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Vehicle Livery - November 2012

Vehicle Livery - November 2012 (3)

BT Openreach Van wrapped by Stewart Signs

Even the most basic of current graphic design and imaging technologies, when allied with today’s versatile Digital Media and SignVinyl, comprise a force that’s driving commercial and creative growth in the market for vehicle graphics and livery - we discovered what industry leaders; Metamark, 3M and William Smith are doing for vehicle livery.

Great choice of vehicle wrap films for all budgets

To ensure the widest possible choice of solutions for vehicle wraps, to meet both application and budget requirements, William Smith's Materials Supply service has recently been increasing its portfolio of vehicle wrapping products, which now includes:

3M 1080Cv3 Series Coloured Film

Five hot new colours that have just been added to the 3M 1080Cv3 range of vehicle wrapping films, bring the current total of colours to 22. A choice of matt pink, matt blue metallic, matt orange, hot rod gloss red or matt black provides plenty of opportunity for dramatic effects. Whether for full or part wraps, detailing, striping or decorative effects, distinctive individual looks can be created for customers' vehicles.

3M 1080 Cv3 matte pink

3M 1080Cv3 is a long term, removable dual cast film that has been designed with sufficient rigidity to allow easy handling without the need for application tape. Featuring 3M's Controltac Comply Version 3 pressure-activated adhesive, 1080Cv3 is easy to reposition and ready to use straight from the box. With up to six years durability, these films offer excellent opacity and are highly weather resistant. 1080Cv3 is suitable for flat surfaces and simple curves.

Arlon Ultimate PremiumPlus - Coloured Film

Arlon's flagship wrapping product, is a cast PVC film which comes in a choice of 44 colours/effects: 10 metallic colours, 4 special effects colours, 10 matt effect colours, 8 matt colours, 10 pearlescent colours, and 2 carbon fibre effects. It is easy to apply and provides a very smooth and even finish even on difficult surfaces. It can be applied to smooth convex or concave surfaces, in channels and around rivets. Ultimate PremiumPlus comes with a durability of up to five years.

Isee2 Total Wrap- Coloured Film

This car wrapping film is a hybrid and modified PVC film that comes in 14 gloss colours, 9 matt colours, 10 carbon effect colours and a selection of specialist effects. Suitable for flat or gently curved surfaces, Total Wrap is easy to apply and comes with a five year durability.

Porsche wrapped3M Controltac IJ380 - Digital Print Film

Specifically designed for application of large format graphics onto recessed and corrugated surfaces, IJ380 is a highly innovative film that 'remembers' its new shape. IJ380 was developed for perfect 3D conformity, and stays in position even in the most difficult application areas with no need for cutting to relieve stress. This not only enables valuable time savings to be made, but also eliminates many of the risks involved in full vehicle wraps.

3M Controltac IJ180Cv3 - Digital Print Film

This short to long term removable film for inkjet and screen printing offers great conformability and can be applied in extreme hot and cold temperatures, so that workshop temperature is less critical. It is suitable for vehicle wraps, vehicle livery and advertising wraps and comes with 10 years durability and 6 years MCS warranty. IJ180Cv3 is suitable for curved surfaces but not deep recesses.

In addition, Controltac Adhesive makes IJ380 and IJ180Cv3 easy to reposition - enabling faster and easier application for large format graphics. With improved finish, resulting in time savings, faster turnaround and reduced wastage.

Arlon 6000RP and 6000XRP graphic films for complex curves

William Smith Arlon

These gloss white cast vinyl films have been specifically designed for large format graphics. Arlon 6000 films are ideal for fleet and vehicle graphics and can be applied to flat, riveted, contoured and complex curved surfaces where good conformability is required. A special lay-flat liner and permanent pressure-sensitive adhesive make Arlon 6000RP easy to apply and give excellent opacity. 6000XRP features x-scape air-release adhesive, which ensures a bubble-free finish. The Arlon 6000 range comes with up to 7 years outdoor durability; and a clear version is also available for window and second surface signage.

Full and part rolls are available for all product ranges and same day despatch is offered on orders received up to 6.00pm.

For more information or to order from William Smith call 01833 694707 or visit www.williamsmith.co.uk


Avoid the price of graphics failure

Sign and graphics producers now have access to a high-performance solution that has set the industry standard in terms of cost effectiveness, quality and peace of mind for the owners of large commercial fleets. 3M's recently appointed Applications Specialist Andrew Gamble writes on how this has evolved.

Andrew Gamble from 3M

Large-format full-colour fleet graphics and vehicle wraps are one of the fastest growing forms of out-of-home advertising, bringing maximum visibility and impact for businesses and brands at a cost-effective price.

Fleet graphics advertising allows for unlimited levels of creativity, image enhancement, customisation and personalisation whilst also potentially increasing a vehicle's trade-in value when it is ready to be sold. Vehicle wraps can protect valuable original paintwork and be purposely removed without causing any damage once a promotion has run its course.

The success of fleet graphics advertising depends ultimately on the quality and performance of the components used. Without a reliable and comprehensive technical solution that covers every graphic component (film, protective layer, adhesive, ink and tape), end-user brands could be put at risk. Typical graphic failures seen on commercial vehicles include film shrinkage, cracking, tearing, wrinkles and bubbles, lifting around rivets and an inability to conform to irregular surfaces. So how can the danger of graphics failure be eliminated to ensure long-lasting customer satisfaction?

Car wrapped in 3M 1080Cv3 Satinblack Car wrapped in 3M 1080Cv3 matte orange

Finding a reputable manufacturer with known quality-tested products is the first step. Depending on customers' specific requirements, there are many different types of graphics products available but only certain manufacturers can guarantee that they will perform consistently in the correct combination and in the toughest environments likely to be encountered.

Diversified technology company 3M is a good example. The company has been a pioneering force in the commercial fleet graphics market for many years, offering high-performance graphic solutions backed by the strongest graphics warranty currently available. Manufactured under a globally renowned brand that epitomises trust, leadership, quality and innovation, 3M™ Scotchprint® Graphics solutions help eliminate risk and provide confidence and peace of mind. Using s series of 3M-developed matched components aligned to specific printers, they have set the industry standard and have been designed, developed and tested for ultimate durability and compatibility.

Only finished graphics that have passed the criteria of this stringent system of matched components and are produced by a 3M Scotchprint Graphic Authorised Manufacturer using 3M-approved printing technologies are then supported by the industry-leading Scotchprint Premium Fleet Warranty. This is unique to 3M and gives fleet owners ultimate confidence and peace of mind. In the unlikely event of a Scotchprint Graphics failure, a full replacement will be given under this warranty. Graphics will be removed, re-printed and re-installed as part of the solution provided by these approved manufacturers.

It is this level of control and technical support that enables 3M to guarantee that each graphic will perform to the required standard throughout its life expectancy. Warranty provisions are based on proprietary test methods developed by 3M over decades and include real world outdoor weathering. A key step to ensuring this level of performance is the choice of film. With the support of 3M Scotchprint Graphics Manufacturers, this task is simplified.

Selected partners have all completed extensive training, have been involved in the development of 3M products and have invested in the best converting machinery to ensure customers choose the correct product for a given application.

3M Controltac Graphic Film IJ380 is arguably the ultimate vehicle wrapping solution, offering outstanding conformability on surfaces with deep corrugations or three-dimensional graphics found typically on many commercial vehicles. Some films used for vehicle wrapping have failed due to lifting of the material in difficult recesses or cracking as a result of the high stress levels placed on the film during application. 3M Controltac Graphic Film IJ380 has demonstrated an ability to resolve these and similar problems and in consequence has become a preferred solution for vehicle wrapping specialists engaged in major branding projects.

For more information visit www.solutions.3m.co.uk/wps/portal/3M/en_GB/3MGraphics/GraphicSolutions/


Vehicle Graphics- Life beyond liveries



Though it's difficult to pinpoint with absolute certainty where and precisely when it happened, whoever it was who first applied self-adhesive lettering or graphics to a vehicle would be fully justified in claiming that he or she had sparked a revolution. Until the advent of cut and applied graphics, the vehicle livery and graphics medium was, at one and the same time, propelled and confined by the creative and commercial potential that lay in the hands of signwriters.

Today, vehicle livery and graphics define a substantial market sector for sign and graphic producers to exploit. It's a sector that now has tendrils extending deep into further specialisations within new skill sets such as wrapping, or in application specific areas such as customisation and decorative markings. With the right skills, and the right technologies and materials, the sector can be among the most profitable of all the graphics markets, and it seems to thrive in whatever the strength of the economic headwind.

The creative potential embodied in a process that can deposit durable, highly conformable colour upon a microns-thin material which can then be coerced over every inch of a vehicle's body work is inestimable. The value of the output this process produces towers above other forms of output produced using the same materials and technology and it is always in demand.

t0911com - Openreach Stewart Signs Why choose Livery?

General sentiment in marketing says that goods and services, "things" if you will, are worth what people are willing to pay for them. The worth of vehicle graphics therefore is driven by the value of the impressions they create in advertising, or the extent to which someone feels that applied graphics benefits the object of grand desire, an exotic car for example. Clearly, vehicle graphics' production and supply, is more than just a costs-plus exercise. Also, the market is by no means confined to advertising and branding applications.

The Materials Company, Metamark, is responsible for designing, manufacturing and supplying the SignVinyl, Digital Media and Speciality Materials that underpin much of the creative potential that makes the vehicle graphics market such an attractive one. Metamark believes that, material technology advances, combined with application extending developments made possible by emerging hardware, are responsible for growing the market. The company has a point.

All it takes is an opinion leader to adopt something new in vehicle graphics, and the strength and pace of the market moving to adopt it too is surprising. A good example of this is applied finishes, simulated Carbon Fibre being a recent and notable case.

Carbon Fibre and other materials

Carbon Fibre, the real thing, is seen as an 'exotic material' that's used in high performance vehicles because it can be moulded to practically any shape, it's incredibly strong, and it's so light it's like holding an otherworldly ghost of some other material in the hand. All of these exotic credentials converge to one point - Carbon Fibre isn't cheap, then rapidly diverging to another - it's not widely available either.

Metamark was in the vanguard of companies introducing to the market a cosmetic applied Carbon Fibre material. Known to those who use it as Metamark MM-CF4, the film comprises a multi-layered construction featuring a highly textured facefilm that looks and even feels, for the entire world, just like the real Carbon Fibre it aims to simulate. The material is highly conformable and so is used to wrap anything from small components to whole vehicles. The effect it achieves is head-turning; the profit potential makes it worth getting to know.

Hampshire based Spectral Design has used the material to great effect on behalf of many of its clients. The company has used it to wrap bonnets and roofs and even undertaken interior detailing with the material on car dashboards and trim.

Metamark MM-CF4 material has become so popular that Metamark has introduced both MM-CF3 and MM-CF2 variants on the theme, one being a lower cost product and the other featuring a metallised carbon finish.

Applying textured and cosmetic films to vehicles involves substantially the same skill-set and employs the same hardware used in the production of cut and applied vehicle graphics. According to Metamark, buying patterns suggest that producers are offering textured and speciality applications as a condiment for the main event - printed vehicle graphics.

Wrapping vehicles in digitally printed media has often been characterised as a signmaker's greatest challenge. There's no doubt at all that there is a skill-set needed to do an accomplished job of wrapping a vehicle, but, says Metamark, it can be learned, and some materials are more cooperative than others in that process and in commercial terms.

"A lot of the materials sold for digital printing and wrapping today owe more to legacy methods of production than they do to today's digital means," say the experts at Metamark.

Vinyl that just happens to accept print doesn't necessarily deserve digital credentials. Material that's only marginally suited to digital printing may not perform at all well when it has to answer the demands of an extreme application like wrapping. That can make the already difficult job of applying material even more demanding and have a negative bearing on the durability of the finished job too.

Spectral Metamark Carbon Fibre

Flagship media

Among Metamark's flagship digital media is its well known MD5 self-adhesive vinyl. This product is evidently chosen and specified by printers and brands around the world and apparently distinguishes itself from other media in some key areas that benefit the production of vehicle graphics.

MD5 is what's termed a reference quality material. It's often used by, for example, printer manufacturers seeking to validate or test hardware performance. Crucially, Metamark MD5 has by any standards what most people agree is a huge appetite for ink. Because of this, it can fully liberate the printer hardware's colour production potential, or "gamut" and so deliver graphics with the vibrant colour and "pop" favoured by advertisers and by graphics specialists.

In use, MD5 is a very compliant material for vehicle graphics and, says Metamark, was designed to deliver benefits at every phase of an applied vehicle graphic's life. During printing, it delivers better quality. During application it's easier to handle because of its novel, Apex adhesive that builds to a powerful application bond but is easy to reposition when being applied. In service, the graphics retains colour and potency. When the graphic's end-of-life is reached, MD5 removes cleanly without a trace so saving time and considerable sums of money that would otherwise be spent on clean-up.

Vehicle wrapping presents many application challenges but one of the most persistent has been eradicated thanks to the advent of Metamark's MetaScape adhesive system. With a Metamark MD5 face-film and the new MetaScape adhesive backing it up, new MD5-A doesn't give trapped air a chance.

Metamark's advances in materials technology have demonstrated their worth in many high profile campaigns. Raccoon Digital in Edenbridge produced a notable livery for Foxtons using Metamark MD5 which was screen printed with customised inks because no solid colour was available and digital print couldn't reach it either due to technical limitations of the process. The custom coloured and printed vinyl was then applied to the cars' panel work and the result is advertising taken to a high art. Over three hundred vehicles were wrapped.

Thanks to low origination costs, digital print is the primary process used by most producers for most of the application livery work that rolls in the door. Three hundred strong vehicle fleets don't come along every day and most companies exploring the market will often be working with single vehicles.

D-Signs recently demonstrated how accessible and powerful the wrapping medium is by taking a single vehicle and wrapping it singlehanded using Metamark MD7. The vehicle was used by the Race To Recovery team, as seen on the BBC's Top Gear.

In design terms, the application of print to vehicles has no practical limit. Anything a designer can imagine can easily be realised. The other side of the coin is that anything that "anyone" can imagine can be realised too and this means work is highly variable. Good design commands a premium and expert application is judged in the quality stakes.

Printed and applied vehicle liveries are very often used for short term work such as promotions and advertising. Advertising seasons are often less than ninety days and this demands clean removal. Metamark says that this was a key consideration when it was developing the MetaScape and Apex adhesive systems. Wraps may enjoy their celebrity and there is no doubt, they can look stunning, but cut and applied graphics and printed component based livery and markings are still the most popular ways of producing vehicle graphics.

So-called dyed-in-the-mass or solid coloured materials are the staple ingredient in many liveries and graphics packages despite the advent of digital apparently heralding an end to their use. Metamark tells us, that, in its case at least the future of cut vinyl looks secure and that sales are strong in the category.

Metamark M7 is where signs and graphics producers turn when looking for potent self coloured materials that cut easily, weed reliably and apply with little effort in producing vehicle graphics. These materials trace their use to the legacy markets that pre-date digital but, in the right hands, they're being used to produce leading edge graphics that are very much a product of contemporary thinking.

Cycle sport has been in the news a lot lately and thanks to its work with Metamark M7 Vinyl, S and S Signs and Graphics has given Sigma Sport's vehicles an elevated profile among the sport's colourful entourage.

Familiarity with the medium suggests that a total, digital wrap is responsible for the crisp design's outcome, but the job is in fact a detail wrap with the red components being cut and applied, just like the rest of the livery's detailing. The job is an exemplar of technique with the Metamark M7 performing a job that would have once been the reserve of paint and today would really exercise the most experienced digital practitioners.

With a market as attractive as vehicle graphics, the temptation is to be driven to specialisation. On the other hand though, substantially the same skills and minor variation in material specification mean that even a modestly equipped company can participate in producing lucrative work across a whole spread of graphic applications with the only thing they may have in common being that, somewhere under all the high tech materials, is a vehicle you wouldn't otherwise look at twice.

Try before you fly, is Metamark's advice where vehicle graphics production is concerned. The company is offering Sign Update readers free sample rolls of any of its Digital Media, SignVinyl or Speciality Materials to evaluate. Samples ship the day they're requested from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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