You’ve seen it on our website, our cars and in our marketing materials…. but what does it really mean? “Wrap’s Done Right”
Over the weekend my business partner and I installed a partial wrap on a full sized bus for the Ottawa Fat Cats. Everyone at K6 was excited about the project and looking forward to the final outcome. With hundreds of vehicles rolling out of the shop over the year, we can honestly say each project comes with the the excitement for the last stage… the install. After a very long day, few breaks and a lot of concentration on detail, we watched the bus roll out of the shop with a big smile on our faces. We always find it fascinating how a vehicle pulls into the shop bare and rolls out with a completely different personality.
What makes a great wrap?
The great thing about this industry is there are always new challenges. Every business has their own set of desires and requirements for their wrap. Some businesses are simply looking to put graphics on their small delivery vehicle, where others might be looking at branding a fleet right across the country. Now this is the fun part.. How can we help you stand out from the crowd? How can you wrap have just that extra bit of creative flare, vibrant prints and killer installation? Over the years we have really refined out process to the following:
1) The Design
What makes us different from most sign companies is we are a hybrid between a design firm, and a sign company. Not only do we have an understanding of the materials, the printing process, the marketing idea behind the wrap… we have a great eye for design. We pride ourselves in putting all our heart and passion into designing great looking wraps. Everyone on our team cares about our clients and the end result.
“Well what makes you different” With hundreds of vehicle wrap designs under our belt, we know what it takes to put together stunning design. In designing a vehicle there are a lot of things to take into consideration:
Who is the target audience?
What is the intended message?
This vehicle is a mobile billboard, so is the message readable at 70 miles an hour?
How does the design look in 3d? When the sides meet the corners how are those blended?
Door handles, moulding, lights.. how are these handled in the design?
Are we using high resolution imagery?
Are the colours going to be vivid and eye catching?
Overlays, potential problem areas for installation.
There are hundreds of questions that go through our minds when we are designing a wrap. It’s not just about designing a wrap that looks good, it’s designing a wrap that takes the vehicle and intended audience into consideration.
Have you ever gone through the frustration of doing design approvals and modifications and having to send multiple emails with PDF files and edit points 1 through 13? The frustration of having to go back and forth with changes through text with a lot of confusion and time being wasted?
Our goal was to make the design process easier. The communication between ourselves and our clients has become a lot easier with the help of our online collaboration tool. This allows our clients to log into a password protected area and view their proposed concepts and make comments directly on the artwork. This really helps to make the design process more efficient, and a lot more interactive.
We work closely with you throughout the design process to come to a design you will truly be happy with.
2) The Print.
One of our favorite parts of any vehicle wrap project is seeing the prints roll off the machine. WIth all the detail and textures we put into our vehicle wrap design, it’s nice to see them in large scale during the printing process.
Our rule for printing is we run our prints at a setting which is called “Graphics 2″. It’s a little slower then most printing that is done on a large format machine, but it yields very vivid and stunning colours. We could drastically increase the speed of the printing, but in the end it will give a less rich look to your wrap.
Using the right materials for a vehicle wrap is an absolute must. Choosing high quality products like 3M and Avery, with proper installation will yield a high quality end product. Cutting corners and using lower end products will without doubt cause failure issues in the future. If you want your wrap looking great for years to come, using the proper materials is key.
3) Vehicle Preparation
Often overlooked in the process is the proper preparation of a vehicle before the graphics are installed. As yourself this question.. Would you serve a meal on dishes that haven’t properly been washed? Or course not.. why would you do the same with your vehicle? The initial cleaning process is one of the most important stages of the installation. It is important to get all contaminants off the vehicle before installing graphics. It won’t matter how well the graphics are installed if the vehicle is improperly cleaned before the installation takes place.
Our rule of thumb is to bring the vehicle in the night before it is wraped for a full cleaning. The vehicle will have the opportunity to properly dry over night and the installation can start in the morning.
Adhesive Promoter. In areas that have a tendency for failure an adhesive promoter is installed. This is a thin product that is applied to areas like recessed groves, around door handles, etc and helps give extra adhesion in those areas.
4) The install.
The best part of the whole process! A vehicle pulls into your shop the night before completely bare, and with a hard days work pulls out with a completely different look.
A properly installed vehicle wrap can mean the difference between a wrap that will last and look great for years, and one that will start to fail not long after the graphics have been installed.
There is a lot that goes into a vehicle wrap install. The design & install are very closely related. Our team works together very closely to ensure all our vehicle wrap designs are created in a smart way, We ask ourselves questions like:
- Do I have text too close to door handles where there might be slight distoration.
- Do I have text or objects going over things like fender flares that might look odd with the contours of the vehicle.
- Do the colours & textures when the side meets the back, or the hood matchup well
- How will the graphics be paneled so to minimize the amount of seems on the vehicle.
- Do the graphics get printed in vertical or horizontal panels.
- Does any of the text get printed separately like the phone # because it might change at one point?
There are literally hundreds of questions that come into play when a vehicle wrap is being designing. A properly designing and paneled wrap helps the installer.
A great installer is someone with a great deal of experience, someone who has a lot of patience, great attention for detail, creative, and again.. a great attention for detail.
The installation process for us is extremely important. We have a lot of experience that helps us prevent things like, lifting, wrinkles, popping, distortion, cracking, miss-alignments, unlevel installs etc. The installation process is an extremely technical and artistic process. We take pride in the time and care we put into every installation that comes through our shop.
Questions? Comments? We wanna hear them!
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