Let's Discuss

Two signshop owners tout the pros (and cons) of recently released wrap films.
ORAFOL ORACAL 970 RA, 3M IJ175Cv3 wrap film projects shine

Teslas sit at the nexus of high technology, performance and style. Still, they’re obviously not perfect; otherwise, Tesla owners wouldn’t be charging in to signshops for the latest in color-change wraps. Incognito Wraps in Las Vegas has wrapped their share of Teslas. One recent job that stood out – literally in an exhibit hall – helped to debut ORAFOL’s ORACAL 970 RA new color, Tangerine Dream. Incognito Wraps works Orafol’s booth for the Specialty Equipment Market Assn. (SEMA) show, and for the most recent, “I knew the instant I saw the color that I had a client who would want it,” owner Chris Kmit said.


That client was the husband of another Tesla owner, whose car Incognito Wraps had earlier done in Oracal 970RA Mandarin. She, in turn, had been inspired by her boss wrapping his Tesla in Mandarin first. (See what I mean?) “I let both the husband and wife know that we had a new color to wrap their other Tesla in, and they were down later that day to see the sample,” Chris said. “We had a commitment within 10 minutes.” 

Chris finds Orafol films a little thicker than 3M or Avery Dennison, which provides both advantages and disadvantages. On the pro side, bubbles, wrinkles and big “fingers” in the film are worked out very easily with a much lower chance of creasing than a thinner film. “This is also what gives their colors such depth,” Chris said. On the con side, “which isn’t a large con if you are mindful of it,” Chris cautioned, “you have to make sure you post-heat every bit of this film carefully. Post heating is very important in every film, but this film requires it on every edge.” They traditionally also finish the heating process with time in the sun. “The great thing about the color-change wraps like the 970RA, is that the lamination and UV protection are built right in,” Chris said.

Once completed, Incognito Wraps brought both the Mandarin and Tangerine Dream Teslas to SEMA to show amongst the hot rods, super cars and lifted trucks. Chris said that when he pulled up to get the car into the convention area, he was approached by more than a few “die-hard car guys” who could not believe the color wasn’t paint. “The depth of the flake and wet look of the gloss are absolutely gorgeous,” Chris said. So, expect to see more orange Teslas rolling around.


Midnight Wraps (Marietta, GA) used 3M’s IJ175Cv3 film to wrap 18 service trucks.
Midnight Wraps (Marietta, GA) used 3M’s IJ175Cv3 film to wrap 18 service trucks.

Another signshop owner willing to dish about a new film is Travis Jones of Midnight Wraps in Marietta, GA. He chose 3M’s recent offering, IJ175Cv3, to wrap a fleet of 18 service trucks for RP Paving Solutions in nearby Villa Rica. In the past, Travis had used 3M IJ180Cv3 but his installers found it “too aggressive,” or not as repositionable as they’d like – particularly on a warmer vehicle. Midnight Wraps had been using another manufacturer’s product that was easier to handle, as well as about 25% cheaper. “When you’re talking about a $200 savings per roll, you can’t pass that up,” Travis said. But then, just recently, the other manufacturer’s price increased, while at the same time, 3M released their IJ175Cv3 for the same cost. The new film solved Travis’ issues. “They fixed the problem of [the 180] being overly aggressive,” Travis said. “[The 175] has a better slide-ability and ease of install. The guys absolutely love it.”

RP Paving provided their logo and the asphalt-like texture to be incorporated into the design. Midnight Wraps took care of the color, size and placement of copy, to keep everything highly readable. Having finalized the design in Photoshop, they printed the IJ175Cv3 on their HP 365 Latex and protected the partial wraps with Scotchcal 8518 Overlaminate. Installers covered the doors, back sides and fenders and the center portion of the hoods, leaving the front fenders and roofs of the mini-fleet in factory-painted white.

In addition to RP Paving, Travis’ installers are sold on the new 3M film, too. “In the past, when you tried to release a bubble, it was a problem.” A vehicle that was too warm also used to gum up the vinyl. Now, with those problems solved, Travis expects to see a lot of IJ175Cv3 used in the future. “Once 3M vinyl is down,” Travis said, “it’s down.”


Signs of the Times February 2019

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