“There are 16 versions of the Sprinter van,” Lopez explains by way of example. “You can imagine the types of mistakes that happen when a job is designed for the wrong type of vehicle.”
Keep in mind additional, bothersome auto elements, he cautions, like the large, obtrusive “VW” badge on the back on Volkswagen Beetles commonly used in fleets.
Lopez sells Velazquez and many other customers templates for wraps. A little over a year ago, he also released a PDF book that shops can use to get accurate estimates of the square footage needed to wrap different model vehicles. The book, says Lopez, ensures that installers are competitive in their quotes.
“Let’s say you produce an estimate and you are off by a square foot,” says Lopez. “The problem is, if you overestimate the amount of media you need, you’ll guess too high on your estimate and you’ll lose the job.”
Careful estimating and design placement are just two key things to consider. For those who venture to create their own templates, there’s another overlooked problem to look out for.
A Problem of Perspective
Designers, of course, often take photographs of vehicles to get a good, close look at the body design. But, oddly enough, sometimes the best thing to do is to put a little distance between you and your work.
“Most people don’t recognize the problem with photographs of a vehicle when it comes to creating an accurate design template,” says Lopez.
The curvature of the camera lens, he explains, makes a few of the dimensions installers need difficult to measure.
“People are usually standing too close to the vehicle. You should stand 50 feet away and zoom in,” says Lopez. “You’ll lose the curvature distortion from the camera lens because the image on the lens is smaller.”
“It is one of the things,” he adds with a chuckle, “that I learned the hard way.”