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Designing for the Masses

Creating a Memorable Graphic for Those On the Go

by Melissa Tetreault

This is part of an exclusive online series. Part 2 of 4.

A good design is integral to a successful vehicle wrap. Working with your customer is key in ultimately creating the customerís end-result. SignZoo, a large format printing company that specializes in fleet and marine wraps, works closely with their customers from start to finish.

Selling a Design
According to Larry Cavaluzzi, co-owner of SignZoo, instead of selling a customer a wrap, first they set out to sell the customer a design. The sales person initially discusses the design with the customer and they then pass on a concept overview to the designer.

With four designers in SignZooís in-house design department, ideas are bounced around debating over the nature of the design. "Usually," says Cavaluzzi, "the customer does not walk in with an exact idea of what they want in mind. They have a color or a picture in their head and that is the direction we tend to go in."

Once a design is created in either Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, SignZoo sends over true proofs to their customer. What is a true proof? It is the actual design printed on the vinyl on their VUTEk 150SC so that the customer gets a real feel for what the finished product looks like.

A typical design usually takes about eight hours to complete Cavaluzzi says. Usually it is done in two to three hour periods. None usually take any longer than that and none are any harder to apply than others. Anything close to being difficult, according to Cavaluzzi, would be designs including reflective overlays and special, two layer designs.

In-House Benefits
Co-owner Todd Stuart believes that one of the keys to his companyís success is because they design every wrap they do in-house. "By doing the design work in-house we accelerate the exposure to problems with templates, proofing, and general customer expectations. Thus we learn a great deal from fixing mistakes."

Even if the sign shop gets a wrap designed by another company it still goes through what Stuart calls an "extensive checklist of changes" before it is printed.

Keeping It Plain and Simple
Cavaluzzi concurs with a majority of the sign shop owners out there that vehicle wraps continue to grow in popularity. However, designs as a whole have pretty much stayed the same. The only difference Cavaluzzi notes is that, "people have become more open minded to the theory of more is less." In other words, customers are seeing vehicle wraps as an opportunity to highlight their companyís services and not as a moving bulletin board listing every last detail.

In general, Cavaluzzi believes that, "people like to see a big image with company name and Web site." Simplicity reigns when it comes to advertising and that is just what this sign shop aims for.

Click here to read A New Spin on Marketing, Part 1 of this exclusive Q Series.
Click here to read Media Matters with Vehicle Wraps, Part 3 of this exclusive Q Series.

Jul2006, Digital Output

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