This featured project was sent in by Stow, Ohio-based Mactac, a manufacturer of pressure sensitive films used in the wrap and signage industries.
The story is there were some teachers at Mitchell County High School in Camilla, Georgia, who wanted to expand the school’s graphic design program by adding wraps to the curriculum. So they contacted the Dallas office of Tokyo-based Ricoh, a manufacturer of commercial inkjet printheads, large format printers and office imaging equipment, and the company put them in touch with solution engineers Efrain Ramos and Larry Shaw.
The teachers told them they wanted to learn how to design, print and install a vehicle graphic. And they already had a vehicle in mind: a 1989 Chevy truck used by the school’s maintenance department for the project. The truck had seen some heavy use, so one of the teachers, Beau Sherman, sanded the truck body with several types of sandpaper and then wet-sanded it. He then he applied liner paint to the truck’s bed liner, and removed its bumpers, later prepping and painting the bumpers and the front grill.
Ramos and Shaw went to the school to teach the teachers. They designed the wrap; it was laid out onto photos of the truck at 1:20 scale and featured the school’s eagle mascot and colors. It was designed in vector format in Adobe Illustrator so it could be scaled up to 100 percent in the raster image processor with no loss of quality.
For the vinyl, the pair chose Mactac IMAGin B-free GRUV Vehicle Wrap Film (GV929BFD) and Mactac Permacolor RAYZor Cast Gloss Overlaminating Film (LF3648G). According to Mactac, its Permacolor RAYZor films are ultra-thin, cast overlaminates that offer long-term fade resistance and protection, and when combined with IMAGin B-free media offer fast, wrinkle-free installation and a durable, ultra-smooth look.
“IMAGin B-free GRUV Vehicle Wrap Films are the go-to-choice for many vehicle wrap installers because they are designed for easy application over complex curves like rivets, corrugations and other irregular surfaces,” says Mactac district sales representative Cathryn Medlin, who visited the team as they worked on the truck.
The company says the team installed the graphics using heat to work the film through the truck’s complex curves, and used tools by YelloTools and Mactac. The graphic’s text and logo elements were printed and cut to shape using the school’s Mimaki CG-FXII cutting plotter. Additional design elements were installed on top of the initial color-change wrap so the graphics could be registered separately. Because the graphics were installed separately, individual pieces can be removed if they need to be repaired or replaced without having to remove the entire wrap.