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Vehicle wraps history and why you should wrap your vehicle

Posted by Frank Murch | Jan 26, 2015 10:37:00 AM

 

The Germans have always had oppressive laws and clever people.  In the 1980s there was a German law that all taxis must be beige. It turns out this color us particularly poor for resale and making it a taxi only color did not help. In 1993 a clever German requested a beige vinyl and wrapped a Black Mercedes E class in beige for taxi duty.  While the first wrap was not great, it worked and at the end of the car’s useful taxi work the vinyl came off reveling a great, scratch and scuff free black paint job. This increased the resale value dramatically and vehicle wrapping was born.German_Taxi_-_1993_-_beige

 

Today there are 2 types of wraps. There is a 1) commercial wrap, where a company’s advertisement is placed on the vehicle and it becomes a mobile billboard and the second kind 2) people just want a unique car and change colors, textures or print something they like.

 

The first taxi was calendared vinyl.  This is a difficult material to contour over the curves of a car. Today there is a technological march to better and better materials.  Most if not all of these have been cast vinyl.  That is a material the will stretch and shrink into the rounded areas and valleys of stamped metal.  This cause endless issues and one of the major areas for problems is air entrapment.Full-wrap

 

Air release vinyl are still being developed today. One of the first and most common is a type of vinyl adhesive called “comply”. “Comply” is a series of groves – like a pin striped suit. These are pathways for the air to escape and creep an air free laydown with better adhesion. 3M has been a leader in this area. Arlon has gone a step further with a patented technology that does the same thing, but looks like a lizard skill. The advantage is it releases air in all directions – not the single path that “Comply” does.Charles-Illingworth-Track-Wrap-A_(1024x768)

 

Also the same lines, color and surface choices are much better today that they have ever been. Metallic, matte black and a range of colors are available

 

Wrap advertising or a vehicle wrap covers the whole car. It is a mobile billboard. This can be done with paint, but it is extreme. Using a printer to print on a flat piece of vinyl, then apply this to a car surface is much cheaper and allows for a complexity not possible with paint.

 

These advances now make it possible to make an extremely effective advertisement out of a service vehicle. In Southern California, where cars travel distances and in traffic the exposure is outstanding. It is very possible to have 50,000 “views” a day if you are making deliveries. To get a similar exposure is expensive.  Legally, there are few places limiting the advertisements on vehicles. Getting a similar ad space on a building or monument sign would be impossible – un-“permit able” by the government authorities.

 

The initial cost is fairly high. Like paint, it is possible to buy a cheap wrap, but (like paint) you get what you pay for. That high initial cost gets cheaper on average every day the wrap is seen and used. Over 3 years (the average life of a wrap) it is actually one of the most effective and least costly forms of advertising.

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Topics: Car Wraps, vehicle graphics

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