Wrapping a Wrangler
Symbolic graphics support Rebuilding Amerca's Warriors foundation.
Desert Wraps in Palm Desert, California, wraps 20 to 30 unusual vehicles a month, from 40-foot cow-print helicopters to an amusement park promo VW Beetle Convertible. Yet higher-ups consider this a marketing company with a focus on vehicle wrapping, not a wrap shop. Owner Soterios Anagnostou calls this wrap for Rebuilding America’s Warriors (RAW) a typical job, but it’s the execution that makes it better than the norm. “There’s intricate detail and different meaningful aspects, plus a matte finish with lots of cool textures,” he says.
RAW is a nonprofit organization made up of a group of plastic surgeons who provide free reconstructive surgery to recently wounded and disfigured active service and veteran soldiers. For this Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Willys Edition, Desert Wraps used its Epson SureColor S70670 to print on 3M Envision LX480Cv3 with 3M Scotchcal Ultra Matte 8915 overlaminate.
“We wanted the design to be fluid and seamless with no overlays,” says Jeff Dooley, head of production. “This was especially challenging where the sides met the hood and the roof. With careful planning, our design, and installation team were able to accomplish exactly that.”
Frank Blenman, graphic designer, agrees. “I had to angle/tilt the Willy logo and rivets to align with the curve of the hood so that the rivets would meet up on the sides of the vehicle.”
The foundation will be auctioning off the Jeep at a charity event, hopefully for $80,000, Anagnostou says.
To him, it’s not just about covering a vehicle with a wrap: “It’s more about unique characteristics and qualities of somebody’s brand that we can communicate through graphic elements on their vehicles.”
Matte and gloss finishes are trending at Desert Wraps, but Anagnostou prides himself on the shop’s design work. “Anyone can put vinyl on a vehicle, but if it doesn’t communicate the right message for that particular client for their particular market, then does it really function? … We don’t want anyone to walk out of here without a functioning design.”
Desert Wraps completes production, printing, and installation in-house. “We’re all like a big family here. Our core guys are amazing with installation; we’ve done exotic cars, we’ve done Rolls-Royces, dragsters, race cars – we’ve done all kinds of meticulous types of projects. We’re more into the creative than anything else.”
And they’re also an advocate for small- to mid-sized businesses. “We want to help them grow in a proper fashion so that they can build brand equity in the future,” continues Anagnostou. “It’s important to steer them in the right direction so we understand where they’re headed in the future and how that design and messaging is going to affect them.” This can then lead to other areas of their business that Desert Wraps can help brand, such as the interior or the face of their company.