Sign & Digital Graphics

2016 WRAPS

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 94 of 158

82 • WRAPS • 2 0 1 6 WRAP TECHNIQUES Alignment tip: put a small piece of tape at the edges of the material and split it down the middle. Leave one half on the vinyl and the other half on the vehicle. During installation be sure these two halves of the tape are meeting up and you'll ensure your vinyl is going on straight. This is especially helpful around the curves of bumpers but also works great on rear window view thru applications. Little tricks like these reference tape marks make it easier to apply graphics to a curved surface while maintaining align- ment (see Figure 6). One Piece If you have larger bumpers with grad- ual curves you may be able to wrap the bumper in one piece. If you're debating between planning out seams or trying to apply in one piece, tape up the graph- ics and pull them around to the sides, leaving on the backing paper, to see if the graphics bunch up. If the bunching is minimal and you have plenty of over- lap then you should be able to apply the graphics in one piece. When installing in one piece we like to create a center tape hinge and apply half the graphics at a time. Peeling back Figure 6 Figure 7 the backing paper I would suggest hav- ing one person hold the graphics slightly away from the car while a second person warms the vinyl. Now, the person holding the graphic should gently pull the film against the car and around the outer fender or edge of the bumper working it along that horizontal plane. The person that warmed the graphic should gently pull the graphic up along the vertical planes. Basically, you're telling the graphic where you want it to go before you've even squeegeed. While the material is warm you're able to conform it to the curves with minimal stretching. If you are having to force the material or you're seeing a lot of tiny wrinkles at the edge of the material, then it's not going to lay flat and will eventually lift. If you can't remove the wrinkles by re- lifting the vinyl and re-heating it, then you'll need to plan on seaming the graphic in that area so it will last longer. Seams Don't be afraid to seam your bumper wrap. The trick is to do it in such a way that it looks clean or is hidden. Look for natural body lines that you can trim within or that you can have the seam follow to blend in. The graphics should be applied to the vehicle along the flat horizontal space first treating that as your first surface. Then apply the graphics up and down moving with the contour of the vehicle. You've essentially split the bumper wrap in half then. The bottom half can be warmed and then gently pulled down and under the vehicle curve. This creates a smooth patch that can then be squeegeed in place. Do the same on the top, pulling up. In areas where there is too much bunching look for a good place to seam the graphics. If the seam will fall near the sides of the vehicle, plan for your seam to overlap itself, where the air that flows past the vehicle will not be hitting the edge of that seam, causing it to lift (see Figure 7).

Articles in this issue

view archives of Sign & Digital Graphics - 2016 WRAPS