We wanted to create a resourceful article about one of the most effective methods of visibility for your business – vehicle wraps! We wanted to provide a step by step process of how it works when you’ve decided to wrap your vehicle with your brand or marketing message.
Initial Consultation: In this initial meeting it will be determined what will be involved in the design process, as well as what portion of the vehicle that you are looking to have wrapped. Accurate measurements and or photos of your vehicle will be taken at this time. Obstacles such as moldings may need to be taken into consideration.
Proposal/Contract: After determining what solution will be appropriate to your requirements, you’ll be provided with an accurate proposal including all specifications, sizes, material and design.
Design Consultation: In an initial meeting, important information is collected, such as your target market, the purpose of your wrap, colour scheme, photo selection, etc. This is typically that leads to concepts being drawn up.
Printed Proofs: This proof is printed at approximately 4′ in width on the exact material that will be placed on your vehicle. This stage will give you the ability to give the artwork a final review before a wrap is put into production.
File Preparation: Since all vehicle graphic materials come in a regular length of 52″ it is required that the graphics be paneled much like you see with wallpaper.
Large Format Printing & Lamination The design will hopefully be printed on Premium 3M Controltac V3 vinyl which is a leader in the vehicle graphics industry. All window graphics will be printed on a perforated window film product which will allow you to see out the windows on your vehicle. Once the graphics are printed, an over laminate will be applied to the graphics to provide extra protection to the graphics from UV and abrasion.
Pre-Installation Vehicle Inspection: A vehicle inspection report is used to review the status of the vehicle before moving forward with the installation of graphics. In some cases a vehicle may have rust spots, areas that have been in an accident, areas that have been repainted etc. It is important for us to outline to the best of our ability areas that have been affected and may cause for warranty issues down the road. Stock paint jobs with no visible rust damage area ideal for the longevity of the product. At this time all measurements are taken, and any additional items such as plastic moldings, un-wrapable textures, additional chrome ad dons etc are taken into consideration.
Vehicle Preparation: One of the most important aspects of a vehicle graphics project is the preparation of the vehicle before the graphics are installed. Taking the time to properly clean the vehicle ahead of time will ultimately lead to a better longer lasting product. Think of dirt or grime as something coming between the adhesive of the graphics and the painted surface of the vehicle. To ensure that your wrap adheres correctly, the first step is to thoroughly clean the vehicle. Taking the vehicle to a car wash and having them perform a “basic” cleaning is ideal. You want to choose an option that does not use any wax as this creates issues with adhesion.
Any contaminants such as grease, oil, wax or bug guts can be removed using substances such as Prep-Sol or Xylol. A final wipe down is then performed using an isopropyl alcohol (IPA) which will leave the vehicle without any oily residue. At this time a last glance over the vehicle will give the installer the confidence that the graphics are ready to be installed.
Installation: Once the vehicle has been properly cleaned, a 3M primer is applied to the vehicle which is very thin liquid that helps optimize the adhesion in areas that are prone to failure. Once the primer has been applied our installer will position all the panels of the wrap in place to ensure everything is properly in place. Installation can make or break a vehicle wrap. This is why we hire only the best installers to apply your vehicle graphics. The temperature of our installation bay must also be within 3M recommended specifications. The vinyl is never stretched into groves which causes lifting and tenting, it is always tucked. Once all the panels are in the right place the installer will begin the installation process. A vehicle graphics project requires a great deal of skill and patience, and on average most vehicles take a full 8 hour day to complete. This isn’t something you want to rush.
Final Post Installation Review: The morning after the graphics have been installed and they have had an opportunity to bond, there is typically a second review of the vehicle once the job has been done. Good installers will prep a heat gun and smooth over any last surface areas that need refining.