Learn to Wrap Like a Pro
The market for vehicle graphics is taking off. Market research has found that vehicle graphics are among the most effective — and cost-effective — advertising media. Indeed, in one survey, B2B Media (with Cox Communications/Eagle Research) found that 48 percent of respondents saw vehicle wraps as the most unique advertising medium available, while vehicle wraps and TV ads were deemed to be the two most memorable media, especially among the coveted 18- to 34-year-old age cohort, 47 percent of whom found vehicle wraps especially memorable (www.b2bmedia.com/research). And when you consider how much time the average person spends on the road — be it moving or sitting — vehicle graphics often have a captive audience.
Vehicle graphics can fall into two categories: commercial, in which a vehicle is an extension of a company’s brand, featuring a company logo, contact information, and relevant imagery; and consumer, as more car owners add graphics to their vehicles for decorative purposes, sort of a larger-scale version of a bumper sticker. More and more car owners are also taking advantage of color-change wraps — using vinyl to change the color of a car rather than repaint it.
So opportunities abound for businesses that are either looking to get into vehicle graphics, or companies that already offer some modest wrapping services and want to expand their capabilities. At the same time, even seasoned pros need to keep up to date on new tools, new vinyls and other wrapping materials, and even new automotive designs.
“Each time they come out with a new car there can be new challenges,” says Rob Ivers, Owner of Rob Ivers Inc., which provides tools and training for vehicle wrappers. “Everyone’s trying to raise the level of their own installation, creating graphics that last longer, so people are coming up with new tools and techniques.”
Whether you’re a novice, an intermediate wrapper or even a professional, the “Wrap Like a Pro” sessions, held Tuesday through Thursday, offer valuable information, best practices and hands-on experience. The all-day sessions are co-presented by Ivers and Shane Courtney, Owner of Core Graphics & Signs, and will feature half a dozen or so vehicles for participants to work on.
“We will try to cater to people who have never done wrapping before,” says Ivers. “How to clean a car, how to do some of the easier shapes and how to get started in the installation of car wraps.” For intermediate users, there will be a focus on working with some of the newer tools and, for advanced users, says Ivers, “working with some of the extreme shapes of bumpers and mirrors, and using some of the latest tools and techniques to have more success on those complex, difficult shapes.”
“The main challenge, when installers get to a certain level, is trying to understand what a vinyl can and cannot do and how to get the most out of the vinyl,” adds Ivers. “You have to know when to say ‘no,’ and when to say ‘oh, maybe I need to do this particular shape in two or three pieces, rather than stretching the vinyl.” After all, vinyl that is stretched too far will cause a wrap to fail. The sessions will also cover such techniques as pre-stretching and post-heating.
The “Wrap Like a Pro” sessions are held October 10 and 11, from 9 am to 4 pm, and October 12, from 8 am to 3 pm.