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Vehicle Wrap Design: High Resolution Images FAQ's

Posted on Mon, May, 16, 2011

high res wide format printingOne of the key elements of vehicle wrap design is being able to combine attention getting copy with emotional or compelling graphics. When I say “emotional” or “compelling,” I don't necessarily mean that your vehicle wrap design should be bringing people to tears, but an emotional response can help people remember your graphics. Whether they're wow-ed by the beautiful garden on your landscaping truck or drooling over a slice of your perfect looking pizza, you want graphics that will get people to react.

A great way to create a memorable vehicle wrap design is by including photographic images. These can include pictures of job sites, an example of what you do, or maybe just a picture of someone enjoying your product. If you're interested in incorporating a photo into your vehicle wrap design, this is definitely the blog article for you.

pixelationWhat is a high resolution image? When people talk about image resolution, they're really referring to the amount of detail within the image. When we're talking about digital images resolution typically refers to the number of pixels in an image. An image 2048 pixels wide and 1536 pixels high has 3,145,782 pixels in total, or 3.1 megapixels. Digital cameras come with a rating of megapixels, and the higher the number, the more detailed, and larger the image can be. For comparison's sake, an iPhone camera is 4 megapixels, while a top of the line digital camera is more in the realm of 15-22.

Why do our designers need high resolution images? The reason we require images with high resolution for our vehicle wraps and signs is because we have to blow the images up very large in order to print them at their actual size. Just because the picture that you took with your phone looks great on the 4in screen, doesn't mean that it will be anywhere near as clear when that same image is blown up to fit a 14 ft trailer. In short, out designers need big images because we're printing big projects!

photorealistic wrapHow do I know if my image is high res enough? 300 dpi (dots per inch) is a good rule of thumb when it comes to large format printing, but how do you know if your image is high enough quality? The short answer is that there is no short answer. Everyone's camera is different, but if you're dead set on taking your own pictures to be used on your car wrap or truck wrap, make sure that you're using the highest resolution settings on your camera, that you're in macro mode if you're taking a close up, and that you're using a real camera – no cell phones!

What should I do if I don't have my own high resolution image? Many designs today are made using high resolution stock photos. If you don't have the perfect image of one of your landscaping job sites or one of your perfect pizzas, don't sweat it too much. Your designer will most likely be able to find a great approximation on a stock photo service, and you'll be able to blissfully forget everything you just learned in this post.

Questions about image quality? We have more answers – contact us or start a thread in the comments!

Tag: vehicle wrap design