Setting the trends in vehicle wrapping
Whether it’s adding a special effect to a vehicle wrap or simply having the ability to match the green demands of your customer, there are plenty of key trends to keep an eye out for in the vehicle wrapping market.
Such is the fast-paced and high innovation of this sector that these trends and customer demands are forever changing, with the key challenge for wrapping professionals being to be able to react.
Here, we pick out some of the most important trends at present and analyse of wrappers can address these demands.
Value of vehicle graphics
Roland DG printers are used by many vehicle wrappers around the world to produce wraps. Rob Goleniowski, head of sales for the UK and Ireland at Roland DG, said as more companies recognise the branding and marketing value of vehicle graphics, demands will continue to change.
“Many private individuals are also wrapping their vehicles with colour changes becoming more and more common as people look to individualise their cars,” Goleniowski said. “Another trend that is increasing of late is the window tinting side of vehicle graphics with many people looking to add tinted windows to their vehicles, both for privacy and the look.
“Finally, Paint Protection Film (PPF) is another growth area of the market, with people not looking to change their look of their vehicle or use it for branding, but instead protect their investment and ensure it stays pristine for as long as possible.
“In general, the other trend we are seeing is people being aware of the benefits from a lease or finance perspective with vehicles that have been wrapped in some cases cheaper to insure but also commanding a higher resale value with the bodywork having been protected by the vinyl.”
Goleniowski said staying ‘on trend’ is vital for every business and this is no less important for vehicle graphics. Knowing what is popular is key to attracting new customers and allowing companies to equip themselves with the right equipment, but also the right design ideas in the case of vehicle graphics and also the right materials.
This, Goleniowski said, is arguably a strength of the Roland DG equipment like the TrueVIS range of printer/cutters, with one machine being able to be used for not only the printed graphics, but also the cut graphics, giving more possible profit-making opportunities.
“As vinyl wrapping of vehicles for marketing purposes remains popular, it is important wrappers be aware of the importance of re-creating brand colours to an exact match.
“Colour plays an important role in brand strategy and many organisations will have carefully selected their brand colours. Having access to printers which offer a wide colour gamut along with software which supports the colour-matching process is imperative.”
Looking at the Roland DG kit wrappers can use to address these trends, Goleniowski said, Roland DG users can create everything from full wraps to airbrush stencils and anything in-between with quality and ease.
The devices also feature the time-saving colour matching and variation job function, which is supported by the latest version of VersaWorks 6, enabling users to select print quality, colour correction settings, and combine output samples with different output settings to determine the final combination of settings.
“The 2022 launched TrueVIS 3 machines have been designed with versatility in mind, but also productivity with many time saving features of both the hardware and the Roland VersaWorks 6 RIP software,” Goleniowski said.
“Couple this with the fast-outgassing times of the TR2 inks which allow graphics to be printed, then laminated in as little as 6 hours, The TrueVIS 3 machines offer a very powerful combination of quality, reliability and productivity.”
Give the customer more choice
Printer type is one consideration, with another being the type of materials you are working with on wrapping jobs. Step forward William Smith, a specialist trade suppliers of vinyl films to the sign, graphics and building interiors industries in the UK.
Mike Szwacki, training manager at William Smith and also owner of the MEK Wrap Squad, has noticed much more interest from private vehicle, colour change customers in subtle blues and greens. Though the popularity of these is calming, he said understated colours is a “distinctive shift” from the numerous shades of grey that had previously been in trend.
“With the well documented, supply limitations of colour change films for the last few years due to raw material shortages, it’s great to see manufacturers finally able to slowly start increasing the number of colours now in production, giving customers more choice,” Szwacki said.
“From a digital print perspective, the trend for bold, disturbing patterns continues but with the new addition of bright colours to the design, giving even more interest and creating real ‘neck breaker’ wraps!
“Digitally printed comic imagery in door shuts is also big right now, especially in the Japanese car scene. It can be a really nice detail on a colour change wrap if executed well.”
As trends continue to develop, Szwacki said wrappers may be forced to use new vinyls that require different application techniques to the methods they are currently using. To get the best out of new materials and stay at the top of the game, Szwacki said it is important to continuously top up product knowledge and skills.
“That’s where William Smith WrapShops come in,” Szwacki said. “We tour the country to bring free workshop events to our customer’s doorsteps, with the aim of informing wrappers about new materials and application techniques.
“For further training needs we also run remote Vehicle Wrap Theory courses and two-day training onsite at our Academy in Barnard Castle, including Vehicle Wrap Training and Advanced Vehicle Wrap Training.”
Keeping abreast of the latest developments in the market and the most popular products among customers will ensure you can take advantage of these trends and make the highest amount of turnover. Speak your supplies, listen to your customers and make sure you can deliver what they want the most!