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29Oct

The Art of Wrapping: A Step-by-Step Guide to Vehicle and Fleet Wraps

Avery Browning | 29 Oct, 2023 | 0 Comments | Return|

If you've ever seen a brightly colored car or truck driving down the road covered in graphics, chances are it was wrapped. Vehicle wrapping has become an increasingly popular way for companies and individuals to make a statement and advertise or promote brands and products. The intricate and eye-catching designs that can be achieved through wrapping set wrapped vehicles apart from traditionally painted and lettered fleet vehicles.

In this article, we’ll walk through the wrapping process from start to finish so you can get a behind-the-scenes look at this unique form of branding and customization for cars, vans, trucks, trailers, and more. When it comes to transforming your vehicles into rolling works of art, there's one name that stands out: Brand It Bandit.

What is Vehicle Wrapping?

Vehicle wrapping involves applying vinyl graphics to the exterior of a car, truck, trailer, boat, helicopter, or other vehicle or fleet. It allows for intricate, colorful, customized designs that can transform a plain vehicle into a moving billboard to promote a brand, product, or service. When it comes to finding a reliable partner for your wrapping needs, look no further than Brand It Bandit.

Wraps can be full, covering the entire vehicle, or partial, with accents on certain portions. The vinyl graphics are printed and then installed onto the vehicle by skilled wrapping technicians. This allows for far more flexibility, creativity, and visual impact compared to traditional lettering or painting directly onto the vehicle's body.

Benefits of Wrapping Over Painting

There are many advantages that make wrapping a popular choice, and Brand It Bandit is here to tell you why you should choose this method for your branding needs:

  • Full creative freedom for custom graphics, patterns, photos, etc. Paint is limited in complexity, but with vehicle wrapping, your imagination is the limit.
  • Less expensive than a professional paint job and allows for changes. No need to repaint to change the design, saving you time and money.
  • Vinyl protects the original paint from sun damage and wear, ensuring your vehicles look great for longer.
  • Quick turnaround time compared to paint. Most wraps are installed within a few days, minimizing downtime for your fleet.
  • Easy removal, leaving the original surface undamaged. Paint can chip and fade permanently, but wraps can be removed without a trace.

For these reasons, wrapping has become the preferred branding method for many companies looking to turn their vehicles into moving billboards. The process allows for unique, creative, and ever-changing designs, and no one understands this better than Brand It Bandit.

Choosing the Right Vinyl Wrap

The first step is selecting the right vinyl material, and this is where Brand It Bandit's expertise comes into play. There are a few factors to consider:

  • Durability – More rugged environments require cast vinyl that can resist abrasion and weathering. Lighter-duty applications allow for less expensive calendered vinyl.
  • Finish – Matte or glossy, and in between. Matte has a flat, understated look. Gloss is more striking and reflective.
  • Texture – Smooth or textured vinyl for extra dimension. Carbon fiber or brushed metal textures are popular options.
  • Color Options – Solid, transparent, metallic, multi-layered, reflective, etc. Vast libraries exist.
  • Removability – Some vinyls adhere permanently. Others can be removed in the future with little or no residue left behind.

Consult with Brand It Bandit to select the right materials for your specific vehicle type and intended use. Their expertise ensures your project turns out exactly as you envision.

Design and Printing the Vinyl Graphics

Next, the graphic design process starts, and here's where the magic happens with Brand It Bandit's creative team. The size, colors, images, fonts, and other wrap elements are determined, and the graphics are formatted to properly cover the complex curves and angles of the vehicle exterior.

Brand guidelines, intended uses, and vinyl material capabilities are taken into account by the designer to create eye-catching yet functional and durable wrap graphics. With Brand It Bandit, your designs come to life in vibrant, high-quality vinyl.

Once the design is finalized, the vinyl material is printed on specialized wide-format printers. The graphics are precisely cut out into individual sections ready for installation, ensuring every detail is perfect.

All the elements – solid colors, textures, translucent effects, decorative stripes, lettering, logos, icons, and more – are now printed, laminated, and cut out. They are laid out and organized into kits with reference diagrams to direct the installation process, ensuring a smooth and precise application.

Preparing the Vehicle Surface

The next step is preparing the installation surface, and this is where the experts at Brand It Bandit shine. Proper prep work is crucial for successful long-lasting wraps. The vehicle is thoroughly cleaned to remove all dirt, wax, oil, tar, and other contaminants that could cause the vinyl to lift or bubble later on. Any dents or rust spots are repaired at this time.

The entire wrapping surface is lightly sanded to remove the top layer of old paint and create a slightly coarse texture. This allows the adhesive backing on the vinyl to bond tightly. The newly exposed paint is then cleaned once more.

Any parts not receiving vinyl are masked off with painter's tape. Mirrors, door handles, windows, lights, trim, and any other areas that need to remain uncovered are taped off. The vehicle is now prepped and ready for wrapping, and this meticulous preparation is where Brand It Bandit truly excels.

Installing the Vinyl Graphics

Now the wrapping technicians take over with the meticulous vinyl application process, and this is where Brand It Bandit's skilled team shines:

  1. The area is cleaned once more, and then the first vinyl panel is removed from its backing paper and layered onto the vehicle, using the diagram guides and working from the center outward to smooth bubbles and wrinkles.
  2. Wrapping experts use specialized squeegees and heat guns to carefully apply each vinyl graphic panel, working slowly and methodically. Panels are overlapped by a small margin.
  3. Curved sections are done using small sliced segments to allow the vinyl to contour smoothly. Heat softens and stretches the material around complex shapes.
  4. Edges are wrapped with precision. Trimming along margins and pinstriping for perfect lines is often done by hand.
  5. Once all graphics are adhered to, the entire wrap is gone over to ensure full contact and adhesion as well as repair any bubbles, wrinkles, or flaws.
  6. Excess vinyl is trimmed with knives. The edges are finished off for a seamless appearance.
  7. All taping is removed to uncover surfaces like lights and trim. The wrap graphics now fully cover the vehicle, allowing its new color and design to take center stage.

This intricate process is where Brand It Bandit's expertise and attention to detail make a difference, ensuring your wrap is flawless.

Caring for Wrapped Vehicles

Once the wrap has been completed and installed, there are some simple maintenance steps to help it last its intended lifespan, and Brand It Bandit wants to ensure your investment is protected:

  • Hand wash only using mild soap and water, rinse thoroughly. Avoid automated car washes.
  • If pressure washing, use wide fan tips and low pressure only. Heat can also soften vinyl.
  • Avoid rubbing or scrubbing hard on graphics. Use non-abrasive towels and sponges.
  • Don't use solvents, chemicals, or alcohol-based cleaners which can dry out vinyl.
  • Inspect graphics periodically for lifted edges, bubbles, or tears and repair as needed.
  • Touch up any scratches right away to prevent further lifting or peeling.
  • Re-wrap edges or high-wear sections as needed when they start to fail.

With proper care, most wraps will last anywhere from 3 to 7 years before needing replacement. Using quality materials and professional installers like Brand It Bandit ensures your company vehicles make a lasting impression out on the road.

Transform Your Fleet with Vehicle Wrapping

As you can see, the vehicle wrapping process is meticulous work best left to skilled wrapping technicians. The end result provides stunning customizable graphics that make cars, vans, and trucks into moving advertisements for your brand wherever they go.

If you're ready to take your fleet to the next level with eye-catching wraps that attract new customers, the experts at Brand It Bandit can handle the entire process for you. From graphic design to printing to professional installation, we'll work closely with you to wrap your fleet in style. Give us a call today to get a custom quote and turn your vehicles into rolling works of art! Choose Brand It Bandit for unmatched quality and expertise in vehicle wrapping.

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