Wrapping It Up – Electrically

Hershey's Marketing Group wraps company fleet with mouth-watering graphics.

As the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America, the Hershey Company has its operations dispersed among six different buildings throughout Hershey, Pennsylvania. To enable employees to move from facility to facility – and to do so in an environmentally friendly fashion – the company introduced a fleet of six all-electric Nissan Leaf automobiles.

To help spread the Hershey name in-transit, Hershey’s Marketing Group developed themes for each car, including Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Jolly Rancher, and Twizzlers. From there, it was up to the company's Printing Group to produce engaging vehicle wraps that reflected each theme.

Vehicle wrapping, however, was relatively new territory for the Printing Group, which has 20 employees and operates from a 25,000-square-foot facility. Before the electric-car project, the department had only wrapped company box trucks and trailers.

“This was our first project wrapping something with complex curves,” says Robert Wamsher, manager of printing services. So, before taking this project on, Wamsher’s department first took part in a seminar on vehicle wraps. “As part of our local printers organization, one of our monthly seminars was dedicated to wrapping vehicles, with a live demonstration from a commercial wrapping company, with some hands-on training,” he says.

From there, it was a process of trial-and-error. After creating images based on work the department had done previously, files were produced utilizing a template for the Nissan model vehicles sourced from ProVehicle Outlines. The designers in Hershey's Printing Group then turned to Adobe Illustrator to produce the final files, with the company’s Marketing Group providing approval after viewing soft proofs on-screen.

Graphics were output using the group’s Roland SolJet Pro III XC-540 printer with Roland Eco-Sol Max ink onto Hershey's house stock, 3M Controltac 180C. One of the biggest challenges, says Wamsher, was getting the orange color to match up for the Reese's vehicle. This resulted in a process of printing samples, matching them against Hershey’s packaging, and then color correcting until the team was satisfied.

The finishing process, which took two days, and included applying a 3M overlaminate to ensure image longevity. A four-person team completed the installation at Hershey’s warehouse in 12 days earlier this year.

The cars have generated a considerable amount of positive feedback, not only throughout the city but also throughout the company itself. “People are surprised that we can actually do that," he says. "It's not well-known that we can do all these things, but it has been a good method to get the message out to the rest of the company."

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