Signs of the Times - November 2013 - (Page 16)

VINYL APPS By Dale Salamacha Dale Salamacha is co-owner of Media 1/Wrap This! (Longwood, FL). Chameleon Colors “Color-changing” vinyl could grow your shop’s repertoire. This(no profit-and-loss statements!). month, we’ll address a fun topic 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 our industry. 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 / 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. Color-changing-vinyl applications 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
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review - Caldera Flow+ 2.0 software and its Version 9.20 RIP
Technology Review - KeyedIn™ Sign Edition software
New Products
Design Matters
Enter the ST Intl. Sign Contest!
Deep Thoughts
Temporary Vanity
LEDs: The Omnipresent Illuminators
Accessible Training
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - November 2013