GRAPHICS PRO

Start Here October '22

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68 graphics-pro.com S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 2 compatible with your printer so that you can be contour cutting graphics without interrupting the workflow on the printer itself. We've invested in a back-lit application table that we use in con- junction with our laminator for laminating and prepping graph- ics. We love our table for sign application especially, so it's not necessary for just starting in the wraps industry but may be a worthy investment down the line. Initially, though, you will need a large work surface, preferably at least 5' × 12', with a cutting surface for trimming laminated graphics. You will also need a fast computer, RIP software, and design software for creating and outputting your graphics. Racks for storing media rolls and drying your printed graphics will also need to be purchased. For contour cut graphics, you'll also need to apply application tape. You can purchase or build an application tape dispenser, or if you invest in an application table, there is a built-in bar that you can mount application tape rolls on for easy masking. You'll also need a safety straight-edge and heavy-duty box cutter-style snap blade knife for cutting down panels. Large vans and vehicles with deep recesses can be tricky to wrap. Education and hands-on training ensure a quality install. Tools involved in the wrapping process can be a pretty long list, and many of them come down to personal preference. Here's what I'll call a partial list because you'll need to decide what tools meet your quality and efficiency checklist. For wrap comfort and accessibility, you'll need a quality roll- ing wrap chair with a cushioned seat and attached tool storage. You'll also need work platforms, step ladders, taller ladders, and rolling scaffolding. Your installation tool chest should include squeegees with hard and felt edges, rivet brushes, retractable knives with snap blades, blade disposal bins, small plastic tools for tight areas, plastic scrapers or specialized tools for emblem removal, scis- sors or a Snitty, air release tools, heat guns and extension cords, portable propane torches, masking tape, cleaning products and lint-free towels, specialty tools for concave areas and textured surfaces, wrap gloves, tape measures, and magnets for hang- ing graphics. PRICING Getting started in wraps goes beyond the actual installation and equipment as you also learn to price yourself to make a profit. When we're quoting a wrap project, the pricing gets bro- ken down into three areas – graphics, design, and installation. Each of these areas directly affects how you price your wraps. You're in business to turn a profit, so you must know your material and overhead costs and price your graphics to cover these costs and make you a living. We've created a spreadsheet for all our graphics and signs that breaks the pricing down by the square footage, with price breaks for larger projects. When pricing installation, there are a couple of approaches. Some companies price out installation based on a per square Business Success By Sean Tomlin, Designer Wraps & Signs Are your goals set? Are you an owner? If so, are you working on your business, not in your business? Are all your staff members on the same page as your leadership team? Is your vision clear to the entire organization? Pro tip: Print out a large poster or vinyl lettering of your core values on a very visible wall in your shop (or in the breakroom). Track successes and wins and celebrate them (and your employees) publicly during your staff meetings.

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