Wrap It Up: Keys to Building Wraps for Large-Format Branding

Experiential Innovation

Four tips for creating wraps that deliver high-impact messaging on virtually any building.

If your place of business is in a high-traffic area or is in clear view of a busy highway, a building wrap can turn it into an instant billboard. A wide range of products and substrates make it possible to wrap a wide variety of structures for a dramatic impact.

To create an effective wrap that promotes your business, remember the “four Cs” of building wraps.

1. Check the surroundings

Location, building size, nearby signage or buildings, and prospective audience are all factors that go into planning your wrap, says Mark Gibson, president of Gibson Graphics Group, Inc., in York, Pennsylvania. Your wrap should work with other features in the area, but also be laser-targeted to the intended audience, using appropriate image and font sizes, he adds.

2. Consider the surface

Today, virtually any surface can be wrapped, ranging from rough brick and stucco to smooth surfaces like glass and steel. Products like 3M™ Perforated Window Marking Film can be printed so they do not affect visibility from interior to exterior when placed over windows, while products like 3M™ Scotchcal™ Textured Wall IJ8624 can be printed with very sharp resolution graphics and adhere to rough surfaces. Choosing the proper surface for your application will enhance both its appearance and longevity, Gibson says.

3. Create a clean design

With so much surface area, it can be tempting to try to include many messages and complex graphics on the wrap. That’s almost never a good idea, Gibson says. Aim for simplicity and bold impact. Include essential information like dates and locations for events and simple brand messages for more awareness-building efforts.

When sourcing graphics, choose images with a minimum 600 dpi resolution so they reproduce crisply in large formats. Typography should be large and clear enough to be easily read by the intended audience, Gibson says. So, it needs to be the appropriate size and height whether your audience is on foot in front of your building or driving on a highway hundreds of feet away.

4. Comply with local regulations

Building wraps are typically governed by the same rules and ordinances as signage in cities and municipalities, so be sure to understand how to remain in compliance. An installer who is experienced working in the area can keep you in the know, Gibson says. And be aware that some areas will require you to install the signage at night or during specific hours to ensure that the installation doesn’t affect traffic or disrupt local businesses.

Using a building wrap can be a high-impact branding and marketing tool, but it’s important to understand the intricacies of designing and installing them. Done well, you can share your message in a flexible format.

Explore simple, effective ways to build your brand and business with graphics.

If you do not already work with one, connect with a branding graphics professional by entering your zip code and searching for a professional near you.


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