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3–4 October 2024  |  Silverstone Circuit

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31 Oct 2023

3 common issues to avoid in vehicle wrapping

Rob Fletcher

It is a well-known fact that vehicle wrapping can be incredibly tricky and challenging. Making a small mistake can ruin the entire wrapping process, which is why it is crucial when wrapping to have good attention to detail and that you are wrapping accurately.

Many of the most common issues that are occur in vehicle wrapping can easily be avoided. By carefully checking and double checking whilst you wrap, ensuring that you wrap as accurately as possible will help minimise any errors you may make.

Within this article, we discuss a few of the common issues that vehicle wrappers make and the steps that can be taken to avoid them from happening.

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Caption Exterior features such as wing mirrors and door handles can prove troublesome during application

Bubbles and Ripples

The application process in vehicle wrapping can be challenging and cause issues for even the most skilled and experienced wrappers.

A common mistake that occurs during the application is bubbling. Bubbling of the vinyl occurs when the surface of the car is either dirty or has poor paintwork. To avoid this, it is important to ensure that the vehicle is cleaned thoroughly before the application process. Doing so will ensure that the surface is completely smooth, and it will make wrapping the vehicle much easier.

Air bubbles are also another issue that wrappers face. This happens when the air becomes trapped between the vinyl or film and the metal of the car. This issue can be avoided by simply using a high-quality squeegee when installing the wrap. This ensures that the vinyl or film is completely applied to the vehicle and that there is a smooth finish.

Ripples are another issue that occurs when an unplanned raised line occurs during the final wrap, this is due to an error in application. Ripples do not happen as often as bubbles however; these ripples can negatively affect the entire wrap as wrappers usually have to remove the entire wrap and start all over again due to the damage that is caused to the wrap. It is important for wrappers to take their time during the application process and that they ensure that the material they use is properly stretched over the vehicle without any ripples.

Additional issues to be wary of during application are when the edges of the wrap peels off the car. This could be due to the surface of the vehicle not being cleaned and the material not adhering correctly. It can also be due to wrinkles that have not been smoothed out correctly.

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Caption: Taking care when cutting away excess material can help ensure a quality finish on wrap jobs

Finishing

Mistakes can be easily made whilst applying finishing touches to your wrap installation as many wrappers tend to rush during this period. This is usually applicable regarding the cutting and trimming off wraps. After a wrap has been installed, wrappers need to trim down the excess material that is not part of the main design. This requires a high level of concentration and a very steady hand.

Regarding cutting, it can be difficult to properly wrap the entirety of the exterior of the vehicle. Door handles and wing mirrors tend to be the most challenging. When cutting the wraps around them it is important to pay close attention as it is very easy to damage the wrap and the vehicle itself.

Some wrappers will patch up specific areas of the wrap because they are unable to wrap some of the more difficult sections of the vehicle. It is not advised to do this as it is not consistent and then you cannot deliver the all-over effect that most customers demand. There are various training courses available that provide advice on how to wrap these difficult sections.

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Caption: Will wrap designs look the same or continue to have the same impact when doors or windows are opened?

Design Accuracy

Before you start wrapping a vehicle it is important that you ensure that the actual design will look as it is intended once installed. Failure to do so will usually lead to further mistakes being made.  

Many car fans who reside in the UK or Europe would have head of Top Gear the famous tv show where Jeremy Clarkson and his friends drive in uniquely decorated cars with different messaging. This is an important factor for wrappers to consider as they have to ensure that the messaging is featured in the correct position on the vehicle. The same issue can be experienced regarding pictures that are featured on the wrap.  For example, if there is a smiling face on the side of a van. Once the sliding doors open, will this still show the same image, or something different?

It is similar when you apply company logos. Will the logo consistently appear on the wrap design even when the doors or window are open? Will people still be able to recognise the business or not?

To conclude, many of these mistakes will be perceived as errors in common sense amongst wrappers. Wrappers have many skills at their disposal, by paying close attention when during the application process and thinking about the bigger picture when designing a wrap they can avoid any big, potential issues and save themselves valuable time, energy and money.

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