The Importance of Colour and Fonts in Vehicle Livery

Do the colours and fonts on your vehicle convey the right message about your brand?

Colours and fonts are two of the most important elements in making the right impression on your audience and influencing behaviour. They can also say as much about your brand as the words in your message.


The colour of your vehicle signage instantly speaks volumes about your brand. It can have a powerful positive or negative effect on the people seeing it.

Different colours stimulate different emotions:

Red can mean excitement and warmth, but also danger and aggression. It’s ideal for conveying speed, urgency and fun.
Blue is often seen as cool, calm and clean, but can feel cold and unfriendly. It’s ideal for suggesting water and cleanliness.
Green can create a feeling of nature, peace and balance, or conversely blandness. It’s perfect if your business is gardening, vegetable produce or a calming wellbeing space.

Choosing Your Colours


Your branding will be the greatest influence on your vehicle graphic’s colour palette. Fewer colours, with a strong contrast, is usually better. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule and if your logo is made up of many colours, as in the case of a well-known search engine, then a selection of several primary Colours carried across your vehicle will further reinforce your brand instantly.


Opting for a limited colour palette can create a strong, visually striking message.

This van uses a simple two-colour palette to effectively flag their product. Yellow is reflective of the distinctive oil from the bright yellow rapeseed flower. The strong clear font works perfectly, while the limited messaging and use of an award logo further supports the branding.

Colour doesn’t just have to illustrate the product, it can reinforce the brand. Here the Autoglass and Global Logistics vehicles are instantly recognisable through the use of a core palette of just a few colours.

Context is King

Consider your brand name and key message when choosing your colour. With a name like Golds, this company missed a trick when they selected red and white for their branding and silver for the base vehicle colour.


The right font will speak volumes for your brand, the service you offer and even the way you work. There are a few simple rules when it comes to selecting the right font for your vehicles and as always, rules can and should occasionally be broken.

Less is More

Most of the people who see your vehicle will only have a few seconds to read what’s written, and will on average be 6 feet away. This first rule is than less is more when it comes to how much you’re going to say on your vehicle.

Fewer Fonts are Best

Less is more with your choice of fonts too. A couple of different fonts can be fine, but use too many and they become distracting and can fight each other. The reader’s eye will flit between messages or brands without taking anything in.

Choose the Right Font

It is sometimes possible to use a font that reflects your brand’s benefits. 

Is speed a key benefit of your brand? Do you need to convey that your service is fast? The right font will say that without you having to. Put this font into red and it gives an even greater sense of urgency.

If your business is about quality craftsmanship, then a calmer, more traditional font conveying quality and elegance would be a better match.

As a general rule, sans serif fonts (the ones without tags, such as Helvetica) are easier to read. There is a reason that number plates are in a sans serif font! Serif fonts, such as Times Roman, can be used with care. Be careful when using script fonts like Lucida  as they are difficult to read, especially at speed.

A good designer and signage engineer will consider all of these elements when creating the livery for your vehicle, to ensure it is conveying the right message for your brand.

At Sign Language, we provide a high quality vehicle livery design and engineering service that will ensure your colour palette and fonts reinforce and maximise your brand message, and enhance your corporate identity. If you’d like to know more, call us on 01993 773 200 or email

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