Signs of the Times - November 2013 - (Page 16)
By Dale Salamacha
Dale Salamacha is co-owner of
Media 1/Wrap This! (Longwood, FL).
“Color-changing” vinyl could grow your shop’s repertoire.
This(no profit-and-loss statements!).
month, we’ll address a fun
After decades in this industry,
we’ve seen first-hand vinyl’s development, real-world testing, failures
and ultimate success. We can always
demand more from our materials,
but vinyl has undergone an amazing
revolution. Manufacturers are continuously testing and reinventing
vinyl to provide better products for
The wrap process has changed
little over the last 20 years. Vinyl
and printing equipment have made
drastic improvements, but you still
run bright-white vinyl through an
inkjet, electrostatic or thermal-transfer
printer. Then, you laminate the final
image with clear vinyl on a roller
laminator or spray on a liquid
topcoat that cures on the substrate.
Lamination provides an additional
layer of UV protection and abrasion
resistance. For this reason, we never
offer a wrap without it.
Changing the script
One new, revolutionary development
is what we like to call color-change
vinyl. This product, which is starting
to create a well-deserved buzz
among wrap providers, was first
introduced by 3M just over two
years ago. Arlon, MACtac, Hexis,
Avery Dennison and others now
offer similar materials.
These substrates are available in
many different colors, textures and
sheens, and they allow the customer
to have a custom “paintjob” for their
cars with a fraction of the time and
labor required to paint.
With color-changing vinyl, we can
take a black BMW, grab a roll of
bright-orange vinyl, wrap the entire
car and completely change its base
color! With hundreds of colors and
texture combinations, possibilities
are virtually unlimited.
We call it a new process, because
we proceed differently than we do
with commercial-vehicle wraps. Why?
Dale’s shop wrapped his fiancée Christy’s BMW M6 with 3M 1080 “color-change” wrap
vinyl. Wrap This! transformed the formerly white luxury car into a sleek, black (with
sassy pink trim) queen of the road.
16 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / NOVEMBER 2013 / www.signweb.com
First and foremost, I guarantee anyone who brings you their $100,000
Mercedes for a wrap is going to
be more critical about the finished
product than with the work van his
employees drive around.
require highly qualified installers.
However, you’re not without a
helping hand. Manufacturers know
you’ll encounter detail-oriented
clients. They’ve designed the vinyl
with this in mind.
How? Consider this: standard
white, inkjet-printable vinyl is
typically 2 mils thick. Then, you
apply the clear laminate film, which
is approximately 1.5 mils thick.
This combination results in a 3.5-4
mil-thick final product. In contrast,
color-change vinyl comes out of
the box, ready to wrap with no
lamination needed, at 3.5 mils
thick. This lets you smoothly wrap
a surface with vinyl with just enough
“meat” to create a flawless, paintlike finish.
Also, this vinyl can be stretched
to 130% of its original size without
losing any color or adhesive ability.
This is key when you need to stretch
the vinyl around a bumper section
or into door jambs. (Reserve stretching
vinyl to very limited uses, and make
sure you’re using the proper vinyl
size for each application.) Such
products also feature a pressuresensitive, repositionable adhesive
and air-release channels, which
make installation easy.
The biggest advantage of full
wraps? Three years from now,
when you remove the wrap from
the car, it will leave no adhesive or
damage, with the car’s paint exactly
as it was.
This alone makes color-changing
vinyl a viable alternative to custom
paint. If you’ve leased a car, you
can’t customize it at the dealership;
they want the car back in original,
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - November 2013
Signs of the Times - November 2013
The Moving Message
Technology Review - Caldera Flow+ 2.0 software and its Version 9.20 RIP
Technology Review - KeyedIn™ Sign Edition software
Enter the ST Intl. Sign Contest!
LEDs: The Omnipresent Illuminators
Signs of the Times - November 2013