GRAPHICS PRO

WRAPS '21

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2 0 2 1 • WRAPS • 47 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M specic application types is driving new training courses from manufacturers for printed lm on eet vehicles, windows, walls, oors, interior design settings, and colored wrap lms on personal vehicles. There are a couple ways to determine which training courses an installer should pursue rst. For example, if an installer has a 200-plus vehicle eet wrap project with a specific manufacturer's wrap lm, they should go to that manu- facturer's website and see if there's any specic training for that product. Product-specic training courses also provide the benet of learning about the warranties for the lm. For beginner in- stallers, an intro course that teaches fun- damental skills will help them prepare to advance into graphic lm installations; even advanced installers can benet from these courses by learning the latest tech- niques to share with employees. Alternatively, color change lm train- ing courses are a good, low-cost entry point, as it does not require a printer and provides a great way to learn about mul- tiple, complementary lm types and ap- plications such as window lm and paint protection film training. Some manu- facturers even offer custom training at a business owner's facility to meet the needs of their team in a exible group- size environment. Regardless of the career path an installer chooses, an effort should be made to proactively frontload training. Business owners in particular should have a plan to automatically enroll new employees into training courses to avoid reactionary training in response to jobs with unfamiliar films, techniques, or applications. The benefits of installer training and certication far outweigh the cons. Training gives installers the space to make mistakes rather than learning on a customer install, providing an oppor- tunity to identify and address common mistakes such as peeling edges, bubbling and overstretching. When preparing for a test, installers or businesses should go to a junk yard and purchase a couple props to practice on. Volkswagen Beetle round fenders are a great option to practice how to mold a lm to a compound area while doors with compound curves are a good place to start to learn squeegeeing. Business owners can further incen- tivize training by providing rewards for installers who come in early to practice wrapping on props. The more installers can practice without pressure, the better prepared they will be for their certica- tion test. In lieu of in-person training sessions during the pandemic, installers may think about turning to online sources for training. But it's important to recognize the shortcomings of this type of online learning. Clever editing can give the perception that installing a lm is easier than it is, and if the lm is not properly identied in the video, the installation technique may not be a skill that can be transitioned to other lms. Although so- cial media can be a great teaser to capture people's interest, installers should always seek out verified and trusted training courses led by certied professionals. Compared to 15 years ago, installers today have immediate access to profes- sional courses designed to provide a low- stress environment to hone their skills. Whether installers want to focus on a specic installation type, or learn multi- ple skills, the breadth of training offered coupled with multiple ways to attend — in-person, online, mobile training centers, etc. — provides an opportunity to select their career path. Any installer beginning their career in the graphics in- dustry should seek out training to begin the road to certication for recognition within the industry, business promotion, and experience. Stand out from the crowd, even on water, with boat graphics.

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