If you are considering wrapping your car or truck, the first question that likely popped into your head was, “How much will it cost?” This article outlines what to ask and what to look for as you shop for a company to do your job.
How long you want the wrap to last is the most important determining factor in the cost of the project. The quality of vinyls available on the market today vary widely. I have spoken with people who, unfortunately, had their vehicle wraps begin to fade much earlier than they expected, because inferior vinyl was used. Buyer beware. Before you sign on the dotted line ask your sign company what specific brand of vinyl they will be using on your wrap job. There are a number of imported vinyls from China that are economical but quite candidly inferior. They may be prone to cracking, fading and simply don’t have the durability as American-made product.
At Focal Point Signs & Imaging we use only Avery and 3M vinyls and over laminates. This is because these products are American-made, best of class, and fully warrantied. Even between these two manufacturers there are a number of options. The least expensive option would be a four-year high performance vinyl. The longest lasting choice would be a 10 year vinyl. But as the saying goes, ‘You get what you pay for’.
The second most important factor in determining who should be doing your wrap job is the over laminate that will be used to protect the ink. Again, choosing an Avery or 3M UV protected over laminate will get you the best results. These laminates are created specifically to be used in conjunction with the Avery and 3M cast high-performance vinyls.
The third factor impacting the cost of a wrap job is the actual printer used to lay the ink down on the vinyl. At Focal Point Signs & Imaging we use the HP L26500 latex ink printer largely regarded as the finest large-format printer in the world today. There are three reasons this printer is considered to be the best printer for a wrap job. First, the vinyl comes out of the printer dry to the touch. Eco solvent printers of the past produced prints that need hours of cure time. Secondly, latex inks do not gas out, are eco-friendly, and longer lasting than solvent inks. Lastly, the number of inkjets in the HP L26500 are three times that of previous printers giving this mighty beast the ability to produce up to 1080 dpi in full color. This is photographic quality in large format.
In fact this printer is so good I recently received a phone call from a man in Florida who requested that we print the vinyl, laminate it, and ship it back to him. Considering we’re in California and he was willing to pay the shipping costs – that says something about the quality we are able to produce.
The final factor determining the cost of your wrap job is the labor. For a truly professional result you’ll need to find a shop that has professionally trained installers who know how to remove mirrors, bumpers, and door handles among other things.
We strive to work with our clients to produce the highest quality while working within their budgets. Often times this means considering a partial wrap instead of a full wrap. Avoiding the areas of the car that require body shop knowledge to take off and put back on pieces like the door handle is one approach we take. This of course requires detail to design.
If your budget is really limited, you may want to consider doing the windows of your vehicle only. Make sure you go to a professional sign company for your installation. At Focal Point Signs and Imaging we design, print, and install window vinyls on a regular basis.
If you have any questions about full, partial, or other wrap jobs please give us a call at 714 – 204 – 0180, visit us at www.FPcustomsigns.com