Sign & Digital Graphics

2016 WRAPS

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80 • WRAPS • 2 0 1 6 WRAP TECHNIQUES B U M P E R W R A P S Bump Up Your Bumper Wraps Practical tips for wrapping those tricky areas B Y C H A R I T Y J A C K S O N W e've done our fair share of bum- per wraps over the years and they can be one of the most time consuming and trickiest parts of the vehicle to wrap. There are a few tips and tricks though that can speed up the process and ensure a professional install. Assessment As with all wraps, your bumper wrap will start with premium, conformable wrap vinyl and a clean surface. During the design process, well before installa- tion, you need to step back and assess the bumper itself. Take into consideration the curves and obstacles that will be wrapped and plan ahead on how your graphics will be applied. Also, when quoting a price your wrap, take into account the extra labor involved in a bumper wrap. Some bumpers will have a fairly broad space with large panels. These types of bumpers are a little easier to wrap than a smaller bumper with tighter compound curves. Front bumpers will often have an inset area for lights. Often these areas 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 20 years. You can visit her website at www. Figure 1 can be used to hide relief cuts, allowing you to wrap nearly seamlessly, using the cut out area to take up excess material or to hide a seam. The large grill areas and lights on this bumper (see Figure 1), which were trimmed out, made it easier to wrap a large portion of this bumper in one piece. Small overlaps were hidden along natural body lines in areas that required seams. Design On rear bumpers you often have a situation where the bumper comes up and flattens under the trunk lid; the trunk itself comes down meeting at the top of the bumper. These can be a bit tricky to design around both from an aesthetic standpoint, as well as planning for instal- lation. One way to make this easier is to cre- ate either a solid background or a really busy background. The solid background is obvious as it's much easier to wrap and align these spaces if you're dealing with just one color. If you choose a busy background, be sure any distortions won't be obvious. I would recommend avoiding detailed photographs as the natural stretching around the bumper and trunk will dis- tort the image. Repeating patterns, which look strange when not aligned, should also be avoided. If you're designing text to fall on the bumper and/or trunk area, registration is often tight in these spaces. Applying the background graphics also causes distor- tion, so it's best to simply cut the text separate and apply it as a spot graphic.

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