Fellers also offers certification, as does media supplier Avery Dennison Graphics together with LF printer manufacturer Mutoh. The Avery Car Wrap Certification costs $299 and consists of a two part test system including both written and hands on portions. The written exam is a one-hour multiple choice test based on the information available in the study materials (available to participants after registration). The hands-on exam focuses on installation techniques as outlined in the Installation Exam Guide (also available after registration). Students are required to exhibit their installation skills by applying Avery’s MPI 1005 Supercast films on a variety of vehicles. Evaluation is based on cleaning, alignment of graphics, cutting edges, and finishing techniques.
Successfully passing the Avery Car Wrap Certification Exam provides you and your company with a free listing at Avery Dennison's Carwraps.net car wrap directory, where hundreds of businesses and individuals visit every day to find reputable companies and installers. Avery Car Wrap Certification training is open to any professional car wrap installer looking to add a recognized industry leader’s certification program to their credentials. While students interested in taking the certification exam do not have to participate in the two-day car wrap training session, it is strongly recommended. (Total cost is $699.) This year, master installer Justin Pate was joined by wrap industry veteran Todd LaBrie who covered vehicle wrap design, layout, and customer service. Avery/Mutoh Car Wrap Training classes are sold out through end of the year, so check for 2013 availability in a city near you. Class sizes are maintained at a maximum of 17 students to allow for more one-on-one teaching.
“Thanks so much for an incredible class,” praised one recent student participant. “You're a great teacher and have created such a valuable program. It was fun, informative, and the value is phenomenal. Even though I'm not quite at the level I'd like to be, it’s nice to feel so much more confident … I have no doubt, with the new information gained in the class and with your DVDs, I'll get there soon.”
Participants of the class also receive:
- NT Cutter A-551P knife
- Avery Dennison Toolkit (includes tool belt, blue squeegee, red squeegee, felt squeegee, snitty, 3" rivet brush, retractable knife & magnets)
- 25 yard kit of Avery MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS and 1360 DOL or SW 900 Supreme Wrapping film
- Martor safety box
Hardware, software investments
Don't expect an old, cheap computer to do the job when getting into the wrap business. Due to the immense computer processing task presented by large files when creating wrap designs, having the right computer hardware is critical. Many wrap shops have two computers: one for design and one for a RIP station.
You might be able to get away with using an older computer for your RIP station, but design is typically the bottle neck at most established wrap companies. The design station computer should be fast, powerful, and geared towards processing massively large files. That means a minimum of 2 GB of RAM. Remember, the more RAM it has, the more efficient the computer will be. When in doubt, buy a computer with twice the processing power that you think you need for your design station.
If you have a great designer on staff, he or she will be able to create awesome wrap designs with the help of Adobe Photoshop. However, even great designers become faster and more efficient with additional Photoshop plug-ins, graphic fills, and vehicle template design programs. If you are new to wrap design, it will be critical to purchase plenty of design software and to learn Photoshop skills. Check out www.auroragraphics.net and www.wrapexperts.com for some great wrap designs. Also, at its online blog, print firm ImageSmith Communications, Arden, NC, provides 10 tips for designing vehicle wraps with Adobe Illustrator: http://blog.imagesmith.com/index.php/2012/01/24/designing-vehicle-wrap-adobe-illustrator/
Franchising is another option to consider. Franchisor Wrap It Up! offers these top 10 reasons for starting up a vehicle wrap franchise from scratch:
- Low overhead
- Established website, artwork, legal contracts
- Network of national dealers
- Low buy-in costs
- Proven system
- “We design and print it, you sell and install it”
- No graphic designer neededNo expensive printer, ink, rolls of vinyl and lamination to buy
- Establish your own wrap community to work as a team
- Corporate backing and training