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Vehicle Graphics FAQ

So you want to turn your vehicle into a 24-hour-a-day billboard for your business but you’re not sure what that involves? Maybe you want to change the color of your personal car, or add some design elements to your motorcycle or boat? Below are a few of the most common questions we get when someone wants to know where to begin with vehicle graphics.

Fleet of service trucks with consistent brandingBox Truck Graphicsclean branding on the hood of each car in the fleetRetro Vinyl Graphics on a food truck

What are vehicle graphics?

We generally get two kinds of vehicle graphic requests: wraps and lettering. A wrap is created by printing with brilliant latex inks onto a specialized vinyl, then laminating it for longevity before applying it with pressure and heat to large sections of the vehicle. Wraps cover all the underlying paint so they can change the entire look of the vehicle. They’re a lot of fun and highly customizable. You can even cover windows with wrap vinyl; it’s a special perforated vinyl that gives the impression of a solid design from the outside, but you can see out from inside. Some wrap vinyl is created with specialty colors and finishes like color shifts, pearlized, matte finish, metallics, or even textures.

Lettering is done by cutting the designs out of a long-lasting, solid colored vinyl that is then transferred precisely onto the surface of your car, usually on the doors, rear, or windows. It’s a cost-effective way to use vinyl to customize your vehicle without everything that goes into a full wrap.

We can do full wraps, partial wraps, and combinations of wraps and lettering. As a custom sign shop, it’s our job to help you create exactly what you want.

How long do they last?

Most vinyls are guaranteed for two years with reasonable care. In our experience it can last much longer than that, especially if you care for your wrap properly. More on that later.

Can it be removed, and will it damage my paint?

Wraps can be removed and will not damage your paint, as long as the paint is in good condition at the time of wrapping. Most people find that the wrap protects the underlying paint.

Can you create a design for me?

You better believe it. Our experienced creative team will work with you to create the design that speaks your message best. Whether you just want to change the color of your car, or shout to the world that your business is out there and ready to serve, if you can dream it we can create it.

How much does it cost?

It depends! (You knew that was the answer, right?) Square footage, the amount of design, complexity of the install, all these contribute to the cost. All you need to do is call us or, better yet, bring your vehicle on over to our shop and we’ll get all the information we need to provide you a quote. And please don’t hesitate to tell us when you’re working in a budget, because we are happy to offer you what works best for your wallet.

How long does it take to install?

A large van will take about 2 days, where a small van or sedan would take a day. If you have graphics on your vehicle already that need to be removed, we’ll account for that in our time estimate.

How do I care for a wrapped vehicle?

Don’t wash a freshly applied graphic for at least the first week. Hand washing is best, but you can run it through a car wash if you wish. We do NOT recommend ever power washing any kind of adhesive graphics as they may lift and begin to pull away from the surface. Parking inside will help increase the longevity of your graphics, if possible.

Call Signwave at 631-761-9292 or stop by and see us. We’d love to answer your questions in person and get you started with a beautiful and profitable vehicle wrap today!

 

 

Truck Graphics

5 Clues You’ve Picked The Right Sign Company For Your Vehicle Graphics Project

If you’ve been thinking of a full wrap for your Mobile Salon RV, branding your car, tricking out your motorcycle, or outfitting your fleet of box trucks – we’ve got some helpful tips for you. We’ve heard too many sad stories from our customers about ways they’ve been burned by other companies. So how do you know if you’ve found a reliable vehicle wrap installer to trust with your car, truck or van wrap?

#1 – A Good Sign Company will Respond, and be Forthcoming With Information.
Two thirds of sign companies don’t respond at all to new customer queries for vehicle wraps. You have every reason to expect immediate answers, and any respectable sign company will take a consultative approach to help solve problems. If they try to sell you stuff you don’t want, move on.

#2 – An Honest Sign Company will Explain Their Quote.
Vehicle graphics projects don’t readily lend themselves to “one size fits all” pricing, so the quote should include a detailed scope of work. A vehicle graphics project often includes the marketing and design phase, the specification of materials, measuring and pricing, removal of existing graphics, printing and laminating, and installation – each with their own custom issues. Your sign professional should discuss all of these with you to get an accurate price.

#3 – A Reputable Sign Company will Handle The Whole Job, And Welcome You Onto Their Premises.
There is a high demand for vehicle wraps and a shortage of qualified wrap experts. Many sign shops outsource their wrap projects to installers that work for several different shops, so make sure the party you’re dealing with is well equipped and takes full accountability for the job.

#4 – A Reliable Sign Company will Explain The Warranty Clearly And Stand By Their Promises.
3M, Avery and Hexis manufacture the best quality materials available. But weather, storage conditions, and driving conditions affect how well even the highest quality wrap will perform over time. Many sign companies make blanket 10 year performance claims, which they may not be prepared to back up if they don’t take actual conditions into consideration. Make sure you have the right expectations about how the sides of your vehicle will look after years of sun and weather vs. the direct rays of the sun on horizontal surfaces. Ask your sign resource about what you can do to make sure your graphics continue to look stunning, and exactly how they intend to fulfill claims made in their warranty.

#5 – A Knowledgeable Sign Company will Use Approved Overlaminate that is Compatible with the Wrap Film.
Many companies will save money by not overlaminating their wraps, or using a budget overlaminate. You may not be able to see the difference when you come to pick up your truck or fleet and provide final payment, as any fresh install will always look dashing. But a few months of road wear and exposure to sun and rain will do damage even on the excellent latex Inks that the best print operators use for digital wraps. Reputable companies will use a cast optically clear overlaminate that is compatible with the cast vinyl they are printing on. There are exceptions –certain non-printed “color change” wraps using specialty materials do not require laminate. Ask your company to show you the Vinyl Manufacturer’s Specification Sheet.

It’s always exciting to see your new fleet or vehicle dressed up to show off your brand. With proper attention given to intended usage, specifications and processes prior to the install, you can be assured that the integrity of your colors and finish stand up to weathering and daily use, for years to come.

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about these 5 points, or anything we may not have covered in this article. Join this conversation, or call Signwave at 631-761-9292, and we’ll make sure your install does not become one of those sad stories.

 

Vehicle wrap

Street Wise Branding: Six Ways Vehicle Wraps Accelerate Sales.

Advertising your business on your car, truck or van generates an average of 600 impressions per mile driven.

In heavy traffic and on busy roads, that number is easily quadrupled! Not to mention the additional awareness it generates while parked at your facility or customers’ locations. With advancements in materials science, and availability of latex printing technologies, vehicle graphics are quickly becoming among the most popular methods of branding for businesses. Let’s look at six reasons why:

1-Reach – 50,000  to 100,000 of your local prospects will see your brand each day, month after month.

2-Tireless member of your sales force – No need to pay for advertising month after month – with a vehicle wrap pay once and you’re good for up to ten years.

3-Effortless Selling – No more cursing your fate when you are stuck in traffic – you will be delighted at the opportunity for extending your brand message to the captive audience around you!

4-Big Company Image – Two or three vehicles will give the appearance of a fleet of 50 when your customers see them multiple times a month on their regular routes.

5-Mobile Site Signage – A box truck or van is a fantastic billboard when it is parked roadside at your parking lot.

6-The Wow Factor – A great vehicle design will amaze and delight. Check out some examples in our gallery or call us at 631-761-9292 and we’ll show you how.

Ready to get started? You may want to check out 5 Clues You’ve Picked The Right Sign Company For Your Vehicle Graphics Project before you begin.

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