While there’s quite a lot going on here, note the movement of the background and the direction of the flow. The mascot points in the direction of the logo and lettering, while the unique background helps tell the story of the name.
Although this wrap includes a lot of elements, the brand and focal points remain in the foreground. 1. The simple, yellow background here gives us great contrast against the mascot. The motion lines coming off the mascot are subtle enough to not distract, but still show a sense of motion. 2. Our mascot is giving us a natural way to split our background in half. He is facing the direction of our branding, leading the viewer toward the badge for Comfort Heroes.
3. Our purple background here is bright, but still living behind the elements that are most important. Even the rays are subtle behind our badge, but leading the viewer to focus on the center of those rays, which is our badge. 4. The cityscape is there, but not so loud that it’s distracting us from what lives above it, which is our brand/badge. 5. Our badge design for the brand is far forward in the foreground where it belongs.
Although there are many things happening in this layout, note how the flow of the wrap directs you to the focal points of the brand and lettering. The elements add visual interest without sacrificing the branding. It’s a perfect case of enhancing the brand—not detracting from it.

Understanding foreground and background in wrap design

These are critical considerations when designing a wrap that works

By Dan Antonelli

Posted on Thursday, February 27th, 2020

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The role of foreground and background in wrap design is one of the most critical aspects in the difference between an effective design and an ineffective one. It’s also one of the most misunderstood concepts when it comes to wrap design. Outside of poor branding, it’s probably the leading cause of wraps that fail to deliver their message efficiently.

I confess to have never been formally trained on design from a design school. Maybe if I had, I would have learned these concepts much earlier in my career. But as I worked on refining a successful formula for building an effective wrap over the years, much of my focus remained on brand integration, how brands work on a wrap and how they need to deliver a positive brand promise.

When I look back at earlier work, I rarely had background elements on most of my wraps, with the exception of the now-famous “starburst” which I deployed behind many marks or mascots. Usually I was integrating solid colors for backgrounds, because I always wanted my brands to be front and center, and wanted my backgrounds to live, well, in the background where they belong.

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Dan Antonelli owns KickCharge Creative (formerly Graphic D-Signs, Inc.) in Washington, New Jersey. His latest book, Building a Big Small Business Brand, joins his Logo Design for Small Business I and II. He can be reached at dan@kickcharge. com. Dan also offers consulting and business coaching services to sign companies. For more information, visit danantonelli.com. On Instagram: @danantonelli_kickcharge.

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