The Basics of Vehicle Wraps

irrespective of which sort of car it's, how old or new, and whether it’s a private vehicle or a company-owned one, we all want it to seem awesome. we would like it to reflect who we are, and we want it to send a message – something distinctive about our company or ourselves. One of the simplest ways to try and do this is a vehicle wrap. 

The Way of the Wrap 

So what's a vehicle wrap? The foremost basic definition is that it’s a printed vinyl graphic that covers the bulk of the whole car, truck, bus, or other vehicle – typically excluding bumpers, headlights, and windows. And although we’ll focus here on wheeled vehicles, wraps may be applied to boats, airplanes, and nearly any variety of transportation you'll be able to consider. For consumers, the wrap design is usually all about color, shapes, and effects. For businesses, meanwhile, the wrap is more likely a mix of branding, messaging, and catching the attention of prospective customers. Yes, there are some alternatives to wraps when it involves adding graphics to a vehicle, including: 

Paint: the first thanks to completely change a vehicle’s color or add some ornate graphics thereto – who can forget seeing their first Pink Floyd prism van? However, painting a vehicle first requires removal of the initial paint, followed by multiple coats – so it takes considerably longer than a wrap. Plus, intricate and detailed graphics and messaging are rather more difficult to attain with paint, so painting isn't a really realistic solution for company vehicles. 

Pinstriping: Pinstriping is adding fine, detailed embellishments to a vehicle, originally done by hand painting or airbrushing. Vinyl pinstriping is another alternative, although customization is limited if only template-driven pinstriping is obtainable. 

Decals: Decals are different to feature custom graphics to a vehicle without covering the complete vehicle. If, for example, you merely want to feature your company’s logo and number to a vehicle’s side panel, for instance; or, for DOT numbers for a fleet of trucks. Plus, you'll be able to typically install decals yourself, without necessitating an installer. 

The Steps 

Typically, here are the steps within the vehicle-wrap process in about any shop:

  • You’ll bring your vehicle or vehicles to the installer’s shop to be measured and checked. While templates do exist for several vehicles, it’s best to own your specific vehicle measured to make sure no surprises down the road. The shop should be measuring the vehicle length and width, as well as making notes for door handles, lights, wheel wells, body seams, and so on. As noted earlier, the shop will check for any concerns they may have with the body of the vehicle – rust, “iffy” paint, damaged panels, etc.; you may likely must these problems addressed/corrected before the wrap process begins. 
  • After the measuring process is finished, the shop will provide a quote. This quote should include the printing of the wrap, the installation, and any additional work that may be done. 
  • You’ll create your wrap design, and work with the shop to make sure it'll look great on your vehicle. you must “tweak” your design to assist it to accommodate your vehicle’s body shape and contours – remember, you wrap is covering a three-dimensional shape, it’s not just a flat sign. After you have got finalized the look and given the shop your approval on that, they’ll print it, and so schedule an installation date for you. ● Once the install date has been established, you’ll bring your vehicle certain the work. The vehicle should be clean after you bring it in, or the shop will wash it for you (and will likely charge you for that service). 
  • When the wrap process is done, you’ll visit the ability to determine your new custom wrap and obtain your vehicle. Inspect the wrap before leaving to confirm you’re proud of the finished job. 

The Care & Feeding of Your New Wrap 

Your wrap has been installed and you’ve picked it up from the shop – now it’s time to require your newly wrapped vehicle(s) to the streets – plow ahead, show off and make your friends and your company’s rivals jealous! 

When your wrapped vehicle isn't on the road, however, you would like to confirm the wrap maintains its vibrancy and its longevity. the most effective way is just by keeping it clean. Generally, you must wash your wrapped vehicle whenever it's dirty, even as you'd with any unwrapped vehicle. Follow these best practices for laundry a wrapped vehicle: Handwashing is best: to assist ensure your wrap lasts its longest, it’s best to stay to handwashing and avoid car washes. If you need to take your wrapped vehicle through a car wash, take care it’s the brushless variety with the massive, floppy curtains typically found in higher-end car washes (not the power-washer type). Use non-abrasive detergent: When handwashing, use only non-abrasive detergents then thoroughly rinse with clean water. Try to avoid any rough scrubbing and don’t use tough brushes or other tools. 

When drying, use a silicone squeegee or a microfiber cloth to forestall water spotting. No wax required: There’s no need to wax a vehicle wrap; after all, many vinyl manufacturers (such as 3M) recommend against using wax on a printed vinyl wrap. One final note on the topic of damage and care: Can a wrap be repaired or patched if, say, your vehicle is involved in a very fender bender or other small accident? The solution is yes, sometimes: If the damage is prescribed to any low section or wrap panel, then there’s an honest chance the whole wrap won’t be reprinted and reinstalled. Your best bet is to test with the shop that did the initial work and have them evaluate the damage.

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