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Decisions, Decisions: Should You Repaint or Wrap Your Car?

Modern car wrapped in grey color matte vinyl

The Australian climate is unforgiving to cars.

The scorching sun combines with the salty air to wreak havoc on motor vehicle paint through a process called oxidation. This makes Australians look into repainting their cars more often than motorists in most other countries.

When it comes to giving your car an exterior makeover, you get to choose between a paint job and a car wrap. While both options can give you what you are looking for, a paint job and a wrap are totally different things.

This article will discuss the factors to consider when making the choice to either paint or wrap your car.

What Is a Car Wrap?

A wrap refers to a single large decal or series of decals placed directly over a vehicle to change its appearance. The major difference between a wrap and a paint job is that the decals can be easily removed.

Car wraps, therefore, allow you to experiment with different designs a lot more often than painting would.

Why Should You Repaint or Wrap Your Car?

There are multiple reasons why you might want to change your vehicle’s exterior appearance. Nonetheless, the following are some of the most common ones.

To Change the Vehicle’s Appearance

Looking at the same car every day for years might start wearing on you. However, you will be stuck with it if you don’t have the cash to upgrade.

In this scenario, spicing things up with a new exterior makes a lot of sense. A new paint job or vinyl coat will make you feel like you have a different car.

Looking for a Custom Look

Custom looks are appealing to most people due to the element of uniqueness they give the car.

If you are tired of the generic look every other car has, then customizable paint and vinyl wraps will help bring your vision into fruition.

Ageing Paint Job

If you have developed a tight bond to your car due to the numerous experiences you have had with it, chances are you wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Nonetheless, all those days in the sun quickly add up and you might start noticing that your vehicle’s exterior is showing signs of ageing. When this happens, a paint job or car wrap will help make the car look as good as new.

Protecting your Investment

If you just got a new vehicle and are looking to keep it in that condition for a long time, applying an extra coat of paint or wrapping it will ensure that it retains its value if you decide to sell it.

Wrapping v. Painting

Given that both a paint job and car wrap can spruce up your car’s exterior, which option should you go for? Consider the following factors:

1. Uniqueness

For someone looking to have a unique or custom look, wrapping is the best option. This is because vinyl wraps come in a much wider array of colours and finishes than car paint does. Moreover, custom auto paint is quite expensive.

Additionally, if you are a business owner with a fleet of company cars, wraps allow you to achieve that custom look without costing you an arm and a leg.

2. Signage

For your business cars, you require some type of signage. This ranges from your name and logo to your contact information.

Many times, painting produces excellent signage. However, if there is an error in the planning process, the results will not come out as you anticipate. Rectifying such mistakes can be quite costly.

With car wraps, however, you can get a digital image before the actual printing so you can see what it would look like after the process. This allows you to make the necessary adjustments if necessary before the process starts.

3. Ease of Removal

A paint job is permanent. Thus, removing it will come at a cost. Wraps, however, allow you to have all the fun you want with the vehicle’s exterior, without having an impact on the vehicle’s actual paint.

4. Costs

The intricate nature of a paint job plus the cost of auto paint makes painting a lot more expensive than wrapping a car.

Wrapping a car is not a straightforward task either, as it requires expertise. However, it makes use of affordable materials, thus bringing down the entire cost significantly.

This is especially relevant if you plan on having a fleet of cars worked on.

5. Time Taken

For business owners, especially those in the transport industry or those who rely on their fleet for the active running of their business, having one car less means loss of productivity.

A paint job usually takes longer to complete than car wrapping. Thus, if you cannot afford to take a lot of days off work, you should consider wrapping the car.

6. Maintenance

Keeping your paint job in top condition takes a lot of work. This means constant washing and waxing. With a wrapped car, however, all you have to do is wash and drive off.

Additionally, with a paint job, you always have to be on the lookout for scratches and other types of damage.

With vinyl wraps, however, any damage is usually absorbed by the vinyl coat which is easy and cheap to repair. Moreover, the underlying paint coat remains unscathed.

7. Decorating Windows

Obviously, you cannot paint the windows. However, you can wrap windows. If you have a design in mind that includes covering the windows, then you know what to go for.

Make the Right Choice

A nice custom paint can have your car looking gorgeous. Nevertheless, so can a wrap job. The difference, therefore, comes in practicality. Wrapping allows you to be more flexible in your options in addition to keeping your costs low.

Are you looking to wrap your car?

SmiLee Design has hooked up numerous business and car enthusiasts in New South Wales with slick designs for their brand or aesthetic needs.

We customise solutions to meet your specific needs. Get a free consultation today, and let’s get started.

Business in the Front, Business in the Back: 7 Tips for Designing Company T-Shirts

The t-shirt is a wardrobe staple that never goes out of style. That’s why the average adult owns at least 30 shirts.

Designing a custom company shirt is a great way to create uniformity among employees. It also helps to boost brand awareness and promote your business to potential customers.

So, where to get started on the design process? Read on for 7 smart and creative tips for designing company t-shirts.

1. Define Your Brand

Company shirts should always follow your branding guidelines. So, start by determining the concept of your design and how it relates to your brand.

It helps to think about your existing company signage and print marketing materials. You want to try to keep everything on-brand to stay consistent.

The t-shirt design should include your brand colours, logo, and slogan. You also want to use the same text and font style for your shirt design.

Think about the layout and if you plan to use up space on both the front and back of the shirt. Larger images work best on the back of the shirt for visibility.

If you’re creating a custom design, you can go with a company that also offers graphic design services. Check to see if this gets included in the price of the t-shirts. You also won’t have to worry about converting any files when going this route.

If you’re working with a graphic designer, be sure they give you the right artwork files. T-shirt printers will likely need a vector format so they can make any needed edits. Working with a graphic designer may also add to your turnaround time and project cost.

2. Consider Your Style of Business

When creating a shirt design concept, it helps to think about how you want to portray your business. This also includes how you want your target customer to view your business.

Business shirts for restaurants can be bold and eye-catching with colourful designs. Landscaping shirts often look best in natural colours like green or blue.

Professional services are often more minimal in design. A black and white colour palette is both simple and sophisticated.

Remember that certain colours portray different emotions. Blue evokes feelings of trust. Orange and Yellow are cheerful while creating warmth.

You also want to make sure your shirt printer has all the right colour codes for your design. It helps to give them the exact Pantone to colour match.

3. Set a Budget

You’ll want to set a budget for your business t shirts before you start collecting printer quotes. Start by determining the number of employees who will need shirts.

You also want to account for extra shirts for new hires or shirts that get damaged or lost. Some businesses also prefer to sell their t-shirts as merchandise.

This is a great way to boost sales on a website or in-store. Branded t-shirts also make for great promotional gifts for top customers.

Once you have an idea of quantity order you can also determine how many sizes you’ll need. Some printers also have minimum order requirements to be aware of. With higher order numbers, you’ll likely get a lower price per shirt.

Price per shirt will also vary depending on the fabric and style you choose. Most shirt designers go with a crew neck, polo, v neck, tank, or long sleeves. Both cotton or synthetic blended fabrics are popular, depending on your printing needs.

4. Think About a Marketing Message

Company t-shirts are not only for bringing the team together and creating uniformity. You can also use them as a smart marketing tool to help boost brand awareness.

Do this by including your website and contact information on the back of your shirts. You can also promote social media handles if it fits your business.

You may also want to print a creative call to action on your shirts. This can be an incentive to get people to contact you. Free offers are often an effective marketing message.

5. Pick a Printing Style

Business logo shirts have different printing options, depending on the look you want. Screen, vinyl, and digital are the most common types of t-shirt printing.

Screen Printing

Screen printing gets favoured for offering quality at a cost-efficient price point. This makes it a great option for larger orders. Screen printing also works best on cotton material.

This printing style involves making a screen for every colour you use in your design.  Then the screens get placed on top of each other during the printing process. If your design uses many different colours, this can increase the cost.

Vinyl Printing

Vinyl is a durable material that stands up great to many washes without fading. It gets applied to the shirts with a heat transfer process.

Vinyl printing works well for most shirt fabric types, including polyester blends. It also creates a nice texture on the t-shirt’s design. Vinyl can also become expensive with designs that use many colours.

Digital Printing

Also called direct-to-garment printing, this style uses ink to print on the t-shirt. It’s a great printing option for shirts that are 100% cotton.

Digital printing is great for highlighting specific design details. As the printing method can transfer these details in a perfect way. Yet, a black or dark coloured shirt may not show the design as well.

6. Check Your Artwork

It’s smart to always check any artwork proofs before going to print. Have your colleagues, friends, and family look them over too. This way you can be sure to catch any spelling errors or incorrect contact information.

There is often some back and forth between you and the printer to get the perfect design. So you want to be sure looking closely at the final artwork before approving. You can also get a sample made to see the shirt in person beforehand.

7. Expand Your Collection over Time

As your business grows, so can your company t-shirt collection. You can evolve your t-shirt design or add in some different style options. This can be tank tops for summer or long sleeved shirts during colder months.

You can also use a new design to promote an upcoming event or change in the company. Limited edition holiday-themed shirts are another idea.

Get Inspired with Custom Company T-Shirts

Company t-shirts are a great way to promote your business and uniform your team.  With different printing methods, you can make a great shirt design for any budget.

Got a t-shirt project you’re ready to start working on? Learn more about how a free consultation can help you develop some great design ideas.

It’s a Sign! Your Essential Guide to Effective Store Signage

store signage

Did you know that nearly 76 per cent of customers enters a new store based on business signage? For your business to be noticed and attract foot traffic, it has to have the right look.

Having a competitive sign at the top of your store’s door is a sure way of attracting customers. A storefront sign can inspire and influence consumer decisions in ways you least expected.

Therefore, as you plan on starting that business, here is a comprehensive guide on making your store signage effective.

Best Practices for Retail Signage

Keep It Simple

It is better to put one message on a single sign than to use one sign to pass a series of messages. Customers tend to ignore any sign that contains too much information on it.

The best way to know if your sign is simple is to use the five-second rule. If you can convey the main themes within five seconds, then your sign is perfect. However, if it takes longer than five seconds to show the central theme, then your sign needs to be shorter.

Call to Action

Every great advertisement has to allow customers to do something. Since your sign is an advertisement, it has to offer a directive on what a customer should do. Therefore, it has to contain a simple goal and should communicate directly to the target customer.

Be Specific

Your primary objective should be to make your brand different and unique. Therefore, when designing your signage, remember to include relevant information about your product. Also, you should indicate specific information that directly relates to your store.

With the above practices, you are now ready to develop shop signs for your store and ensure that you can attract excellent foot traffic. However, for you to experience significant profits, here is the essential store signage guide.

Store Signage Should Express Your Style

Your sign’s imagery, colours, and typography send important information about your business. It also shows what customers should expect when they enter your store. Therefore, when designing the sign, it is essential to pick themes that are relevant and appropriate for your business.

Additionally, it is essential to avoid mismatching and glaring styles that don’t reflect your business’s conduct. If you want customers to regard you as a serious seller, then your handling and presentation should give that opportunity.

When designing your signage, ensure to put your business interests first and work towards making the business great. Also, let your sign direct clients towards wanting to work with you rather than putting them off.

Make It Legible

Legibility is the first and most crucial step towards building a storefront sign. You have to ensure that anyone passing by the sign can pick essential information in a matter of seconds. For instance, if your store location is near a motorway or a busy street, the road users should be able to see and understand your sign at a glance.

Therefore, ensure every element has a visual clarity and it adds value to your business expectations. If your business logo is not transparent and has little ambiguous details, then it’s time to acquire a new logo. However, if you like it the way it is, then it would work better if you avoid including it in the signage.

To guarantee legibility of your signage, ensure there is enough spacing between elements. Additionally, your typography choice matters a lot in making the sign influential. Avoid decorating or using too much information on the sign.

Stand Out

Instead of making a storefront sign that blends with next door neighbours, you should think of something that will make your business stand out. Make your colours unique and different from the colours on your next door stores.

Having extra features in your signage is also another way of making it stand out. If you are not able to use colours and wording to completely design a unique sign, then you should include what others overlook.

Remember, there are several types of signage and they all play different roles in promoting your business operation. Try experimenting with a few examples of signage and then select the sign that attracts the highest number of customers.

Persuasive

Persuasive signage influences the behaviour of customers through convincing imagery and language. You can use this type of signage to promote and advertise your products. You can also use the sign to influence customer flow.

Additionally, this advertising technique gives retailers the opportunity to communicate incredible details about specific products.

Informational

Informational signage takes your customer’s attention from the product and gives them directions on how to navigate your store. Make it easy for your customer to find what they are looking for in your store.

Informational signage does not need to contain a lot of information. However, it has to be precise, accurate, and descriptive. Therefore, you don’t need to have logos or imagery on informational signage.

Instead, use bold text with visible theme colours. Make it as specific and straightforward as possible. Ensure that customers can know its content without having to spend more time analyzing its content.

Outdoor

The outdoor signage is more crucial than any other signage that you might have. This is the one that brings people to you, especially customers who don’t know much about you.

The outdoor signage should say who you are and what you are offering. Also, it should persuade customers to buy something from you.

Since its purpose is to draw people closer to you, finding a strategic place for the sign is critical. Ensure it is at a place where there is massive traffic and it’s as visible as possible.

Best Signage Practices

Your store signage determines the growth of your business. Therefore, when making a sign, ensure every detail counts and that it adds value to your business.

Do your homework right and make your sign exceptional in all ways. For more details on how to make signage for your store, you can contact us through our blog.

Car Wrapping 101: Everything You Need to Know About Car Wraps

With the rise of technology, there are now multiple ways to advertise your business. But car wrapping is a must-have for any business with company vehicles. Not only does car wrapping work as a mobile form of advertisement, but it always works as a way to let your existing customers and potential future customers know that you’re a reliable and professional business.

If you’re not sure what car wrapping is exactly, we’re here to help. For everything you need to know about car wrapping and why your business needs it, check out this guide. Continue reading to learn more.

What Is Car Wrapping?

A car wrap is a vinyl decal or series of vinyl decals that attach to the body frame of a car. These decals can take a simple car and drastically change the way it looks to better fit your business. There are multiple design options ranging from matte to glossy, and much more.

Vinyl car wrapping is different from a new paint job because the vinyl decals are not permanent. If proper maintenance is kept up while the decals are in place, removing them is simple and won’t affect the paint on the car.

Why Should You Get Your Vehicle Wrapped?

Many businesses are taking advantage of car wrapping as a means of advertisement. When your employees are out on the job and driving the streets, others on the road will see the decals and will have a general idea of what your business is. It’s a good idea to include a phone number on the wrapping so that potential future customers have a way of contacting your business.

This also works well when your company vehicles are at a job site. Neighbours, co-workers, or other nearby companies who want your business will see your vehicle completing a job for someone they know and might inquire about your services.

For instance, if you own a carpet cleaning company, your wrapped vehicle might be seen by a neighbour while cleaning a residential home. The neighbour will see what services you offer and might ask about having their carpets cleaned as well. This is very unlikely to happen if your employees are driving around in a plain white van.

What Is the Installation Process Like?

Before car wrapping is installed on your vehicle, the vehicle is washed and detailed. A clay bar is used in the detailing process to remove any debris from the surface of the paint. Another form of removing any debris from the surface is by using an isopropyl alcohol solution to clean the surface followed by the use of an air compressor.

Now, the headlights, taillights, and bumpers are removed so the wrapping can be placed onto the car. This makes it easier for the wrapping to be installed as closely as possible. Another way to have this done without removing these car parts is by using a tool to cut the wrapping out around the bumpers and lights.

A heat gun is then used to apply the wrapping onto the vehicle. This makes the wrapping fit perfectly around the edges of the car. A squeegee is then used to remove any air pockets.

Depending on the type of car wrapping that you choose, multiple layers may need to be applied. The whole process usually takes a couple of days. Each individual wrapping job time depends on specific customer orders.

What Condition Should My Car Be In?

When wanting to have car wrap applied to your vehicle, it’s important that the paint job on the vehicle is in good condition. If the paint on your vehicle is chipping, the wrapping won’t adhere to it neatly.

Any chipping paint, dents, or scratches should be fixed before having car wrap applied to a vehicle. Car wrapping does not work as a way to cover up these imperfections, and they’ll still be visible after wrapping.

How Long Does the Wrapping Last?

When maintained properly, the car wrap lasts around 5 years. To maintain the wrap, keep your vehicle out of harsh weather conditions and outdoor elements as much as possible. For example, parking your vehicle in direct sunlight each day causes the vinyl to break down faster.

Instead, consider parking your vehicle in a shaded area or in a garage. Cleaning the vehicle is also important when maintaining the car wrap. Keep your vehicle clean and out of the sun for the longest lasting car wrap.

How Do I Remove the Wrapping?

Unlike a new paint job, car wrapping is not permanent and is removable when desired. The process usually takes only a couple of hours and if the wrap was well-maintained, it will peel off quite simply. If the wrapping was not well cared for, the process might take a bit longer.

Your vehicle will go through another washing and any leftover sticky residue from the wrapping is removed.

Benefits of Car Wrapping

With car wrapping, you have a long-lasting advertisement for your business at a low cost. Your paint is protected with the wrapping, and you won’t have to get another paint job. And unlike with a paint job, car wrapping offers you designs and styles not available with paint.

You also have the option of only wrapping certain sections of your vehicle. If you’d only like the hood, one side, or just the back wrapped, that is an option for you. With all the benefits of car wrapping, what’s stopping you from having your company vehicles wrapped today?

Contact us today to get a free consultation and begin brainstorming some unique ideas!