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It’s A Wrap! – Vinyl Vehicle Graphics Make a Mobile Billboard

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Kelly Kapinos of Signs & Designs in Bozeman, about designing a vehicle wrap for one of his clients. I had been wanting to design a wrap for awhile, and knowing that Kelly and I have worked well together on a few other projects… I jumped at the opportunity.

Mike Mulinix Taxidermy Wrap

For those of you who aren’t familiar with “wrapping”, it is the art of printing graphic design elements on high performance vinyl and then applying that vinyl to a chosen surface. In our case, the client wanted to wrap the back half of his truck to promote his taxidermy services.

Mike Mulinix Taxidermy Wrap 2One of the first steps of this project was taking precise measurements of the vehicle, this is also one of the most important parts of the project as it determines how much vinyl it will take to achieve the desired results. Kelly took down all the measurements and then handed them off to me, along with photographs of the vehicle, so I could begin the next step of the process… finding appropriate artwork.

Searching for artwork proved to be one of the most challenging parts of the entire wrap. Our client wanted a bear snarling, which is easy enough… but finding an image large enough to be nearly life sized was difficult to say the least. Luckily for me, I eventually found a perfect image from Canadian photographer John Pitcher, and by contacting John directly, we were able to settle on a fair price for the photo.

With the photo and measurements in hand, it finally time to get to the design phase. With the creative software on my hard working Macintosh, I was able to show the client how the image would look on his vehicle before the vinyl was even printed. This also allowed Kelly the opportunity to show the client how the lettering would look as well. This allowed for any tweaking to be done and for the client to be satisfied with the overall design prior to the actual application.

Mike Mulinix Taxidermy Wrap 3I should note here that half wraps can be somewhat difficult to pull off. The challenge lies in creating a design that effectively covers half of the vehicle, but yet is designed in way that makes the transition from the paint of the vehicle to the graphic elements of the vinyl pleasing to the eye. This is something I think the design I came up with does very well, and luckily for me the client agreed too.

With the green light on the design, I burned a DVD of the rather large image files to give to Kelly. He then took the files and printed them to vinyl on his large format printer at his custom shop in Four Corners. Hours later with the printing complete, it was finally time for the highly anticipated install. It took a full day and part of another for the complete install, but as usual, Kelly did a fantastic job… and I think the finished results speak for themselves!

During the installation I talked Kelly into letting me tag along and snap some photos of the process. Check out the install photos for an idea of the hard work involved in creating a wrap like this. After seeing it in person, my sincere congratulations go to Kelly and the team at Signs & Designs for a job very well done.MIke Mulinix Taxidermy Wrap 4

Well that’s it for now, but keep your eye out for this rolling billboard around the streets of Bozeman. I hope you get to see it in person, because the photos in this post really don’t do it justice. As always, please leave us your comments below.

There are 5 comments on this post.

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  1. Avatar for Regina Whittington
    Regina Whittington

    WOW! That is incredible. You did a fabulous job. I’ve seen similar vehicles around here in Maryland but I had no idea what went in to making them. Very, very cool!

    1. Avatar for david

      Thanks for the compliment Regina, it was a very fun project. I can’t take all the credit though as Kelly Kapinos of Signs & Designs Unlimited did a majority of the actual install. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. Avatar for Faith

    Wow. Thats cool. I checked out the pics and noticed that you and Signs & Designs both have your logos on the bottom of the bumper. I was just wondering, is that customary? Did you give the client a discount for that, or did they even notice that you included it? I’m a designer myself, just starting out and I would like to do stuff like that, but I wasn’t sure how to approach the client. Thanks!

    1. Avatar for david

      Thanks for your interest Faith. In this case, we were able to offer the client a slightly reduced rate for including both the Signs & Designs and Manifest Creative logos. Use your best judgment on a case by case basis when offering the discount, but most clients are usually receptive to the idea if it means a lower cost in the end.

  3. Avatar for CRD Wraps

    Congrats on completing your first ever project on vehicle wrapping, I hope it was a resounding success and it has lead to several different projects for you. It sounds like this project was a fantastic experience.

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