The Big Picture - August 2012 - (Page 12)

graphics on the go graphics on the go Taking the Paint-Wrap Plunge By Jared Smith T he advent of colored cast adhesive-backed vinyls that utilize air-release-type technology has led to an explosion of new possibilities when it comes to vehicle wraps. Many of the major media manufacturers and suppliers now feature full lines of this type of product, comprising scores of vibrant colors and textures. One particular wrap type that’s resulted from this technology – and one I’ll admit I did not see coming: paint wraps, or wraps sans graphics. Paint wraps are interesting because they di er from normal wraps in more ways than you might think. At the same time, they also o er your customer a way to reinvigorate his or her vehicle’s exterior, while providing you with an additional profit center. Distinct di erences The first di erence in paint wraps from the installer’s point of view is that the install is no longer governed by the alignment of text and imagery. As a matter of fact, the installer might just be handed an entire roll of paint-wrap fi lm. This can seem quite foreign if you’re accustomed to being provided with labeled panels for each vehicle element. So how and where to start? At bluemedia, we’ve instituted a policy to continue to provide digitally trimmed and labeled panels to the install team. This helps save time while also providing perfectly straight lines in the event a seam can’t be avoided. These panels can then be laid on the vehicle to test fit for coverage (we use magnets for this step) before any release liners are peeled back. With paint-wrap installs, a plan of attack remains vital.) So with the focus not on lining up imagery and text, we shift our emphasis to determining how to end up with absolutely no seams. While this goal isn’t always possible, it can often be achieved with some up-front planning. The planning begins in the design department. Just as with traditional wraps, the digital vehicle template is pulled up, verified against real-world measurements, and a strategy is determined on how to panel or tile the vinyl. Keep in mind: It’s important to ensure that your designer is aware of the roll width for the material being used. Many of these paint-wrap fi lms come in 60-inch widths and this is a major advantage when trying to not have any seams. In small, tough-to-reach areas where you might be forced to patch in vinyl, we recommend a quarter-inch overlap versus a more traditional ¾-inch overlap, because this will help hide the seam a bit. Another aspect to bear in mind is any dismantling of the vehicle that might be necessary – remember, we’re trying to make this look like paint. On average, it takes our shop about three extra hours to remove parts o the vehicle that would otherwise not be removed in a traditional printed wrap. These items can include headlights, tail lights, grills, even door handles. So be sure to plan for this extra time when scheduling and when quoting the install. And it might be a good idea to see if anyone in your shop has some bodyshop experience, because it actually might not be the best solution to have your skilled vinyl install team taking apart door panels. Ensure you have the right tools and look into a few specialty tools for removing these items; the right tool is usually cheaper than replacing any part you might break. JARED SMITH is president of bluemedia (, a leading provider of design and printing for use in vehicle, large-format, and environmental applications, in Tempe, Arizona. Six tips and tricks Some additional paint-wrap pointers of note: • We have found that the detail work and extra finishing or trimming work on paint wraps adds approximately 30 percent more time to the overall install time (plus a few hours to remove and reinstall parts). • Keep in mind the obvious when estimating costs. You don’t have to design, print, or laminate these wraps, >42 12 THE BIG PICTURE AUGUST 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Big Picture - August 2012

The Big Picture - August 2012
Graphics on the Go
Flatbeds Forever
Color Jammed
The Hard Stuff: Rigid Media
Job Log

The Big Picture - August 2012