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Vehicle Wraps and Graphics Terminology

Vehicle Wrapping Terminology

Here at Connecting Signs we really love doing vehicle wraps – in fact we’re now northern Colorado’s only 3M Preferred and Lowen Certified expert installers! We can’t emphasize enough the importance of vehicle graphics for your business.  The latest trend in mobile advertising usually relates to handheld devices, however, creating a moving billboard with a custom vehicle wrap can actually be more effective for locally based businesses. Vehicle wrapped cars, trucks and vans are estimated to receive 30,000 to 70,000 views a day and for a business that depends on local customers; vehicle wraps can provide the longest lasting, most affordable advertising solution.  Car wraps boast the lowest cost-per-impression rate compared to any other form of advertising media and are not only affordable for large brands that elect to use vehicle wraps as a core advertising strategy, but also for small and medium-sized businesses. You can’t shut off the message on a vehicle, like you can on a TV, it is displaying your message and providing valuable advertising 24/7.
It’s not hard to understand the benefits, although; we understand there are still questions and concerns about vehicle wrapping that you might have.  So maybe some definitions of commonly used wrapping terminology that you will hear would help.

A vehicle wrap (full or partial) consists of a design developed by the customer or a graphic designer.  If the customer provides us with the design, the graphic designer ensures that the file is the correct format so that the design produced is exactly what the customer is expecting; especially fonts, spelling, and correct colors.  After the customer approves the design, it is printed on special vinyl and laminated, and finally installed or “wrapped” on a vehicle. The wrap is applied directly to the vehicle using special tools.  The installer may work just as close with the customer as the graphic designer making sure placement looks correct, seams in the vinyl are pointed out and, care of the wrap are talked about.  The application is so precise it is often mistaken for a custom paint job.  Wrapping can be applied to everything from a car, van, truck, fleet vehicles and much more. 

  • Vinyl – Design is printed on this.  Most popular is called cast vinyl because it does not shrink or stretch or change its shape once installed.  Popular brands are 3M, Avery and Oracal.
  • Laminated – A special transparent film applied to the vinyl for protection from the elements.
  • Printing – Our Latex printer is fast turnaround, versatile, and environmentally friendly.
  • Full Wrap  –
  • Partial Wrap –
  • Fleet Wraps – Vehicles owned by a company and used for business purposes.
  • Tools – Heat gun, vinyl cutter, magnets, gloves, scrapers, molding removers and squeegees.
  • Graphic Design – The art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines or books.   Graphic designers create visual concepts, by hand or using computer software, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform or captivate consumers.
  • File Type – If you provide your own artwork, EPS is the most common file type that vector files are saved as in order for graphic designers to create the design.
  • Color Matching – We use the Pantone Color Matching System which is largely a standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another.
  • Seam – A line formed by the joining together of two separate pieces of vinyl.

Let Connecting Signs know how you’re going to be using the vehicle as well as how long you plan on keeping the wrap. Weigh the cost against the quality and long term durability before making your decision.  Trying to save by using inferior quality will cost more in the long run but if you are on a tight budget a short term solution may be the only option.  There is a lot involved with vehicle wraps, but we are the experts, just let us do the wrapping and you do the reaping—benefits that is!!