Emergency Vehicle Graphics: The Dos and Don’ts


If you’re looking to add some emergency vehicle graphics to your fleet, you’ll want to make sure you do it the right way. There are a lot of dos and don’ts when it comes to these types of graphics, and if you don’t follow them, you could end up with a disaster on your hands. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the dos and don’ts of emergency vehicle graphics so that you can be sure to create a look that is both safe and effective.

Do Create High Visibility Graphics

When it comes to your emergency response vehicles, you need to be sure that everyone on the road can recognize them from afar. That’s why having high visibility graphics is paramount – they ensure that your message can be easily seen in any environment so that you have the best chance at achieving your goals of warning and responding quickly. Choosing bright and bold colors and shapes will provide the most effective graphic designs for maximum visibility. Whether it’s a hazard warning, medical provider indication, or even just a business logo, driving with clarity and purpose helps every driver on the road become aware of you and other situations.

Don’t Overcrowd Your Graphics

Graphics are instrumental in delivering messages that evoke emotions and capture attention. When done tastefully, graphics can provide a powerful impact; however, the danger of overcrowding the design with too much text or images can often cause it to lose its intended meaning. Therefore, when creating a graphic for your audience, strive to keep it simple – removing any extraneous elements so your message can be delivered in an easy-to-understand and concise way. This will ensure your viewer not only grasps the main idea quickly but also remains engaged.

Do Use Reflective Materials

Reflective materials are invaluable for emergency vehicle graphics, as its reflective properties safely capture the attention of oncoming drivers even in reduced visibility conditions. This increases safety for both the emergency vehicle and other drivers on the road, ensuring they can all remain safe during times of darkness or inclement weather. With reflective materials, those working in an emergency appear more visible, thus more attentive to their surroundings than non-reflective vehicles, proving it likely to save lives in a variety of situations.

Don’t Forget to Check Local Laws and Regulations

Before customizing or designing emergency vehicle graphics, it is important to check into the regulations set by your state and local municipalities. There may be restrictions on materials or color schemes that are appropriate for use on emergency vehicles, so making sure you understand those limitations beforehand can save a lot of time and trouble. Additionally, make sure you are aware of any safety standards that need to be taken into account; for example, reflective decals may be required for certain types of vehicles. Doing some research ahead of time can ensure that you know exactly what needs to go into your design process.

Use Uniformed Graphics on all Emergency Vehicles

Consistency in graphic design elements across emergency vehicles is an important step towards building a unified and recognizable aesthetic. Utilizing the same graphics and designs on emergency vehicles helps ensure that the community has an easy way to identify emergency personnel when they arrive on scene. It also creates a professional, unified look which is instantly recognizable by all. While it is understandable to want a variety of visual designs for personal preference, keeping all essential elements the same will result in much more successful branding for any organization.

Do Use Proper Placement

In an emergency situation, making sure first responders can be seen from everywhere is essential. By properly placing graphics on the sides of vehicles, it ensures that no matter where a person stands or what direction they drive in, the message will be visible and clear. The right type of marker or decal can get emergency vehicles noticed in any ramped up situation, making transportation to and from the scene much smoother and more efficient. Everything from brightly colored reflective kits to dimensional letters can be used on a vehicle’s exterior to maximize visibility. With the proper placement of emergency vehicle graphics, anyone hearing the siren can quickly spot the vehicle and make way.

Don’t Forget to Consider the Size and Shape

When it comes to designing emergency vehicle graphics, size matters. That’s because larger vehicles have more area on their bodies for graphics, which can make a huge impact on identification and response times. Meanwhile, smaller cars need to take into account their limited surface area. To maximize visibility and effectiveness, simple graphics are often the most effective route. Before designing any vehicle’s graphics, be sure to consider both the size and shape of the vehicle in order to create an optimal solution that gets the job done effectively and efficiently.

Don’t Forget About Branding

A car wrap is an effective and efficient way to advertise your company, but often the presence of proper branding on the vehicle itself is overlooked. Don’t forget any logos or slogans that need to appear in order to supplement the other informational elements of your car wrap. Not only will this additional branding increase visibility, but potentially evoke a deeper and more meaningful emotional response from potential customers. This can be accomplished by both picking the right colors and font sizes of the logos/slogans, as well as making sure they are strategically placed on the vehicle so that onlookers take notice.


If you’re looking to add emergency vehicle graphics to your fleet, it’s important that you do it the right way. There are a lot of dos and don’ts when it comes to these types of graphics, and if you don’t follow them, you could end up with a disaster on your hands. In this blog post, we discussed the dos and don’ts of emergency vehicle graphics so that you can be sure to create a look that is both safe and effective. If you need help designing or installing your emergency vehicle graphics, contact Graphic Designs International today. We would be happy to assist you in creating a look for your fleet that is both eye-catching and compliant with all local regulations.


Happy designing!


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