It starts back in WWI when ships would use ‘dazzle’ camouflage to disguise their speed, range and shape. It meant they could go about their business, hiding in plain sight, yet be incredibly difficult to target.

Today’s luxury car manufacturers have taken a leaf out of the dazzle camouflage book to keep their latest models under wraps. If you’ve ever seen a vehicle out on the roads in the kind of swirly black and white design that’s guaranteed to make your eyes go funny after a couple of minutes, chances are you’ve seen a concept car from a maker like Rolls Royce or Lamborghini.

The latest example is the ARES Panther, recently unveiled in swirly black and white camo to give a teaser of what’s to come.

Why vehicle livery camouflage?

Car designers and manufacturers have always needed to get cars to the test track away from the prying eyes of competitors or the general public, and the proliferation of camera phones has made the job even more difficult.

There are any number of reasons why car companies want to keep their new designs literally under wraps. First, companies are keen to protect their intellectual property without letting their rivals get a look at their new designs. And then there’s the current and future sales figures – a sneak peek of a new design can impact on the sales of a current model, as people decide to wait for the next model to come out.

How they do it

There are any number of ways that vehicles are camouflaged. It used to be that a baggy vinyl ‘overcoat’ was used, but more sophisticated techniques have taken over. For example, Ford creates a series of universal black and white stickers than can be quickly and simply applied all over the vehicle in any order to act like dazzle camouflage to obscure the shape to the naked eye. If you see a car in swirly blue and white dazzle camo, then you’ve just seen a BMW concept car.

However, with camera lenses becoming ever more capable of seeing what the human eye cannot, the camouflagers have come up with another devious plan – hiding in plain view. That plumbers van? The car with the cute design advertising a new florist? They might just be the next Audi or Volkswagen.

Why use vinyl wrap?

The reasons that car manufacturers use vinyl vehicle livery to deceive are similar to some of the reasons why you might choose a vinyl wrap as a low cost, high impact form of marketing.

Your vehicle is protected from everyday scrapes and dings, the vinyl is straightforward to apply and easy to remove – and it focuses the attention on the marketing message rather than on the vehicle itself.

An expert job

Whether you want to dazzle camo your family hatchback or advertise your business in East Sussex, it pays to have your vehicle livery professionally installed. At Vehicle Sign Writing, we can ensure that your vinyl wrap looks great and won’t peel or lift, whatever the elements throw at it.

Want to know more about harnessing the power of vehicle livery like the professionals do? Then contact us today for more details.