Sign & Digital Graphics

June '19

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58 • June 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S Gathering the right wrap tools for the job Charity Jackson is co-owner of Visual Horizons Custom Signs based in Modesto, California. She has been in business since 1995 and has worked in the sign industry for over 25 years. You can visit her website at W hen we started our business in the mid-'90s, vinyl let- tering was the primary option for advertising on vehicles. Very few people in our area were painting anymore and wide- format printers had not become economical enough for small sign shops. Over time, the technology has improved, and the printers, laminators and media give us better quality at more competitive pricing. Just as our processes of advertising on vehicles has evolved, so have the tools that we use. As new technology and new materials come on the market, new tools also come out that make our jobs more efficient. If you look up the tools on the market that are used within the vehicle wrapping industry, it can be a little overwhelming. If you're just getting into wrapping, you may worry that you have to purchase every little gadget or tool in order to be a quality wrapper. Fortunately this isn't true, but you do need to invest in the right tools for the type of wrapping you'll be doing. As you pick up jobs you can, and should, add to your arsenal of tools. The best way to decide if you should buy a tool is to weigh the time you would spend wrapping something without the tool versus the time you would save by having the right tool. Of course, if it's an application where it's essential to use a particular tool or the job will fail, then get the tool! Options Keep in mind that there are many options for tools as well. If you've taken a wrap class, then you may have been intro- duced to a few squeegee types, knives, blades, heat sources, etc., that you've had a chance to work with. You might prefer one application glove over another, a certain air release tool or a particular brand of tape. My advice is to try out different options by purchasing a few types of an item from your favorite supplier and put it to work. I used to use Geek Wraps original white soft edge squeegee but now I prefer their silver streak squeegee. It's just a preference in how it slides on the vinyl. B Y C H A R I T Y J A C K S O N Let's Talk Shop WRAPS DIGITAL GRAPHICS Building Your Arsenal The Wrap Institute website has a great, comprehensive list of tools used in the wrap industry.

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