Tips for Taking Measurements for a Vehicle Wrap

Consider how important it is to have graphics that are properly fit to the vehicle

Vehicle templates are an excellent design tool, and we use them often. Art Station Vehicle Templates are our go-to templates for noting measurements, sketching out design ideas, noting problem areas on a vehicle, and proofing partial wraps and spot graphics.

When working on larger partial to full wraps, or designs with intricate pieces, I prefer to work on custom-made templates based on photos of the customer’s vehicle. To rely on these custom templates, you must take good pictures and accurate measurements.

You can roughly sketch out the customer’s vehicle and draw measurements, but it’s easy to lose track of the points you measured. We keep a binder of common templates pre-printed out. It doesn’t have to be 100% accurate to the vehicle, but it will help you note where you measured.

For more accurate notetaking, take a moment to print out the template for the customer’s vehicle and write your measurements on it — this allows you to draw between two specific points. For consistency, I try to measure along body lines and between obvious parts that have minimal distortion.

Horizontal measurements will be more accurate in scaling the photo because there is less distortion. Be sure to take plenty of reference measurements, including windows, if they’re being wrapped.

Most vehicles have a natural curve that, on a flat photo, may appear shorter than it is. Make sure you measure vertical spaces for reference so when you’re setting up your final print files, you can be sure you’re giving yourself plenty of overlap.

For a deeper dive into creating custom templates for accuracy and efficiency, check out Charity’s wrap design article in the September ’21 issue of GRAPHICS PRO.

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Charity Jackson

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

View all articles by Charity Jackson  

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