Tesla’s Color Wraps Could Rescue the Cybertruck from Its Unconventional Design

When Elon Musk’s polarizing pickup hit the market, Tesla’s new side business might offer a solution for its unconventional appearance.

Tesla aimed to make its stainless-steel Cybertruck stand out by eliminating the need for paint, a challenging task. The only other company to come close was DeLorean, which sold just 9,000 cars before filing for bankruptcy in 1982.

However, when Tesla begins Cybertruck deliveries, it might have found a workaround that DeLorean couldn’t: color wraps. These are decorative films applied to the vehicle’s exterior, a potentially lucrative upsell Tesla has been experimenting with in California. This approach could help soften the truck’s sharp edges, making it more appealing to mainstream buyers.

“It looks a lot more attractive with these wraps on it,” says Jessica Caldwell, head of insights for Edmunds, while viewing images of Cybertruck test vehicles adorned with custom prints. She notes a trend in the auto industry towards boxier, more “masculine” designs, contrasting with the bubble-shaped SUVs that have long been dominant. Caldwell suggests Tesla may have pushed the envelope a bit too far with the Cybertruck.

Starting with seven

Wrapping vehicles in colorful coatings is not new. Wraps can turn a Ferrari into a chrome-plated bullet or a plain work van into a vibrant billboard. While some liken the Cybertruck to a refrigerator on wheels, others see it as a blank canvas.

Tesla quietly started offering in-house wraps for the Model 3 and Model Y in October, possibly as a trial run before Cybertruck deliveries begin. It’s unclear if wraps will be available for the Cybertruck, but Musk mentioned in 2020 that the truck could be wrapped in any color or pattern.

Car wraps come in two types: form-fitted vinyl wraps and color-infused paint protection film (PPF). Vinyl wraps are cheaper, typically costing between $3,000 and $5,000, and offer more customization options. PPF is more durable and protective but almost twice as expensive.

Tesla’s initial selection of wraps for the Model 3 and Model Y consists of high-end film designed to resist grime and self-heal after minor scratches. The company charges $7,500 to $8,000 for these wraps, offering seven subtle colors from “Satin Rose Gold” to “Stealth Black.”

While Tesla has not confirmed customization options, several Cybertrucks have been spotted with detailed patterns and logos that would typically only be possible with vinyl wraps. These include neon Cybertruck logos spray-painted across the doors, Cybertrucks designed to look like a Ford F-150 and a Toyota Tundra, and various unconventional camouflage patterns.

The concept of in-house Cybertruck wraps, or “Cyberwraps,” may have been part of Tesla’s plan from the beginning. When designing the Cybertruck, Tesla was recovering from a challenging production ramp-up for the Model 3, which Musk said nearly bankrupted the company. Many issues stemmed from the paint shop, where automotive paint can be expensive, finicky, and environmentally harmful.

In-house wraps could be highly profitable, as most of the cost is associated with labor rather than materials. The film must be meticulously applied around every headlight, door handle, logo, and trim piece. The Cybertruck’s flat panels could make this process easier.

Profit from wraps, along with the $12,000 price tag on Tesla’s FSD driver-assistance features, could help keep the Cybertruck’s base price lower for budget-conscious buyers. To reach its sales target of 250,000 trucks a year, Tesla will need to appeal to multiple segments of the truck market.

Even if Tesla does not offer wraps initially, third-party wrap installers have been preparing for the Cybertruck’s release since 2019. Wrapmate, a vinyl-wrap company based in Colorado, offers to custom wrap a Cybertruck for $4,163, including design assistance, materials, and installation by partner garages across the US.

“For businesses, I think this is a great idea,” says Caldwell from Edmunds. “Obviously, the Cybertruck is very noticeable on the road and will draw attention when you wrap it with your business logo.”

Tesla will likely use its launch event to showcase the Cybertruck’s toughness, with demonstrations of its durability and strength. However, Caldwell suggests that the biggest challenge will be whether customers feel comfortable driving such an attention-grabbing vehicle, especially given Musk’s controversial public persona.

“People wanted to be part of his movement, and it really helped Tesla sell vehicles,” Caldwell says. “Now, they are launching this vehicle when his popularity is very different. People will be a lot less forgiving.”

Infuse a burst of freshness into your workspace this spring

Spring offers an ideal opportunity to concentrate on the signage and displays within your retail space. Custom wall graphics can transform virtually any surface, helping you craft the desired atmosphere at an affordable cost. Regardless of your industry, there’s a way to express gratitude to your partners through distinctive wall signage.

Celebrate donors by featuring their contributions with dedicated plaques within your workplace. Chronicle your business’s journey with graphics illustrating its progress over time. Elevate motivation and inspiration among your staff with murals designed to enhance productivity.

Think beyond two dimensions – by blending custom printed graphics with stand-off acrylic panels, you can achieve a unique 3D appearance that complements your aesthetic.

Working with low-VOC Paint

How can I make sure that films will stick to walls that are painted with low-VOC paint?

According to the UASG

Many installers are grappling with a common question regarding the changing chemistry of paint, specifically the reduction of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) by paint manufacturers. This alteration in paint composition has significantly impacted the ability of graphic films to adhere to these newer paints. However, there’s no need to lose hope. True to 3M’s commitment to innovation, we’ve thoroughly examined this issue and devised a solution that is both simple and cost-effective. The key lies in the preparation of the surface and dedicating a few extra minutes to test the adhesion of the chosen films. Follow our best practices to ensure a smooth and successful application of almost any wall film on nearly any painted surface.

Preparing the Surface

Start with the 3M™ Enhanced Adhesion Cleaning Method. This method, which involves an isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and water solution and two cleaning steps, will greatly increase a film’s adhesion to a low-VOC paint.

Prepare a cleaning solution with 70 percent IPA and 30 percent water (essentially rubbing alcohol) in a spray bottle.

  • Soak a clean, lint-free cloth with the cleaning solution until it is dripping wet.
  • Clean the test (or application) area with overlapping strokes. Especially in the first cleaning, you may notice some migrated paint particles on the cloth (see photo at right).
  • Thoroughly soak another clean, lint-free cloth with the cleaning solution and wash the wall again. Researchers at 3M have found that cleaning the wall TWICE with a mixture of 70 percent IPA and 30 percent water can significantly boost adhesion for nearly any wall film applied to a painted substrate.
  • Touch the wall immediately. It will feel cooler to the touch than an unwashed area, due to the alcohol in the cleaning solution. When it no longer feels cool, it is dry and you can proceed with the film adhesion test or, if you are ready, with the film installation.
Testing Film Adhesion
  • Now prepare three strips of the same film for each of the films you plan to use for a given job. You’ll need all three so you can average the results of your test.
    • Cut three 1-inch by 10-inch strips of the graphic film(s).
    • Remove about 2 inches of liner, fold down one inch, and then punch a hole in the tab you’ve created
      (see photo at right).

NOTE: It’s important to test each wall where graphics will be installed. Because paints can easily be color matched, you may not be able to tell if one wall of a room has been painted with a different formula than the others.

  • Remove the liner and apply the test strips to the cleaned surface so the punched hole is at the top. Use the 3M™ Rivet Brush RBA-1 to go over the strips three times to ensure good adhesion.
  • After 15 minutes, remove the test strips by pulling with a spring scale attached to the film strip tab. Try to pull at a rate of 1 inch every 5 seconds and observe both the value on the scale and the smoothness with which the film releases from the wall
    (see photo below).

Here is how to assess your test results:

  • Unacceptable adhesion: The film measures less than 300 grams/inch on the scale and releases with little or no resistance.
  • Acceptable adhesion: The film measures 300-1000 grams/inch on the scale and releases smoothly and consistently with some resistance. May be removable with heat/chemicals but may cause wall damage.
  • Excellent adhesion: The film measures greater than 1000 grams/inch on the scale and releases smoothly and consistently with substantial resistance. Will cause wall damage if removed.

A film that pulls inconsistently or jerkily indicates that the adhesive is not making full contact with the substrate, even if it measures in the acceptable to excellent range. We do not recommend using a film that exhibits jerky removal.

Feed Your Advertising!

The rise of the food truck industry is happening at a frantic pace. Branding and re-branding has become a major business for Installed Graphics, Inc. Here are several things that have contributed to it:

Affordability: Food trucks offer freshly prepared food at lower prices than traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants. This affordability makes them attractive to a broad range of customers.

Flexibility: Food trucks can quickly adapt to changing trends and consumer preferences. They can be wrapped and re-wrapped to fit today’s trends.

Accessibility: Food trucks can go to where the customers are, and with auxilary signage, can make their presence known immediately.

Social Media and Technology: The advent of social media has played a significant role in the success of food trucks. Many trucks use platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to announce their locations, share daily specials, and engage with their customers. That’s why a freshly wrapped food truck has such social media appeal!

Low Overheads: Operating a food truck typically involves lower overhead costs than running a traditional restaurant. Also, it is a traveling adverstisement. There’s no need for expensive real estate, dining space, or extensive staffing. This allows food truck owners to invest more in quality ingredients and maintain competitive pricing, while presenting a professionally wrapped vehicle that advertises itself.

Popularity at Events: Food trucks are often invited to participate in events, festivals, and markets, further increasing their visibility and customer reach.

The rise of the food truck industry is a testament to the evolving preferences of consumers, and the entrereneurial spirt of their owners. Installed Graphics, Inc. is excited to be involved with this industry at such a dynamic time.

Guiding the Way: Experiential Signage and the Journey to Unforgettable Customer Experiences

Guiding the Way: Experiential Signage and the Journey to Unforgettable Customer Experiences

In the dynamic landscape of customer engagement, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to leave a lasting impression. One often overlooked but powerful tool in creating unforgettable customer experiences is experiential signage. Beyond its traditional role of providing directions or information, signage has evolved into a key player in shaping the overall customer journey. In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of experiential signage and how it can pave the way to unforgettable customer experiences.

  1. The Rise of Experiential Signage:
    Traditional signage serves a functional purpose, but experiential signage takes it a step further by engaging customers on a more emotional and sensory level. Explore the evolution of signage from a mere informational tool to a dynamic element that contributes to the ambiance and personality of a brand.
  2. Creating a Seamless Customer Journey:
    Experiential signage acts as a guide, leading customers through a seamless and intuitive journey. Discuss the importance of well-designed wayfinding systems that not only provide directions but also enhance the overall customer experience. Illustrate with real-life examples of businesses that have successfully implemented such systems.
  3. Branding Beyond the Logo:
    Signage is a visual representation of a brand, and experiential signage goes beyond displaying logos. Dive into the ways businesses use signage to reinforce brand identity, tell a story, and create a memorable connection with customers. Highlight the role of color, typography, and design in building a cohesive brand experience.
  4. Interactive Signage: Engaging the Senses:
    Explore the world of interactive signage that stimulates multiple senses. Discuss the impact of touch, sound, and even scent incorporated into signage to create a more immersive environment. Share examples of businesses using technology to enhance customer engagement through interactive signage.
  5. Adapting to Changing Environments:
    In a world where flexibility is key, discuss the adaptability of experiential signage to different environments and situations. Whether it’s a physical store, event space, or a virtual setting, effective signage should be versatile and capable of enhancing the customer experience across various platforms.
  6. Measuring Success: Metrics for Experiential Signage:
    How do businesses measure the success of their experiential signage efforts? Explore key performance indicators (KPIs) and analytics tools that can help businesses assess the impact of signage on customer satisfaction, brand perception, and overall engagement.
  7. Case Studies: Exemplifying Excellence:
    Showcase case studies of businesses that have successfully leveraged experiential signage to create unforgettable customer experiences. Analyze the strategies employed, the challenges faced, and the results achieved, providing readers with tangible examples to draw inspiration from.

How does wrapping a vehicle enhance your company’s image?

How does wrapping a vehicle enhance your company’s image?

Wrapping a vehicle with your company’s branding and messaging is an effective way to enhance your company’s image and promote your brand. Success depends on various factors, including your industry, target audience, and the quality of the design and execution.

Here are some considerations:

  1. Brand Recognition: A well-designed vehicle wrap makes your brand more recognizable. When people see your wrapped vehicle on the road, they are more likely to remember your company’s name, logo, and message.
  2. Professionalism: A professionally wrapped vehicle conveys a sense of professionalism and legitimacy. It shows your company is serious about its branding and image.
  3. Mobile Advertising: Vehicle wraps serve as mobile advertisements. Your message is constantly on the move, potentially reaching a broader audience than traditional advertising methods.
  4. Local Marketing: If your business operates in a specific geographic area, a wrapped vehicle  serves as a localized marketing tool, especially if your service involves traveling to customer locations.
  5. Competitive Advantage: A well-designed wrap helps you stand out from the competition and create a memorable impression on potential customers.
  6. Consistency: Vehicle wraps should align with your overall branding and marketing strategy to maintain consistency in how your company is perceived.

It’s imperative your design is well thought out and professional. A poorly executed wrap can have a negative impact on your company’s image. Additionally, consider the cost, maintenance, and potential wear and tear on the vehicle.

What are the differences between the Industry standard 3M IJ180 and the new 3M IJ280?

3M™ IJ180 vs 3M™ IJ280 Vinyl

Installed Graphics compares the two for you in one simple page.

  • 3M™ IJ180: Is a durable, cast vinyl film designed for long-term outdoor use. It has a lifespan of up to 10 years and is known for its resistance to UV radiation and tough weather conditions. It's has been a reliable choice for vehicle wraps and outdoor graphics for many years.
  • 3M™ IJ280: IJ280 is another cast vinyl film from 3M, but it is generally considered to be less durable compared to IJ180. It's designed for medium-term applications and typically has a lifespan of around 5-7 years. While it's still a good choice for outdoor use, it may not be as long-lasting as IJ180.
  • 3M™ IJ180: Is known for its excellent conformability, making it a preferred choice for wrapping vehicles and applying graphics to complex curves and contours. It can stretch and conform to irregular surfaces with ease.
  • 3M™ IJ280: Offers good conformability, it may not be as flexible as IJ180. It's more suitable for flat or slightly curved surfaces.  IJ280 tends to conform better at room temperature.
  • Both films come with 3M's proprietary Controltac™ and Comply™ adhesive technologies, which help with ease of application and bubble-free installation. They allow for repositioning during application, which is especially important for large-scale graphics.
Finish Options:
  • Both IJ180 and IJ280 are available in a variety of finishes, including gloss, matte, and satin, to suit different design preferences.
  • Both vinyl films are compatible with solvent, latex, and UV-curable ink systems, making them versatile choices for various printing methods.
  • 3M IJ180 is generally considered a premium product, and it tends to be more expensive than IJ280. The choice between the two may depend on your specific project requirements and budget constraints.

Large Format Printing Guide For Letter Visibility & Distance

Large Format Printing Guide For Letter Visibility & Distance

Large format graphics will not help your business if the letters on the sign cannot be viewed by your audience. Large format printing can ensure that the desired marketing message of your wide format printing banners or signs is the largest and easiest to read aspect of the sign or banner. As a rule, the letters on the large format graphics need to be printed in a size that provides ease of reading by the intended audience. Large format printing makes sure the letters are easy to read whether the sign or banner is being viewed up close or at a distance. In general, letters on wide format printing materials should be approximately one inch tall per ten feet of viewing distance.

Large Format Graphics & Signage Factors

Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind for signage with large format graphics:

  • The letters should have a good amount of thickness as thinner letters are often harder to read. In addition, a simple bold font on large format printing can make the letters stand out.
  • White space is the open area that surrounds the copy. In general, the copy should be around 40% of the sign while the remaining 60% should be white space. The open white space on the wide format printing gives the words “room to breathe” and makes the copy easier to read and stand out on the sign.
  • Kerning is the space that is located between the letters. Take care with the spacing of the letters to make sure they are not too close together or too hard to read.

Letter Size Formula For Large & Wide Format Printing

When it comes to determining the perfect size for letters, there is actually a letter-size formula for large and wide format printing that helps determine the ideal size of the letters. The letter size formula for the letter height is:

The Letter Height (in inches) x 10 (for readable distance for maximum impact) = The Maximum Readable Distance

It’s said that, for every one inch of letter height, the letters provide 10 feet of readability.

For example, letters that are 3 inches tall make a maximum impact when they are 30 feet away. However, the letters can still be seen and read from up to 100 feet away.

Installed Graphics Large Format Printing Installation Services

Installed Graphics large format printing installation services ensure the letters on your banner or signs are installed for maximum visibility. Wide-format printing makes a big impact on consumers but you want to make sure that the impact that is made is a positive one where your target audience is able to easily view and read the copy on the printed materials. Letters that are too small or too close together will not deliver the desired marketing message and will not properly brand your business thanks to the confusing letters on the large format graphics.

Learn more about large format printing for letter visibility and distance when you contact our team today.

Call Us for More Information at 314-872-3100


    Why Is Color Contrast Important On Automotive Wraps?

    Why Is Color Contrast Important On Automotive Wraps?

    Automotive wraps brand a business as other drivers on the road view the graphics on the vehicle wraps on a daily basis. When it comes to designing commercial vehicle wraps, colors play a big part in the design process and this includes taking color contrast into account. Design elements such as color contrast help to differentiate key information such as the name of the business or any contact info. However, combining such elements as red lettering on black vehicles can make the intended message hard to read instead of standing out against the color of the automotive wraps. High contrast colors enable a message to “jump out” at viewers and make a big impact. Colors that are too close to each other in their tone can make the marketing message hard to read or hard to process by other drivers.

    Color Factors In Vehicle Wraps

    It is vital to keep color factors in mind when designing vehicle wraps. Your design needs to consider how the two colors contrast with each other as the LR (light reflectance) of the colors sets the contrast.

    Some of the top contrasting color combinations include:

    • White on Black
    • Black on White
    • Black on Yellow
    • Yellow on Black
    • Blue on White

    The color of automotive wraps can create a feeling of trust as well as make a company seem bold and imaginative. Research has shown that up to 90% of snap judgments that are made about products are based on color alone (this statistic depends on the product). Plus, consumers make judgments based on what they “see” as appropriate colors for the brand.

    In other words, color contrast plays a big part in the design of commercial vehicle wraps.

    Commercial Vehicle Wraps Installation

    The installation of commercial vehicle wraps gives a professional look to the fleet vehicles that have automotive wraps placed on them. Professional installation of vehicle wraps takes the entire vehicle into account to make sure the graphics do not have any air bubbles in them as well as making sure the message of the commercial wraps is not interrupted by door handles or side mirrors on the vehicle. Vehicle wraps are a big investment that need to be properly installed to maintain a professional look over the life of the vehicle.

    Discover the best color contrast options for your fleet vehicles by contacting our design team today.

    Call Us for More Information at 314-872-3100


      What’s The Difference Between Half and Full Vehicle Wraps?

      What’s The Difference Between Half and Full Vehicle Wraps?

      Vehicle wraps brand a business whenever a company vehicle is on the road or parked in the company parking lot thanks to the combination of graphics and text that market the business. Fleet wraps can cover half of a vehicle or it can cover the entire company vehicle. A half wrap only covers certain parts of the vehicle such as the entire back part of the vehicle and (maybe) under the windows of the doors. On the other hand, full vehicle wraps cover the entire surface of the vehicle and runs from the back of the vehicle all the way up the hood of the vehicle. The wrap installation process is the same for half or full vehicle wraps. The final decision of what type of vehicle wrap to install is determined by the needs of the business.

      Fleet Wraps From Partial Wraps to Full Wraps

      Fleet wraps are available in partial wraps and full wraps as seen below:

      • Partial wraps only cover a certain part of the vehicle. Businesses often wrap the back area of the vehicle because it is easily viewed by people that are behind the vehicle in traffic. The design usually starts around the front tires and goes all the way to the back of the vehicle while keeping the graphics located below the line of the windows.
      • Full wraps cover the entire vehicle. A full vehicle wrap is exactly what it sounds like since they cover the whole vehicle including the hood, windows, roof and any area of the vehicle that can be seen from a standing point of view by a consumer. The larger display area allows designers to include more info without making it seem too crowded or “information-heavy”.

      Professional Wrap Installation Services

      Professional wrap installation services ensure that vehicle wraps are professionally installed on vehicles of all sizes. Wrap installation services makes sure the vehicles are professionally cleaned and free of dirt and debris before the fleet wraps are installed on the vehicle. In addition, wrap installation services keep the full wrap or half wrap free of bubbles or wrinkles while also making sure the wrap does not go over the car handles or side mirrors on the vehicle. When done properly, professional wrap installation services help vehicle wraps last for years while maintaining their eye-catching appearance.

      Not sure if you need a full wrap or a partial wrap? Contact our experienced vehicle wrap team today about installing fleet wraps on your company vehicles.

      Call Us for More Information at 314-872-3100


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