Primal Vinyl: The Skinny on Vehicle Wraps for Beginners

   You may have heard of vinyl wraps and not have even known what you were hearing! Vinyl wraps are commonly referred to as vehicle wraps, bus wraps, or window stickers. The use of vinyl for advertising is a gripping new indoor/outdoor advertising medium and personal/business branding expression. A vinyl wrap is like a big sticker that goes around your vehicle or on your business storefront. The coolest part is that you get to decide exactly what it looks like from concept to application!

   As mentioned on the Feller’s website, they are “created by applying ink-jet printed or solid-color pressure-sensitive adhesive vinyl onto nearly any vehicle, piece of furniture, object, interior surface, or building exterior.” To withstand the elements of weather and exposure to debris a thin crystal-clear vinyl over-laminate is often laid over the wrap as well. The simplest vinyl wraps use only solid-colored pressure-sensitive vinyl to literally change the color or appearance of a painted surface such as turning a gloss-black vehicle into a matte black appearance (as you can see below).

   Many people question the application of wraps worrying about many things. Prolonged exposure to heat, cold, or sunlight is a common concern. Some people feel as if you are giving your car a tattoo…that the application of vinyl is permanent. Another big issue on the forefront of a potential buyer is the eventual appearance of bubbles or seams in the vinyl.

   The fact of the matter is that there are several choices you can make as a consumer that can minimize these concerns. For the most part, vinyl is a temporary treatment and can maintain it’s appealing look in extreme climates. Most wraps that are removed from factory-painted vehicles do not damage the paint underneath, however paint damage is possible on all wraps. The wraps are applied with heat and the skill of the production team you choose and the specific type of vinyl you choose for your vehicle are big factors. Many wraps that you may have encountered have had wrinkles, bubbles and seams. You can prevent or repair some, if not all, wrinkles and bubbles.

   Variegated curves on your vehicle or truck make the installation process a bit more complex and can result in these deformities down the line. Your “cost budget” can even create the possibility of wrinkles, bubbles and seams because there are several price points for you to choose from and the more expensive options make it possible to remove any of these defects when and if they occur.

   Weather can have an effect on the vinyl, but not as one would initially be inclined to believe. As mentioned before, vinyl is applied with heat so damage from the heat is minimal. All heat really does is cake the vinyl on and make a better seal. Cold weather can cause cracking but just as you would with a factory-painted vehicle do your best to conserve your vehicle by properly storing it, treating it, etc. Also, like any modified product, the customer has a certain responsibility to protect their investment. Possible damage from car washes, rough working conditions, etc. must all be considered before investing in an effective and worthwhile vinyl vehicle wrap

   It is important to discuss expectations and limitations with your Elite Signs and Graphics Sales and Installation Team. Our experienced wrap professionals have learned through many years of experience and extensive training to minimize and often eliminate these wrinkles, bubbles and seams.