Roll Them Bones
In fall 2017, Hurricane Irma blew up the entire western portion of Florida (among other areas), the first such storm to blot the Sunshine State for 13 years, followed by Hurricane Maria just two weeks later. Among extensive fallout was Independent Wraps & Customs’ (Boca Raton, FL) shop truck, a custom six-door 2008 Chevy Silverado HD 2500. “Because there was damage to the roof and the sunroof was leaking, we had to completely rip off the old roof and have a new roof fabricated along with a custom headliner,” said Evan Manevitch, the shop’s president. The truck also had featured a wrap that was “a bit more reserved and not too crazy,” Evan said. He and the shop team decided their new wrap would be a truer representation of their brand and set them apart from the other shops in their area.
But first things first: They had to repair the truck and that would take a while. As in more than a year. “Whenever we had some free time,” Evan recalled.
In addition to the roof, Independent’s team replaced the wheels, tires, headlights and worked on the undercarriage and suspension. They also, however, added some fun – “some strobes and a train horn,” Evan said. Eventually, they sanded parts of the body to prepare it for the new wrap. Though thematically connected, the wrap copy is different for each side, to cover the company’s two businesses: Independent Print & Design (for digital, offset, wide format and screenprinting) and Independent Wraps & Customs (wall, boat and vehicle wraps). Both sides feature a backward-ball-cap-wearing demon skeleton and several sets of bony hands at work, designing, printing, trimming, squeegeeing and peeling off a liner to reveal an American flag design on the front fenders. An incandescent cobra winds its way through flames and around many tools of the trade.
It’s even reflective, with the design printed on Arlon’s IllumiNITE wrap film. Apart from the company website laid across the top of the back window, the two business names are the only copy.
“We figured that anyone who Googles us or looks us up on FB or IG will find us,” Evan said. “Our previous wrap had our website and phone number, but we figured this design was enough to drive traffic on its own.” As evidence, he cited a fleet customer who recently came in because he saw the truck out on the road. “We know it won’t appeal to everyone in our area, but it targets our demographic,” Evan added.
The initial sketch for the wrap was drawn in Clip Studio Paint with a Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 tablet, then brought into Photoshop for final adjustments. No template was involved, so precise measurements were paramount. Independent went with Arlon IllumiNITE not just for its reflective quality. “The low initial tack makes it repositionable and easier to work with and we see less ‘bruising’ than with other brands,” Evan said. But because IllumiNITE is available at 48 in. only, Independent’s team had to be creative about where to place the seams in some areas. The shop prints on two Mutoh ValueJet 1624’s and laminates wraps on a SEAL 54. They used Arlon Series 3200 Optically Clear overlaminate for their truck.
Though the pickup obviously functions as a 353-horsepower sales rep, Evan plans to keep it parked in the shop a little more often than before the storms. Doing this in concert with having added Ceramic Pro clear, liquid nano-ceramic coating, should allow the wrap to reflect their brand a lot longer than their previous wrap’s four years prior to Irma. Sounds right for a shop truck that’s been through hell and back.
Independent Wraps & Customs wrapped its hurricane-damaged shop truck.