Vinyl Vehicle Wraps – How To Choose The Right Vinyl For Your Wrap

Vinyl Vehicle Wraps are one of the most profitable forms of Advertising for Small Business Owners.

There is a vast amount of information on the benefits of vehicle graphics marketing, but very little information on how to choose the right vinyl for your vehicle wrap.

One Source Media Vinyl Wraps is a reliable and professional vinyl sign shop in Queens, NY. We offer high-quality vinyl wraps for your business or personal needs. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the best possible service and products.

To choose intelligently you must first understand the composition of vinyl vehicle wraps.

Types of vinyl:

There are two types of vinyls used in vehicle graphics. The first and most popular is a Cast Vinyl which is manufactured in such a way that it does not shrink or stretch or change its shape once installed. It is also significantly more expensive than calendared vinyl.

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Calendared vinyl is the most popular vinyl used by Sign Shops for printing. It is ideal for standard flat surfaces, such as posters and wall graphics. When heated and stretched, it wants to return to its original shape. It tends to shrink over time, so for that reason it is only used on vehicles under specific circumstances. It is less expensive than cast vinyl.

Vehicle Graphics is usually printed on a special Cast vinyl material, that is designed to stretch and conform to the contours of your vehicle, and will not shrink with temperature changes. A good quality vehicle graphics vinyl can be removed from the vehicle even after five years, without leaving any residue on the paint.

Types of laminates:

After printing, the panels are laminated with a special transparent film, so that the printed surface is sandwiched between the vinyl and the laminate. Some companies use a liquid laminate to reduce cost, but the liquid does not offer the same durability and protection as a cast laminate. A liquid laminate may be acceptable, to reduce cost or allow the vinyl to stretch easier into deep crevasses, or in irregular corrugated truck bodies.

Vinyl Installation:

Vehicle Graphics Vinyl has an adhesive backing, which allows it to be applied to the body of the vehicle by an installer, using a squeegee and a heat gun. The vinyl is stretched and applied to contours and crevasses, to make it look like it was painted. Any excess vinyl is cut to precision. Since the common width of the panels is approximately 50 inches, it may be necessary to tile the panels together, to form one big graphic. The panels are overlapped approximately 1/2 inch when tiled.

Conclusion:

Now that you know a bit about the vinyl, and how it is applied, the question becomes, “How to choose a vinyl that will look good and last for many years”

Most Vehicle Graphics Companies standardize on one particular vinyl manufacturer, based on cost, performance or comfort level, with that product. Most manufacturers of vehicle graphics vinyl will warranty the vinyl for 3-5 years, provided it is laminated with their approved laminate and is printed with an approved ink, so the chances are excellent that you will never have to worry about the vinyl failing.

The most popular brands are 3M, Avery and Oracal for cast vehicle vinyls and a number of other manufacturers for calendared vinyls.

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Here are my recommended choices of vinyl based on your application:

Lettering

For lettering projects, request a cast vinyl that will last for at least 5 years outdoor. Calendared vinyl lettering will shrink and leave an outline around the letters. The may also crack prematurely. You may see this on some older van graphics.

Vehicle Wraps

For wraps you should request a cast vinyl and a cast film laminate for maximum durability. A liquid laminate will reduce cost but you will need to compromise on durability.

Short Term Promotional

For Short Term or promotional auto wraps, a promotional vinyl or a calendared vehicle vinyl are both acceptable and lower cost.

Flat Surfaces

For Flat Surfaces on trucks, trailers or buses, it is acceptable to use a calendared vinyl to reduce cost, but make sure it is laminated for durability. Truck and bus washes are fairly harsh so its best to avoid a liquid laminate unless pricing is an issue.

Contoured Surfaces

Auto Wraps should always use a cast vehicle vinyl because of the contours and amount of stretching involved.

Conclusion

It’s best to seek the advice of a good Vehicle Graphics Company and let then know exactly how you plan on using the vehicle and how long you plan on keeping the wrap. You will need to weigh this against the cost of your vinyl vehicle wraps.

One Source Media Vinyl Wraps
14-57 110th St, Queens, NY 11356
(929) 205-1088

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