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Laundry Lists & Lettering

One of the most frustrating things I see out on the roads is laundry lists on vehicles. A "laundry list" is a term used in the commercial wrap world to indicate a very long list of services a business is trying to call attention to on the sides and rear of the vehicle. These lists ultimately end up doing the opposite of what the company is hoping for. (stay till the end there's a great story attached to this post about a real life event!)

laundry list of lettering

As some of you know my background was in Graphic Design. Some of the classes I took was Advertising one of the coolest facts I took away from that classes stated that

Most people can only take in 7 words total when looking at a stagnate billboard- You get 6 seconds of their attention at best.

A vehicle is a "moving billboard" and so it is likely they're taking in even less. With that knowledge you need the viewer to find the point quickly. Vehicle graphics point is to solidify and build brand awareness, You want them to remember your name!

Laundry list of lettering
Laundry List + Wrap

A list like the above is overwhelming to look at, it feels very cluttered and like a lot of work to understand. With that most people will not take the time to read it. Now couple that with trying to read it while maneuvering through traffic at 30-60mph. Less is more with vehicle lettering. Ultimately most business are after lead generation from vehicle graphics, if your vehicle is hard to read because the text is tiny and overwhelming, people WILL glaze over. They're not going to remember your name and if they don't remember your name, then they're not going to call you.

Now on to the story. This story was something that our amazing friends down in Adrian Michigan who operate "Insignia Graphics" allowed us to share.

He had a customer who was a builder by trade, Rick was unable to talk him out of his laundry list on his trailer. The builder called Rick one day and stated that he had a lady he did a ton of work for; finished her basement, built a deck, changed a toilet seat, built her daughter an entire house! He showed up for the next project and he had noticed that the roof was done by someone else. He asked the customer to see what he could do better and why he missed out on that project. The lady points to his trailer and says "it doesn't say you do roofs". The builder from then forward changed his lettering to say "Building and Remodeling". Less is more. Viewers now have to call him and have a conversation to see if he can do project xyz.

You will never be able to effectively list every service you offer on your vehicle, the ultimate goal of a vehicle graphics is to have the customer think of you when they have a need that might be related. Leaving it ambiguous will result them in calling and asking. Ultimately you want your brand to be memorable so that when a customer has a project, they think of you first!

Leave the laundry lists in the laundry room.

I'll leave you with this last thought.

Here are 2 pictures of trucks that do roofing.

Laundry List verses effective branding

Which one can you read easier, and which one is more memorable?

  • 0%Falcon Roofing

  • 0%Mike's Roofing

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