Choosing A Decal Color

Choosing A Decal Color

Posted by The Decal Guy on 27th Feb 2014

     So, you looked at the great designs on the website, and with so many choices, it was a difficult decision but you finally picked a decal you want.  After you select the decal size, you see several color squares where you are to pick the color of your decal.   So what color do you choose? does not limit you to one or two color choices.   In fact, on most decals you have ten colors to pick from.  What color shows up best?    Should I try and match the paint color of my vehicle?   Do I want it to really stand out, or be more subtle?

     Whenever I am set up in public and cut decals for customers on the spot, my last question for them before I begin to make their decal is "What color would you like it cut from?"     Almost always, their first response is "My car (or truck) is..."   And I can tell they are thinking to get the decal cut in a color that matches the paint color of their vehicle. 

Vinyl Color Chart

   To me, this is the wrong way to choose a decal color.   Vinyl colors and car paint colors are very different.    Even white paint on a car is not going to be the same as white vinyl.    Then there are the different shades of a color, both in paint and vinyl.   Go into any home improvement store and look at their color swatches for house paint.    There are dozens, if not hundreds of variations of each color.    Vinyl for decals is the same way.    So getting a decal cut in red vinyl to match your red truck is probably not going to happen.    You may get a color close, by never exact.

     When selecting the vinyl colors that I use to make decals, I choose colors that will show up best on the windows of vehicles, not on the painted surfaces.    My way of thinking is that one of the main functions of a good car or truck window decal is to be seen, and if a decal is difficult to see or hard to read because of the color, then it may as well not even be there.    Driving down the road, I have seen many examples of decals that I could not make out because of the color choice of the vehicle owner.


Typical Car Window

Take a look at your vehicles windows.   Sure, they are glass and everyone knows that glass is transparent.    It's clear and has no color.   If that was the only factor involved, then the decal color should make no difference.   But when looking at the window of your car or truck, keep in mind that when someone is looking at your decal, they will be on the outside of the vehicle, looking in.    And it is the shaded interior of a vehicle that makes most windows appear dark from the outside.    If the windows are tinted, and most vehicles have tinted windows nowadays, then the windows can appear almost black.

     So, if you go by the fact that most windows appear dark, almost black from the outside, then it only makes sense that for a decal to show up well, it should be of a contrasting color.   In other words, the lighter in color the decal, the better it will show up on a window.    This is why 90% of car decals are cut from White vinyl.    One can see white on windows better than any other color.     I once painted showroom windows for car dealerships and other businesses and white was the most visible paint color that I used then for the same reason.

     When I selected the vinyl colors that I use, I picked the lighter, most vibrant colors I could find, while still maintaining an outdoor durability standard of 6 to 8 years.    Black is also one of the color choices for most of the decals on the website, but black is not recommended for windows.    We offer it as a color choice because some customers want to apply our decals to surfaces other than windows.


My Heart Belongs To Trucker Car Window Decal

 Something you may have noticed about our website is that our decal designs are displayed on actual vehicle windows, or a black background.    This was done to simulate how the decal will look on a window once it applied.   If the decal were shown in black on a white background (as a lot of decals on other sites are), and the customer were to order it in white, it would look completely opposite once it was applied to a vehicle window.   (Black on a White background, verses White on a Dark Background).  We do not want our customers to be surprised after applying one of our decals to their window.

     Anyway, no matter what color you choose for your decal, just remember that that the lighter the decal color, the more visible it will be.   I hope this helps someone with their choice of decal color.

The Decal Guy, February 28, 2014