September '21

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1 6 G R A P H I C S P R O S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M W hile working with a customer on the design for their vehicle wrap, there are two main thoughts as we gather artwork and review ideas. One is the customer's current branding and how we can maintain consistency with their colors, design elements, and overall message. The second consideration is the overall effectiveness of the design. Advertising a product or service is the main goal for most com- mercial wrap customers. Since vehicle wraps are an investment, the customer expects a return on the money spent, and a well-designed vehicle wrap will provide just that. In this article, I want to take a closer look at a third, and equally important, consideration of wrap design — designing a two-di- mensional graphic to accurately fit a three-dimensional vehicle. As both a wrap designer and installer, I can attest to how important it is to the efficiency of the installation to have graphics that are properly fit to the vehicle. Graphics that fit correctly also reinforce the first two considerations by carrying over the company's brand professionally and effectively. TEMPLATES Vehicle templates are an excellent design tool, and we use them often. Art Station Vehicle Templates are our go-to templates for noting measurements, sketching out design ideas, noting problem areas on a vehicle, and proofing partial wraps and spot graphics. When working on larger partial to full wraps, or designs with intricate pieces, I prefer to work on custom-made templates based on photos of the customer's vehicle. To rely on these custom tem- plates, you must take good pictures and accurate measurements. MEASUREMENTS You can roughly sketch out the customer's vehicle and draw mea- surements, but it's easy to lose track of the points you measured. We keep a binder of common templates pre-printed out. It doesn't B Y C H A R I T Y J A C K S O N This trailer has a lot of straight lines, so we straightened the photo in Photoshop and then scaled it to actual size in FlexiSign. Two copies of the scaled photo are used — the bottom photo is untouched, while on the top photo we mask areas we aren't wrapping. In between these photos we can do all our designing; only areas that will be wrapped are visible, and we can get a really good idea of placement. On this job, we used a raster background and vector lettering and logos. Despite tight placement, the lettering all fit within the obstacles. This mask and layer process makes it easy to proof the job, and the final wrap looks very close to the proof. (Images courtesy Charity Jackson) B Y C H A R I T Y J A C K S O N CREATING CUSTOM TEMPLATES FOR ACCURACY AND EFFICIENCY S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G Design Wrap

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