Baltimore creates specific design for new vehicle

Along with the standard police car wraps and designs, departments will likely need specific colors, logos and messages when they try to roll out a vehicle with a special purpose. The Baltimore Sun recently reported on a new SUV being introduced by the Baltimore police as part of a crime fighting campaign. The new look is a perfect illustration of the ways a police vehicle can use an assortment of colors, shapes and text to get an important message across.

This vehicle, managed in conjunction with the Metro Crime Stoppers organization, features several striking colors, including the red, white and black commonly associated with police cars, as well as the Metro Crime Stoppers logo and a local police badge symbol.

With this vehicle wrap design, the police and its partners are clearly trying to promote response from witnesses at crime scenes. Information about the local "gun bounty program," as well as a 1-800 contact number, appears clearly legible on the side and rear of the vehicle.

However, it's possible that the SUV could be seen as too cluttered. Mixed in with all of these important details are graphical elements like a miniature police lineup, crime scene tape and a silhouette of Sherlock Holmes that are relevant to the vehicle's purpose but also could overwhelm onlookers. At the same time, since the vehicle is apparently intended to be left stationery after it arrives, the large amount of details may be to its advantage and fit the medium.

While it's up to departments to find the vinyl car wrap that works for them, they should look for graphic designers that know how to make a design stand out when it's applied to a vehicle exterior and get the biggest onlooker response.