“All our wraps have small identifying logos showing that they’re the work of www.agwraps.com,” said Autumn Hall, sales and marketing director and John’s sister.
But that’s only one of the ways AG Wraps promotes its products. “A lot of our business comes from word of mouth, and from people seeing our vehicles,” Hall said.
“We have a lot of walk-ins, we hand out flyers, and we go to car shows. We’re looking to offer some lower costs by offering about 15 different templates customers can plug their names into, and in that way gain a window graphic for lower cost. That would run about $130, whereas a custom graphic would be about twice that.”
Customers are drawn to window graphics by their low cost-per-impression rates, and by the colorful variety offered. “It’s all digitally printed, so you can put anything up there, from a face to a plate of food that you serve at your restaurant,” she said. “For an ad in color in a newspaper or telephone book, it costs you double what it would be in black and white. But as for window graphics, they’re always done in full color.”
Hall said some of AG Wraps’ best work is on behalf of itself. Its store window is comprised of six different window sections, all of which are wrapped in “view-through” window film, as is the door of the business, allowing transparent views from inside. The one-story building is a former auto body shop, and is located just off a main thoroughfare in Chesapeake, and highly visible to motorists on the highway.
What would Hall tell those interested in getting started in window graphics? “It’s a great market to get into,” she said. “It’s very easy to install, and there are great profits to be made. And it’s pretty cool to see your products around the streets.”
Versatile Window Displays
Chicago is a great printing city, and there a leading window graphics provider is Andre’s Imaging & Graphics, which began in the 1970s as a photo lab. The company later moved into digital photography, wide-format and finally grand-format printing.
One of its first major forays into window graphics was for The Levi’s Store, which led to it handling windows for Old Navy, says purchasing manager Matt Simpkins.
“We’ve done every flagship Old Navy window rollout for the last four or five years, including dimensional graphics and vinyl applications,” he said.
Simpkins feels the greatest appeal offered by window graphics is their versatility. His company can produce a wide range of window graphics products because the materials at its disposal are so numerous. “There are clears, there are frosteds, there are transparent colored vinyls, there are opaque vinyls,” he said. “Then you get into the printable films like PETs, which are more optically clear than a vinyl. These can be printed with white and with layers, giving you more control.”
The company relies on its website to spread the word about its services. Then its company reps go out to meet directly with designers to let them know whatever they can dream up, Andre’s can produce.
Simpkins’s advice to companies contemplating a move into window graphics is to talk to their distributors and vendors about materials they may offer that can help them enter the field, and to also check out window graphics they see around their area—not only examining but photographing them.
“That’s what we do,” he said. “It gives us an idea of some of the things people are doing out there. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Two years ago, no one was printing on PET films. We tried it, and found it worked. That’s where Andre’s has its niche. Illustrators come to us and say, ‘This is what we want to do.’”
Start Local, Expand Global
Seattle, WA-based Autotize was launched in 2001, with the business plan of offering advertising on vehicles for third parties, such as major tech companies in the Pacific Northwest. “That worked well for a couple years during the dot-com boom, and then went bust,” said Chris Cunningham, owner of Autotize.
The next step was working directly with corporate clients, business owners, mortgage companies, real estate firms and energy drink makers to wrap vehicles.