Sign & Digital Graphics

August '18

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46 • August 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S WRAPS DIGITAL GRAPHICS Wrapping Unique Objects Techniques for wrapping all types of objects 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 B Y C H A R I T Y J A C K S O N Let's Talk Shop should have the right squeegee for installation. A heat source and proper finishing tools should also be on hand. Another step is to apply masking tape to any high-surface- energy objects that you are not wrapping. During installation this will keep the vinyl from sticking to these objects as aggressively. Prior to application you should measure or fit the vinyl to the object and cut away any excess material before you start wrapping. Doing this not only gives you scraps that you can possibly use later, but it also removes excess material that will just cause issues as you're wrapping. Material Be sure to choose the right material for the application— interior/exterior, long-term or short-term, deep concave or compound curve areas, etc. Also choose a vinyl that works best with the high or low surface energy of the object you're wrap- ping. Textured plastic has a low surface energy and will require a vinyl with a more aggressive adhesive while painted metal has a medium to high surface energy and a less aggressive adhesive will stick fine. Beyond surface energy, you need to be familiar with the adhesives that come with different film types and how they should be applied. A calendared film may have a permanent adhesive that leaves little room for error and makes lifting and repositioning the material very difficult. Premium vinyl that is repositionable, with a pressure-activated adhesive will be much more forgiving to work with. O ver the years we've had some interesting objects come in to be wrapped. Vehicle interior parts, tool cabinets, helmets, an X-wing and a skeleton sled used in the 2018 Winter Olympics are just a few that come to mind. Each of these items was a fun change-up from the vehicles and trailers that we normally wrap. What doesn't really differ though is the approach to wrapping unique items. Whether you're wrapping a van or a jet pack, the techniques to wrap either one are basically the same. Prep No matter what object or vehicle you're wrapping, prepping the object properly is the first step. Start by removing any parts that you can for an easier and cleaner install. All objects need to be thoroughly cleaned to remove any adhesive, oil or other surface contaminants. If necessary, a light coating of 3M Tape Primer to promote adhesion can also be applied. Beyond prepping the surface of your object, you should also gather together your tools. Depending on your material, you Vehicle parts and panels are uniquely shaped objects that require relief cuts, heat and careful stretching.

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