As oil costs continue to rise, some people find it worthwhile to use their motor vehicles or trucks as advertising vehicles. Because the latest in vehicle graphics make it easy to have them applied to your car and are so eye catching, they are often employed by advertisers who pay car entrepreneurs to put the motor vehicle wraps on their autos.

As for the graphic looks we'll see this spring and summer, some believe that graphic kits are likely to become much more car or truck specific. Graphics which have more of an OEM feel to them and that fit on the body style lines of that specific motor vehicle. The vehicle manufacturers may offer a signature color, however it’s up the customer to take it from there...

One wonders will someone deliver a graphics & molding package for that specific car. In the last couple of years we have been seeing a resurgence of rally stripes on the Camaro, Mustang and Challenger.

That market place has been quite stable in 2010 and should continue to be a good seller in 2011...

If gas expense continues to go up, I imagine cars such as the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and the Scion XD may be this years hot sellers . These vehicles have very cool styling and are at the down end of the cost range. Yet I don’t feel that these types of buyers are the sort of people that desire to be seen in an econo box. We feel that once the car dealer sees a robust demand for these cars, they would be happy to increase their net percentage by front loading them with the use of graphics. The auto dealers will also want to set their inventory apart from their competition and graphics, side moldings and wings are a great way to do that.

Geographically, since the 2010 census points to a population shift from the Northeast and "rust-belt" states to the South and the West. It’s true here in the Midwest at Vinyl Graphics, we have seen a slow down, but installers that have kept a good attitude and diversified their product line continue to move products. Installers that found new customer types like body shops, used car lots and fleet accounts have not only expanded their customer base but set themselves up for real expansion when this recession is over. More than ever installers need to work with the dealers to show them the new products that are available.

Styles and trends change from year to year, with the matte look beginning to show up more in both paint and wrap treatments, one wonders will graphics follow suit? Matte black has made a comeback when it comes to rally stripes and rear blackout panels. We have seen matte black used on black vehicles to give the stripping or graphics a kind of ghost look. We are also seeing interest in uses of camouflage patterns on the lower rocker panels of pickup trucks. Carbon fiber used on roofs, hoods and rear body panels are hot right now. Carbon fiber has come back with a vengeance since 3M introduced an architectural grade film that has a 4 year outdoor durability.

Here are some tips for installers to help guide their customers to matching the best design and best color scheme appropriate for their particular vehicle. One of the simplest ways to make sure your graphic color selection works is to match the vehicles interior color of the car.

Silver sells more than any other color. That may be because a large number of our customers are mobile installers and silver works on most car colors. An installer would also want to keep an eye on color trends used by other industries, like what they are using on motorcycles or jet skies. Many times the hot rod guys set color trends years before you see it come from the auto manufacturer. You also need to adjust your color selection to the market that the vehicle is designed to sell to. On a family sedan pinstripe you would use a more conservative color than on a red muscle car.

This time of year in applying graphics heat is your friend. In colder weather try to install the graphics dry.

Universal sells a winter adhesive for pinstripes; this can be a lifesaver for the guys in the Midwest. A number of our customers switch to cold weather pinstripe tape in November. It gives you a much wider temperature range to work in...

When installing fleet graphics give your graphics supplier all the information you can about the project. Things like are you installing over rivets or corrugations, are the graphic for a promotion or for long term use. Today there are a large number of materials to choose from. Many times you can shorten your application time by using special air release adhesive films and even cut your application time in half. If I can give somebody one tip, it would be to take classes on wraps and fleet graphics. One tip can save you hundreds of labor hours over the next few years and you will have the feeling it was done well the first time.

vinyl graphics

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