Vehicle graphic is undoubtedly a new trend in the parameter of promotional signage in India. This signage medium is one of the top priorities in the wish list of corporate houses looking for strategic advertising. The fact is that every onlooker is allured by signage on vehicles of public transport, which appeared youthful, funky, bright and smartly chalking out a unique attraction. All vehicle graphics are made with digital and vinyl graphics which can be fun and target point for million of commuters and patrons daily. In an online interview with SIGN & GRAPHICS, market development manager ELIZABETH PARK of Avery Dennison, Netherlands stressed on vehicle wrap and its prospects in the Indian market. Graphics and Reflective Products Division of Avery Dennison has been a hallmark of excellence in vehicle wrapping at global level.
Basic points to remember
Since vehicle wrapping is quite a new entity in the Indian signage industry, there are several key points every applicator should keep in mind during the practice. Of them, the correct film selection is key to obtain the necessary level of conformability and durability of the intended application. “We always recommend the use of cast vinyl for complete body wraps or 3D curves whereas calendared vinyl is suitable only for flat or slightly curved panels,” says Elizabeth. Handling and applying of large graphics can be tricky. In this respect, Elizabeth mentioned that applicators could build in special features that can help them such as Easy Apply (helps eliminate air bubbles) and RS Re-positionability (allows film to slide over the surface of the vehicle assisting with initial positioning).
Another important point is the preparation and cleaning of the vehicle. It would ensure that the surface is free from grease and dirt in order to allow adequate bond between adhesive and vehicle surface. “We provide applicators with application instructions when handling our films, which cover topics such as positioning, air removal and temperature instructions,” says Elizabeth adding, “We appreciate the importance that application has on the final applied graphic and we provide workshops to help train our partners in this field.”
Types of vinyl and printing
Considering the types of vinyl to be used in wrapping different objects, such as car, bus, trains and airplanes, it is required to understand the surface conditions, life expectancy of the graphic, and exposure conditions. In case of public transport vehicles like trains, any regulatory requirements like fire toxicity levels should be checked first. Talking about the vinyl that generally/largely used in special application, Elizabeth mentions, “In the majority of cases, our highest quality cast films are necessary to meet these stringent conditions.”
Printing is also another major task to be careful in vehicle wrapping. In this concern, one may ask whether UV, solvent, eco-solvent or latex is recommended. “These days solvent inks are widely used due to its outdoor durability and conformability over 3D-curved surfaces and deep recesses, ensuring that these inks do not flake from the film. However, as development in flexible UV inks continues, we may see more towards UV prospects in future,” asserts Elizabeth.
Avery projects and programmes
Many vehicle-wrapping projects are worth mentionable for comprehensively using Avery products. “We have many examples of vehicle graphic applications, ranging from corporate branding programmes to promotional campaigns and safety markings on emergency vehicles. However, one of the most complex vehicles ever wrapped with Avery MPI 1005 digital film was a Lotus Exige sports car, which was featured on the Discovery Channel TV programme titled How Do They Do It?” mentions Elizabeth. Transforming a 2D image onto a highly complex and contoured 3D surface required the best material and highly skilled applicators, she adds.
Relating to certificate programme for training applicators, Elizabeth remarks that Avery Dennison believes in the concept of ‘nurturing its business partners’ and applicators and converters are some of the main links in the company’s value channel initiated a variety of training programmes to help them upgrade their skills and knowledge. These workshops are generally designed to help everyone in the value chain starting from designers, distributors up to applicators and executioners. “Our internationally acclaimed ‘certified workshops’ are being conducted in India under the guidance of our global counterparts. Some of the Workshops being offered by Avery Dennison (India) are Application Workshop and Car-wrap Workshop.
Application Workshop is ideal for applicators preferably with some experience in handling self-adhesive vinyl. And Car-wrap Workshop is designed for professional and experienced applicators who get hands-on experience of top-quality vehicle wrapping from experts from Asia Pacific region. These workshops have been organised under the objectives to help customers gain full knowledge of vehicle wrapping.
How to achieve quality?
One might have come across that the quality of some vehicle graphic wraps seen in developed countries are not less than painted image. In order to achieve the best of the best vehicle wrap, Elizabeth mentions two main factors to aware about—first, the selection of a high-quality cast vinyl laminate is critical to provide the necessary conformability over the complex curves of a vehicle. And secondly, combined with the skill of a professional applicator, the applied film can appear like a ‘second skin’.
And after all, easy removal of vinyl from the vehicle is as important as superb application of it. In this context, it is very important to confirm that adhesives used for vehicle graphic films have long-term removability (LTR). This helps minimise the time taken to remove the graphics after its intended use, but more importantly prevents any damage to the painted surface, for up to 12 years. “Our most popular films for this job would be Avery Supreme Wrapping film which is available in a wide range of standard and Pantone colours as well as colour matching capabilities and also MPI 1005 EA RS combined with DOL1030 laminate for digital printing applications,” concluded Elizabeth.