exposure to potential customers.
For service professions, car signs, vehicle graphics, magnetic signs, rear window graphics and custom window decals can also be a great way to identify your business to others while you are at a job site. Not only does it make you look more professional, but it's also good for business. For example, plumbers, electricians, yard maintenance services, sprinkler repair, or other home service businesses often find that other residents in the same neighborhood are excellent prospects and a car sign, vehicle graphic or custom window decal can be very effective at attracting new business.
This can be one of the most cost effective methods of targeted advertising available. Many business find that purchasing a vehicle just for the purpose of using it as a moving sign by installing a vehicle wrap or vehicle graphics is still more cost effective than most other forms of advertising.
Even car signs or vehicle graphics that just contain a companies logo and phone number or web address can be valuable as advertising and to help promote a professional image. Magnetic signs are also a great way to add information to your car, truck or van on a temporary basis. Magnetic vehicle signs are often popular for personal vehicles that are used for work, or for multi-use company vehicles. This way, even a personal car can look professional when it's being used for company business.
Since our printing process is digital, it's economical to produce even a single car sign or vehicle graphic, so there is no excuse not to take advantage of this wonderful advertising medium. These vehicle graphics are also excellent for busboards and taxi top displays.
Vehicle graphics and vehicle wraps often include car window graphics or rear window graphics. Often these kinds of car window decals are done on perforated view through vinyl so as not to block visibility from inside the vehicle. These types of car window decals are popular for personal use as well. We do many rear window graphics, especially rear truck window graphics with scenic images, American flag graphics or other images that allow people to express their individuality. For other custom window decals and car window graphics options, visit our Window Graphics page.
Vehicle graphics can sometimes be easily installed by the customer, depending on how large the vehicle graphic or car sign is, and where on the vehicle it is being placed. On a flat surface, they are fairly easy to install, but most vehicle have very few flat surfaces. Vehicle wraps are particularly difficult to correctly install, which is why we only use the best installers in the business. The fact that we provide the best quality graphics would be unimportant if they were not installed properly. We have a nationwide network of installers, so we can handle your vehicle graphics or vehicle wrap job no matter where in the country you are located.
The Available Materials tab below shows the wide range of materials we offer for vehicle graphics. Look through that tab to get information for each, and maybe get an idea or two for something different. Our large selection of vehicle graphics and car sign materials means we have products to fit any need, and to fit any budget. If you don't see something you're looking for, please Contact Us for assistance.
Be sure to look through the FAQ tab below for helpful information and answers to common questions about vehicle graphics, and the Our Recommendations tab for suggestions on the best materials to use for different situations.
This page is devoted to vehicle graphics and car signs. If you are looking for window graphics, both for vehicles and business windows, the window graphics page has our complete selection of materials. Also be sure to check out our decals page for information on decals for ATV's, motorcycles and more.
If you would like to get prices on printing and shipping, or place an order, click the Pricing/Order button next to each item in the Printing Materials tab. The Pricing/Order wizard will prompt you for the necessary information such as quantity, dimensions and finishing options to show you prices in real time, and allow you to enter you state and zip code to see the shipping costs. If you're ready to order, you can provide additional information such as how you're sending files or if you need design work, if you want a proof, and how you want us to handle cropping of your files if necessary, and then add the print to your shopping cart. You can also compare product prices in the wizard by clicking the Products tab and selecting different materials from the drop down menu to see how the price changes.
Vehicle Graphics Materials
These outdoor sign materials are all high quality products that are designed for different applications. Read the descriptions below and check out the Our Recommendations tab for suggestions on which materials are best for different situations.
Economy Vehicle Vinyl with laminate - 4.8 mil
This glossy white, ultra-conformable calendared adhesive-backed vinyl/laminate combination is perfect for graphics on vehicles, trucks, buses, and walls. The air-egress release liner enables air to escape as the graphics are installed, eliminating trapped air pockets that cause wrinkles and bubbles. Performs well over rivets, corrugations, and flat to moderate curved surfaces. Removable for 1 year and permanent for up to 7 years. Available in widths up to 54".
Oracal RapidAir Cast Vinyl with Laminate - 4 mil
This professional wrapping film and laminate combination carries a 7 year outdoor warranty, the longest we offer. It's air channels are not visible so it provides the highest image quality and it's extremely conformable for the most difficult car sign, vehicle graphic and vehicle wrap installations. It's also available without the RapidAir technology for use on boat graphics and other applications in water. Available in up to 60" widths.
3M ControlTac Cast Vinyl with Comply and Laminate - 4.5 mil
This opaque adhesive-backed premium cast vinyl carries a 5 year outdoor warranty when combined with 3M cast vinyl laminates. It's a popular solution for vehicle and fleet graphics with an adhesive that is positionable until firm pressure is applied, making for easier installations. It also offers fast, clean removal with heat and has excellent hiding power. Available in widths up to 54".
Magnetic Vehicle Signs
This material is a combination of our Avery cast vinyl with laminate and our 30 mil magnetic sheeting. This is the thickest and strongest magnetic material for vehicles and this combination provides for a premium solution. For short term use, less expensive printing materials can be used without a laminate. Available in widths up to 24".
Xtreme Decal Vinyl - 14 mil
This specially designed adhesive backed vinyl and laminate combination features a very aggressive adhesive with an extremely durable finish that still maintains conformability, which makes it perfect for decals on hard hats, motocross bikes, snowmobiles, jet skis, road bikes and outdoor power equipment. Also available in a removable version for football/sports helmets or other applications were clean removability is needed. Available in widths up to 54".
ProPatch - 20 mil
This specially designed material is made of a two piece construction, a clear 12 mil vinyl with a white 8 mil backer. The result is a durable vinyl patch that can be sewn into garments, upholstery, bags or other textiles for advertising, sponsorship, or identification. Applications such as motorcycle seats, team uniform patches, bar stool covers, sponsor ski vests, paintball duffle bags, and tire covers are other possibilities. Available in widths up to 30"
View Through Perforated Adhesive Vinyl- 4 Mil
These perforated adhesive backed products creates great window graphics and window signs that can be seen through from the inside of the window. Available with 50%, 30% or 20% perforation, they are perfect for business or vehicle window signs where you need to be able to see out from the inside. These materials are also great for reducing the heat from the sun through the glass, with the materials with less perforations blocking the most heat.
The 50/50 perf is most common for vehicle windows as it has the greatest amount of material removed, so it has the clearest view out from the inside. However, this also means the graphic on the outside is the least visible. The 70/30 perf patter is a nice balance between image quality and visibility, but check the laws in your state as to what percentage is legal before ordering this for a vehicle graphic. It is legal in many states, but not all. The 80/20 perf has the very best image quality and blocks the most heat, so it's great for business windows or for vehicle windows where visibility is less of a concern.
Can be laminated for extra durability. Available in widths up to 60".
Expected longevity of up to 2 years depending on environment.
3M 680 Reflective Adhesive Vinyl - 7 mil
This flexible, retroreflective film is a highly durable adhesive coated opaque vinyl that remains brilliantly reflective even when totally wet. This film is perfect for reflective decals, commercial vehicle graphics, railroad graphics, commercial signs and striping, or anywhere a reflective graphic is desirable for night visibility. See also the 3M 3200 for flat, non-vehicle application. Available in widths up to 54".
These are the laminates and adhesives we recommend for outdoor signs.
Cast Vinyl Laminate - Matte or Gloss
These pressure sensitive laminates are recommended to protect against scratches, abrasion, chemicals and UV degradation to extend the life of any adhesive vinyl vehicle graphic or decal. They have the highest degree of UV resistance and add thickness to the print making the graphics easier to install.
This 30 mil magnetic material provides the perfect base for vehicle magnets. It can also be used for indoor displays or any application where you need a removable mounting to a metal surface.
Vehicle Graphics Materials
Our new Economy Vehicle Vinyl with laminate is an excellent option for short term vehicle wraps, car signs and vehicle graphics that would need to be changed annually. The adhesive on this material is only guaranteed removable for 1 year, and while it can be removed after that, it would be more difficult, and therefore more expensive. For smaller graphics like logos, this wouldn't be a big concern, but for full wraps, it can be time consuming and expensive to remove vinyl that isn't designed to come off easily. Many wrap companies use this type of vinyl for all their wraps, they just don't tell their customers about the down side. It's also not cast vinyl, which means that while it's conformable, it's not as conformable as our more expensive materials, so it would only be appropriate for vehicles with moderate covers, or box trucks and trailers that don't tend to have many curved surfaces. It does last up to 7 years, so if the removability isn't a concern, this is an excellent and cost effective option for longer term graphics as well.
The Oracal RapidAir vinyl our most popular material for car signs, vehicle graphics and vehicle wraps, because it's our least expensive premium product and it has the longest warranty, 7 years, and the best print quality. In reality, most car signs and vehicle graphics that display an advertising message should be changed more often that 7 years anyway, But, for fleet marking, company logos or other types of car signs and vehicle graphics that need to last as long as possible, this is an excellent features. It's also a great choice in areas with above average UV exposure, like desert areas or on boats since the extra UV protection of the this material can help your graphics last longer without fading. The 3M ControlTac vinyl is a very common material for wraps, but we've had issues with it, so we recommend the Oracal RapidAir instead. We still offer the 3M vinyl for those who want it, but we can't personally guarantee the material won't fail, and if it does, it is up to 3M to make good on the warranty.
The Xtreme Decal Vinyl is great for car signs and vehicle graphics that are subjected to rough treatment and abuse, such as on off road vehicles, motorcycles or snowmobiles. It's extra thick to better withstand abuse so it's an excellent choice for these types of installations.
The 3M 680 Reflective Adhesive Vinyl is the material of choice for reflective vehicle graphics and car signs. This material appears to light up at night when lights reflect off it.
Normal turnaround time is 4-5 business days. During the order process you will be asked if you have a specific due date, and if you do, we will adjust your shipping method, if necessary, to get your order to you on time. If you need your order even quicker, we also have a rush service. If you authorize rush charges, we can get your order shipped in 1-2 days. Rush charges are $75 per order. If we're able to meet your deadline without bumping other jobs, we won't actually charge the rush charge, but you must authorize the rush to guarantee delivery.
For high quality prints that look good up close, we recommend files be 150dpi at the actual size they will be printed. For vehicle graphics, lower resolution files tend to work since most car signs will be viewed from 5 feet away or more. At that distance, 72-100 dpi files will still look fine. We use special software to enlarge smaller files for printing at larger sizes, but the larger your original files, the better the results will be so you should always use the largest files you can. When in doubt, send us your file and we'll examine it and let you know how large we think it can go and still look good.
We don't charge either of these common fees. In our opinion, charging setup and RIP fees would be like advertising a price for gasoline, but charging a pumping fee to get it into your car. It's misleading and since you can't print a job without setting it up and processing it through a RIP, like the gasoline is of no use if it isn't pumped into your tank, it should be reflected in the prices already. They are just hidden fees to increase the cost of your job in a way that makes a companies printing prices look more competitive. As long as you provide print ready files, there are no additional charges related to printing your job.
For smaller graphics installed on relatively flat areas of the vehicle, it's possible for someone without experience to successfully install their own graphics. Graphics that conform to curved or irregular surfaces, or for full vehicle wraps, professional installation is recommended as these can be difficult if you don't have experience with these types of installations.
These instructions are provided for our customers that want to install their own adhesive vinyl vehicle graphics. Tools you will need: Scissors, Xacto knife or razor blade, soft squeegee or protect the image with paper (hard squeegee will damage the print), and masking tape.
- If applying a vinyl graphic that is not laminated, use a soft squeegee or protect the image with paper during installation to prevent damage to the printed image.
- Apply vinyl in the shade (no direct sunlight).
- The ideal temperature would be between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wind or wind gusts will cause problems.
- All surfaces should be considered dirty and must be cleaned prior to installation. Clean the area where the graphics are to be applied with a household, non-ammonia based cleaner. We recommend an alcohol based cleaner such as denatured alcohol or equivalent. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
- Air and surface temperatures must be above 40 degrees.
Applying the Adhesive Vinyl
- Position your graphic in the desired location and tack into place on each end with small pieces of masking tape.
- Peel back about 2” of the release liner away from the top edge on the adhesive side of your graphic.
- Cut that section of the release liner off and discard.
- Squeegee down the exposed edge of the graphic starting from the center and working towards the edges. Let the squeegee cause the contact with the mounting surface and brush from the center outward using overlapping 45 degree angled strokes.
- Flip the graphic up, or have an assistant hold it up and start to peel back the remaining release liner.
- Pull back a few inches of the release liner at a time and squeegee the graphic into place using the same technique as above.
- If you get an air bubble, you can either lift the decal enough to release the air, or if the bubbles are not too large, you can pop them with a pin and squeegee the bubble toward the pin hole to squeeze out the air.
- Once the entire decal is applied, squeegee the entire decal once more to ensure a firm bond with the surface.
The procedure we recommend is to take digital photos of the vehicle or window, and take measurements of all the key areas and dimensions. Then scale the photo in your design application to match the measurements you took so that you are working at actual size at 72dpi or higher. With wraps, you will need to take photos of each side of the vehicle, as well as the hood and any other areas you want to cover. Try to take the photos as square to vehicle as possible to minimize any distortion.
By doing this, you can design your wrap taking into account things like door handles, door guards, the seams between doors, windows, wheel wells, and anything else that might interfere with your design. It's a good idea to make sure important elements avoid areas that might distort them or make them difficult to read, and avoid having letters or number split by seams in the doors, etc. With window graphics, you can make sure your design will fit the shape of the window and not be obscured by rear wipers, spare tires, etc.
Yes we can. We have designers who are skilled in creating vehicle wrap designs and would be happy to work with you to create a design that suits your needs and taste. If you are located near us, you can make an appointment to stop by and have your vehicle photographed and measured, or you can do this step yourself if you are out of our area. We also have templates available for most late model vehicles we can use, but we prefer to have photos and measurements as well because templates are not always as accurate as they're supposed to be.
No. None of the materials we use for vehicles will cause any harm to your vehicle, as long as your paint job is in good condition to begin with. There are many materials on the market that are not designed for vehicles, but often get used anyway because they are less expensive. These can harm the finish on your vehicle and be extremely difficult to remove without causing damage as well, so be very careful before letting anyone sell you vehicle graphics or install any on your car so that you don't end up with a problem later.
All vehicle graphics materials are designed to be removed when the time comes, and everything will fade eventually, but all the high end vehicle materials are warranted for 5 years or more so they should not fade noticeably or come loose from the vehicle during that period of time. We have seen wraps and graphics that were faded, coming off, and falling apart in less than a year. While we appreciate the business that we get from having to redo our competitors graphics, we don't like to see anyone get taken advantage of by one of the many companies selling wraps that only seem to be good at selling. Good vehicle wraps and graphics should be printed well on high quality materials and properly installed. If any of these are not done correctly, you will have a problem.
If the printing is bad, no matter the quality of the material and installation, the graphics will look bad. If the printing is done well, but on bad materials, the wrap will fail. And, if the printing is well done on good materials, but not installed properly, the wrap will look bad and probably fail.
We are by far the best printing company around for printing vehicle wraps and graphics. Most of the companies who do this type of work don't even come close. We use the same techniques for vehicle wraps and graphics that we for trade show graphics and fine art reproductions, and the superiority of our print quality is quite obvious. While vehicle wraps are not fine art prints and it's not realistic for them to hold up to the same standard of quality that you would expect of a fine art print, we've seen far too many car signs and vehicle wraps that look terrible and the customers were given the excuse that a vehicle wrap is like a billboard that's meant to be seen from a distance. You should not have obvious flaws and printing problems in your job that are visible from 3-5 feet away. If someone tells you to get 10 feet away to judge the quality, there is a problem.
We also only use high end vehicle materials that are warranted for 5 years or more. Of course the problem with this is that there are companies out there (we aren't going to name names) who claim their vehicle materials are high-end and warranted for 5 years, but in reality they use materials that are not even designed for vehicles. We know because we've had to remove them and replace their work. If you have any doubts, get the specific brand and style of vinyl and laminate being used and do a quick internet search to find out what you're actually getting. The actual style is critical because every major manufacturer has low and high end materials, so it's not enough to be told that a company is using 3M or Oracal vinyl because that could mean anything. Be sure to check both the vinyl and the laminate because if either is not correct, the graphic will probably fail and won't have a warranty.
Probably the most common vehicle wrap problems come from bad installations. All the wraps we do are properly installed to look great and stay on the vehicle until it's time to remove them. For customers who are not in our immediate area, we use a nationwide network of installers so we're able to handle vehicle wrap jobs all over the country. There are certainly companies that are skilled at installation that also offer printing, but they are rarely skilled at printing. Likewise, there are not many skilled printers who can also do a good job with the installation. They seem to think that as long as the graphics are stuck to the vehicle in some fashion, they can rely on the fact that the customer knows less than they do to pass off the results as acceptable.
More than with any other type of printing, we advise you to be extremely careful when selecting a company to do your vehicle wraps and graphics. There is quite a bit of borderline fraud in this industry and if you're not careful you could end up having to pay to redo your graphics, or maybe even your paint job.
We do actually have some window graphics materials that can be mounted on the inside, but we don't recommend it. It's very difficult to see graphics through the glass, which defeats the purpose of having graphics on your windows.
Other than some interior mounted window graphics we mentioned above, there aren't any reusable window graphics that can safely go on the outside of the window. Vehicle magnets are still the best option for removable and reusable vehicle graphics.
Full full wraps, we offer several materials that have warranties from 5-7 years. Most wraps are done for advertising purposes, and since it's not generally advisable to have the same ad for more than 5 years, that is usually a sufficent life span. We do have some materials that can be used for short term or temporary use, and they would obviously not last as long, but they are less expensive for those situations.
Generally, there isn't anything special you need to do with a wrapped vehicle. If you use a commercial car wash, you should avoid directing high pressure spray at the seams in your wrap to prevent the spray from lifting the vinyl. Also, the finish of the wrap is not as durable as your paint job, so it's possible that some car washes with brushes will put surface scratches in the laminate. This won't affect the life of the graphic but it can look bad so we recommend brushless or touchless car washes, or of course you can always hand wash the vehicle.
Surprisingly well. This example shows what a printed graphic looks like from the outside. It looks basically like a solid graphic from even a short distance away. There are different perforation patterns for different products with some having more holes and others having less, and the size of the holes themselves varies from product to product. Our view through adhesive vinyl product is actually available in a 50% perforation pattern as well as a 30% perforation pattern. With the 50% pattern, half of the material is removed so only half of your image is left. This material is common on vehicle wraps which is why the windows on vehicle wraps tends to look more washed out than the body of the vehicle. We prefer the 30% perforation pattern because it leaves 70% of the image, which makes a much nicer graphic with stronger colors. This example shows the 30% perforation product.
This image show the same graphic as viewed from the inside. As you can see, compared with the panes of glass below, the window almost looks tinted, but you can still see through it quite clearly, and this is the 30% perforated material so for even more visibility, the 50% material can be used if desired.
Laminating view through graphics requires special materials that have optically clear properties because regular laminates would spoil the view through effect by clouding the view through the holes in the material. Even with these special optically clear laminates, having a film over the holes in the graphic will reduce the visibility somewhat, so we recommend only using them when necessary. On vehicle windows there are several reasons you might want a laminate on your view through window graphics. Without a laminate, the view through the graphic can be blocked by water in the holes, so if it rains you won't be able to see out. Also on back windows with wipers, the abrasion from the wiper will eventually ruin the graphic, so we recommend a laminate in those cases. On business windows, we generally recommend against a laminate because there is less chance of abrasion and if the view is blocked during a rain storm, it's not critical. Also, having a laminate on the graphic makes installation more difficult because without the laminate, air escapes through the holes in the graphic making them very easy to install.