20 Awesome Vehicle Wraps. Tips on Creating Automotive Ads

Masterpieces are not just created on canvases. Nowadays, many graphic design companies are creating works of art in the exteriors of buses, cars, trucks, vans, and other types of vehicles. And why not? Vehicle wrapping transforms modes of land transportation into graphics on wheels and mobile advertisements. Your design will be seen by thousands of people on a daily basis, and help your client increase revenue and brand visibility.

Vehicle wraps are hard to miss because they are designed to command attention. The design possibilities are endless. The trick lies in getting the message across with the proper use of contrasting colors, images, space, and typography.

Graphics and lettering used to be painstakingly (or rather paint-stakingly) done by hand. But digital printing technology and vinyl have made it easier for graphic designers and wrap installers to create half or partial wraps (which usually start at the rear of the vehicle and makes its way towards the driver and passenger doors) and full vehicle wraps.

Creative, well-installed vehicle wraps look like they have been hand painted on the car or truck. They also provide visual tricks that simply can’t be achieved using manual painting. A quality vehicle wrap can last between five to seven years – a good return of investment.

Here are some of the factors that you need to consider before you design your first vehicle wrap:


Choose a vector graphics editor like Adobe Illustrator, which will enable you to create designs that you can scale without losing clarity. Photoshop is also useful for designing vehicle wraps but Adobe Illustrator loads faster. Use vehicle templates so you don’t have to take photographs of the vehicle and measure the dimensions.


A wrapped vehicle is basically a moving signage so keep the message simple. It’s impossible to enumerate all of the products, services, and benefits. A design that is too text heavy is likely to be ignored so stick to the business name, contact information, and a tag line. Remember: wraps must be readable while cruising on the highway and when parked.


Highlight the important parts of your message by using contrasting colors. A good color scheme allows the message to stand out.


Resist the temptation to turn your vehicle wrap into a collage, particularly if you’re working on large vehicles like buses, trucks, and vans. The images should complement the overall wrap design, not take over it (unless your wrap is mainly for vanity).


The message must be legible while the vehicle is in motion or stationary. Choose a simple font and keep the size normal, not too big and not too small. Use the right spacing. Reverse the text on the hood to make the message readable on a rear view mirror.

White Space

Add white space whenever possible because it accentuates your design. The colors and images attract your audience – the drivers and pedestrians – while the white space allows them to zero in on your client’s message including the name, number, and address.

Take a look at some awesome vehicle graphics:

Godfather Wrap on a Sedan

Epson Bugatti Wrap

Mustang Flame Wrap

BMW M3 GT2 Art Car

Lamborghini Aventador Prototype

Porsche Cayman Wrap Concept

Ferrari 458 Camouflage Wrap

Matte Black Bentley

Lotus Elise Tiger Wrap

FHM Mini Cooper

McLaren MP4-26 F1 Car Wrap

Peugeot 3008 Ad Campaign

National Geographic Bus Wrap

Copenhagen Zoo Snake Bus Wrap

Toothbrush Bus Wrap

Limo Bus Ad

Street Sweets

Movie-themed Food Truck

Fro2Go Truck Wrap

Kit Kat Truck Wrap

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Madalin Tudose

I`m a web developer. I build HTML Templates and WordPress Themes which are eventually released on ThemeForest under the DeliciousThemes brand.

Join the discussion

  1. Justacarguy blogspot com Jesse on October 28, 2011 at 9:02 pm Reply

    Terrific post, great selection of wrapped vehicles in your gallery!

    Justacarguy blogspot com Jesse

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  3. Pam on November 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm Reply

    I was wondering what type of Photoshop plug ins are recommended to design these type of cutting-edge graphics. Is Alien Skin a plug-in you’d recommend?

  4. Tim Hilcove on January 14, 2012 at 10:42 am Reply

    To properly design vehicle wraps you are going to need a program called The Bad Wrap. Here is a link to the 2012 Lamborghini Aventador template preview http://thebadwrap.com/?p=175

  5. Rupert on February 4, 2012 at 5:18 am Reply

    Marvellous photo gallery….I just couldn’t get my eyeballs off the screen:D these wraps have fully transformed the vehicles look.
    Very truly said-Masterpieces are not just created on canvases. Awesome imagination…Thanks to the author for sharing this post.

    decal lettering

  6. Mike on February 27, 2012 at 6:07 am Reply

    Visit my youtube channel “Vehicle Graphics Shop” and you can find many useful videos about cars and vehicles wraps.

  7. www.KillerWraps.co.cc on March 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm Reply

    Very nice post! this gives us some good direction on our next products. Thank you again!

  8. Jason on April 18, 2012 at 8:31 am Reply

    Visit my youtube channel “Vehicle Graphics Atlanta” and you can find many useful videos about cars and vehicles wraps.

  9. Trendz Print Media on May 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm Reply

    Vehicle wrapping is one of the most diverse forms of advertising out there. Check out a few examples here. http://www.trendzprintmedia.com/gallery/vehicle-wraps/

  10. Mike on May 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm Reply

    Where can you find AI truck templates? Any help would be greatly appreciated?

  11. Sean on June 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm Reply

    Wow, the BUS wrap with the snake is insane! So cool!

    Check it out, you might like this – you can design your own vehicle wraps here: http://www.custom-car-wraps.com
    (really easy and fun)

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Louie on July 12, 2012 at 11:19 am Reply

    “The Bad Wrap” isn’t necessary to properly design vehicle graphics. There are plenty of vehicle templates available.

    To properly design a vehicle wrap you need to know what goes in to wrapping a vehicle (the actual process, knowing the type of vinyl that will be used, having a quality installer) There are many factors to take in to account for the design, body curves, location of handles, hinges and other hardware, plus knowing the sight lines that the vehicle has to offer.

  13. jimmy on July 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm Reply

    great car wraps amazing

  14. Peter on July 24, 2012 at 12:46 am Reply

    The snake wrap and the kit kat one are genius! very clever.. !

  15. LargeFormatDude on August 27, 2012 at 10:22 am Reply

    Your post is very misleading on how to properly design vehicle wraps. At no point should you tell a designer what program to use. I have designed several hundred wraps for many Fortune 500 companies and every single one was done in Photoshop. In fact, the ONLY places I know that prefer the wrap to be done in vector are race car shops and lower end cut vinyl shops where the installers are not capable of doing a full 3M install. It has nothing to do with what loads fast, if you have raster graphics saved in Illustrator it’s going to take you just as long to open that file as it would in Photoshop.

    Vehicle wraps are a black art, you can’t go to school to learn how to do this stuff. One of the many reasons I am launching http://www.largeformatdesigner.com is to clarify to the world the RIGHT way to do this stuff. With video tutorials and how-to’s we are aiming to provide all the missing information on stuff like this.

  16. Vehicle Wraps on November 1, 2012 at 7:01 am Reply

    Successful marketing through vehicle wraps really depend on the perfect combination of design, color and the text or sales message. Tasks concerning this are best left in the hand of professionals because they have a creative team that can modify expected results according to the marketing objectives of your business.

  17. Vehicle Signage on November 1, 2012 at 10:42 pm Reply

    I agree with you.Vehicle wrapping is one of the most diverse forms of advertising out there.Thanks!!

  18. WrapVine.com on November 24, 2012 at 1:05 am Reply

    Great information! Cool wraps! Very inspired!

  19. vehicle wrap los angeles on December 25, 2012 at 3:25 am Reply

    Indeed a very nice post. I am also associated with imaginationworksla, vehicle wraps los angeles, car wraps los angeles, Banner stands los angeles. Thanks for writing such good posts and as I have subscribed to your blog, I do expect that you will be posting nice posts like this on a regular basis.

  20. Exotic Vehicle Wraps on January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am Reply

    This truly shows the capabilities of what a vehicle wrap can do. Also very great points in the article of factors that go into designing a vehicle wrap to display the correct message. I’ve seen many of these wraps before there are still many within this post that are greatly designed, great collection.

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  23. Tenvoorde Ford on March 20, 2015 at 1:16 pm Reply

    The car wraps are awesome looking! Hopefully these start to become popular because they really bring life to the appearances of cars! Great post thanks for sharing!

  24. Max Quinn on July 11, 2015 at 2:55 am Reply

    Cheers! Many thanks for takeing time to create these well-considered
    thoughts… just love it!… and I’m looking forward to sharing your very
    helpful article… All the best!

  25. Kranken Signs Vehicle Wraps on January 30, 2016 at 4:20 pm Reply

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