Wrapped truck

Guide to Good Wraps Design

Troy Downey is the founder of Coronado, Calif.-based APE Wraps. he specializes in custom, one-off wraps while also providing training on how to wrap vehicles with Avery Graphics films. For more information about Troy and APE Wraps, visit www.apewraps.com.

When designing a graphic to fit the body of a vehicle, the designer must consider that there is additional surface area that must be considered when designing, as the design software programs of today do not perform the function of compensating for the additional surface area of the compound and concave areas of a three-dimensional object. Additionally, there are protrusions such as door handles, badging, hatch handles, etc. With all of these issues in mind, all success or lack thereof starts and stops with the designer.

We’ve considered all the information provided to us by the client, and we’re ready to start our design. Many people will choose to provide the client with a rendering that is not to scale, e.g. a version of what a design could look like. Many will choose to use a photograph for this purpose. However, when using a photograph, make sure that the client realizes that this is a concept only and that the actual applied graphic will vary from what they’re seeing when superimposing a design on a photograph. I recommend you use a template when providing a final rendering for actual placement and sign off.

The Design:

As you’ll see, we broke this design up into a two-tone graphic scheme.

The truck stock color is white so it lends itself very well to this partial design/application. Let’s assume for a moment that the client’s budget would only work for partial coverage, so it’s up to the designer to find the most advantageous body line to work with while still providing for the highest amount of impact. In this case, we chose the upper beauty line as the hood seam/gap dictated this. (Graphics end at hood line of the 2011 F250 Body style).

Let’s assume for this session that you’ve shown the client a concept, mock-up or rendering that he or she likes and would like you to move forward with the completion of the project. It’s imperative to derive a design from your interpretation of your client’s ideas and or direction.

So at this juncture we're pretty much complete. The only items that I will add here is that when I started this design I knew that the graphic was going to be in Matte laminate. This matte finish did drive this graphic as this trend is seen in the more high contrasting white, black, gray type scheme’s. I did go against that grain and used the Orange/Red to be my element colors, but did stay true to the dark base. Finally, I told you that this was created as a partial and that is true, but for the show we went ahead and wrapped the upper white in a matte white to help carry off the matte trend. There’s all kinds of ways to wrap these rides. I wish all of you the very best in your future of wrapping and look forward to seeing you in the future.