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Design Collisions

(March 2011) posted on Tue Feb 22, 2011

When the proof and reality collide.

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By Jared Smith

I sometimes wonder why we all chase vehicle-wrap jobs, when we know there are certainly more profitable, less stressful jobs to be had.

Take banners, for example: You need to know the material selection, the size, and the finishing details, such as pole pockets or grommets – but that’s pretty much all you need to know. Wraps, on the other hand, are extremely detail-oriented. We all know that the more specifications a particular job requires, the greater the possibility for errors or difficulties. Unlike a simple banner job, there are a lot of ways to mess up and end up re-doing a vehicle wrap, and the attention to this level of detail is paramount.

One way to be sure you get an unhappy customer or a reprint order is to accidentally build in what we at bluemedia call a "design collision." We have reserved this term for any occasion where the proof and reality collide. In other words, the “produced vinyl” in hand cannot accomplish what is represented in the two-dimensional proof. At best, these instances force the install team to stop their work and get clarification. At worst, they can cause a complete re-print of some – or even all – of the wrap.

Becoming aware that design collisions exist, then learning how to look for and eventually avoid them in the first place, are skills that can make you more profitable in the long run. Let's take a look at a few examples to ensure you have the greatest chance of skipping this avoidable issue in the future.

Taking a few extra steps
The most common design collisions involve what we call a 360-degree wrap. This is a wrap design that calls for one or more elements to line up around multiple sides or the entire vehicle. For instance, imagine a van with a two-inch red stripe that begins on the side, up by the headlight, and continues around the back of the van, ending up on the front of the other side, by that headlight. This, in itself, does not seem too difficult – and it isn't difficult provided you take a few extra steps.