29 Nov 2015

What is a vehicle wrap and how do I get one?


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Read below to find out what a vehicle wrap is, why you should have one, and how to get one.

A vehicle wrap can be compared to a billboard, but one that constantly works for your business anywhere you drive. They can create new leads 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unlike other forms of advertising. The biggest benefit to mobile advertising that it’s a one time investment that gives you up to 7 years of revolving advertising. Compare it to one years cost of advertising a full page ad in a decent magazine and you will find that you could have purchased 3-4 wraps. The problem with magazine advertising is that you will be limited to the type of people that read that magazine and with a vehicle wrap you get impressions everywhere you drive. Something catchy like the tank wrap shown on this page will make people aware of the brand and remember it next time they want something.

Ok so, its advertising but what is it?A vehicle wrap is essentially a very large specialty vinyl* that professionals can conform and contour to fit any make or model car, truck, van, trailer, semi or smooth surface. Wraps are printed on large format printing machines typically manufactured by HP, Roland or Mutoh. A good vehicle wrap when installed and cared for properly can actually protect the paint underneath the vinyl leaving your paint in the same condition when the graphics are removed.

I know what a wrap is now, how do I get one? We are not going to pretend like we are the only vehicle wrap company in the world. There are practically shops opening up on every street corner faster then Starbucks these days. What we can do is offer our professional opinion in how to get the best vehicle wrap for you money and if in the end you find it’s us.. so be it. Below we will outline the facts and add some questions to ask your future vehicle wrap company. Keep in mind that prices may vary from state to state and artwork varies per graphic design company.

Step One: Find a couple vehicle wrap companies
This should be easy since you’re already online reading this blog! Hop on google, yahoo, bing or whatever your favorite search browser is. Search around for several companies in your area that offer both graphic design and vehicle wraps. These days it is easy for anyone to purchase a large format printer and call themselves a wrap shop. You really need to make sure that the shop you choose has a graphic design background! After all, they will be in charge of creating a mobile brand for your company. Once you have found some companies, check out their portfolios. If you like what they have to show in their vehicle wrap portfolio then proceed to step 2.

Step Two: Get quotes for your vehicle wrap project
Be sure to have the make, model and year of your vehicle prior to getting a quote as this will help the company calculate the size of the job. If you are getting a quote for a trailer wrap, semi, or something off beat then be sure to include the following measurements. -Height -Length (per side) -Width (per side) Basically, include the measurements for the areas you want covered. When getting an estimate from the places found in step 1, here are the things you should ask: Do you price per square foot or per job? What will the artwork cost be? Do you laminate your wraps? What is the warranty? (<–The last one is important!) How long does it take to apply the vehicle wrap? Are there any other charges? How long before you can see a design proof?

Step Three: Chose your favorite company and leave a deposit
Once you get your quotes back, the prices estimated should all be within $500-$2000 of each other. If you get a better feel for one wrap company but their price is a bit higher, just be honest with them and more then likely they will work within your budget. Some companies will even price match with a written competitors quote. Beware of companies charging ridiculously cheaper then other shops. Typically these types of shops cut corners to bring you a better deal which will effect the end product.
Generally a graphic design company or vehicle wrap shop will ask for a deposit to reserve design time and installation. This deposit will range from a couple hundred dollars to 50% of the job. We have noticed in our experience the serious wrap companies take 50% deposit to assure their clients are committed.

Step Four: The vehicle wrap design process
Be sure that you are included in the design process. you should keep several things in mind when designing your mobile advertising wrap. Simplicity often wins over trying to cram every element onto your graphics. With this form of advertising you get about 3 seconds to capture your potential leads and convert them to call or chat. Focus on what your business offers and chose the most important element that you can convey to people in a friendly manner. Pretend like a 8 year old is going to see your wrap… Would they know what services you offer? If not.. Simplify more.

Step Five: Approval
Once your designer and you have dialed in your wonderful graphics it’s time to approve. Be sure to verify things like phone numbers, grammar and text before signing off on anything. It’s ultimately your responsibility to confirm everything is right before the vehicle wrap shop prints. If something is wrong and you signed off, you could be charged an additional reprint fee to replace.

Step Six: Dropping your vehicle off for installation
When it’s time to bring your vehicle in to be wrapped, be sure to wash and dry the vehicle the day prior to drop off. You want to wash the vehicle with soap and water, but avoid using any wax based washing agents. DO NOT wash the vehicle the morning or day of dropping the vehicle off. Water can remain in crevices and potentially delay the installation process. The wrap shop will be wiping all surfaces down with alcohol but don’t expect them to clean your vehicle. You may be charged an additional fee for bringing a dirty vehicle in.

Step Six: Pickup
When your vehicle wrap is finished be sure to walk around the wrap and ask any questions that might be on your mind. All vehicle wraps will have seams somewhere but good wrap shops can minimize overlaps to a minimum if not zero.

Step Seven: Care and tips

Care: Be sure to treat your vehicle wrap as if you would care for your paint.. but better. Vehicle wraps can last up to 7 years when cared for on a regular basis. The difference between a vehicle wrap and paint is that a paint job can be buffed out when abused. A wrap has a protective lamination that can not be buffed when stained so it is important to take good care of it. We recommend washing your wrap 3x a month and waxing with a polymer based wax once every 2-3 months.

Tips: To get the best exposure for your vehicle wrap advertising be sure to think advertising anywhere you drive. Your driving can effect your potential leads and where you park can too. Anywhere you go, think of where you can park to maximize visual impressions. Get to large events early and get where everyone will see your vehicle.