Sign & Digital Graphics


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2 0 1 8 • WRAPS • 49 TOOLS & EQUIPMENT Richart continues by explaining that embossing is a new style be- ing incorporated into projects, "using cut vinyl below a solid color wrap, as we demonstrate during our vehicle wrap demos." Embossing is a technique that Downey also favors these days, cit- ing other "hot" styles as, "3D shapes or characters with printed media vacuum-formed over the shapes. Or printing on specialty lms like chrome and reective materials, new school camouage, and break- up patterns." There is seemingly an endless amount of work that can be per- formed using digital printers for wraps. It's not just limited to tra- ditional vehicles; graphics can be created for items such as helmets, refrigerators or utility boxes. DESIGNED FOR SUCCESS When jumping into the printing process, it's easy to forget that the printed graphics must rst originate from a concept. That's when shops are thankful for talented designers and dependable software programs. "As far as the printer and workow goes, there's not much dif- ference between doing a large vehicle wrap or wrapping a smaller object," says Valade. "The biggest difference would be on the design side. There's software available with templates for vehicle wraps, but with unconventional objects, the designer will need to be a little more creative. Making sure the graphics conform properly to the unusual shape of the item typically requires more time and effort." When working strictly with vehicles, however, designers should adhere to templates that are available for many different automobile makes and models. "Using vehicle templates from a reputable source will help in the design and making sure you are close on measurements," Padilla says. From there, as Padilla suggests, it is critical to plan for where the graphic panels will align on the vehicle as the design is being generated. "When designing for vehicle wraps, designers should always mea- sure the vehicle rst, and understand where the images are expected to be placed," Maxwell begins. "Once an outline of placement is de- termined, designers should work on their design with paneling in mind. The image will need to be split up into pieces that will be able to cover the bulk of the vehicle with a minimal amount of overlaps, if possible." Padilla agrees with that sentiment, stating that, "The biggest thing is to be precise and correct on your measurements. Doing this will save you time printing and save money on ink and media costs. Many people overprint to make sure they have enough coverage." Finally, when all dimensions and gures have been calculated, it's time to bring the graphics to life. PROCESS COMPLETE When faced with a decision to make a printer purchase, each shop will need to prioritize its requirements and decide what will t best with its business model. For Downey, he has an ideal printing process at the top of his mind: use a 64-inch width at minimum, output in RGB, and make your blacks "Black 000" to name a few things. "You can nd a new 64-inch printer that is worth plugging in as low as $12,000, and the best large-format (industrial printer) is around $30,000." Another shop may prefer something different, based on budget and comfort. It's all about nding the right formula that will maxi- mize your machine. Summarizing the printing steps in a wraps project, Richart simply explains, "I would say create your own process that ensures a quality end-product that your client will approve of." Digital print- ers such as the Roland SOLJET Pro 4 XR-640 and Roland VG 640 are ideal for wrap printing. (Image cour- tesy of Roland DGA) Mimaki's JV150-160 series printer is one of the com- pany's most popular printers among wrap shops. (Image courtesy of Mimaki USA) Printer size, speed, dependability and cost are all legiti- mate factors to address when purchasing a printer for high-end wraps jobs. (Image courtesy of Mutoh America)

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