Written by Roland DGA
One of the things we at Roland love most about wide-format graphics is their ability to transform just about anything into something completely different. If this strikes a chord with you, then you must really love vehicle wraps. They’re just plain cool.
Wraps also represent one of the final frontiers of unregulated outdoor advertising. How long that will last, we don’t know. What we do know is that there are some tricks of the trade that you can follow to create the perfect wrap.
Dan Antonelli, vehicle wrap expert and President of New Jersey-based Graphic D-Signs, outlines a few in his article titled “Top 5 Rules for Effective Vehicle Wrap Design.” According to the article, the top 5 rules of wrap are:
Rule #1: Start with A Great Brand
Rule #2: Don’t Use Photos
Rule #3: Limit Your Advertising Copy
Rule #4: Design to Stand Out, Not Fit In
Rule #5: Simple and Obvious is Good
We’re in agreement with rules 1, 3, 4 and 5. It’s the second rule in Dan’s list that we would like to discuss a bit further.
#1 Start with a great brand? Absolutely. If it looks bad on letterhead, it will look bad, if not worse, on a vehicle wrap.
#3 Limit your advertising copy? Most people don’t even read their emails. Are they really going to read a paragraph on a car?
#4 Design to stand out, not fit in? That’s a no brainer. Advertising 101.
#5 Simple and obvious is good? There’s never an “always” when it comes to wrap, but as a general rule, people aren’t going to take a lot of time to decipher your vehicle’s graphics.
But what about “Rule #2: Don’t Use Photos?” Our opinion differs here. We agree that photos are used way too much in wide- format printing, but they can work for vehicle wraps when used effectively. The Coke Truck image is a good example. In this scenario, a graphic just wouldn’t be the same. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Using the image creatively is the key.
We admit there are many times that photos shouldn’t be used. If you’re marketing a service, it’s best to go with a graphic. Let’s face it; no one wants to see a photo of their plumber from any angle. It’s also tough to make out a photo on a service vehicle if it’s speeding by you in the opposite direction at 60 MPH. However, many wrapped vehicles are used for promotion. That means they’re often “selling” while parked. The “Duct Dudes” graphic in the wrap below isn’t going to stop people in their tracks, but the right photo can.
Rule #6: (Our own addition to the list) Don’t go cheap. We think that this is the most common mistake in wrap. A bad wrap is worse than a bad haircut. A customer will never, ever come back to a shop for anything if their wrap looks bad or fails. Working with top-of- the-line materials is cheap insurance. Often, vehicle wrap businesses fall into the trap of having one installer teach another installer their “art.” While this method can pass along some valuable knowledge and experience, it can also pass on bad habits just as easily.
Invest in good training, like the Born to Wrap classes we hold at Roland Academy, and before you know it you’ll be wrapping like a pro.
“If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” — David Ogilvy
Dan Antonelli also serves as Creative Director for advertising agency Graphic D-Signs, which specializes in small business advertising, marketing, and brand development, including HVAC logo design and HVAC web design services.
Written by Roland DGA
Mark Roberts is the owner of The InterSign Group, a Houston-based company specializing in business branding, identification, marketing and way-finding. In addition to running a successful business, Mark writes “how to” sign-making and digital printing articles and is a regular contributor to Sign Builder Illustrated magazine. We have invited Mark to share his insights as a Roland guest blogger.
I have several great clients in the retail automobile industry. I offer service department signage that complements the corporate signage of all the major automobile manufacturers. Most service department signage is traditionally boring; however, this trend does not have to continue any longer. Every automobile manufacturer now has access to three-dimensional full-color logos, and as the professional sign makers that we are, we must jump on this bandwagon immediately.
Flat two-dimensional logos are passé in the buyer’s market. As our buying audience is getting younger and younger, they want cooler three-dimensional company logos. In fact, if you search the Internet, you may be able to download the exact three-dimensional logo that you are searching for.
For my logo generation, I begin with a vector format. This format allows for infinite enlargement without pixelization. Using Adobe Illustrator, creating vector files is relatively easy. For the Toyota logos, I began with a vector file and then added the color inside the lines. From there, I saved the file and opened it in the Adobe Photoshop program…at the full size of the print I will produce. Inside PhotoShop, there is an awesome tool called “Bevel and Emboss,” which adds a three-dimensional appearance to letters or logos. There are several options inside “Bevel and Emboss,” so take a few minutes to play around with the settings so you can find the perfect look for your letters and/or artwork.
For the Toyota logo, I used the “Bevel and Emboss” tool, along with a drop shadow. A few adjustments up and down was all it took for me to decide on the perfect file. Once selected, the file was named “Toyota pumped.” From there, I took the file and re-sized it. Then I assigned a cut contour line around the perimeter and also around the inside components. The cut contour line inside Roland VersaWorks is a pink line that will appear as “marching ants” when activated. When you see that everything is correct and ready for printing, and the ants are marching, click the mouse button to begin.
Would you like to sell a lot more custom-cut decals? If so, just add an extra dozen or so to your print queue and hand out these samples to potential buyers. Once they see the awesome color, as well as the precision contour cutting, they will be hooked! Selling these types of decals is very easy, and the repeat orders are even better.The Roland VersaCAMM printer processes the files and begins the printing. In merely a few minutes, the logos are printed and contour cut…with extreme precision.
Show your current clientele what you can do, and get ready to increase your work…and profitability.
Until next time….sell well and prospect even better!
Mark K. Roberts – theintersigngroup.com
Written by Roland DGA
Roland ECO-UV® inks are optimized for VersaUV® technology and are designed for flexibility and superior imaging. They offer enhanced scratch and alcohol resistance and adhere to a wide range of coated and un-coated materials.
In addition to CMYK, ECO-UV is offered in 2 specialty coats – white and clear. Clear ink can be used for highlights, special effects, realistic textures and enhanced durability and adds an unprecedented high gloss finish.
Applying ‘clear’ on a raster image can be tricky at times. However, having the right tools and the know-how can make this an easy task.
1. Using the right software and opening the raster image file
If you have the right tool- in this case, software – you’ve already accomplished half of this process. For this example, I’m using Adobe® Illustrator® CS6** and ‘RDG_GLOSS’. If you’ll be using an earlier version of AI,we recommend CS3 or later.
Select the raster file and open it with AI. Make sure the raster file is embedded, not linked. If the file is linked (indicated by diagonal lines), embed the file by selecting Window>Link to display the ‘Link’ window. Then click on the pull-down menu on the Links window and select ‘Embed Image’ to embed the raster file.
Note: To make any adjustments to the raster image, it is better to convert the image to grayscale and make changes in Adobe Photoshop®.
2. Converting the raster image file to grayscale and applying the spot color
Once the raster file is embedded, the next step is to remove the color and convert the file to a grayscale image. To do thisin AI, select the raster file and click Object>Rasterize. From the ‘Rasterize’ window, select ‘Grayscale’ for Color Model and ’300 ppi’ for resolution. Then, simply apply ‘RDG_GLOSS’ spot color to the grayscale raster image.
Note: More gloss will be applied to darker areas on the image.
3. Saving the file and adding the print job to Roland VersaWorks®
The last step is easy. Just save the file in a format that Roland VersaWorks supports (i.e. PDF or EPS) and add the file to Roland VersaWorks. Choose your settings in ‘Job Properties’ as shown in the image below to verify the print and you’re done.
Note: This method can also be used to apply ‘White’ ink.
Written by Roland DGA
For applications such as team numbers and vehicle graphics, using two or more layers of color is a great way to enhance your vinyl decal. In order to easily design and create this type of graphic, follow these easy steps.
- Create registration marks in the bottom corners of your design.
- Next use the select tool to choose both registration marks plus the layer of your design you want to cut first.
- Then open the cutting window and check the “selection” box before hitting OK. Only the layer selected will be cut at this time.
- Repeat the process with all other layers in the design using the registration marks to line each layer up for perfect registration of your finished piece.
Voila! You now have your multi-layered decal for your garment or sign.
Written by Roland DGA
Here’s a great tip for anyone looking to market their metallic printing capabilities. Start with your customer’s logo.
It’s easy to create a metallic logo as a print sample, and it really shows off the enormous impact metallic can have on a graphic. All you need to do is replace a logo’s spot color with a metallic color from one of the many libraries found in VersaWorks®. The results will speak for themselves.
First, access the spot color replacement feature within VersaWorks®. From there, it takes just a few clicks to change a CMYK spot color into a shimmering metallic hue.
Just follow these simple steps:
1. From your job settings box, make sure you have “Convert Spot Color” checked.
2. Click on the Details button.
3. Highlight the spot color you would like to replace with the MT spot color.
4. Click the Select button to pull up the spot color libraries.
5. Choose “Roland Metallic Color System Library” from the drop down menu.
6. Select the RVW metallic color you want and hit the OK button.
It’s that easy! Show the logos side by side and watch the reaction of your customer. We have found that, given the choice, they select metallic every time!
Written by Roland DGA
Have you seen a UV lamp filter that looks like the one in this photo?
If you have, it’s definitely time to replace that filter. A UV lamp filter clogged by ink mist and dust can cause LED lamp failures, requiring a replacement of the entire lamp assembly. We recommend checking your filter frequently and replacing it at least once a year.
We have added the UV lamp fan filter as a consumable, so ordering is easy. Here are the part numbers and links to purchase the items from our online store:
If you have questions about replacing your lamp filter, please contact our technical support team by filling out the online form here.