To the Rescue

Raising awareness – attracting attention – is what wraps are supposed to do.
Infamous Signs & Graphics produces vehicle graphic for Mr. Mo Project.

A coolly wrapped vehicle to raise awareness advertises the shop’s capabilities as much as the cause. Two signshops recently shared details of jobs involving wraps for charities: one a nice bone thrown to a nonprofit for dogs; the other, co-ops with cops.


Chris and Mariesa Hughes established the Mr. Mo Project, a nonprofit that has saved countless senior shelter dogs nationwide in honor of their own late and beloved senior dog, Mr. Mo. Recently they sniffed out Infamous Signs & Graphics (Albany, NY) and found a kindred spirit in owner E.C. Stumpf. “I have taken in senior dogs, abused dogs and unwanted dogs for the better part of 14 years and every one of them has enriched my life,” he said. The Hughes’ provided a logo, but having seen other work by Infamous, simply requested they make the design “awesome!”

E.C. and Johnny Gomez, a graphic designer for Infamous Signs & Graphics, conceptualized a design and Johnny executed it using Adobe Illustrator. Bearing in mind the clients sought bright colors, “the only real challenge was that we needed to make the logo as big as possible without losing any of it due to a door handle or molding, etc.,” E.C. said. Then, with the design approved, Infamous printed Avery Dennison MPI 1105 SC LTR EZRS wrap film on their Roland SOLJET PRO III and protected it using Avery Dennison DOL 1360Z Optically Clear overlaminate applied on their Royal Sovereign laminator. In most cases, according to E.C., wraps are printed in vertical panels and applied back to front. “In our shop, we’ve started printing our panels horizontally to reduce the number of seams and reduce the process of lining up panels,” he said, which can be difficult with complicated designs. 

Infamous did make one alteration to its original design during install. “We had to make the hood graphics larger to stand out more,” E.C said. Still, they got Mr. Mo-bile designed and wrapped in about a week, back to the customers in time for their Bow Bash 2018 fundraiser. 


Elite Tinting & Graphics (Duluth, MN) has plenty of experience wrapping police cars.
Elite Tinting & Graphics (Duluth, MN) has plenty of experience wrapping police cars.

Elite Tinting & Graphics (Duluth, MN) has been decorating police cars since opening back in 1993. Since then, they’ve received referrals from their local and regional police departments, and have grown their police-based business according to Matt Henkel, a graphic designer for Elite. “Most of the time, the police department is contacted by a local nonprofit looking to raise awareness,” Matt said. “We also have sponsored these projects as a co-sponsor to help the nonprofits as a community service to both the police departments and the nonprofit groups as our way of doing our part in the community.”

The main issue is making sure that the design still retains the appearance of a police car, according to Matt, noting the challenge of working around existing graphics. He and the shop’s other designers use a combination of Adobe Illustrator CC and Adobe Photoshop CC.

Once the combo cop-charity designs are booked, Elite Tinting & Graphics outputs them on either their Mimaki JV300 or HP L26500 Latex. Elite mainly specs 3M IJ180Cv3 print media and 3M Scotchlite Removable Reflective IJ680CR media with 3M Scotchcal 8518 Gloss Laminate or 8520 Matte Laminate. “On the installation side, we have plenty of issues with paint and body to deal with as some of cars have some prior damage,” Matt said. “Most of the time, our biggest issue is timeframe of completion, as the cars are still active and need to be back on the road as soon as possible.”

In addition, Elite adds 3M Scotchguard Paint Protection Film over the areas prone to abuse from belts, batons and guns rubbing against them as officers get into and out of squad cars. “Adding PPF Film has greatly increased the life of the wrapped areas from damage, keeping the squads looking great over their lifespans,” Matt said. “We also take before and after photos of every job, store them on our cloud server and can share to client in real time as needed.” Elite is on record as willing to cooperate with the police and doing more of these “awareness vehicles” with no plans to stop. Now that’s no crime.


Signs of the Times April 2019

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