Frequently Asked Questions and General Information about Vinyl Wraps
What is a wrap?
A Vehicle Wrap, also know as an auto wrap, car wrap, or vinyl wraps, is a process whereby any conceivable design or photograph is printed onto special pressure-sensitive vinyl and applied by hand with heat onto a vehicle’s painted surface. Some Vehicle Wraps are even simpler and just use a solid-color pressure-sensitive vinyl to literally change the color or appearance of that vehicle. It’s like a really big sticker. A wrap is the newest and most innovative thing to hit the advertising world in years! Think of a wrap as a full-color mobile billboard. However, a wrap is not limited to an automobile. Wraps can be done for business signage, office windows, travel trailers and much more! You can wrap everything from vehicle fleets to your entire office lobby!
Why do I need a Wrap?
Vehicle Wraps represent one of the greatest milestones in the history of advertising or personalization. Wraps allow you to personalize your vehicle with any message or design whether it is about you or your company. With the advent of large format digital inkjet printers, we now have the ability to utilize modern graphic design methods to produce large-scale signage quickly and easily. While these capabilities have existed for about a decade, the industry is really just now catching on. The personalization and advertising wrap boom has begun!
According to studies, Vehicle Wraps are the most affordable and effective form of advertising. Wrap advertising costs are as low as $0.48 per thousand impressions. As a comparison, television can cost over $20 for the same reach!
Wraps have a one-time cost rather than the monthly cost of things like phone book listings, radio ads, TV ads, and billboards.
Wraps are not stationary. They go where you go, exposing your message to a brand new group of consumers each and every day.
How effective is a Vehicle Wrap in Advertising
(3M Study on effectiveness of vehicle wraps)
The industry norm is to estimate fleet advertising impressions by calculating the number of miles driven per truck, per day, and by the type of road. Imagine adding demographics as a dimension. What do you get? Vastly improved measurement capabilities, proof of performance and the ability to target your campaign.
3M measured the advertising effectiveness of fleet graphics (Commercial Vehicle Wraps) for Cadbury-Schweppes Company using GPS units to track 10 Snapple® trucks through two major metropolitan areas. The three-month study correlated truck routes against zip codes and demographic data to deliver the most accurate measurements of message effectiveness, to date.
Advertising Medium Cost per thousand (CPM)* Cost of Equivalent DEC
Television $23.70 $1,445,700
Magazine $21.46 $1,309,060
Newspaper $19.70 $1,201,700
Prime-time television $18.15 $1,107,150
Radio $7.75 $472,750
Outdoor $3.56 $217,160
Fleet vinyl graphics (Average, annualized)** $0.48 $30,000
*Based on 61 million Prime DEC annually; average of top 40 media market from Media Buyers Guide.
**Based on cost of test trucks.
Key findings of the study:
Fleet graphics generate a large number of impressions–in this study, an average of 6 million Prime Daily Effective Circulation (DEC) per truck, annualized.
Mobile media advertising offers the lowest cost-per-impression of any major advertising medium.
Routes and messages can be optimized to target specific demographic groups.
Fleet graphics add a valuable dimension to the advertising marketing mix!
What’s involved in a Wrap?
All vinyl wraps and vinyl signage that are not a simple solid-color wrap involve three phases. First, RS Auto will help you get the appropriate measurements, and develop a design per your specifications. Or you can submit a design to RS Auto if you already have one created. (I.E. Company Logo’s, previous signage or previous wrap designs you have used). Second, the graphics will be printed and laminated to protect from abrasion and UV rays. Third, the Wrap will be installed on your vehicle, or at your business.
How is a Wrap produced
Unless your vinyl wrap is a simple solid-color wrap it will need to be designed first. We will create a rendering for you unless you already have one from an alternate source. Your wrap will typically be printed on a large ink-jet printer. Think of the color printer that you have on your desktop, only with a width of up to 60”. Also, the ink used to print vinyl is much more durable than what you would print at your home or office. Most high quality wraps are then laminated with a vinyl laminate that protects against marks, abrasions, and fading.
Are wrinkles, bubbles, and seams acceptable for Wraps?
Many wraps have wrinkles, bubbles and seams. It is possible to prevent most if not all wrinkles and bubbles. It is possible to prevent many seams. However, it is important to know that large sizes, complex curves and even your “installation budget” create the possibility of wrinkles, bubbles and seams. (“Installation budget” refers to how detailed you would like your wrap. This includes how much, if any disassembly you would like to have, the condition of the installation surface, as well as any idiosyncrasies the particular job could have). Of course being 3M certified and taking pride in our work will always guarantee that our installs are done to the best that circumstances will allow, but it’s important to discuss expectations and limitations with your RS Auto representative.
How long will my Vinyl Wrap last?
That depends on the application and type of film used. If you are doing an inside portion of your business, the wrap could last almost indefinitely depending on sun exposure. Typical outdoor vehicle wraps should last for 3-5 years, wrapped vehicles stored primarily indoors can also last a very long time, typically 5-8 years. It’s important to know however, that most vinyl films only offer a 1 year warranty against fading, bubbling or de-laminating. RS Auto carries various films that offer up to a 3 year Warranty against fading, bubbling or de-laminating (which is the industry maximum). RS Auto also guarantees the quality of the installation in addition to the manufacturers warranty that is included in all vinyl installations. Check with your RS Auto representative to discuss your vinyl options.
Why is a Full Wrap more beneficial than a Partial Wrap?
Full wraps cover most or all of the paint on a vehicle while partial wraps cover only part of the vehicle. Even though Full Wraps are more expensive they give a larger “canvas” for your designer to work with and therefore give your vehicle graphics more visual impact. In addition, Full Wraps protect all of the original paint underneath instead of just part of the paint. This is critical when the wrap is removed since fading and scratches can result on the unprotected paint of a Partial Wrap. As a result, Full Wraps tend to protect or even increase the resale value of vehicles more than Partial Wraps.
How long will it take to do my Wrap?
This depends on the job. Always make sure to ask your RS Auto Representative about the timeline, as each job is different. The “design” part of the wrap process can take as little as a few hours to several days. The next step is “printing” the vinyl, which can take 24-48hrs for the ink to dry and the laminating to take place. (This is especially critical because it is possible for uncured ink to migrate through the adhesive into the painted surface underneath, potentially causing damage). After that, the film is ready to be installed on the vehicle, which can typically be done in one to three days depending on the scale of the job. It’s important to give yourself ample time to receive your wrap because pushing it through on the “fast-track” can cause unforeseen circumstances involving the quality of your wrap.
How much will my Vehicle Wrap cost?
The average nationwide price for a printed and laminated vinyl wrap is $15 per square foot of installed product. Solid-color wraps tend to be lower in price and average $10-12 per square foot of installed product. Additionally, most vinyl providers charge for their design work, and some will charge you if your vehicle is not 100% clean when you bring it in for installation. Design costs can significantly impact the overall cost of any wrap depending on the quality level you desire. For example, if you employ the design services of a well-known artist, or if your design requires you to pay licensing fees, this could increase your cost. If you do not have a design and require one to be created by RS Auto, that can also effect the price. Also another factor that can increase the cost is how extreme you would like the product installed. This would include level of disassembly, unusual circumstance or surfaces, or unusual variances in that particular installation. RS Auto is there to be your complete provider of vinyl wraps. RS Auto’s focus is to help you through the process of enhancing the visual representation of your company or creating that personalized statement with your vehicle wrap.
How can I justify the cost of a Wrap?
There is no better cost-effective advertising method and there is also no better cost-effective customization/personalization method available than Wraps. Studies have shown that Wraps are the most cost effective form of advertising available today. In a city of 50,000, a Wrap can get over 8 million views per year. Obviously, in higher traffic areas, you get more attention. Many people who get their vehicle wrapped, park it outside of their business near a busy intersection for maximum exposure. A Wrap works for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week and it’s a one-time advertising expense, unlike other traditional media like radio, television or even yellow pages. As a specific example, one study from 3M shows that you would have to spend over $130,000 on television ads to generate equivalent annual impressions of a $3,500 Wrap!
Vehicle wraps are also uniquely mobile. Would a restaurant let you stake your sign or banner on their lawn while you eat lunch? No, but you can park your wrapped vehicle on their lot while eating and get all that exposure in a very high traffic area! You’ll be advertising without even trying!
Wraps can also customize/personalize better than any other method and have unique benefits over custom painting. For example, many photographic and artistic elements simply can’t be reproduced perfectly by painting or airbrushing. But the single most important benefit of wrapping over custom painting is that a wrap can often be easily removed or repaired. In fact, wraps are often used to protect the original paint underneath, which actually increases the resale value of many vehicles.
What happens if my Wrap gets damaged?
Most wraps that get damaged can be fixed a lot easier than any custom paint job because your design can be reprinted just like when reprinting at home with your own computer. It’s important to talk with your RS Auto Representative about the steps required to fix your wrap if it gets damaged.
Can I take my Wrapped car through a car wash?
Most Vehicle Wraps can be taken through car washes just like any painted vehicle. However, like with many paint jobs, Vehicle Wraps can also be damaged by car washes. Take care around the exposed edges and seams of a wrap, and ask your RS Auto representative what they recommend to increase the life of your particular wrap.
Does RS Auto Salon do Wrap Removals?
Yes. We can remove the wrap if needed. All removals are quoted separately. Wrap removal can be very time consuming we charge by the square feet and by the hour for the labor. RS Auto will not be held responsible for any paint damage or existing striping damage when we do a removal. Since we do not know the integrity of the existing paint job or the condition of the painted clear coat or the condition of any existing decals. RS Auto can not be help liable if during the removal of the wrap the clear coat is peeled back with the wrap. In some cases if you have existing vinyl stripes under the wrap ( such as an RV that has striping) or a bus, we can not be held liable if portions of the stripes get removed during the wrap removal. Over the years of sun exposure prior to the wrap the striping adhesive can become weak and in some areas the striping will come up as the wrap is removed. RS Auto does not use metal knives during the removal process. Most vinyl material manufactures, including 3M, do not guarantee clean removability of vinyl that has been installed on a vehicle for more than 4 years. In some extreme cases when the wrap has been on the vehicle for more than 5 year the wrap may no longer be removable so the vehicle may need to go to a body shop to be sanded and repainted. RS Auto is not an auto body shop.
How do I claim a vinyl Wrap warranty?
Your RS Auto representative is there to help you through the claims process. As soon as your claim has been processed and approved, RS Auto will schedule and perform any replacement or repair work necessary in regards to your warranty claim.
How do I know what my Wrap will look like when done?
Your RS Auto Representative will submit color proofs to you before they begin the job. You will need to sign-off for approval before they begin printing your wrap. You can expect slight color differences between the proofs and final wrap due to the difference between printing on paper versus vinyl and the difference in inks, but there shouldn’t be extreme color differences.
How to make an informed decision on the most effective type of Vinyl Wrap
Always ask how long the wrap will last and about the warranty coverage as it can vary with the type of vinyl used, where the vinyl is applied, and how your daily use will effect the vinyl (whether it is continuously exposed to the elements or not).
Make sure you understand what parts of the vehicle are going to be wrapped. Not wrapping certain difficult parts of a vehicle such as side-view mirrors or door handles may reduce the cost of the wrap if that is a concern. In many cases, it can be more cost-effective to use a design that can incorporate un-wrapped parts of the vehicle for optimal appearance. Also, it is not always necessary to wrap the roof of a vehicle either. For example, if a delivery van or motor home roof cannot be seen from the ground, then this part of the wrap could be eliminated. However, racing vehicles or vehicles that drive in big cities and are seen from above, it’s beneficial to wrap the roof.
Always ask about the vinyl that will be used. There are many different qualities and price points of vinyl. Typically “high performance” vinyl is recommended for high quality vehicle wraps. There is also special vinyl designed for glass and other unpainted surfaces.
Ask whether your wrap will be laminated. Most high quality vehicle wraps are over-laminated with clear vinyl. Some wraps can be liquid laminated or not laminated at all but it’s important to talk with your RS Auto Representative about lamination. Whether or not your wrap is laminated will impact the cost of your wrap.
Make sure you understand the total cost associated with the Wrap. There are frequently additional costs associated with vehicle prep, cleaning as well as design. This is very important since the condition of the vehicle is generally assessed as the work is being performed, not prior to the installation. This may cause price variances dependent on the additional work and it must be assumed by the purchaser that there is a possibility that this may happen.
Design is the single most critical step for the success of your wrap. Some designers are more experienced and worth the extra cost associated with their services. RS Auto is there to fulfill your design needs if you do not already contract a designer for these types of services.
Be sure to ask what special techniques can be used to prevent paint, clear-coat, and plastic-part damage. These techniques may increase the cost of the wrap and are once again, dependent on how extreme you want to take your installation.
Be sure to ask what techniques can be used to prevent wrinkles, bubbles and seams. A wrap with zero wrinkles, bubbles and seams is typically more expensive than a normal wrap or may not be possible due to an extreme surface the vinyl is to be applied upon, (I.e. corrugated roofs or body panels).
Also ask about our Color Change wraps! We offer a full line of bold color change vinyls from gloss, metallic, matte and even textures like carbon fiber, brushed metals etc. view our color change films below!
These films are more commonly used on personal vehicles or show vehicles. Color change wraps are for those who just want to stand out in the crowd or simply just want a new look for their vehicle! This is the easiest way to accomplish that! Best of all, its not permanent and you can remove it and try a new color if you’re tired of the one you have.