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Why Wrap? We Participate in the Great Debate | Project Artemis

Chris Hamilton July 22, 2021 OBS Builders Guide

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. 

With Artemis looking good on the new 20-inch US Mag wheels, it’s time to address the exterior of the truck. Step one in our complete re-cover of the faded OEM paint is to call We Print Wraps. We let them know what kind of vehicle we’re working with and our idea of a wild design that would cover up some paint and body imperfections. Whether you’re looking for a solid color or something completely custom like we are, We Print Wraps can handle the job and ship it directly to you. Based on your location, they can help set you up with an experienced graphic designer, as well as some basic pricing so you know where you’re at financially. Best of all, this step is free and available to anyone!

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.

The design process is usually a two-week-long, new girlfriend style relationship with your designer. Lots of texts and emails go back and forth and smiles from ear to ear as the design evolves. First, we sent our stock truck photos from when we bought it and the render idea we originally came up with.

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!

We explained the concept behind the design and some inspiration for the layout. A combination of Ready Player One and CyberPunk is the direction we pointed Ryan and, as you should with any great designer, we gave him total freedom and let him loose with no supervision.
GLARB sent us a basic framework for the layout followed by additional rendered styles that included texture and color
With an approval on our end and some optional additional detail suggestions, we sat and waited for a full rendering of the entire truck completely wrapped.
The first set of renderings had a few different color options to choose from. We can add, edit or change our layout until we are completely happy. The longer it takes, the more it costs, though up to this point not much money has switched accounts.

With the design complete and your designer paid in full, your files will be ready and waiting in your inbox until a few more paychecks hit the bank. Once that time comes, all you have to do is forward the email from your designer straight to We Print Wraps so they can add it to their production schedule.
Step four is a simple search on Wrapper Mapper for contact information to a local independent installer. Based on the complexity of your design, the install can range anywhere from $800 to $1,800 and can be done in around one week. A large network of mobile installers and install facilities is available. Generally, this can be done right in your garage if there’s not a lot of dust and debris, but if your local installer has his own shop, that’s even better.
Because our design is so complex and covers the entire truck, we used Ryan’s personal suggestion for the install team to make sure his concepts came out correctly. Tate Design is known as one of the leading wrap installers in the country. It’s an amazing process, and we will go over the entire timeline in the next issue and unveil the final look, so stay tuned!

With the truck in the shop, Tate and the crew instantly got to work disassembling the truck and mentally creating a game plan. Everything needed to come off including the grille, door handles, lights and emblems.

Tate Design will even wrap the factory bumpers, so it’s a good thing GLARB designed the wrap to cover everything!

The impressive wrap material can transition from a smooth painted surface to a smooth sanded surface with no adhesion issues. Naturally, if your paint if close to perfect, you don’t need much more that a quick bath before the wrap can start.

Speaking of baths, Artemis gets one last bath in her original exterior color before heading in the bay.
Now that she is inside, the masterminds get to work. This is where things get technical, and experience with installing these kinds of wraps isn’t something most installers have in their wheelhouse.

We Print Wraps offers many different options for your wrap finish. You can choose to print on high-gloss, semi-gloss, satin, matte and even super matte, depending on the finish you’re looking to have on your vehicle. We went with satin on our wrap since we wanted the Cyber Punk/Ready Player One grunge look.
Once all the printing is complete, WPW will pack it up very professionally and ship it directly to your house. You can store this inside an air-conditioned environment while you pile up a few more paychecks for the installation.

Ryan had one trick up his sleeve, and we were blown away when he explained how this luminescent panel will sit behind the wrap in certain locations, lighting up with the push of a button. So exciting!

The method to the madness is something we didn’t quite pick up on, but we can appreciate all the calculations going on in Ryan and Tate’s heads during the install.
Next is to test fit the light-up panels. How crazy is this going to look?
That’s all you get for this issue, and we hope you are as excited for the reveal as we are. The cover comes off officially on June 12 at Daytona Truck Meet in the Florida Boy Customs booth. See you all out there!
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