NVS Design, a vehicle graphics and Web design firm in Indianapolis, first launched two years ago when even the most established businesses were failing, but CEO Chad Brittian was up for the challenge. Brittian, who has always been an avid car lover, started in sign design right after college, but designing for wayfinding and environmental signage left him feeling stifled creatively. When Brittian learned about the vehicle graphics market, he knew it was a perfect match.
This wrap, which was installed by Dream Street Graphics, highlights NVS Design’s creative philosophy.
“Starting a company probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do with the economy being what it was, but I decided to go for it,” Brittian laughs. “I have always loved cars ever since I was a little boy, so once I learned about the potential for this side of the industry, I started gaining as much experience as I could.”
Poor economy or not, NVS Design has managed to carve its own niche in the Indianapolis market and now boasts clients all the way from California to Florida.
NVS Design prides itself on creative, contemporary graphics, Brittian says, which can sometimes feel like a novelty in the Midwest, where designs typically fall along the more traditional side.
The NVS Design office is located in the artsy Broadripple Village in Indianapolis. Pictured left to right: Chad Brittian, Summer Ullrich and Jaqualynn Ranck.
“We’re not married to certain design tactics or looks,” Brittian says. “I think it gives us the opportunity to be outside of the box because there’s really no box for us.”
But while NVS Design may focus on that edgy look, it doesn’t lose sight that the ultimate goal of a vehicle wrap is to promote a brand or product, Brittian says. After all, if the message is lost, the vehicle wrap isn’t doing its job.
“At times, it’s a hard balance,” Brittian admits. “You want the vehicle graphic to look really cool, but sometimes the message can get lost. We really try to use colors or drop shadows to separate the imperative information, such as a logo, website or phone number, from the design. We do a lot of strokes or double strokes around words and make sure the kerning between the lettering is easy to read, so it doesn’t all blend together.”
When working on a vehicle wrap, NVS Design tries to be mindful of the vehicle’s specifications, especially considering the inconsistencies that often come with the templates, Brittian says. Those small variations can make a big difference when it comes to installation, but keeping them in mind during the design process can save a lot of headaches in the end.
“Working on vehicle wraps is a lot different from your average design work because you have to be conscious of where the handles hit and where the windows hit,” Brittian says. “You have to be aware of any modifications to the actual body of the vehicle. One of the things we learned when we first started was no matter how correct the template is, it’s never really dead on; it’s usually off a little bit.”
NVS Design created its own wrap to take to client meetings. The installation was done by Dream Street Graphics. Chad Brittian says the NVS Design car has been a powerful selling tool because clients can see how effective vehicle wraps are.
To be sure NVS Design’s graphics properly reproduce, Brittian takes an open communication approach with each client, which has helped his firm stay on target with its clients, he says. If any vehicle modifications or measurements should be noted, Brittian makes an effort to know about it ahead of time.
“On vehicle graphics, communication is especially an area you can’t cut,” Brittian says. “You have to make sure you do all the appropriate steps. If not, the wrap won’t turn out like it should, which would be a huge waste of materials and time because rendering the graphics for the printing in the first place takes a long time, and then if it’s printed incorrectly, you have to redo it. A mistake can end up costing you a lot of money.”
As for the future, Brittian is optimistic about what it holds for NVS Design. Despite launching a new company in an economy that hasn’t been kind to small businesses, NVS Design continues to grow its client base and finds new ways to expand. Eventually, Brittian plans to move to a new office space that would allow him to take on both in-house printing and installation, which is currently handled by Dream Street Graphics, a vehicle graphics shop in Indianapolis. While Brittian is enjoying learning that side of the industry from his partnership, growth is always on his mind.
“I want to expand the company as much as possible,” Brittian says. “I’m elated at the success we’ve had in the past year. I couldn’t have imagined things would have grown as much as they have, especially with some of the new clients we have coming in.”