Understanding Car Signage

If you are curious about car signage, you probably already know the benefits of having vinyl decals on your vehicle. By sprucing up your van or trailer into a moving billboard, you gain:

  • constant attention on the road, especially if your graphics are colorful and unique;
  • professional look whenever and wherever you leave your parked vehicle (job site or in front of your business);
  • custom and unique look that will strengthen your brand image.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE MATERIALS

Car vinyl by 3M or Avery Dennison (printable or not) is considered the top-tier material available on the market. This film can be applied on any automotive painted surface to improve its appearance. 3M, for example, developed the Comply and Controltac technologies for bubble-free applications of their premium polymeric vinyl. This technology is based on a special adhesive layer made from multiple air release channels. These channels look like a grid so that the air gets extracted, not trapped in between the film and the surface. Therefore, to release the air, all you have to do is apply a little pressure on the bubble, and it will find its way out. The air will exit through the edges of the graphic, but at the same time, the material allows sliding and repositioning of the decal.

Removing this film is easy as 1,2,3. Apply some heat and peel it off. You will notice that there will be no residual adhesive on your surface.

truck signage, DOT numbers, MC numbers

UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT OPTIONS FOR YOUR VEHICLE DECALS

REFLECTIVE VINYL DECALS

A reflective vinyl option is a double-win. You get visibility during the day and also during the night. When the light hits the film, it reflects and draws attention to your signage. The entire film is coated in reflective elements, but the unprinted areas will reflect better than the printed areas. This is why we recommend using lighter colors for this material, so you don’t lose anything from its reflective proprieties. However, in the image below, you can see that even the darker colors printed on this reflective vinyl look good in the daylight and the dark as well.

reflective vinyl, vinyl signs and wraps, business vehicle wrap

High-grade vinyl VS Calendered

High-grade vinyl is also known as “cast” vinyl in our industry. This film is a sturdy and durable material perfect for full vehicle wraps. Most manufacturers, 3M and Avery Dennison included produce several types of vinyl. Whenever you hire a company for your commercial vehicle wraps make sure not only to ask them who the manufacturer is but also what kind of vinyl they will use. 

High-grade or “cast” vinyl is going to last you anywhere from one to five years depending on how well you take care of it. Choose calendered vinyl for indoor projects or short-term applications only.

Pressure-sensitive, adhesive-backed vinyl

Pressure-sensitive vinyl is backed with a special kind of glue that will only activate with a perfect combination of pressure use, heat use, and squeegee use. Therefore, if an installer does not do this process correctly, the material will not apply properly, the glue will not be activated, and the vinyl will end up peeling off. 

Make sure the shop you pick for your projects has certified installers and a history of working with various types of materials. 

understanding vehicle wrap coverage

If you’re looking for signage for your business vehicles you may be a little confused about what Partial, Half, Full Wrap, and Spotted Graphics mean. We will try to make it a little clearer in this post.

half full partial vehicle wraps

PARTIAL VS HALF WRAP

Full wraps are easy to comprehend –  it usually means that a wrap shop will cover 100% of your vehicle in vinyl. On the other hand, partial and half wraps can be a little tricky for someone who is not in the wrapping business.

A half wrap is 50% coverage of the vehicle. It covers the rear and the sides of the car. If you choose a Partial Wrap expect to have your vehicle covered between 60% to 75% in vinyl. 

Logos & Decals are smaller custom-printed stickers of your company logo and contact information and perhaps a list of a few services as well.

to sum up

Custom car wraps can be of any dimension, color, shapes with different finishes (matte, satin, glossy). Your options are limitless, and the more you know, the better decision you will make for your business vehicles. Commercial vans, trucks, and sedans are often one of the first things that your customers come in contact with, and downplaying their importance could be a costly mistake. With what the car wrapping industry can offer nowadays, we can concieve, produce, and install anything you have in mind.

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