Commercial Vinyl Wrapping FAQ
What Is Commercial Vinyl Wrapping ?
A commercial vehicle wrap can basically be called a billboard on wheels. It is a mobile graphic advertisement applied to your vehicle, therefore it is an advertisement that goes everywhere you go. Are you doing work on the side of the road or at a house? No need for lawn signs, your vehicle will get noticed immediately! Are you on the road driving by potential customers? Don’t worry, they’ll be noticing you as you move that mobile billboard from site to site. Even in traffic you’ll be making impressions! In a business world where Yellowpages doesn’t make sense and advertising can be a roll of the dice, bet on yourself and get as much exposure as you want by driving your own vehicle!
Vehicle wraps can be applied to all sorts of vehicles, including cars, trucks, vans, busses, trailers, boats, etc. These graphics can be applied to the full vehicle, or even to just a partial amount of the vehicle if preferred. When designing a commercial wrap, the ideas you should follow is that it can be clearly read from about 10-15 feet away, as well as someone can grasp your advertisement within a few seconds if you (or them) are on the move. Knowing this, we work on a design, with your input of course, print it on a world class printer, laminate the film, and apply it to your vehicle for the perfect advertisement. The same type of work can also be applied to walls, doors, windows and floors of commercial or residential buildings.
What are the steps to getting a commercial wrap ?
Step 1: We need to inspect what you would like to wrap. Here we can get correct measurements, as well as check the vehicle (or surface) thoroughly to check for any areas of concern. From here, using predesigned templates, we can accurately draft an estimate and draft an estimated date of completion. Also, if there is preexisting artwork, this would be the time to present it.
Step 2: If you accept the estimate, we proceed to consulting. Here we ask that you provide any and all information of your business. This includes business cards, websites, stationary, brochures, official business colors, patented phrases, etc. Also, think of exactly what advertising image you are trying to portray, as well as example images you would like to include. This consultation will ultimately lead to your design, so it is crucial you share your image. If you are unsure of what you want to do, a designer can take control and provide a concept for you that is very appealing to potential customers.
Step 3: After your consultation, we move onto graphic design of your wrap. It will take a usually 4-6 hours to design (including 2 revisions). Here, we charge by the hour. What we need from you is a vectorised image of your logo, phone numbers, website address, and any high-res images you would like included. If you cannot provide vectorised images, for a small fee we can have them vectorised for you. As for high-res images, if you do not have anything specific, as long as you have an idea, we should be able to provide them for also a small fee. Although we can pull images from Google, we’d like to provide you with something unique, and with a high enough resolution that it looks great; sometimes that means we have to purchase the rights to said image for legal use. Once fully approved we will move into production and setting your appointment for installation.
Step 4: Once design is done, we move into production. Here we use our top of the line printer to print directly onto vinyl. Once printed, we let the film outgas 24-48 hours before lamination. After the film has outgassed, we move onto laminating the film, and we are finally ready for the final step.
Step 5: After production, your appointment arrives. We request that you fully wash your vehicle to remove any loose dirt, sand or other debris off the vehicle. We will provide fuller instructions of course. Your vehicle is dropped off and is left sitting overnight to dry out any moisture left in the crevices of the vehicle. The following day we prep your vehicle and begin installation. Upon completion we need to let the film sit for 24 hours to increase adhesive bondage to the vehicle. Once the 24 hours has passed, we post heat any areas of vinyl that are needed. This is a crucial step and cannot be rushed. Upon completion of post heating, we clean your vehicle, let you know your vehicle is ready for pickup, and of course, take a ton of pictures of your new wrap!
Why should I wrap a vehicle over other types of advertisement (billboards, flyers, newspaper, TV, radio, magazine, etc.) ?
When you compare the cost of traditional forms of advertising versus the costs of a vehicle wrap, the choice is clear, especially after reading some of the following studies:
- Radio advertisements attracts 900,000 listeners over the course of 6 weeks with around 10-12 thirty second spots. How often do you as a radio listener just change the station when the music stops?
- Value Mailing advertisements potentially reaches 600,000 addresses, usually 100,000 per shipment; ultimately you are just one of many chosen advertisers per mailer. What’s the odds a future client sees this ad and doesn’t either skip over it or toss it altogether?
- Direct mailing advertisements reaches 20,000 addresses per mailer. Out of those 20,000, how many aren’t labeled junk mail and get thrown out immediately?
- Yellow Page advertisements can be expensive, and worst of all every single one of your competition is listed side by side with you. By then, you are just a number in a book with no real appeal. Also, in this day and age, how many of us can say we still flip to the yellow pages in the phone book?
Given these forms of advertisement, it’s clear to see that often you are just throwing money away on these types of advertisement that us as people try to get away from us as soon as possible. Depending on how you use your vehicle (amount driven, locations parked, how many wraps, etc.), a vehicle wrap will generate 30,000-70,000 views each day. Over a year, you are looking at well over 1,000,000 impressions a year. Considering this, if your vehicle is always in public or on the road, a vehicle wrap is your best bet in commercial advertising. You can’t exactly throw away or change the channel on a vehicle that is directly in your vision; it will make an impression without a doubt!
Most vehicle wraps will last around 5 years. Most commercial wraps will vary in cost depending amount of film used, type of film, etc. For arguments sake, if a wrap costs say $3000-$4000, over that 5 year period it translates to $1.65-$2.19 per day, less than the price of an Iced Coffee at a local donut shop! You turn your vehicle into a mobile billboard, each mile you drive turns into advertisement, and each spot you stop becomes a chance to reach new clients as the vehicle just sits there. Unlike other forms of advertisement, there are no hidden monthly fees or renewal charges. Where ever you drive, you advertise! Where ever you stop, you advertise! It’s a no brainer!
Commercial wrapping brings life to a vehicle, and each vehicle adds its own characteristics to bring the most out of a wrap. When it comes time to remove the wrap, it is easily removed and the vehicle will look as if it just rolled off the dealer’s lot ready to be sold with a higher value due to the paint being protected underneath. When it comes down to it, you will make countless money advertising, and you will make more money when it comes time to sell the vehicle to upgrade to a newer model.
Why should I choose commercial vehicle wrapping over cut lettering or painting ?
Nothing grabs your attention quite as much as a professionally designed and wrapped vehicle. Not only does it gain attention, it also maintains value. Whenever you choose to paint a vehicle, the value of said vehicle immediate drops due to non-OEM paint. With cut lettering, although they are removable (like vinyl wrap, only extremely more difficult), they do not quite stand out as much as a wrap and often times gets lost on a vehicle. Over time, the paint around the lettering will fade from the sun and weathering; when it comes time to remove the lettering, you will see a “ghosting” effect due to the fading around the letters. Wrapping a vehicle will prevent this as the paint will be completely covered. Doing this will protect your paint from weathering, which in turn will increase resale later down the line.
What is cut lettering ?
Cut lettering in essence is a decal cut from solid vinyl sheets and attached to your vehicle. It is a cheaper option over vinyl wrapping; however they are not quite as effective as a full vinyl wrap. Instead of grabbing attention like a wrap, they tend to be just your everyday work vehicle with no appeal. Whereas a wrap is over powering and easy to remember, lettering tends to be something one must focus on and write down on a piece of paper to maybe call later. We’re not sure how well you multitask while driving, but we sure cannot read, search for pen and paper, write, and drive all at once. With a full wrap, a customer will remember the colors, the images, the name and the logo, and therefore will be easier to find you later. For the cost of around $2 a day over 5 years, it is a no brainer to wrap your vehicle!
Can you install cut lettering ?
Yes, we can install cut lettering. We actually can design, cut and install any decal, from car windows, truck doors, box trucks, store front windows, inside your office, etc.; we’ve done it all and will continue to do so. As of now, we also print and install full print graphics, perforated graphics, floor graphics, wall graphics, window graphics, signage, full color change wraps, window tint, paint protection film, racing stripes, and literally anything we are challenged by.
What can you do for my fleet of vehicles to be different ?
If you are looking to stand out, vinyl wrapping is your go to. We may be able find you that perfect unique color selection that brands your business perfectly. Since painting will devalue your vehicle for resale, vinyl is the best choice! Given we print all our graphics, the color selection is nearly endless. Also with newer choices of laminates being produced every day, the options to become truly endless. Let us help find you that perfect color scheme!
Does the color of my vehicle change the price of my wrap ?
For commercial wrapping, no. A commercial wrap typically covers the painted surfaces on a vehicle. Since it is printed, these vehicles usually are not wrapped onto the body of the vehicle since this would distort the image completely. When it comes to chrome, these sections are typically not covered. Typically we recommend a black vehicle, or anything that is darker. Sometimes depending on the color of the vehicle you do have, we may have some suggestions to make the wrap in favor of the color. For a color change wrap, the color of the vehicle plays a big role into pricing. The darker the car, the cheaper it will be due to less of a need to wrap into certain crevices.
My commercial wrap sticks out during the day, but what about night time ?
Typically we can add sections of reflective vinyl into the wrap which allow the wrap to stand out in darker areas. Although it may not show in full detail what the wrap is, it will certainly gain enough attention for someone to get closer to see the wrap.
How is my commercial wrap printed ?
We do all our printing onsite. This insures that all printing is correct. All vinyl is printed on our top of the line large format eco solvent printer which truly offers the best colors, durability, highest resolution and most cost effective printing. We only choose to use the best print media, which in turn translates to a top of the line commercial wrap that will stand the test of time.
What do you do to prepare a vehicle for wrapping ?
We ask our customers to take a little bit of a roll into helping us prepare for your wrap. What do we ask you to do? Simply run your car through a car wash to rinse off any loose sand, dirt, dust, etc. Do not wax your vehicle, do not add tire shine, or any other greasy substances to any panel of the vehicle. Just run it through a simple wash, and we’ll take care of the rest. Alternatively, for a small fee we can also wash your vehicle. From there we will clay bar your vehicle and let it sit to dry overnight. The following day we will degrease your vehicle and begin the process of wrapping.
Will my vehicle wrap look like paint ?
For the most part, yes. Films are limited by their stretching, there are times where seaming will be a necessity. For the most part we use our experience to hide these seams where necessary. Other than these sections (that only we notice, trust us), your vehicle will look like paint. We cannot tell you the amount of times a person is shocked when we tell them “No, this is not paint,” to which they react very shocked. We will not lie to our customers in hoping they will not see these sections, they are unavoidable.
How do I wash vinyl wrap ?
We highly recommend you hand wash your vehicle. Furthermore, we recommend you seal your vinyl wrap every few months. We actually recommend a couple purpose made sprays, to which we will show upon completion. Generally, we ask you avoid power washing to the point where you focus the nozzle closely or near the edges; these actions will damage paint, and may possibly tear vinyl. Also avoid automatic washes if possible; these washes also severely damage paint, and other components of the vehicle; it is safe to say it will damage vinyl over the long term also. These car washes also use harsh chemicals which may dry out the vinyl. For this purpose we do ask you seal your vehicle often if you use automatic washes often.
Can vinyl be applied to windows ?
Yes they can, however we will not wrap a front windshield or the front side windows. The other windows are printed on a perforated vinyl, which is then laminated over. The perforation allows you to see out the vinyl wrapped windows. The lamination in turn seals the perforation so dirt and water do not build up in the vinyl and make it impossible to see out of while driving. For all vehicle installs, we only install laminated perforated vinyl. For interior or building perforated vinyl, we can do laminated or non-laminated.
What if I change information for my business after the commercial wrap ?
Typically we can find solutions to update your wrap without printing full panels. This will save you money and us time.
Can vinyl wrap be removed ?
Yes, vinyl wrap can be removed. We recommend that a professional removes your wrap, as we are experienced and have the correct tools to do so.
Will vinyl wrap damage my paint ?
For the most part, no. When applied correctly, and removed correctly, it will not damage your OEM paint. It will actually protect it from the elements and increase resale. However, for cars with non-OEM paint, there is no telling if it will or will not damage it. OEM paints are typically done with specific sets of instructions. From amount of primer, paint and clear, to whether panels were removed or on the car, temperature of baking, and cure time, this is all controlled by the OEM. After market there is no telling what they have done to the vehicle, so there is no guarantee paint will not be damaged upon removal.
What is your warranty on vinyl wrapping ?
We offer a 1 year warranty from the date of installation. This covers defects in workmanship over that year. The manufacturer also offers a warranty over material failure. Each manufacturer is different, so coverage may be limited due to how the vinyl is cared for, as well as what they will cover. Upon completion of a wrap, we will provide scrap materials should any repair be needed in the future. For a small fee, we will store all scrap for that calendar year if needed.
What artwork should we provide you with ?
We require all artwork provided be in the form of a digital file with 300dpi high-res in .PSD, .EPS, .AI and .PDF formats. Keep in mind that basic web images are not acceptable for prints of this size. Although they may look great on your screen, they will not look good in large format. Simply put, it will look pixelated like the video games from 20 years ago. All vector files, such as .AI and .EPS files, can be scaled to whatever size and will not lose any quality in regards to resolution.
I don’t have any high-res artwork for you, now what ?
There are many sites online which you can purchase high-res photos that we can use. There are several sites we can recommend, and have used before. For most franchises, high-res images can be found at the corporate offices. For vectorising images, we can handle that for a small fee. No matter what, we should be able to complete your project for you.
What do you need for solid vinyl cut images/decals ?
We require a vector image to be provided in the form of an .AI or .EPS. Simply cutting and pasting a .JPEG will not work as we need line art to proceed. For a small fee we can vectorize any image to get ready for cutting.
How long can I expect my wrap to last ?
A wrap should last 4-5 years if laminated and properly cared for. Longevity also depends on climate/environment. Our color change vinyl has lamination built in, so we do not need to laminate over this film like commercial film.
Can you wrap over dents and rust ?
Dents we can wrap over as long as the paint is not cracked or missing. If it is cracked or chipped, the odds of damage occurring when removing will be much greater. Rust will need to be removed completely before installation. If not removed, there is no warranty from vinyl lifting in these areas. In both instances when the paint is damaged, there is no guarantee it will not further damage paint on removal.
Do you need to see my vehicle for a quote ?
Yes, we would like to inspect each vehicle before giving a quote. Not only does this give you a chance to meet us and visit our shop, this gives us an idea of what you are looking to do, and the canvas we are working with. Although we have software that can estimate cost, it is always better to check the vehicle in person to see any possible problem spots, and whether we can work around them one way or another.
How much does a commercial wrap cost ?
To get to the point, each vehicle wrap and its print are truly unique, therefore there is no one true cost. Designing, materials used, printing, preparation, installation, vehicle size and complexity, amount covered, and ultimately vehicle model will play into the total cost of the wrap. In general, the more complicated the vehicle, the more expensive it will be. Other factors to keep in mind that play into price are body panel shape, hardware removal, total amount of coverage, added non-OEM parts, the amount of preparation work, replacement parts, costs of design, purchasing of high-res photos, touching-up photos, vectorising images, and whether it is a full or partial wrap.
How long does it take to physically wrap a vehicle ?
Typically it takes 3-4 days to get your vehicle back. We ask you to drop your vehicle off the day before your appointment, here we will clay bar the vehicle and let the vehicle sit indoors to get to room temperature and to dry. The next day we will degrease and begin application. Following completion, which usually is on day 2 of the install, we must let the vinyl sit for 24 hours for the adhesive to cure. Once cured, the final day we will post heat (this is a crucial step), clean up, and notify you your vehicle is ready!
Will vinyl fail ?
Vinyl can fail for a few reasons, they are below:
- Choice of material: Cheaper films, incorrect material, mediocre lamination, and no lamination can lead to failure.
- Outgassing: Printed media must outgas for at least 24 hours before lamination. Skipping this step will affect the adhesive greatly and will lead to failure.
- Preparation: If the surface preparation is not done properly before the wrap, adhesive may fail to stick to the surface over time.
- Cleanliness: If the vehicle is not cleaned thoroughly before the wrap, the adhesive may fail due to the dirtiness.
- Environment: The temperature and humidity will affect adhesive on the vinyl greatly. All vinyl must sit at a specified temperature to cure for 24 hours prior to letting it leave the premises. Due to our climate controlled workspace, we avoid these issues.
- Poor installation: Lack of experience leads to poor stretching, over stretching, incorrect fitment, incorrect heating, and even cutting the vehicle paint. This will lead to failure.
- Maintenance: Washing and sealing will play a great role into keeping your wrap looking new. Skip these steps, and like paint, the wrap will suffer.
What else do you wrap ?
We wrap trailers, boats, motorcycles, storefronts, interior/exterior walls, buildings, floors, appliances, doors, laptops, tabletops and windows.
What is your warranty ?
We offer a 1 year vehicle wrap warranty which covers defects in workmanship. Furthermore, each film we use carries a manufacturer’s warranty. All manufacturer warranties differ; inquire for more information.
Why choose eco solvent inks from Mutoh ?
Mutoh makes the wrap industry’s top vinyl printers. Eco solvent inks are proven for commercial wrapping. Print speeds of 600 square feet per hour means that your print is printed faster. Mutoh also specializes in interweave print technology, which eliminates banding on cheaper printers that make a vehicle wrap look cheap. Also, unlike modern latex printers, it will not affect adhesive strength of the vinyl
What are your references ?
If needed, we have plenty of references of our previous work over the last 4 years (this is 2016 as I write this) of happy repeat customers. I promise you will be the next.
Can you wrap plastics or rubber, such as moldings, trim, mirrors or handles ?
You can, but we don’t and won’t recommend it. It is not a matter of if the vinyl will fail on these surfaces, but more so when. The adhesive on vinyl does not stick well to these areas over long-term. If you choose to wrap these areas, we will not warranty them from failure.
Can I install vinyl wrap over a leased vehicle ?
Yes, just like if you owned the vehicle, a wrap can be easily removed before you turn your lease in. We recommend however you obtain permission to wrap a leased, or even rented, vehicle. Leased vehicles are usually wrapped throughout the entire country without any incident.
Can I install commercial vinyl wrap over my personally leased owned vehicle ?
Usually yes, but if for advertising purposes there are a few things you should check. If the vehicle is leased, you must obtain permission to wrap the leased vehicle. Most leasing companies will not have an issue with this since vinyl is removable, and it increases value of the car. If you are looking to have perforated vinyl over your windows, check with your local laws. Like window tint, laws may exist for graphics over windows. If you live in an area with a Homeowners Association, or other similar body, please check their rules if it is allowed to park your advertisement vehicle outside. Depending where the vehicle is registered, you may need to re-register with commercial plates in order to have a commercial wrap.
How long can I expect vinyl wrap to last on my vehicle ?
In general, you can expect your vehicle wrap to last 4-5 years until it becomes slightly more difficult to remove. If you follow instructions and care for your film as instructed, the film will last as expected. Washing and sealing/waxing are very important to the material’s life.