Chat with Matt: An interview with John Duever

Matt Dixon is the editor of Sign & Digital Graphics.

This month’s interview is with John Duever. Duever has been in the vehicle wrap and graphics industry for over 18 years. Since 2002, John has been a partner at Vinyl Images and Design in St. Louis, Missouri. John is passionate about being an entrepreneur while touching as many lives as he can through coaching, mentoring, and teaching.
 

John Duever
Image courtesy wewrapanything.com

You have a unique path to your career in the wrap industry. What road led you to the wrap industry?
My career in the wrap industry started in 2001 when I graduated high school. I went to work at a sign and wrap shop with my sister, and six months after I started working there, the company went bankrupt and closed the doors. At that time, my sister Destiney, my brother Joe and I decided that we wanted to start our own company in the wrap industry. The rest, as they say, is history.

Your shop touts how you can wrap just about anything. What have been the most challenging wraps you’ve completed?
We can wrap anything. We have wrapped everything from 4-wheelers to luggage, prototype race cars to buildings. I find the most challenging projects have been the ones where the client is uneducated about wraps and has unrealistic expectations. It is very hard when a client doesn’t quite understand that a wrap is not a miracle cure that will fix rust or that you can see imperfections of the wrapped surface through the materials. I also think the most challenging wraps are very in-depth color changes with door jambs. It takes so much time to complete and everything is very detail-oriented. 

Are there any projects you would respectfully and tactfully tell the client to immediately leave your building if they asked you to do the job?
No. My website is wewrapanything.com, and I stand by that.

What types of projects do you find you have the most freedom to create unique and effective designs?
Currently, in my market there is a surge in color change wraps with the Tron’d effect, and I really enjoy these. I can pick the lines I want to accentuate on the body of the car, and I get free reign to do what I think looks cool.  

You are often on the road to conduct training. What have you learned about your fellow wrap professionals during your training classes?
Generally speaking, everyone I run into on the road accepts me into their shops with open arms. The culture of this industry is incredible, and everyone genuinely wants to help each other. It is a beautiful thing, and I am incredibly proud to be a part of this industry.  If there is one thing that I run into a lot, it is that people are desperate for business advice and coaching. I love helping people with this and look forward to continuing to help as many people as possible in the future.

What are some design elements you would like to see other wrap designers get away from?
Generally putting design elements too close to obstructions. I am a firm believer in the “3-inch rule,” meaning that all design elements like websites, phone numbers, important visual aspect all need to stay 3” away from any obstruction. When this is done correctly, it allows for the installer to have a little margin of error and some wiggle room.

Despite the growth of wraps, there is still a lot of room left to expand. What markets do you think are the next big arena for wraps?
I thoroughly enjoy the pay-to-drive services like Wrapify. I believe there will be massive growth in this market in the coming years. The cost per impression is simply too affordable not to utilize these services.

If you were starting a wrap shop today, what’s the first thing you would do?
Hire a business coach. Not some run of the mill business coach either. I’d find the person in the wrap industry that has grown a massive brand and company, and I would pay them to teach me how they did it. Business and performance coaches are grossly underutilized in the wrap industry, and without all the coaches I have had in my professional career, I would never be where I am today.