popcorn van

Let's Talk Shop: Partial Vehicle Wrap Sales

Charity Jackson is owner of Visual Horizons Custom signs, a full-service commercial sign company based in Modesto, Calif.  She has been in business since 1995 and specializes in vehicle wraps, design and project management and workflow. You can visit her Web site at www.vhsigns.com.

Selling a customer a wrap job begins by asking a lot of questions. Through the process of interviewing the customer to determine their needs, we focus on how much of the vehicle will have graphics. Coverage will dictate price and will also determine the parameters of the design.

Coverage Options

Graphics on a vehicle are typically broken down as spot graphics, a full wrap or a partial wrap. Spot graphics can be individual cut letters and smaller printed graphics that are placed around the vehicle to create an effective advertisement, with minimal coverage.

A full wrap, as the name implies, means complete coverage of the entire vehicle, with or without the roof. Shorter vehicles where the roof is visible and vehicles with sloping roofs are often also covered. Most of our full wraps on larger vehicles do not include the roof but the rest of the vehicle receives full coverage.

A partial wrap is typically considered a wrap that covers 25 to 75 percent of a vehicle. This is a broad range and offers plenty of options for coverage that can also meet the client's budget. On one end of the spectrum we may just wrap the tailgate and add in some spot graphics. On the other end the coverage may be what we call a ¾ wrap and it covers the sides of a vehicle from the front doors, around the back.

Gather Info

As a paying customer, getting your vehicle wrapped can be a bit overwhelming for someone who has never checked into it before. We do our best to guide the customer through the process by asking them a lot of questions to help focus their intentions for the advertisement.

We explain the coverage options first because this will typically lead into questions about their budget for the project. We also discuss how long they plan to leave the graphics on the vehicle as this may dictate what materials we choose for the wrap.

Another important question is what they hope to get out of the advertisement. Are they simply branding the vehicle to look professional or are they wanting to sell a product or draw attention to a service with the wrap? The focus of the advertisement will often change how we plan out the graphics and coverage.


Very few of our customers come in with an exact budget amount in mind. Often while discussing intentions for the advertisement we narrow down the coverage, which then determines the price.

Once we have a price range, the customer may add or subtract from there to meet the amount they can afford. Technically everyone really does have a budget, they just may not know it yet.

A quick way to determine price ranges based on coverage is to have highlighted templates on hand that show coverage and pricing options. We keep a few sheets at the front counter for different sized vans to show coverage options, from spot graphics to a full wrap, and we note the pricing for each option.

This is especially helpful for customers who are just starting the wrap process and are gathering their own information. They may not be ready to get into specifics and by showing them the price range options you can quickly get them the information they need without spending too much time at the front counter.


We do have customers that come to us with their own artwork and many times this determines the coverage of the graphics. Some of our larger companies, or government agencies, have an in-house design staff so they give us artwork that is already setup for a vehicle. Other times they will have a general design, and we fit it to the vehicle for them.

Good partial wrap design incorporates the color of the car into the design. So instead of the graphics looking like blocks of color on the vehicle, they look more fluid with the existing background color.

Partial wraps should also be finished to a swish or to an element of the logo or design. Avoid ending the graphics in a hard line, which can look blocky and unfinished.

A company that has invested in creating a solid brand for its business will often indicate the parameters for the wrap so that it conveys the brand effectively. We take their design and work to fit it to the vehicle, while remaining consistent with the rest of their advertising.

Whether a customer is doing a full wrap or a partial wrap, we like to proof their wrap on a photo of the actual vehicle. When the vehicle isn't available for photos ahead of time we may use a template, but proofing on a photo of the actual vehicle allows us to show the customer, quite precisely, how the finished wrap will look.


We have quite a few fleet accounts and a majority of them incorporate partial vehicle wraps. This coverage may or may not be dictated by budget, more often it seems to be about consistency across the fleet of vehicles.

Some vehicles receive a partial wrap as a form of identification when arriving on a job site. On others the company will change up the coverage and graphics depending on the task that vehicle is used for—sales, product support, installation, etc.

For some of our fleets there is a consistent design that we use on all the vehicles, but the coverage varies depending on the type of vehicle we're wrapping. For example, an ongoing fleet we service is a local solar company and we've wrapped multiple trucks, cars and semi-truck cabs. Each one maintains a consistent blue swish with their logo as a spot graphic. On a few of their vans we've also incorporated larger images.


You may have seen the advertisements for the Wrapify program in the magazine. Since we're talking about partial wrap sales, the Wrapify program ties in as they offer a unique opportunity for certified installers to install panel, partial and full wraps.

I had the opportunity to discuss the program a little with Wrapify co-founder James Heller. He indicated that “Wrapify is an ad platform enabled by technology," Heller says. "Our platform pays everyday consumer drivers to have advertising on their car, while providing ad brands with the data they need to track and measure campaigns.”

Heller noted that the advertisements are on the vehicles for a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of 52 weeks. He said that the average ad is on the vehicle for 12 weeks. The installations are usually one vehicle at a time but Heller said that depending on a shop's capacity, they typically send multiple vehicles to a shop.

Installers must be Avery Dennison, 3M or PDAA certified at the minimum to be eligible for a Wrapify Certification. Heller says that installers can learn more about the program at http://install.wrapify.com.