Custom Police Vehicles | Helpful Design Guidelines

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Custom police vehicles are consistently growing in popularity. Police departments everywhere are getting creative and coming up with truly unique police car designs that set them apart from everyone else. While custom police vehicles are definitely something your county or municipality can take pride in, there are still some important guidelines to follow so that you’re still informing the public about who you are. At PDecals we’ve with worked departments all over western NY and we know what it takes to create successful custom police car graphics. Here’s a short list of guidelines to follow that will help you design something both cool and effective for your fleet.

Police Car Decals and Authority Information

Your police car design should always include a shield, star or state seal decal to notify the public of your particular branch of law enforcement. These police car decals should also be accompanied by text to help broadcast your authority. Notable words like POLICE or SHERIFF should be present followed by your municipality, county or other jurisdiction information in a slightly smaller text. Police decals and authority information should always at minimum be located on both side doors and the trunk lid; front hood and fenders can also be utilized but aren’t always necessary.

Font Styles

The whole point behind police car decals is to relay information to the public, so you want them to be easily readable at a glance; simplicity is key. Be sure to choose a font that is clear, concise and legible. Staying away from italics and any exotic lettering are also good rules of thumb as they not only make your information harder to read but could also bring your authority into question.

Police Car Designs Color Scheme

If you remember our blog from last month, we talked about important aspects of cognitive visibility for emergency vehicles; specifically dealing with ambulance graphics and color schemes. Police car designs should fit a similar set of guidelines. Police decals and police car graphics should provide a solid contrast against the background paint color. For example, a gold shield decal will be more effective on a dark blue background compared to a white one. Emergency vehicles and police cars alike are also often noticed by their unique color schemes. A standard two-tone paint scheme can be useful for making you look distinct from any other typical sedan you might find on the road.

Emergency Information

Emergency numbers and other information, such as your police car website, are also welcome police car graphics but should always be secondary to your authority information and decals. Keeping the font smaller for emergency information is a good way to make sure this doesn’t become the primary focus of your police car design. If included, a good location for emergency information is on the fenders and lower rear fascia.


Additional Safety

If you really want to take your police graphics to the next level of conspicuity and safety, you should consider reflective vehicle graphics. Reflective striping is a great way to improve your nighttime visibility without changing the overall design of your vehicle. Reflective paint or lettering along the sides and back end of your police car will improve the public’s ability to identify you no matter what time of day it is.

At PDecals we’re proud to be able to work together with departments all over NY state to come up with police car designs that are both informative and inspiring. Whether you’re looking to update your fleet or design a police car from scratch, you’ll want to keep this list of guidelines in mind. Contact us today to talk with our experienced design team about what we can do to really make your police car design stand out from the pack.