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Vehicle Wraps vs. Vinyl Vehicle Lettering: Which Is Best?

Vehicle wraps cost lessVinyl vehicle lettering has been around since the horse and buggy days where business owners would paint letter advertisements on the sides of carriages. When the first motorized vehicles came along, lettering became even more popular—but the method of choice—hand-painting these ads was still the only way to advertise—but that has changed over the years!

Vehicle lettering companies now have a better handle on the materials used for this ad option and the hand-painting may be gone but at Sunrise Signs, we think all business owners wanting to use their cars, trucks or vans for advertising should take a closer look at vehicle wraps vs. vinyl vehicle lettering.

Defining Wraps and Lettering

Think of vehicle wraps as vinyl stickers that are wrapped around the entire surface of the vehicle—even bumpers, hoods and curved areas. Each vehicle wrap is designed with a company’s advertising and branding in mind and offers space to include QR (quick response) codes, corporate images, noticeable website URLs, social media logos and colorful backgrounds and themes. Vinyl vehicle lettering typically covers only a small area on a vehicle—or too many letters spread all over the vehicle offering a confusing message.

Vehicle wraps vs. vinyl vehicle letteringVehicle wraps, when designed and installed by experts, achieve the look of a custom paint job—with lettering, you can tell it’s just “lettering.” (see image to right)

Wraps also offer a good first impression and help vehicle fleets stand out as a leader in their industry. Lettering your fleet may convey you are not in the same professional category as a fleet wrapped in engaging graphics.

The Pros and Cons of Wraps vs. Lettering

There are a lot of reasons to choose vehicle wraps over vinyl lettering, some of which include:

Durability – Vehicle wraps last up to five years offering a much better bang for your advertising dollar—vinyl vehicle lettering does not have the stamina of vehicle wraps and are often peeling or fading in just one year. Full vehicle wraps cover the entire vehicle meaning they help to protect original manufacturer paint—perfect for when it’s time to retire a vehicle from your fleet because you’ll gain a higher resale value. Even if you lease your fleet, the protection wraps offer over vinyl vehicle lettering is greater.

Cost – Full or partial vehicle wraps may cost more but many businesses use vinyl vehicle lettering where high-quality vinyl isn’t utilized meaning while the cost is less, the chances of vinyl lettering and decals surviving is pretty poor. If a vehicle fleet must continuously shell out more advertising dollars for lettering compared to choosing the one-time investment of vehicle wraps, overtime the cost of lettering over the course of five years will be higher.

Size – With options for both partial and full vehicle wraps available, the graphic capabilities become much greater in size compared to lettering. Vehicle wraps are tastefully designed making the most of white space and because wraps can cover an entire vehicle including the hood and bumpers, the visual views are greater. We are a visual world and are our eyes engage graphics over the simpler vinyl lettering. You can do more with less if you choose fleet vehicle wraps and lettering can become crowded offering no real design—nothing memorable in letters and numbers lacking graphics!

Advertising with Vehicle WrapsVisual Views – Let’s say you choose vinyl lettering over vehicle wraps. Not only do wraps cover a larger surface area, with lettering you’re missing out on the opportunity to include your logo, graphics showing what you do (images), and instead, you end up with bland text of letters and numbers only. In addition, some fleets only place the lettering on the doors and rear of the vehicle. With wraps, because the entire vehicle is wrapped, you can gain up to 70,000 visuals per day, per vehicle from all sides where lettering can get lost in traffic or when the vehicles are stationary or parked. Vinyl vehicle lettering does not provide as many visuals as vehicle wraps. Again, because we remember what we see, lettering won’t be as noticeable as a vehicle wrapped with engaging graphics.

Advertising – Not many people will remember a company’s vehicle with letters and because you still have to pay for vinyl vehicle lettering, you are not gaining a return on the investment. Vehicle wraps, on the other hand, provide for a more vivid advertising strategy and because 95 percent of people surveyed said they noticed graphics, the ROI of vehicle wraps is the better investment. Once wrapped, fleet vehicles become 24/7 moving billboard advertisements that never sleep—fleets using vinyl lettering only can’t say the same is true. Download our free Vehicle Wrap ROI Calculator to see just how affordable vehicle wraps can be.

Vehicle Wrap FAQs

What is the cost of vehicle wrap advertisingMany business owners or fleet managers may still think when it comes to vehicle wraps vs. vinyl vehicle lettering that the smarter investment is the lettering because of the initial cost. But if you’re spending money on vinyl lettering and it’s not memorable or installed poorly, the chances of getting your fleet noticed drops considerably. Isn’t that just wasting your ad dollars?

Read some of our vehicle wrap FAQs, and learn more about vehicle wraps by checking out our Fleet Wraps guide and our Franchise Graphics guide. We also invite you to browse our photo gallery to see for yourself just how noticeable vehicle wraps are compared to plain vinyl vehicle lettering.

Letters may be nice, but graphics (and pictures) are worth a thousand words! Let Sunrise Signs show you how you too can drive sales and make a statement with your vehicle fleet. Let us show you why vehicle wraps and graphics are the smarter choice and will make your fleet sharp, crisp, new and above all, noticeable!

Van lettering image courtesy of A. Sokoloff 

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