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Vehicle Wrap F.A.Q.'s

DSI Graphics


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Vehicle Wrap F.A.Q.'s

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What is a Vehicle Wrap?

What's involved in a Vehicle Wrap?

What's the difference between a partial and full wrap?

How long will the wrap stay on my vehicle?

Will a Vehicle Wrap damage my paint?

Do I have to wash my vehicle before installation?

Do I need to bring my vehicle in for measurements?

How long will it take to wrap my vehicle?

If my vinyl vehicle wrap graphics are damaged, can they be fixed?

Can you wrap a leased vehicle?

How do I care for my Wrap?

What is considered when calculating the cost of a Vehicle Wrap?

How can I justify the cost of a vehicle wrap?

Can you easily remove vinyl graphics used for wraps?

Can I see through vinyl on the windows?

Is it normal to have some wrinkles or bubbles?

What are the advantages of a Vehicle Wrap as opposed to a new paint job?

Does a vinyl wrap really weigh less than a paint job?

What is the best base color for a vehicle that is going to be wrapped?

Do you recommend vinyl overlaminate for perforated window vinyl?

What is the best type of design in order to hide installation flaws such as wrinkles or bubbles?

What is the best vinyl to use for vehicle wraps?

Should you use or require clear vinyl overlaminate for your vehicle wraps?

Can you wrap primered vehicles?

What is a Vehicle Wrap?

A Wrap is a large vinyl graphic or decal.  It is applied directly over the original paint of the vehicle.  The application of the Wrap allows you to change the vehicle's appearance in a very short period of time and in turn allows you to remove the Wrap, returning the vehicle back to its original condition if necessary.

 

What's involved in a Vehicle Wrap?

Vehicle wraps, including bus wraps and fleet wraps, are comprised of three phases. The first is the design phase which includes getting accurate measurements for the vehicle and actual design of the graphics to be applied. The second is the production phase where the graphic is printed and then laminated to protect the vinyl from abrasions and UV rays that can cause graphics to fade over time. The third phase is installation where the vinyl is actually applied to your vehicle. In some cases there may even be a fourth phase, the removal of graphics if requested.

 

What's the difference between a partial and full wrap?

Anything less than a full wrap is normally called a "partial wrap."  a half partial wrap normally includes the entire rear of the vehicle and halfway up the vehicle, and includes a hood logo.  a three-quarters partial wrap normally includes the entire rear of the vehicle and most of the way up the vehicle, and includes a hood logo.  Typically, a full wrap includes the entire surface of the vehicle.

 

How long will the wrap stay on my vehicle?

Normally, you can leave a wrap on between one to six years. The life of your wrap depends on many factors. Please refer to your supplier for specifics. In general, a high performance cast vinyl wrap using solvent long-life inks and a UV protective overlaminate can last more than three years.

 

Will a Vehicle Wrap damage my paint?

In most cases vehicle wraps will not damage factory paint jobs. It is important to talk with your supplier and possibly pre-test your paint job prior to wrapping with vinyl. Paint in poor condition may peel when vinyl is removed.

 

Do I have to wash my vehicle before installation?

Yes.  All vehicles have to be free of dust, mud, wax, oil, armor-all type products, and other agents that may prevent the vinyl from adhering to the vehicle surface during the installation process.  Even if you clean the vehicle yourself your installer will still do some prep work to the vehicle to ensure it is ready for the vehicle wrap.  Most vehicles need to be high pressure washed with detergent.  After washing, it is also critical to prep the vehicle surface with degreasers, alcohols and other solvents.

 

Do I need to bring my vehicle in for measurements?

That depends.  There are software programs that have accurate dimension of most standard production run cars, trucks, and vans.  If your vehicle is a limited run issue, custom measurements may be needed.  Also, some installers like you to bring your vehicle in so they can take photographs and do their designs from the pictures rather than a software template.

 

How long will it take to wrap my vehicle?

Time to do wraps vary widely from project to project and installer to installer.  However, in general vehicle wraps can be done in significantly less time than painting.  Paint jobs normally require curing and drying time and much more preparation than a vehicle wrap.  Often a full wrap applied by two Fellers Certified installers on a standard automobile can be done in one day.

 

If my vinyl vehicle wrap graphics are damaged, can they be fixed?

Yes.  You can normally have the damaged pieces or panels of your vehicle wrap replaced after your vehicle is repaired.  You normally do not need to redo the entire wrap if the damage is limited to certain areas of the vehicle.  Talk to your supplier.

 

Can you wrap a leased vehicle?

You must always obtain permission to wrap a leased or rented vehicle. However, in general, most leased or rented vehicles have factory paint jobs with excellent paint quality. Vinyl applied over factory paint is best because vinyl can be removed easier without damage or "paint peel." Leased vehicles are often wrapped throughout the country without incident or damage.

 

How do I care for my Wrap?

Hand washing is best.  Try to avoid high pressure washes and be careful never to use an ice scraper on window graphics.  There are specially designed products to clean and polish vinyl graphics, so ask your supplier.

 

What is considered when calculating the cost of a Vehicle Wrap?

There are several things to consider:  design time, materials (including vinyl and lamination), print, and installation. The size of the vehicle, amount of the vehicle to be wrapped and type of vehicle also play a part in cost.  In general, vehicles with compound curves or indentions, like a VW Bug or PT Cruiser, are more difficult and more expensive to wrap than a box van with flat surfaces.  Partial wraps are a great way to minimize cost as opposed to a full wrap. Cast (High Performance) Vinyl is more expensive than Calendered (Intermediate) Vinyl but lasts longer, so be sure to discuss the details with your supplier.  We also recommend that you request a clear vinyl overlaminate.  It costs a little more but is well worth it.

 

How can I justify the cost of a vehicle wrap?

If you are using your vehicle wrap as signage, there is no more cost-effective advertising method available.  It has been proven that the cost per impression (CPI) of vehicle wraps is less than other forms of advertising such as billboards, television, radio and yellow pages.  If you are using your vehicle wrap to improve the appearance of your vehicle, digitally printed vehicle wraps simply can not be duplicated by more traditional methods like paint or airbrushing.

 

Can you easily remove vinyl graphics used for wraps?

Yes, in most cases, if you follow guidelines from your vinyl supplier or Fellers Certified Installer.  There are many types of vinyl that can be used on vehicle wraps.  Some vinyls are designed to be more easily removed than others.  Please ask your supplier which vinyl is right for the vehicle you are wrapping.  Also find out the maximum length of time the wrap may be on the car.  In general, vinyl wraps tend to be harder to remove the longer they remain on the vehicle because the adhesives tend to build up a bond over time.  In addition, if the original wrap is vinyl overlaminated it is much easier to remove than an unlaminated wrap. Heat is often used to soften the vinyl and its adhesive in order to assist in the removal of the vinyl.  There are special chemicals and tools available to assist in the removal of vinyl.

 

Can I see through vinyl on the windows?

You can see through window graphics that are printed on perforated window film.  Window perf vinyl is perforated with very small holes that allow you to see out.  From inside the vehicle, visibility is similar to regular window tint.  From the outside, the graphic is visible.  For safety reasons the front windshield and forward driver and passenger windows should not have vinyl graphics. Nornally, the rear windshield and rear windows on passenger- and driver-side doors can have vinyl graphics.  However, laws vary by state, so please check with your supplier.

 

Is it normal to have some wrinkles or bubbles?

Yes, on a full wrap it is normal to have an occasional wrinkle or bubble.  There are many techniques to reduce imperfections when wrapping, but even the best vinyl-wrappers can't eliminate all wrinkles on severely concave or rounded surfaces.  Normally on flat surfaces, there should not be any wrinkles or bubbles.  Fellers Certified Installers are specially trained to prevent bubbles and wrinkles.  Specially designed vinyls are available which help reduce flaws, so ask your supplier.

 

What are the advantages of a Vehicle Wrap as opposed to a new paint job?

With vehicle wraps, a designer's creativity and design possibilities are limitless.  For example, it is difficult to paint a photograph, but easy to digitally reproduce a photograph.  Paint simply cannot duplicate what is possible with digitally printed vinyl vehicle wraps.  Vinyl vehicle wraps are also a great way to protect your original paint underneath.  Finally, it is much easier to change your vehicle wrap vinyl graphics than to change a paint job.

 

Does a vinyl wrap really weigh less than a paint job?

Yes. According to research done by 3M, using vinyl instead of paint on race vehicles can lower the weight of a car by as much as 30 pounds!

 

What is the best base color for a vehicle that is going to be wrapped?

Most professionals prefer a black vehicle because black helps to hide any areas that don't match the vinyl graphics. Any base color on a vehicle can be wrapped, but black seems to work the best. If you have a base color other than black, try to design your wrap with colors that will compliment your base color just in case it can't all be covered easily.

 

Do you recommend vinyl overlaminate for perforated window vinyl?

Yes and no.  If you want optimal protection for fading and scuff resistance then you must use optically clear vinyl overlaminate.  However, if you want the utmost visibility through the perforated window film, you can't overlaminate.  In this case an aerosol spray overlaminate could be used prior to install, making sure the liquid does not plug up the perforations. Please note that if you do NOT use overlaminate, it is very difficult to see through the perforated window vinyl when driving in the rain.

 

What is the best type of design in order to hide installation flaws such as wrinkles or bubbles?

Since not all bubbles, wrinkles and seams can be avoided, a very "busy" design with lots of background shapes and colors can help hide these flaws. A camouflage background is one example of a "busy" design. It has great impact but it can still hide potential defects or damage to the vinyl wrap.

 

What is the best vinyl to use for vehicle wraps?

In most cases a high performance wrapping vinyl should be used for vehicle wraps. The world's leading brands of high performance wrapping vinyls are manufacturered by 3M, Avery and Oracal.

 

Should you use or require clear vinyl overlaminate for your vehicle wraps?

Absolutely, with one exception. Clear vinyl overlaminates protect the finished print from scuffing, weather, gasoline, and washing. Some overlaminates also provide fading protection from the sun, so ask your supplier. Finally, most installers highly prefer to wrap with a vinyl that has been overlaminated because it provides much more strength during the wrapping and wrap removal processes. The only exception to clear vinyl overlaminate would be for perforated window film.

 

Can you wrap primered vehicles?

It is critical to test the surface of a primered vehicle. Some paint-primered surfaces do not have an acceptable bond to wrapping vinyls and need to be sanded or painted prior to installation.