Sign & Digital Graphics

December '17

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60 • December 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S WRAPS DIGITAL GRAPHICS Wrap vs. Frame When a truckside frame system is the better choice 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 B Y C H A R I T Y J A C K S O N Let's Talk Shop When we're wrapping a car, pickup or even most vans it makes sense for us to wrap the vehicle by applying graphics directly to the surface. We get a nice conformed look that turns the vehicle into a rolling advertisement for years. When it comes to box trucks and even large trailers, as long as the surface is in good condition then we typically wrap these as well. Box trucks are easy to wrap since there are minimal obstacles to complicate the install. There are times though that wrapping a trailer or box truck is not as cost effective, or as visually pleasing, as a frame system. Being able to offer the best solution to your customer should be a priority. Condition In this case, the customer purchased the trailers inexpensively because of the condition they were in. They were intended to be a billboard that they can place on different properties. Once we took a closer look at the trailers we realized that the rough texture on the trailers (due to aluminum oxidation) and the excessive rivets (more than our typical trailers) made a vinyl wrap a less desirable option. The customer would have had to spend a lot of money to prepare the surface of the trailer before we could apply the vinyl. With the frame system we attach the frame directly to the trailer side and the banner floats over the surface, eliminating the need to fix any existing damage. Changeable The advertisements going into the frames are for a large housing developer that plans to change out the site banners as needed. Having a frame system in place makes it easy to change out the banner quickly. The initial cost for a frame system and banner for each side of the 53' trailer may be close in price to wrapping the trailer with graphics, but the frame presents options that lower the cost on future ads. The frame stays in place and the banners can be removed and replaced quickly. The costs on subsequent ads is just for the banner printing and labor to install it into the frame. After we figured out what we were doing on the first banner, the second side of the trailer went much more quickly. Three guys were able to install an 8' x 51' banner in less than 30 min- utes. I'm sure we'll get quicker the more we do. W e've seen the advertisements for truckside graphic framing systems for a number of years. Most systems employ some kind of adaptable extruded aluminum frame that is designed to hold flexible media in place. Many of the ads show that the same type of graphic frames can be used on either the sides of buildings or the sides of trucks. We never really thought about how these could be incorporated into our shop until we had the opportunity to quote on a project where this type of frame seemed to make the most sense. We ended up working with Ackland Media Frames, a com- pany offering a system that is lightweight, quick and easy to install, and the graphics can be changed out inside the reus- able frame. For our customer—a housing developer looking to advertise multiple housing projects on 53' trailers—this was the perfect solution. Wrap vs Frame The customer had acquired a fleet of trailers that were fairly run down and were only used for advertising. The developer parks the trailer out in a field and uses it to advertise the resi- dential properties soon going up for sale. Since we specialize in vehicle wraps, we first intended to quote these trailer graphics as a full wrap. Installing a banner frame system with a changeable banner is an option to consider for some of your trackside graphics jobs as an alternative to wrap film.

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