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Design Collisions

(March 2011) posted on Tue Mar 08, 2011

How to avoid vehicle wrap disasters.


By Jared Smith

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First, be sure you understand that this two-inch line element "locks" both sides and the rear panels together. Basically, this means every single panel must be installed at the exact same height in order for that stripe to travel around the vehicle without interruption. A detailed template and/or survey are key here.

You will need to build in some insurance in other areas, too. By this, I mean don't place a phone number too close to a wheel well, and give yourself an extra inch or two when deciding where to place a small logo. If you build other elements too close to edges or obstacles, you will not be able to adjust the panel placement due to that red stripe, and that can mean a logo or other element collides with an obstruction – presto, a design collision.

This can result in a re-print, because your customer most likely approved a proof that contained the stripe around the vehicle, and the entire logo in the right spot, and that is what they want. To combat this potential pitfall, be sure to build in some extra "blank" space between vital design elements and obstructions when you have a "locking" element going around the whole vehicle. Another way to combat this danger is to produce the stripe as a second layer: Install the wrap, then hand place the stripe by itself, right where you want it.

View from the bumper
Another common area in which design collisions frequently occur is on the superwide rear fenders of any dually truck. If you have ever installed a wrap on one of these heavy-duty trucks, you know that just getting the vinyl installed is challenging enough, let alone trying to line up graphic-design elements in this area.

The problem is, these fenders have a top, a face, and sides, and then all four of these surfaces meet the standard bed side. This shape forces you to make a choice: Should this area line up to be readable from the side view or the top view? It’s almost impossible to do both. So what to do?


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