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Making It Your Fault

(February 2013) posted on Wed Jan 30, 2013

Before blaming your designer for a final-product fault, take a step back and realize it may have been something you missed in the beginning.

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By Jared Smith

The photos are used for two very specific reasons: First, they serve as a visual overlay (in Illustrator or Photoshop), ensuring that the template we’re working on is the same shape as the vehicle. This is especially key when designing commercial vans, to ensure the template you have matches the wheelbase (measurements from the center of the front wheel to the center of the rear wheel). Or, when working on Sprinters, to ensure you also have the correct height option (there are several height options for that particular vehicle).

The second reason for the photos is so you can perform a visual inspection and look for anything that will dictate the coverage area as well as any obstructions to avoid. If you’re wrapping a Chevy Avalanche, for example, you can inspect the photos to see if this vehicle came with the textured plastic cladding or not. Or if you’re wrapping a Dodge Caravan, you can quickly see if this vehicle came with the three-inch side body moldings. And if you’re wrapping a utility vehicle like a police car or an HVAC truck, you can look for any aftermarket items you’ll have to work around – custom bumpers, lights, tool boxes, or something else that might affect your vital design areas, how the print should be tiled, and exactly what areas will be wrapped.

Our shop has a list of every vehicle type that we’ve ever wrapped – year, make, and model, including options, wheel base, bed length, cab type, trim, etc. We refer to these vehicles as “blue-certified.” These blue-certified vehicles have been completely surveyed in person by our staff. Measurements have been documented, used, and verified as 100-percent correct. These vehicles no longer require a survey, but they still require photos to ensure that they truly match a blue-certified vehicle.