Car graphics can add those special details to your car that didn’t come standard when you first purchased your vehicle. The first attempt to add some form of decoration to vehicles was following World War II. A popular trend at the time was to attach an American flag to the bumper of a car with wire. The first reported use of bumper stickers was in Tennessee as part of tourism efforts in the late 1940s. Park employees would paste sticks on cars suggesting that visitors stop by certain nearby destinations. Today, car graphics are much more elaborate. You’ll find styles ranging from mild to wild – and just about everything in between. Here are some tips for choosing car graphics for your vehicle:
Use of the Vehicle
Wild stripes, a lightning bolt, or a skull and crossbones aren’t really appropriate if you’re using your vehicle for work. You might want to be either skip car graphics all together or choose very understated designs. If it’s a company vehicle and not yours, forget it all together. Even if you’re going to use your car just to drive to and from work, do you really want to make your car standout that much? Use your judgement.
Pick One Theme
Car graphics come in all shapes and sizes and themes. Take some time to think about what theme you want to go with for your vehicle. If you’re going to go with flames, for example, be consistent and carry this theme out evenly on both sides of your car. While car graphics can be individualize your vehicle, there also should be some attempt at a cohesive design. In other words, don’t make it look like a decal store threw up on you car. If you get bored, you can always change themes later.
Consider the Possibilities
Car graphics come in all shapes and sizes. Some decals are full body designs. These are the ones that cover an entire side of your car or stretch across the hood. Designs are available in a variety of popular styles. If you’re new to the world of decals and car graphics, you might want to start by choosing from designs already available. These tend to be easy to get and easy to apply. Some of the most popular car graphics include:
• Blue/red dragon body accents
• Full body flame accents
• Dual offset racing stripes/dual racing stripes
• Eagle rear window
• American flag rear window
• Make and model decals
Customized Car Graphics
If you can’t find something that catches your eye, you can always go with customized car graphics. You can usually order custom car graphics online or directly from a shop that makes them. Before making your final decision, make sure you have seen a simulation of what your custom graphics will look like on your vehicle. Most online sources have some type of program that allows you to preview your graphics before you place your order. Popular customized car graphics include:
• Personalized text
• Favorite cartoon characters
• Unique designs
• Favorite movie characters
• Favorite animals
Car Graphics safety Tips
Regardless of what type of car graphics you choose, you want to make sure that they don’t obstruct your view. No only is this practical, but it also falls under certain regulations governing driver visibility. Most car graphics and vinyl decals can be designed so that they are transparent. It’s a similar concept to those full vehicle wraps sometimes seen on public transportation. Yet, visibility is still reduced to some degree if the graphic is more complex or has a darker coloration.
Applying Graphics to Your Car
Once you’ve gone through the process of selecting the car graphics you want to use on your car, the next step is to place them on your car so that they actually look good and stay in place. Here’s how to apply a basic car decal:
• Get a spray bottle with some water and dish detergent and clean the area where the decal or graphic will be placed.
• Dry the area with a soft cloth.
• Temporarily place the design in place with masking tape.
• Leave the protective film on the back of the decal while you move it around to see where you want to place it. The tape holds it in place while you work symmetry and lining everything up correctly.
• Slowly pull back the protective film on the backside of the decal.
• Smooth out the design while you still have the masking tape in place so that it doesn’t fall off the car while you’re tinkering with it.
• If there are air bubbles, use a knife or other flat tool to push the air bubbles out of the decal.
Car graphics can be a fun way to personalize your car, but some thought should go into selecting the graphics you intend to place on your vehicle. Think of it as a tattoo for your car. Fortunately, car graphics are a lot easier to remove than tattoos. Make sure your selections don’t interfere with your view and are appropriate based on the planned use of your vehicle. Start with pre-designed decals and graphics and work your way up to customized creations once you get use to applying and moving your car graphics.