This featured project comes to us from the “rubber capital of the world,” Akron, Ohio, home to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Neo Graphics, a full-service sign, graphics and wraps shop founded in 2013.
Steve Ehmann is the shop’s founder and he says he’s located on Main Street, only a few blocks from what used to be the global hub of rubber. Mid-20th century, four of the top five rubber companies in the world had their headquarters in Akron.
Steve says that Goodyear reached out to him last year with a “special project” that they wanted kept hush-hush; forms were signed to make sure mum was the word. Goodyear’s partner, Phoenix-based Local Motors, specializes in 3D-printed, state-of-the-art autonomous vehicles. They had a driverless, autonomous shuttle project—the vehicle’s nicknamed the “Olli”—that they were implementing in cities across the country and they needed Goodyear to develop a special non-pneumatic tire for it. Steve was brought in to wrap the oddly-shaped shuttle.
Steve writes: “Upon delivery of the vehicle to Goodyear’s secret test track we got to work with a tight deadline as this vehicle needed to be complete for photo ops and testing. From design to production and installation this project took us three full days to complete.
“We used 3M Ij180-cv3 with 8518 gloss overlaminate for the wrap portion of the vehicle and 3M 8170 series perforated window film on the large polycarbonate windows.”