October '20

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 0 O C T O B E R G R A P H I C S P R O 6 9 either stretching/gripping the vinyl, and enough material for areas that curve un- der or over the vehicle. On a recent semi-truck cab wrap, the vehicle was covered in obstacles and con- tours. When I set up the wrap panels, I took into account how the panels would lay across the vehicle to maintain the ho- rizon line, where I would need to seam the panels to work around obstacles that couldn't be removed, and how the fend- ers and other contours needed to be ap- proached. The fenders had a significant curve from left to right, and we knew that we would have to work with the compound curves during application of the graphics. The graphics on the fenders also needed to be neutral because distor- tion was unavoidable. SPOT GRAPHICS We've wrapped quite a few vehicles for a local IT service company. The vehicle types have changed, but the overall design has remained the same. We do a three-quarter wrap on their ve- hicles with a lined tech background image that needs to remain straight. The design also needs to blend out at the front and where the sides meet the vehicle's rear. The customer also wants the vehicle color to come through behind the cen- ter logo and has a reasonably tight reg- istration on the door slogan. To properly ensure that all these elements go on the vehicle efficiently, we carefully plan our panels ahead of time, and we cut the spot graphics separately. This allows us to break the side pan- els into sections for an easier installation before coming back in with the text and center logos. Work with vehicle parts that naturally break up the vehicle to create a seamless look and faster installation, like body breaks, plastic parts that won't be wrapped, or obstacles you can hide seams around. Implementing these practices in your shop will help with a smoother and more efficient wrap installation. GP 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

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