Fuel Ghoul has been studying the science of vinyl wraps and looking at the business from the design stage to the installation and finishing. Last week we visited Sign Source Solution vehicle wraps in Toronto Which we found online through Yelp - here is the Sign Source Solution vehicle wrapping YELP page. Raymi was there and she wrote up the Raymi Toronto visit with Sign Source Solution vehicle in Toronto in some detail and from an entirely different perspective.
Vehicle Wrapping Has Matured As a Marketing Tactic
One of the best ways to greatly increase 'market presence' in any size community is by wrapping a company vehicle with the firm's business logo and pitch. Then every single sales call expands the reach of the business. Statistics provided by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) highlight vehicle wraps as the lowest cost-per-impression signage option, above any other form of outdoor advertising. Depending on city and population size, a single vehicle wrap can generate over 30,000 impressions a day!
Design is done in Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop but new equipment and methodologies may use Cadlink's Signlab to rip, print, and cut. Other designers use Corel Draw and still more are using for Flexi because their printers requires those files.
In many cases wrap shops are loyal to a single brand of material and may not even carry other materials, while other times wrap shops will order any material you like with no real preference between the top brands. In any scenario, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the qualities associated with each material to choose one that fits the look you’re going for (ex: super glossy graphics or matte black) as well as the usage (ex: an around-town car vs. an off-road rally car). With these things in mind you may choose a material for it’s looks, it’s durability, it’s reputation, it’s ease of removing it (if it’s a short term wrap), or the warranty (if it’s meant to be a long-term wrap).
While we watched the designers at the shop showed us how they apply the logos and brand slogans to prepared blank schematic canvases that correspond to each modern vehicle dimensions exactly; these specially prepared templates purchased from some vehicle design authority in automotive for about $5 dollars each and the designers cannot reuse the same plate as each is issued with a single use license.
Sign Source Solution has a campaign with local businesses celebrating automotive vehicle wrapping design by showing them spectacular examples of what their business vehicles could look like. Already Shanny in the City wrote about a vehicle wrap on a mini cooper, and Storia PR blogged about their vehicle wrapping design, and
Sarafino displays vehicle wrap designs for their delivery van and also Claire Matthews of Yoga Truly Grimsby knew a vehicle wrap could help marketing as she expands her Yoga school in Port Colborne Ontario. She realized she'd be driving for at least an hour everyday and also was cognoscente that she would have to be very careful, and be a consistently good driver on the road.
Designs used to be dependent on materials, but now they are so high quality that for the most part a single brand of material could do just about any job. But shops continue to have preferences as such diversification is good for market positioning..
Vinyl is a synthetic resin or plastic consisting of polyvinyl chloride or a related polymer, used especially for wallpapers and other covering materials and for phonograph records.
Semon is best known for inventing vinyl, the world's second most used plastic. He found the formula for vinyl by mixing a few synthetic polymers, and the result was a substance that was elastic, but wasn't adhesive. Semon worked on methods of improving rubber, and eventually developed a synthetic substitute
Chemist and inventor, Waldo Semon, found a way to plasticize pure polyvinyl chloride (PVC) — a synthetic polymer discovered by German chemist Eugen Baumann in 1872. In pure form, PVC was brittle and difficult to process. First attempts at using the plastic in commercial applications failed as a result. In 1926, Semon invented the vinyl still used today by introducing additives to PVC that made it flexible and more easily processed. Soon after the discovery, the use of vinyl in industrial and commercial applications began, and it was used in the manufacture of everything from wire insulation to raincoats and shower curtains.
Because vinyl can be formed into sheets, and is easily cut and coloured, and is flexible, durable and waterproof, its use in sign making was obvious, and its widespread use just a matter of time. In the 40s, thin vinyl film was introduced and one of its first uses as sign material was to decorate US Air Force planes with insignias. With the addition of adhesive backing, thin vinyl film, and a peel-away liner to protect the adhesive backing — commercially marketable film vinyl was born. The adhesive-backed film could be die-cut and mass produced for stickers, car graphics, and decals of all varieties.
Who are the biggest vinyl wrap materials providers?
3M - The 3M Company, formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation based in Maplewood, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul. They are one of the largest and most well known vinyl producers in the world. Their products are sold worldwide and they have developed several lines of film and laminates specifically for the vehicle wrap industry. One example is their 3M™ Controltac™ Graphic Film IJ380. Usage of this film allows digitally and screen printed graphics to be applied in deep contours and 3D corrugations commonly found on many van models.
3M™ Scotchcal™ Graphic Film with Comply™ Adhesive v3 IJ170Cv3
New value priced cast vinyl solution with pressure-sensitive Comply™ v3 Adhesive
3M™ Controltac™ Graphic Film with Comply™ Adhesive v3 IJ180Cv3
Short to long-term removable ﬁlm for ﬂeet and vehicle graphics as well as interior and exterior signs.
3M™ Scotchcal™ Perforated Window Graphic Film IJ1229;
For window applications, allowing the ability to look thru the material, typically from the inside looking out. The company also offers a line of solid colors and textured wrap vinyl under the name of 3M Scotchprint Wrap Film Series which can be applied as vehicle wraps. Some of these colors and patterns are available as sample designs on custom-car-wraps.com.
Avery Dennison has become a major player in the production of vinyl for the vehicle wrap industry over the last few years. The company has developed a fairly new product for vehicle wraps called:
Avery MPI 1005 Supercast
With a 10 year outdoor durability this product has been very well received by the wrap shops as the next generation of wrap film. Avery Dennison also offers some alternative vinyls for flat surface application and outside wall graphics.
Oracal offers a fast and reliable way to fully wrap vehicles in solid, opaque colors. It provides an economical alternative to paint and delivers long term remove-ability from painted surfaces. The materials offered has a built in protective clear-coat which simulates factory applied paint and eliminated the need to over-laminate.