Signwriting Vs Full Printed Wraps? The Experts Give Their Take

In all honesty, this blog title started off with a different title. It was going to be ‘What Makes A Good Custom Vehicle Wrap?’, but it took a different turn once we spoke to four commercial vehicle branding specialists. See what they had to say on signwriting vs full printed wraps, which is best for their business and what they would advise their customers.

“It all depends on your target market, but we advise people against full and partial wraps. Wrapping film costs much more than standard film, so the costs are lower with conventional signage. The speed of signwriting means that the customer is happy with the price point, and the margins are better for the business. If customers do want a full wrap, we will do it for them and the design needs to be clear and eye-catching. There doesn’t need to be too much information on there – people can Google you once you’ve made the first impression.”
David Hammond
Director, Seymore Sign & Print Ltd
“Although we do full wraps and colour changes, we try to steer away from this if we can, for a few different reasons. We can take vehicles apart, which you’d need to do for a full wrap, but we aren’t mechanics. This can void the warranty of the car, so the client needs to sign to say they are happy for us to do that. If not, they need to get a mechanic from the garage to come out which is an extra job for them and can be off-putting. Once the client takes their vehicle back, they are given aftercare instructions but don’t always follow them. If they’ve jet washed the vehicle and it damages the wrap, it can become a bit of a headache trying to keep the customer happy without losing money. The time it takes for a vehicle wrap can be twice or three times as long as signwriting a full van and can be a similar price. From a business perspective, it makes more financial sense.”
Shane Toon
Managing Director, Pulse Brand Solutions
“We do a lot of full wraps for commercial customers, but there are some questions to ask before going down this route. One of them is how often are their vehicles being repaired because if they are frequently damaged, their repair costs are going to be higher if the vehicle has a wrap on it. A conversation that is worth having is about how a full wrap protects the paintwork, particularly on leased vehicles where the customer can return their vehicle at the end of the lease and the paintwork will look the same as it did when they picked it up. We have had customers in the past that have caused damage to their wraps by using a jet wash incorrectly and we give out Graphic Care Guidelines as a standard practice to cover ourselves against this. I would say the margins are better if you aren’t doing a full wrap, and if you’re covering absolutely everything, the labour hours that go into that [and the subsequent cost] can put the customer off and you can end up reducing your margins to get a lovely looking wrap going for them. “
Kieran McCabe
Owner, RGVA Vehicle Graphics
“Our market is commercial, and we get a lot of customers coming to us with white vans that aren’t part of their brand colours. There is a slightly higher risk of failures with full wraps but if a customer wants to make more of a statement and they have the budget for it, I’d advise them to go for it over signwriting. In terms of margins, I would say in the long run, if you’re geared up for it and can get the design process done quickly and get the production done well, you can make more money doing digital wraps over signwriting.”
David Allen
Managing Director, Allen Signs


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