English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have been working as a graphic designer for a while and we design and print advertisement material and cover cars / vans with it.

What do we call this in English?

I am preparing my CV and I don't know how to put it there. Thanks.

share|improve this question
up vote 10 down vote accepted

From The Food Truck Handbook, 2012:

Vehicle wrapping is also known as vehicle graphics, transit graphics, wrap advertising, transit advertising, and vehicle decals.

I'm a bit surprised they didn't also include the term most familiar to me (vehicle signage). Perhaps that's because I'm UK-based, I don't know.

Another term frequently used in this context is Custom Livery. There's a preponderance of racing cars in the images in that link, but I associate the expression more with buses/coaches, shop delivery vans, and haulage lorries. To me, livery is either pure decoration, or it normally advertises the owners of the vehicle. So I don't really like seeing it applied to racing cars which are mainly covered with advertisements for sponsors. I suppose you could say the sponsors "own" the car, but it doesn't seem quite right to me if all they did was supply the oil, for example.

share|improve this answer
'Vehicle signage' would be understood by non-experts (in contrast to 'wrapping' – Mitch May 9 '13 at 12:55

It's called wrapping.

Not much more to say, really. This really is a three-word answer.

share|improve this answer
I've used it as vehicle wrapping. I was thinking covering. I'm still not sure. Wanted to know if there is a special term for this... Thank you! – Ediz Arca Mar 6 '13 at 19:12

I've heard it specifically referred to as "vinyl wrapping" when using vinyl for the wrap. I have no idea if other materials are ever used as I've only ever heard of vinyl wrapping.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.