Southern California Sign Blog

Los Angeles Signs | Some History on Vehicle Graphics and Advertising

Posted by Julie and Chris Ramirez on Wed, Dec 7, 2011 @ 06:12 AM

Some History on Vehicle Graphics

If you think of vehicle graphics simply as identifying marks on a mode of transport, then the concept has been around since medieval times. Family crests were painted on horse-drawn carriages and applied to horse tack to identify property and show family pride.

Starting in the 1800’s, company graphics were painted on commercial train cars to help increase exposure as they travelled the country.

By modern times, in the 1950’s, German advertisers were turning the Volkswagon Transporter into rolling billboards. It took a few decades before NASCAR sponsors began to recognize the potential each car possessed as a fast-flying advertisement. However, in the 1970’s sponsors realized value in placing vehicle graphics on the cars and began to do so.

Vintage Graphics Advertising for Vehicles

Vehicle wraps have come a long way even since the early 1990’s, when full-color printing was uncommon, expensive and considered “cutting edge”. It took hours of labor to apply text one color at a time, and using photographic images was not yet an option. 

Today’s vehicle wraps can be produced using almost any digital image. Advancements in technology have led to new types of vinyl designed specifically for doing full vehicle wraps. These materials feature air channels to prevent bubbles and microscopic glass beads that prevent the adhesive from taking hold until the panel is squeegeed to completion.

With hundreds of years of history, it’s no wonder vehicle graphics are so popular today. They allow individuals to customize their vehicle without paying an expensive custom auto shop. The effectiveness of commercial vehicle graphics has been proven. Outdoor Advertising Magazine said that outdoor mobile media billboards have a 97 percent recall rate and the American Trucking Associations noted 91 percent of the target audience noticed the text and graphics on truck advertising.

If you’re considering investing in vehicle graphics you will continue a long tradition of successful mobile advertising.

If you have any questions or need further information, please give us a call at (818) 843-9200 or visit our website at – You can also reach us by e-mail at


Topics: Vehicle Advertising Graphics, Car Graphics, Vehicle and Car Graphics