Vehicle Wraps: How Do They Do It?
Margie Dana, founder of Boston Print Buyers, is a marketing specialist who focuses on improving the printer-buyer relationship. The following is from one of her recent “Margie’s Print Tips” e-newsletter postings, in which she explored how cars, buses and trucks come to be decked out in full-color images. Through her association with SGIA (Specialty Graphic Imaging Association), Dana came across Judd Morgan of USA Image in Louisville, Ky. The company does vehicle wraps, and Dana interviewed Judd about the process.
• MD: What’s the basic process for a vehicle wrap?
It’s a series of steps:
1. Vehicle Appraisal/Request for Quote - This is not a monetary appraisal, but rather an evaluation of the overall requirements of the vehicle and condition of the vehicle paint. Oxidized paint has a powdery consistency and will not allow the vehicle wrap material to adhere correctly. Compound curves (curves that extend in several directions at once, think of a front fender near the headlight) are more difficult to install and will take more installer time.
2. Measuring and Photography - This can be done at the same time as step #1. It’s important to have the designer and installer working together on this step to account for any discrepancies between the vehicle template and actual measurements.
3. Printing - Our vehicle wraps are printed on one of our Vutek 5330 digital printers. The solvent ink set we use is very resistant to outdoor elements to ensure a long-lasting wrap. Wraps are usually printed in vertical overlapping panels to ensure registration of ad copy. Panels are trimmed and laid out in the same fashion that they will install so that measurements and overlap can be checked. So basically, your panels are like so: one driver’s side laid out with windows, one passenger side with windows, one rear section with windows, one front, and one roof (if it is being wrapped).