SEMA Vehicle Wrap News

SEMA Vehicle Wrap News from Las Vegas

SEMA is the world’s largest automotive specialty-equipment trade show. The automotive industry comes to SEMA to see new trends and the most tricked-out cars on earth.  Various initiatives in the vehicle wrap were announced and some major companies in the car, truck and overall vehicle wrap industries showed off some of awesome samples of unique wrap applications.

Avery Dennison, Epson and SkinzWraps

Avery Dennison, Epson and SkinzWraps teamed up to wrap a million-dollar Bugatti Veyron, the world’s fastest street-legal car, in a look as powerful as the car itself. The first-ever wrap of a Veyron was presented it at the Epson booth at SEMA in Las Vegas last month. The car and the wrap attracted a lot of attention at one of the largest conventions in the United States.

The Super Sport Veyron was wrapped with Avery Dennison’s best-in-class vehicle wrap material, MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS, which was printed on an Epson Stylus Pro GS6000 printer. SkinzWraps designed the graphics and installed the material on the car.

Many car enthusiasts, restylers and customizers are using digital graphics and wraps to reflect their individual style. The beauty of a car wrap is that, if the customer gets tired of the wrap or graphic design, it can easily be removed and the paint on the car will look the same as the day the wrap was installed.

“Wrapping the Veyron, with its complex curves, showcases the conformability and printability of our newest product for vehicle wraps, Avery MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS,” said Todd Hain, Marketing Communications Manager for the Avery Dennison Graphics & Reflective Products Division.

The Bugatti Wrapped at SEMA












Velvet Car Wraps

Velvet Cars / Floc1, Inc. announced the availability of velvet car wraps. They teamed up with the guys at Wrap Experts at the Sema show with a velvet wrapped Fisker Karma. They were awarded the 2012 SEMA Global Media Awards Winner for the innovative application of this unique wrap products. Actually, according to Robby from Wrap Experts, “we are so honored to have been recognized with 4 SEMA international media awards”

According to Frank Fuzzy, President of Velvet-Cars, the velvet wrap is designed to attract the eye and protect your vehicle. Velvet Elite Wrap 9100 brings a totally new visual and tactile experience to the automotive industry. It is your escape from boring, conventional standard paint or very expensive custom paints. Your vehicle becomes an emotional factor… it is beautiful, unique and suddenly so different to drive. Our new product offers one of the nicest customization options possible in the world. Our films are removable, they do not damage your vehicle, and, on the contrary, they were designed to protect its exterior.

Velvet Wrapped Fisker Karma





New Paint Job? Replace your Color with a Wrap

Vinyl Wrap instead of Paint

A brand-new Porsche Cayman is being turned from classic silver to bright green with a matte black hood . Just steps away, a 1972 Chevy Impala convertible is being covered in mirror-like chrome. There’s no paint involved, the cars are being wrapped in big sheets of vinyl. And on the wall above where the wrapping is being done is a sign that says this: “Paint is dead.”








Commercial vehicles wrapped in vinyl to become rolling billboards are fairly common these days. But this year has seen a boom in private cars getting wrapped in vinyl. No splashy logos, often no graphics at all. Just color and special effects such as carbon, matte black or anything that makes the car stand out. A BMW is wrapped in matte orange, an Audi wrapped in a gray metallic vinyl, expensive cars are not being re-painted but wrapped. “The finish is flawless,” said Smith, an expert at a local wrap shop. “You don’t have to worry about the paint running, about it being wet-sanded badly.” Like most others that are in the wrapping vehicles, the bulk of their work is wrapping commercial vehicles, turning them into moving billboards. But more and more, wrap shops are wrapping private vehicles in vinyl. Sometimes it’s for a look you can’t get with paint — consider a chrome Mercedes or a Saab covered with white alligator vinyl. Other times, it’s to preserve the original paint’s integrity; “You can’t take a Ferrari off the lot and paint it green,” said one installer, you’ll knock a lot of dollars off its value.







Anything is Possible!

The owner of the Porsche wanted a green one, Smith said, but that would take close to a year to get. So he bought a silver one and is having it wrapped in green. The key is that the silver paint is still intact, underneath. 3M, one of the largest makers of vinyl wrap, guarantees that it won’t leave any glue or residue during the first five years.  After that,” Smith said, “it starts to get a bit permanent.” The price is dependent on the square feet being covered, but vehicles are in the $3,000 range. That’s more than some paint jobs, less than others.

“We haven’t scratched the surface,” Smith said, using a questionable phrase for someone in his business. “We can do refrigerators, boats, bikes, jet skis …”. He actually put one on a refrigerator — his own. Smith covered his refrigerator with a black matte finish because his wife was tired of the kids’ fingerprints on the shiny surface. “Within three to five years,” Smith said, “wrapping a car will roll off everyone’s tongue as often as painting.”

Soni had a couple of reasons to have his leased BMW 135i covered with matte orange. He owns The Party Shop and when he opens up a few temporary Halloween stores this fall, he’ll have the phone numbers put on his rolling pumpkin.




5 Reasons to Wrap your Vehicle Instead of Painting

Earlier this year, TKO Graphix wrapped a Toyota Hybrid for Indy School on Wheels. The vehicle was a raffle prize, which was driven to events and publicly displayed for several months. There was ample opportunity for the finish to be damaged, but when the winner took possession of the vehicle, they had a brand new bright and shiny prize. When the wrap — promoting School on Wheels — was removed, the vehicle’s unblemished finish remained intact.

Why Wrap, not Paint?

Cost – If we eliminate discount paint jobs, which often reduce pricing by eliminating proper preparation, wraps or decals may be more cost effective. In this article, painting a car may range from under $1000 to $8000. Decaling or wrapping a car can run $500 to $3000+.

Resale Value – Protecting the manufacturer’s original finish maintains the resale value of the vehicle, and the saleability of basic colors is much higher than exotic colors. Do you love bright chrome yellow? Does your company use pink vehicles? Vivid colors may limit potential buyers in the resale market. Buy a white vehicle, wrap it to your heart’s desire, and have a white vehicle, again, when it’s time to resell. As Listverse explains—

“Ever drive’ down the road and notice most of the cars you see are colored in four colors (mostly black, white, silver, or gray)? Part of the reason why is resale value — people who want to resell their car later know they are far more likely to find a buyer if the car is one of these common colors.”

Options — Tired of the bright chrome yellow? Remove the wrap and re-wrap it. Let’s try a matte black finish, or maybe camouflage?

Time — Especially if you have a complicated multi-vector design — a wrap can be done in days; paint may take much longer.

Coverage — Using paint limits vehicle advertising to the painted surfaces. By incorporating window film in a wrap, the entire surface of the vehicle may be used for promotion.

Vehicle graphics don’t replace the need for paint, and aren’t always the best option. However, vehicle graphics should be considered. Research the options and make the best decision based on use and needs. Before painting a vehicle, compare vehicle graphics to painting – you may be pleasantly surprised. We’d be happy to share ideas.

What are the best vehicles to wrap?

The good news is that whatever kind of vehicle you wrap, it’s going to stand out. Period. Whether you’re in a Honda Civic or a custom Lotus, if it’s wrapped, you’ll definitely get extra attention. The best vehicle for you will depend on the needs of your individual business. Still, we love sharing our knowledge, so we broke down some of our favorite kinds of vehicles into a few categories to keep in mind when you’re shopping for your next wrap…..

Wild and weird

Chevy HHR, Toyota Scion, Honda Element. There’s definitely been a trend in square vehicles in recent years. Whether you love the angular look or you’re not a fan of the boxy shapes, you can’t deny that the unusual shapes of these cars stand out . Everyone has an opinion! In addition to being a little unusual, the broad sides of these vehicles give them a somewhat unique place in the world of vehicle wraps. You gain the fuel efficiency and maneuverability of a smaller car, but the broad canvas size of a mobile billboard! Definitely a win-win situation. Because they tend to have less curves than other vehicles, it becomes very easy to use the wide spaces for big, colorful graphics.

Curvy and Cute

Mini, VW Bug, PT Cruiser and of course the Fiat 500 and Smart Car. These rounded vehicles may be a little trickier when it comes to the wrap installation, but they pack a powerful marketing punch when they hit the road. Turning one of these cute cars into a vehicle wrap is a great way to harness their already potent attention grabbing powers. These are cars that either stand out for their coolness or because of some game associated with them. For example, remember all of those backseat games of “punch bug” (or according to my little cousin, its newer incarnation “PT cruiser bruiser”)? These car wraps look especially great when they’re wrapped in a full pattern. “Punch bug yellow!” how boring; try “punch bug leopard print!”

Big, Bold and Brawny

Sprinter vans, Ford F250, Hummers. Enough fooling around with those silly little vehicles, you’re in the market for something BIG. Sure trucks and vans are fairly common, but when you wrap an automotive giant like a truck with a full size crew cabin or an enormous Sprinter van your sheer size will definitely get you noticed. These vehicles offer the most space for larger than life graphics for your vehicle advertisement. One enterprising client told us that he’s planning on having his truck lifted to make it stand out even more!



Vehicle Wrap Care Instructions

To maintain the appearance and increase the longevity of your wrap, the following is recommended:

Regular hand washing, avoiding abrasive chemicals with strong solvents

  • Avoid brushes, as they can dull the finish of the laminate and can cause scratching
  • Rinse off any residue thoroughly with clean water
  • Allow vehicle to air dry or use a microfiber cloth to dry

Pressure washing can be used when hand washing is not an option

  • Avoid excessive pressure that can cause damage to the graphics
  • Do not direct the spray at a sharp angle to the graphics
  • Avoid spraying directly at wrap seams
  • Trim back all lifted edges, and seal with an edge sealer or replace the section of the graphics if necessary
  • Water pressure – maximum 800psi to 2,000 psi
  • Water temperature – maximum 72 to 180 degrees
  • Spray nozzle spray pattern of 40 degrees
  • Minimum distance of nozzle to the graphics – 12 to 18 inches
  • Spray angle – 45 degrees, sweeping spray
  • Never use a Turbo pressure nozzle

Avoid Carmauba-based waxes, which are popular for vehicles without graphics because they can be buffed to a high shine. The buffing process needs to be rigorous and can cause damage to the graphics. Teflon or silicone-based polish used should be specifically designed for use on vehicle wraps. Most vinyl manufacturers recommend not using any waxes or polishes on matte, textured or other unique finishes and it is important to remove any residue (gunk) as soon as possible to avoid staining and other damage. Any cleaner used should be tested in an inconspicuous place first

For a gas spill be sure to wash off the residue quickly with soapy water; an isopropyl alcohol wipe down followed by a cleaning with a citrus-based cleaner will help remove oil, tar or asphalt that may build up to the graphics. Follow any chemical cleanings with a regular washing with water and a mild cleaner. Rinse with clean water and dry with a lint-free or microfiber cloth.  In short; KEEP IT CLEAN!



Custom Wrap for the Car Enthusiast!

A custom car wrap just for fun?

Well, yes, that is possible but there are definitely some other advantages to consider as well. First of all, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a custom paint job. The cost of a full wrap of the entire vehicle including bumpers is between $3,000 and $5,000, depending on the complexity and size of the vehicle and much less for a partial wrap if you don’t need to change the car’s color. Now, you can probably re-paint your car for that amount of money; but can you get a design or some special effects; most likely not. At Sema a few years ago, the guys from Wrap Experts, Dallas TX, applied a custom wrap each day on a Ford Mustang GT during the introduction of Wraptivo® by Meguiar’s®,this picture is a sample of their work. It was a great exercise in how you can change the look of your car completely through a custom wrap.

So, what are the other advantages?

There are more advantages for a wrap versus a custom paint job. First of all, a vinyl wrap will actually protect your factory paint job and if you get tired of it, you just remove it and your paint will still look like new. You can choose for a high gloss laminate for your wrap and it will look as shiny as a fresh paint job. Other advantages are that you can change the color of your car, get those racing stripes or flames you always wanted and of course draw a lot of attention; whether it is during enthusiast gatherings, car shows or simply at the parking lot of your local mall.



A Few Tips for Great Vehicle Advertising

Good Design is Key!

This ad for AST (Advanced Security Technologies) on a windowed van can be easily seen from a distance and it looks classy and interesting from the street.  A great combination of good design and creative positioning. Another example from is from the UK, this wrap for a printing company is loud enough to get a lot of attention but understated and elegant enough to convert viewers into customers. This design is stark contrast to the huge-text, in-you-face, explosion-and-fire designs of most commercial wraps on the road. No one has ever been annoyed into becoming a customer.

Good design in vehicle wraps is surprisingly hard to find. A clever, well-designed vehicle wrap is an easy and immediate way to set your ad campaign miles ahead of everything else out there.

Be entertaining!

All advertising must be either entertaining or informative. Anything else will be immediately forgotten at best, and at worse will hurt your brand. With mobile and outdoor media like vehicle wraps, there’s usually not enough time to inform so you have to entertain. If you can get drivers laughing and pointing, they’ll talk about it for days and become evangelists for your brand as well as new customers. An easy way to be entertaining is to put advertising unexpected places. In this economy, almost everyone is ready to cut a deal. If you have an idea to put an ad in an unusual spot, don’t be afraid to so some digging and find someone who can say yes. You may even end up saving a lot of money. Here are a couple more examples:


Think outside of cars and buses

Everyone’s seen mobile ads on the side of a bus, but trains are a relatively untapped medium for ad placement.  They also offer some interesting creative opportunities that buses so not offer.  Imagine the entire army of Verizon’s support engineers as a part of their “we never stop working for you” campaign or a giant shark eating up the track for a zoo promotion. .  Here are a few more creative ideas, some of these from Japan.




Most Relevant Vehicle Wrap Answers!

Get This:

Consider these statistics compiled by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America:

    • More than 95% of Americans are reached by media targeting vehicle drivers and passengers.
    • One vehicle wrap can generate between 30,000 – 70,000 impressions daily.
    • Fleet vehicle advertising boosts name recognition 15 times greater than any other form of advertising.
    • 30% of mobile outdoor viewers indicate they would base a buying decision on the ad they see.

What is a vehicle wrap?

Car wraps can take many shapes, colors and sizes. A full wrap covers the entire surface of the car or vehicle. A partial wrap covers only a specific portion of the vehicle and uses the vehicle’s paint scheme as the backdrop for the full design. Vehicle wraps are done with vinyl materials (think of it as a large decal) that conform to the shape of your vehicle. They can be done in solid colors as “paint replacement” or can have digitally printed designs on the vinyl to really make your vehicle stand out.

How effective are vehicle wraps as advertising

A quick comparison in typical advertising mediums suggests the following:

    • Radio attracts 900,000 listeners in six weeks with 10 to 12 30-second spots.
    • Value Pak mailings offers a reach of 600,000 with 100,000 addresses per drop and your client is just one of many advertisers included in the packet.
    • Direct mail reaches 20,000 names with one post card mailer.
    • Seven city buses get 600,000 impressions in two months.
    • Billboards receive 700,000 impressions in one month.
    • An ad in the yellow pages can cost up to $15,000 per year—with your competitors listed right there next to your ad.
    • The same is true for pay-per-click advertising—at an even higher cost per month.
    • Car or vehicle wraps have the potential to garner thousands of impressions each day, they last up to three years and cost, on average, between $2,500 and $4,500 for a standard vehicle.

Does it affect the paint on my car?

Car wraps material vinyls are formulated with removable adhesive that does not harm your car’s paint. In fact, many people find that by wrapping their vehicle, it can possibly assist in keeping a higher resale value for the vehicle due to the protective benefits of the wrap.

How long does a vehicle wrap last?

Car Wraps installed with vinyls from major manufacturers such as 3M, Oracal, Avery, etc. are guaranteed not to fade, crack, or peel for up to 3-5 years in most locations. Your Custom Car Wrap selected specialist will be happy to explain the warranty program prior to purchasing your wrap.

Does it matter what color my car is?

No, a car wrap is not translucent; you cannot see through it.

It looks like there are graphics on the windows, will I still be able to see through the windows?

Yes the window graphics are printed on a perforated vinyl that allows you to see through the rear and side rear windows.

Can you wrap the front side windows?

No, state laws prohibit the use of wraps on driver and passenger side windows, as well as the windshield.

Can you wrap the roof?

On most automobiles the roof is included. Generally roofs are not wrapped (vans, trucks or SUVs), unless it is requested by the customer.

Can you wrap a fiberglass or chrome bumper?

A painted plastic bumper can be wrapped without any problems. In the case of fiber-glass or chrome bumpers, application of vinyl on these areas are not recommended or guaranteed to adhere for the duration of the life of the wrap.

Can you wrap my hubcaps or rims?

No, wheels are in general not wrapped, although newer wrap materials such as 3M Dinoc in such patterns as carbon fiber or matte silver are sometimes used to wrap specialty rims.

Can you wrap trailers, trucks, vans & SUVs or even boats?

Absolutely! If it rolls or floats, you can wrap it!

What if I plan to change my company logo or phone number in the future

Not a problem. Most wrap providers can print and install graphic overlays, so that information may be removed or replaced if you need to change or update your car wrap.

Some tips when putting a commercial wrap on your vehicle

The Tips!

Create a vehicle design with Custom Car Wraps. Use the simple four step process, download your logo(s), graphic ad content,  text, etc. directly from your own computer and have a variety of local wrap shops bid on the printing and installing of the wrap.

Plan a commute that better targets your market. Advertising your free-trade coffee shop will probably be most effective during the early morning in white-collar parts of town. Your daycare? On the way to residential areas during the end-of-day commute so that it’s fresh in parents’ minds.

Find your target audience and plan to hit them hard. Are potential customers really going to see your car? It doesn’t help if you plan to wrap your car in bright, eye-popping graphics only to put the beast in the garage! Are you in a high-traffic area where your customers drive. Or, do you commute on the freeway? Are you parking the vehicle in a strategic spot where people stop and look around while at a stop light? Just remember, it’s like a mobile mini-billboard, and to maximize your exposure, you need to understand where potential customers are driving, walking, sitting, and looking.

Set aside a marketing budget. Maybe you spend $4,000 on having a custom full wrap installed for your vehicle and you throw another $1,500 into a scrolling LED billboard to catch the rest of your customers at dusk. Or, maybe you spend $1,500 on a partial wrap or vinyl lettering and $300 on glow-in-the-dark signs. You just might be able to reach the same amount of customers for less investment!

Set your car apart. The more your vehicle stands out, the better your chances of drawing attention to the business it’s advertising. Choose bright, eye-catching colors and designs. Tacky and even ugly can be good too, because as people notice how your vehicle is lacking any kind of aesthetics, they’ll probably read the writing on it.

Research printing and installations quotes for wrapping your car. Custom Car Wraps will give you a choice of local printers and wrap shops to send the design to. If you’re really on a budget, $500 will buy you a perforated real window sign. For some real impact, prepare to spend $3,500 or more when compared to cheaper vinyl-cut lettering or magnetic decals; if your commute has impact, it’ll be worth the investment because, let’s face it, it’s easier to overlook a magnetic decal. Anything that’s unique with a little appeal will do an effective job of marketing for you.

Command attention in the dark.Think of all the night life out there. Many people fail to realize they have another 12 hours they’re missing by not addressing the night time market. It’s a time when relaxed executives are more apt to make changes to their business lives, and you can squeeze into that prime time with your marketing! Ever seen the taxi cabs in New York with the fancy LCD panels mounted to them? Or how about the scrolling LED signs speeding down the length of a Greyhound bus? Both are effective forms of advertising in the dark because they attract your attention. If you can’t afford the technological route, look into buying custom glow-in-the-dark stickers, decals, and signs. It’s a much cheaper alternative to the LED scrolling signs or the LCD panels.

Give your audience a follow up plan! Yes, a complete vehicle wrap with custom graphics and scrolling LEDs will certainly attract attention, but what good is it if your viewer doesn’t know how to get your service or buy your product? Give out a website or phone number! Clip fliers or business cards to the doors so passers-by can bring some of the advertisement home with them! As long as the viewers know how to act on the advertisement you displayed to them, your marketing investment is effectively spent.

The level of investment tends to govern the quality of the job, but more importantly, the integrity of your image. A true vehicle wrap has tremendous appeal and makes you look more credible than a magnet would, but it comes at a higher price!

Check with local sign shops. Custom Car Wraps will provide you with a list of local wrap shops and a  good one might be pricey, but remember what it will do for your business  Try to use wrap shop that has their own solvent printer and experienced installers. Ask for a portfolio of work!

Some things to look out for

Check with local enforcement before pursuing illuminated messaging in the dark. Some states disallow blinking or animated lights. Others will only permit certain colors, like red, white, or amber, to be used inside of a moving vehicle and have codes against front-window visibility. Not all states are the same! You can always put illuminated signs in your car when parked or while at shows or expositions to grab attention. Be sure your sign shop or vehicle graphic installer only uses a solvent-based print with a good protective overlaminate, or the job will deteriorate earlier. Ask about guarantees for quality workmanship. Caradvertisements can attract potential thieves because of the higher probability that you have something of value in your car.