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Graphic Installation Trends that Boost Business

This year has been a year of refinement and development of graphic installation techniques worldwide.

By Rob Ivers, Rob Ivers, Inc.

If you're reading this article, it implies you care about your business and career.

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  • Installers are experimenting with new installation methods and tools. They are making new discoveries, and adding their own twists. More importantly, that information is being shared daily.

    Specialty social media groups - such as the Professional Decal Application Alliance (PDAA) community group on LinkedIn, and Car Wrapping USA and Car Wrapping Worldwide fan pages on Facebook - have become gathering places for installers. Never before have so many installers utilized these technology resources. Every day, installers around the world are connecting and sharing ideas about jobs they're doing, asking questions, getting answers and building professional relationships. As more of the installation community begins tapping these resources, expect the quality of installations and the amount of innovation to increase rapidly.

    More Options for Vinyl

    From a vinyl standpoint, we're seeing a wider variety of specialty wrapping films: Gloss and matte solid colors; brushed metals; snake and alligator skins; carbon fibers and more. All major film suppliers are vying for a share of this new market. This makes our job fun, as there is no shortage of unique options and combinations for car wrapping. And they may not be limited to car wrapping - expect to see some of these new products used for in-store advertising, point-of-purchase and window displays.

    One of the hottest new trends is a chrome-wrapped car. The demand is great. Products are just starting to emerge that may have the sought-after chrome look combined with the conformability required, but two big issues still remain. Without lamination, scratch resistance is a real problem. I've suggested film manufacturers consider translucent-colored laminates that protect while changing the color of the chrome. Don't hold your breath; I'm not sure they shared my enthusiasm. I get asked frequently, "Are chrome wraps legal?" As far as I know, no laws restricting them have been passed. We may see restrictions if it becomes apparent that reflections off the chrome pose a safety issue. One PDAA member, Vinyl Images and Design, located in St. Louis, Missouri, has already completed several chrome wraps. The company's latest sported printing on the chrome and then laminating.

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    Growing Market Opportunities

    New growth potential seems to be highest in the architectural arena with wall, floor and window graphics leading the way. While corporations have long relied on vinyl graphics to target customers, I've seen a noticeable increase in the number of companies using vinyl graphics in their corporate offices. Many are starting to use them to stimulate creative thinking in conference rooms, to recognize employees' efforts for record setting product sales, or to promote this year's intra-company theme or slogan. I've done pillars, elevators, walls, windows and floors - all for employees only.

    This emerging trend may give you a great reason to go see clients face-to-face. Take the opportunity to scope out opportunities for some creative graphics while you're there. With any luck, you may rekindle some old business friendships, or build some new ones.

    Rob Ivers is the owner of Rob Ivers, Inc., in Raymore, Missouri. Since he became involved with vinyl graphics in 1978, he's been a leader in innovation and technique. Ivers began teaching vinyl installation in 1993. His instruction has taken on many different forms, including seminars, demonstrations, hands-on training classes, video training and industry articles.

    This article appeared in the SGIA Journal, November/December 2012 Issue and is reprinted with permission. Copyright 2012 Specialty Graphic Imaging Association ( All Rights Reserved.

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