Speaking broadly over many different industries, history has shown us time and time again that when one simple concept becomes a national standard for businesses and consumers all over the world, an entire industry can survive and thrive on the demand. Sports franchises, comic books and even hit songs can spawn small retail businesses and even product manufacturing, all based around the original concept.
Over the last five to 10 years, we’ve seen that exact algorithm play out in the vehicle wrap industry. At its inception, only a handful of products in a limited color supply were available to the general public. Knowledge was hard to come by, and tools were being made in garages or on shop benches to help with certain details. Fast forward a few years, and now you can’t drive to your local high school without seeing at least a few wrapped cars along the way. Most of them will be basic blue-collar business wraps, although occasionally you’ll see a solid color wrapped sports car of some sort. The times are changing more quickly than we expected, but we’ve been following the trend since the beginning.
Some of the original push-back arguments for wrapping a custom truck were the same standard questions the industry still gets asked daily: “If it cost the same as paint, why would I wrap it?” or “Can I design my own wrap?”. Lots of questions and misconceptions fill the wrap world with negative energy, but after spending a week with some of the top guys in the game, I feel comfortable with presenting this process to our very trusting readers. There are a few benefits we would not have considered if we didn’t do some research, so we implore you to sit back, relax and follow along with an open mind. No matter how pro-paint you think you are, I bet you may be a little more open by the end of the story.
The number one issue we had with wraps is the first thing we addressed: Sure, it takes less time than paint, but if it cost the same amount, what’s the point? After you pay for your local vehicle sign shop artist’s design time, which is generally over $100 per hour, you then have to pay them to print everything out, laminate it and install it. By the end of the process, it’s quite expensive if you’re looking for something completely custom. However, one of the unspoken benefits to your truck being in paint prison for up to six months is that you can slowly pay off the bill over that amount of time. When you drop your truck off at a wrap shop, it will only be there for a week—but it’s all due at the end. As most truck guys out there can relate, we like to complete our projects one step at a time as we gain additional expendable funds to avoid any massive payments that our better half can ask about. Well, thanks to new companies in the wrap industry such as We Print Wraps, you can now break your exterior color change into small stages as the funds become available. Best of all, you can design it yourself if you have the skills!
For project Artemis, we decided to venture into the world of wraps. The body isn’t great, we don’t have time for a color change, and a full custom paint job was never in the budget. So, some digital graphics printed on vehicle wrap material will cover up the factory coating. Here is the complete process we went through to go down the path of print!