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Wrap shop without own printer/laminator. Where to print?

Discussion in 'Vehicle Wraps' started by rdelight, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. rdelight

    rdelight Vehicle Wraps

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    Jan 10, 2017
    Florida
    Hi, i have started doing color change wraps three months ago and i have 6 cars fully wrapped so far and now i have two customers, one with boat and another one with mini van, who needs commercial graphics. I can do the design, but i don't know if there is a place where i can order prints online or i should look for local sign shop to print for me. At this point i'm not yet ready to buy all the equipment, because i don't have the volume, but by the time i get there i like to use some help. I am currently have experience with Adobe products, but i am not sure what resolution i should use for the raster graphics, because designing vehicle wraps isn't always vectors, but i believe there is some standard right? I know it seems like i've fell of the moon and i don't see the whole picture clearly, but i'm trying to learn step by step and i haven't had experience working for another shop. What would you guys recommend?
     
  2. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    There are a few members on here that can wholesale print for you or even do your design work.

    I recommend looking for local wholesalers though as early on it will make the process easier and can forge a lasting partnership for the long term.
     
  3. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Very Active Member

    +1

    And early in the process you need to get familiar with output colors vs display colors which means lots of color proofs. If they're close its easier and cheaper to make sure the colors are right. Nothing like designing an awesome red and grey wrap and getting an orange red, or a green grey...
     
  4. TXFB.INS

    TXFB.INS Very Active Member

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    Lone Star State
    +1 to all that is said, staying local and from an experienced shop will help you choose the correct material and also help to meet those timeframes

    on a side note, 6 full wraps in 3 months? how are you pricing these wraps either you are the only one in your area or you are the bottom dollar guy and cutting your profits off.
     
  5. Drew85

    Drew85 New Member

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    Aug 27, 2015
    Personally, i start by creating a document (in Photoshop) that is 1/10th the final size of the vehicle/template @ 720dpi. This will ensure that when you go to rescale your print ready graphics to full scale @ 300dpi, everything will look and print correctly without the worry of image pixelation. You can even import vector smart objects into Photoshop as well. This allows you to edit these objects outside of Photoshop if you're using a mixture of raster and vector artwork in the same file. After double-clicking on the object and editing in Illustrator, the saved smart object will update automatically in Photoshop. Lastly, make sure you leave extra bleed outside of the template lines to ensure your installer has enough printed vinyl to work with when installing.
     
  6. rdelight

    rdelight Vehicle Wraps

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    Jan 10, 2017
    Florida
    What would be considered as normal price for print and laminate, Is it like $ per square foot? I am not really familiar with the right pricing yet because i haven't study the competition and i'm not the only one in the area. 6 cars wasn't hard to do after i made my sister's car first, which didn't came out very well, but i learned a lot from there and then made my other two, which came out almost perfect, so my friend freaked out and they wanted theirs which i made cheap, because they are friends, but i am considering as normal for wrap itself $1800 for 2 door coupe and $2400 for large 4 door sedan. I haven't done mini van ( maybe ~2700), suv (maybe ~3000) or boat yet and i don't have price for them yet and i don't want to ever cut the competition rather then do better job. I'm located in North Florida and still working out of my own garage, until i have enough business to move a proper place and buy the right equipment. I am currently own another business, which happened to not really like, but the money are good and i was stuck in it for long time, but i want to move on to something that i like as wrapping vehicles, which i found very hard and complex job, but also very creative and it's pure art. Wraps makes people happy, and me too, it turning heads and it's nice and clean environment. Everything you suggest and advice me will be greatly appreciated.
     
  7. rdelight

    rdelight Vehicle Wraps

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    Jan 10, 2017
    Florida
    Just spoke with local shop owner and he offered $7.5 per square foot of print and laminate. Does that sounds all right for beginning?
     
  8. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    Holy cow! I don't know your market or clientele but that seems awfully high to me as that is the median out the door price for my market.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

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    Oct 9, 2014
    New Jersey
    There are ways around this. Simply have the wholesale company print out color swatches. A 2x3 print out + the scrap to mount it on won't cost more than $100.

    Personally, I've had very little luck going local and frankly, it's less convenient. Order from any of the merchants on here and a few days later it arrives from FedEX or UPS. It's pretty convenient. Also, it's going to be less expensive than the $7.50 you're getting quoted.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. PrintTrader

    PrintTrader Merchant Member

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    Dec 2, 2016
    Novi, Michigan
    I'm hesitant to jump it... How're you going to outsource online without the knowledge of paneling, bleeds, allowing enough for variances and stretching that comes with so many installs? Digitally printed designer wraps are a whole different animal from wallpapering a car in color change film. Maybe someone with more expertise can comment
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. asd

    asd Member

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    outsourcing has its pros and cons.
    pros you have no equipment to maintain, no overhead expense, no employees to pay no bills to pay or rent.
    cons, YOU HAVE NO CONTROL over what is being printed, sure you did color matching, pms colors information, But whoever is printing your file don't care if the colors come out right and thats when problems start the printer refusing to reprint your job and your customer not happy with colors. not to mentioned most printers will ask you to send file after file if you print is wider than 52" when it only takes 3 clicks of the mouse for them to automatically panel that job for you, but good luck with your projects and wraps I am just giving you some ideas of what you are going to encounter when outsourcing prints, also some vendors don't use the right combo when it comes vinyl and lam. matching
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

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    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    First, get a subscription to something like Pro-Vehicle-Outlines for setting up your templates, but never trust them 100%. From your knowledge of solid-color wrapping you should already know that you will need a LOT of bleed on your panels.

    Find someone you can TRUST to do your printing. Trust is way better than saving a $1/ft based on bottom dollar outsourcing.
    Make sure you can speak with the production manager there and communicate your worries to them.
    Decide on a vinyl manufacturer and stick with a product line; 3M/Avery/Oracal/Arlon/Etc. I use 3M; it is more expensive, but hardly ever do we have any problems.

    Have them print you out a CMYK Pantone Chart of all the swatches off of their printer; this will give you a good base-point for all the basic colors and how they print off of THEIR printer.
    (many here will now tell you to calibrate your monitor to this) This will tell you what CMYK values to use to get the appropriate red/blue/etc that the customer desires.
    For your first few prints; send them the scaled down version (around 24x36") of everything and have them print it off of the same printer that they use for your wraps.
    That will tell you what the final product will look like, and you can make tweaks (and get a new print) or send over final art.

    If you want to, shoot me a proof of your design; I can tell you if anything needs adjusted or moved away from problem areas.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
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