Altering a vehicle’s appearance without damaging the paintwork

Altering a vehicle’s appearance without damaging the paintwork

 

Have you ever wondered how some of the colourful and eye-catching designs that adorn the vehicles we see on the roads are created?

Where once a logo and perhaps an address and website details were used to create brand recognition when a company’s vehicle fleet was out and about on the roads, nowadays designs have become more colourful and flamboyant.

It is not unusual to see a complete bus, car or lorry covered with a design that perhaps advertises a particular local event or product or publicises a charity awareness campaign.

Vehicles increasingly play a part in marketing and much of this has become possible because of a technique that allows the entire surface of a vehicle to be changed for a period of time and then for the design to be removed without damaging the paintwork underneath.

The process starts with the application of a layer of liquid latex that dries to a smooth, thin film. The liquid can be applied with a paintbrush, a roller or a spray gun and the design is applied once the surface is dry.
 
The technique has been used for Special Promotions & Product Launches, Vehicle Fleet Branding, Road Shows & Tours, Store Openings & Seasonal Campaigns and is also used to “customize” cars in various motor sports.

Once the campaign period is over, the film can be peeled off in leaving the original paintwork completely unblemished. The process is known as vehicle wrapping and can be applied to all or part of the vehicle surface.

Another method that can be used for similar effect is the vinyl wrap. Some vinyl wraps include technology containing bubble-preventing air channels and microscopic glass beads that allow the material to be repeatedly lifted and reapplied until the design is properly positioned.  The vinyl is then heated with a heat gun or torch to mould it to the vehicle.

Often, a campaign is planned to launch on a specified date and in particular locations, or the vehicle is intended to be used in an exhibition or show. This may require that everything is kept a closely-guarded secret until launch day and vehicles may need to be delivered to locations in enclosed transport ahead of the event.

Wraps are also increasingly used to apply a company or organisation’s corporate branding to its vehicle fleet.  In the UK they are often used on trains and buses, as a less expensive method than applying the branding directly to the vehicle so that it can be removed easily when selling on the vehicles.