June '23

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M J U N E 2 0 2 3 • G R A P H I C S P R O 2 9 this entire part of the process is skipped. We're relying on the company's emailed and printed proofs showing how the graphics should fit the vehicle. Usually, these proofs are designed on a vehicle template, so we're not seeing the vehicle itself. In a few cases, the actual vehicle is brought by for inspection before instal- lation, but we usually get a year, make, model, and the type of material being shipped to us. Since you're relying on the agency hir- ing you to have done due diligence on the vehicle's condition, you have to focus on the design itself and how they expect it to fit the vehicle. Consider straight lines or lines of text, especially if they go over obstacles. Look closely at complex installs with busy patterns that have to align; designs that have to align from side to back or front or designs with text that has to fit in tight spaces. e Veterans Center truck wrap dis- cussed here had straight stripes that ran down the sides, connecting to the back of the vehicle. e stripes also had to run along a body line on the truck. It made for a striking design but a trickier install because we had to make sure both sides were installed at just the right height to connect to the back. Vertical lines also had to stay perfectly straight. Size We wrap a lot of large vehicles, so size isn't necessarily a factor in how difficult an installation is, but it does affect how long it takes to wrap. A bigger size means more coverage and more vinyl to install. A larger vehicle may also require ladders, scaffolding, or scissor lifts, which adds to the time involved in setting up and climb- ing up and down. Consider the time to set up for an installation and factor it into your estimate. Looking at the proofs of the Veterans Center truck wrap, I realized it was a large truck. However, because I didn't design the wrap or see the vehicle in person ahead of time, I didn't have a clear picture of how large it was. Another huge factor in how long it took us to wrap this truck was the height of it. We can fit a 12' 6" or shorter vehi- cle through our roll-up door. And since we can fit an entire city bus in our back shop, we usually get most vehicles into the shop easily. I couldn't tell from the photos, and didn't think to ask, what obstacles were on top of the truck. Without the A/C unit and satellite dish on top of the vehicle, it would have fit into our shop with no prob- lems, but with them it was about 8" too tall to bring inside. This meant that the entire multi- day installation was completed outside. Fortunately, it wasn't summer yet, but the weather greatly affected the installa- tion. e wind picked up in the afternoon for two days, lifting and blowing around panels as we tried to tape them up and install them. We also had problems with the sun heating one side as we were apply- ing, which slowed the installation. We could fit the vehicle's front end in Removing old graphics, cleaning off old caulk and chalky paint, removing parts, and detail cleaning around obstacles are all necessary prior to installation, but the time spent must be accounted for. the shop, so when it was time to wrap the front we did move it. But because the vehi- cle had to be left outside in general, each day we had to park it where our outside cameras could monitor it, and then in the morning it would have to be moved again to be convenient for installation. It wasn't a big deal, but each day the truck had to be moved around at least twice— another small thing that added time to the installation. Prep For every installation, you have to con- sider the prep that goes into the project to ensure you're covering all your time. is is an easy step to skip when planning your install, but it can significantly affect your profits. For this Veterans Center truck, we had to first remove old spot graphics before we could clean and prep the truck. During the removal, we noticed the truck had a

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