Designing a Vehicle Wrap Part 1

Ok, so maybe my client said, “not a full wrap” …. So, a half wrap?  I think it’s one of those things that she has to see to fully decide. And while I’ve done vehicle door panel decals and, in my youth(ier) days working at a sign shop, even physically applied vinyl graphics to vehicles, I’ve never designed a vehicle WRAP per se.

First thing, find a template!  I looked for way too long for a template. It is ridiculously hard to find template for a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 MEGA CAB. And it’s the Mega Cab part that just ruined my life for two days. The only company I could find who had it, Pro Vehicle Outlines, offered it based on a subscription and seeing as how I rarely do vehicle ad designs, I couldn’t see paying for an expensive subscription.  So, round and round the internet I went, looking for a template, free, or one I could buy individually. I contacted the sign company my client had chosen and they didn’t have it either.

At the end of my rope,  I decided to call Pro Vehicle Outlines, and sweet as they are, they informed me that they give the first template free.  Great!  How many days of searching did I just save you right there? They will send you the first template free. Yeehaw!

So, gleefully, with a printed copy of the template in hand, I began researching, collecting inspiration images, and then sketching ideas.

Next stop – find a tutorial on the most efficient way to work with this template.

This site has a great walk through.  At this point, I’m at  #3 and 4.  I used Photoshop CS6’s quick mask function to select my vehicle (see how to do that here).

My client lives on the other side of the country, so she took photos of her truck and sent them to me. I designed right on top of them – so really, at this point, I’m not even using my hard won template for this stage of the design. That will come soon.

This is as far as I got today. I’ve sent it off to my client for consideration and expect to have some adjustments to make. She may even want less than this half-wrap. We’ll see. My true nature has always been to over do it, then edit, edit, edit.  The challenge here is to try and create an airy spa-like feeling, consistent with her branding, on a black paint job.


I’ll iron out the rough spots after I hear from her, and then move onto using the template from Pro Vehicle Outlines, importing it into Illustrator.
That’s it for today. Stay tuned for part 2.
* UPDATE *  Part 2 is live.
Have you done vehicle wraps? Leave me some pro-tips in the comments (pretty please).


More about Julie Prescesky

Julie spends much of her time paying attention to what's happening around her. At Design Inkarnation, she's head designer, illustrator, writer and creative problem solver.

    1. Looks great! I really like the "half wrap" idea. Thanks for sharing the steps you took in this process.

    1. Great post! The half-wrap is certainly a great idea. Vehicle wraps are a great way to advertise any business, thanks for sharing!

    1. well , vehicle wraps are great ways to advertise your company without paying pouring much bucks on it … this week im going to alter my vehicle through wraps!

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