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Hints & Tips

In this roundup, we ask 13 experts in vehicle graphics, 5 questions. The answers may surprise you and provide insightful information for the next time you decide to wrap your van.
Think that preparing graphics for your vehicle is time consuming and near impossible? Well, it just might not be as complicated as you may think. We ask 5 simple questions to 13 experts in designing and applying decals on vehicles. We feel their answers and the reasons behind them are very insightful and should assist with a plan of action for when the time comes to decorate your van… making it that marketing machine you have always wanted.
Questions we asked 1. “Most common mistake clients make when designing their own artwork for their vehicle?” 2. “How many main colours do you recommend for vehicle livery?” 3. “Would you recommend removable graphics? If Yes!, why? & If No!, why?” 4. “Where on the vehicle would you recommend placing the businesses telephone number & why?” 5. “What is your recommended ratio between design and text? ” Now let’s hear what the experts have to say on the matter! Note: We have also included at the very bottom of the page an infographic on the “10 Biggest Sign Writing Mistakes” … just for a little informative fun.
Stuart.L.Crawford – www.inkbotdesign.com
1. Not designing their artwork in vector format. Vector is based on mathematical values, so artwork can be scaled from the size of a stamp to the size of a billboard without getting distorted or blurry. The more common format is Raster (or bitmap) which will blur and become stretched/distorted if enlarged – not ideal if you’re wanting to look professional to the world!

2. There’s no right answer here, ultimately it depends on the individual Brand. Someone like Coca-Cola can get away with their red and white, but Google for example may lose recognition if they dropped to a monotone approach. If your Brand has one primary colour, then go for that, if there’s a palette, consider how many bring value to the design.

3. Normally I work with small businesses and startups, where a personal vehicle is wrapped with their Branded livery, so a removable vinyl is advised. If the vehicle has been purchased solely as a commercial vehicle, then there’s no problem in a more permanent solution.

4. If the telephone number is the first point of contact for a client/customer, then make it prominent. Put it on the back, on the bumper, so that if you’re stuck in traffic, the people behind you know how to get in touch. Ultimately, save the most important focal points for the most important business call-to-action.

5. Again, there’s no right answer here. It depends on your Brand, your message and your Strategy. Oftentimes, less is more, so I’d suggest starting with a very simple design, focusing on the key elements and developing outwards should you need.

logo of graphics company inkbot design logo

Signrite – www.sign-rite.co.uk
1. Too much information.

2. Magic 3 – black and 2 accent colours depending on colour of vehicle and assuming it’s cut-vinyl not digital print.

3. Yes, very good for leased vehicles.  Buy the best quality for staying on your vehicle. Rounded corners and remove and wash underneath periodically.

4. Rear doors and passenger side – where pedestrians/ following vehicles can see it.

5. Graphics 75%; text 25%.

logo of sign rite graphics company

Do You Understand The Law When It Comes to Smoking in Vans?

In the UK there are now laws against smoking in vans that are used for work activities. Different parts of the UK have different regulations with Scotland being the first country in the Union to enforce these restrictions. With each part of the UK having subtle differences when it comes to smoking in work vans it is important to understand these, it could cost you or your company a fair bit.

Make Sure To Be Fully Compliant

Whether you drive a HGV a Transit or a small car and it is used for work purposes you are in danger of breaking the law if you choose to smoke in these vehicles. Your vehicle should also have a no smoking sign on display within each compartment that a person can sit. This sign needs to have a minimum size of 75mm in diameter and clearly indicate that the vehicle is not to be smoked in. The ashtray should be removed if there is one and a smoke free policy introduced to staff. Vehicles conforming to these standards will be compliant no matter what area of the UK they are driving in.

When Can You Smoke in A Company Vehicle?

There are a couple of exceptions to the law that would allow a work vehicle to be smoked in, but they are quite vague and can be a little in the grey area of when it comes to proof and responsibility. It would be up to you or your company to prove that the vehicle falls into these exceptions.

A company car used solely by one employee is an exception only if the driver never has to pick up any employees to go to meetings or the car is used by another employee if the main driver of the car is on holiday or off sick for the day. Blatantly speaking the car can only be driven by one employee.

A privately owned car used occasionally for company business is also exempt from the regulations – occasionally is the key word here and like mentioned above it is upto the company to prove the car is only used occasionally.

A vehicle which has a roof that can be removed will not have to be smoke free when the roof is completely stowed or removed.

Variations Between England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland

In England the no-smoking signs are required to have the no-smoking symbol at least 70mm in diameter. In Wales and Northern Ireland the requirement is for a minimum 75mm diameter symbol. Scotland has no minimum signage requirement. Scotland – In Scotland a slightly differing view with regards to company cars. The Scottish Executive has advised that if you use a car, your own or a company car, for business purposes, it will be exempt unless it is a private hire car. This includes situations when the vehicle is used by more than one person.


The penalty for not displaying a sign is a fixed-penalty notice of £200 reduced to £150 if paid within 15 days. If the fine is not paid and you are convicted in court the maximum fine is £1000.

Individuals caught breaking the law can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £50 reduced to £30 if paid within 15 days or a maximum fine of £200 on conviction.

Companies have a duty to prevent smoking in vehicles classed as smoke free. The penalty for this is a maximum fine of £2500 on conviction. Compliance requires that reasonable steps are taken by a company to enforce the rules.


Following the advice above should ensure company vehicles are compliant throughout the UK saving both companies and employees from falling foul of the regulations regarding smoking in business vehicles across the United Kingdom.