Matte & Reflective Wrap
One thing most Portlanders have in common is their love for coffee – I think it’s safe to say that at least half the population of the city has it coursing through their bloodstream. So imagine my delight when I got a call from an associate of Dutch Bros Coffee inquiring about a van wrap. Aside from the fact that this was a client I was excited to be doing work for, this seemed like a fairly regular request at first. A van wrap, sure, no problem - I sent an estimate, we got the go ahead, and I was sent final artwork from their corporate designers.
This is when it got interesting. We noticed something a little off about the final artwork, maybe that it was depicting a matte black vinyl, or perhaps it was just supposed to be a dark charcoal color? To be sure, I contacted our Dutch Bros associate and sure enough – this wrap was meant to be matte. Not only matte, but they also wanted reflective vinyl for all of the colored graphics. That’s a tall order, and definitely unlike any other wrap we’ve done. We were very excited to take on this challenge.
The first roadblock we ran into was cost. Matte and reflective vinyls are very expensive on their own, let alone when you want both types on one vehicle. The graphics team was very determined to do this wrap however, and we eventually found a way to meet our client’s budget and move forward with the wrap. The second roadblock came when we found out more about the vehicle, specifically the color. It was white. The nightmare color of matte black wraps. Matte black wraps are tricky because, unlike painting the vehicle matte black, you can see the true color of the vehicle in door jams, cracks, etc. Places where it’s very hard to put vinyl. So not only were we combining two types of very different, thick, hard to work with vinyl – we were trying to turn a white van black. Yes, definitely challenging but definitely exciting. Everyone in the department couldn’t wait to see the finished product.
The day of installation came and honestly, it couldn’t have gone much better. Our installers were anxious to do an incredible job on this project, and they delivered above and beyond. They worked extensively on every problem area, removing as much of the van’s parts as they could to get the matte black vinyl into every nook and cranny. By the day’s end, you would’ve thought that van came into our shop black. It was incredibly impressive, and the reflective vinyl on top of the matte black added a spectacular contrast and it remains to be one of the most unique wraps we’ve done. We are extremely proud of everyone’s hard work on the job and it will definitely be a project we will be showing off for a good while!
World’s Largest Skateboard
Meet Joe Ciaglia 2013 Guinness Book of World Records’ holder of building the world’s largest skateboard. Not only is it the world’s largest, but it works! Go to youtube.com to see this behemoth in action. He is also the owner of California Skateparks and, I must say, they do a very impressive job of building entire professional-grade skateboarding parks fast!
When Joe called PSC Graphx to collaborate with Nike, Street League Skateboarding and California Skateparks to produce and install graphics for the 2013 Street League Skateboarding Nike SB World Tour we were stoked. The competition was built and held at the Rose Quarter (now Moda Center), with a separate day-before private course at the Nike headquarters.
We produced and installed all of the graphics on the skate features for both the Nike headquarters and the main event at the Rose Quarter.
And yes, we even wrapped a giant decal on the underside of Joe’s bigfoot-sized skateboard! The events were a success and another collaborative effort well done.
Chrome Wrap for Dre Cut: Dodge Crossfire
In the summer of 2013 we were approached by Dre Cut to wrap his Dodge Crossfire in mirror chrome vinyl. He had done quite a bit of research into materials and contacted our vendors for availability. We next discussed the merits of the different materials available and decided to use Avery.
Once we made the decision on the material, I worked up an estimate and scheduled the install. At this point we had some homework to do on the new chrome wrapping material from Avery. We watched videos and contacted Avery for install process suggestions. Pat Daily, our local Fellers rep, helped quite a bit with putting me in touch with people at Avery and supplying data sheets on the material. From that info we acquired a steam gun and new tools to avoid damaging the material during install.
Knowing that the install would take us several days to complete, we made arraignments with A&B Towing to use a bay at one of their locations. We could leave the vehicle there and not have to worry about dust or disturbing the vehicle while we were not working on it.
As always, when installing a full wrap there were challenges throughout and it ended up we needed to order some additional material. With this being our first chrome wrap there were some unavoidable issues with the material. It is important to work out how much material you need for these kinds of wraps and formulate a plan on how to best use the material.
Once the install was complete we let the vehicle set overnight and reviewed it for quality control the next day. Everything looked pretty good, so we contacted the customer and invited him in to go over the car and pick it back up. Dre was excited to see the finished product. He and I drove to a nearby park to take some photos of the Crossfire. I also took a nice video you can view on Youtube.
Considering the amount of time, energy & materials we spent on this project we decided as a company we needed to charge a much higher price on these sorts of jobs in the future. It was a good experience overall and we subsequently have done other similar “paint-wraps.”
Dre did come back to us once concerning the vinyl not sticking to some deep style-lines on the hood. I believe that the heat of the engine was softening the adhesive and would not stay down no matter what we did. I proposed a solution to Dre, in which we would remove the vinyl from those locations. He agreed we should try it and I, very carefully, cut and removed the vinyl on the first body line. It was a general consensus that it looked good. So, we finished the process on the other offending style-lines and the customer left shortly after a happy man.
All in all a rewarding experience. Working with the customer to realize their dream on a unique project was a good experience here at Pacific Service Center.
Dutch Brothers Install Review
When this project came down the pipe. As installers we were excited to turn a rather mundane white van into something that would turn heads. The idea was to make this white van matte black with a reflective vinyl overlay. It sounds simple enough, but the nature of reflective vinyl makes it a little more complicated. The adhesive on the reflective vinyl is so aggressive that once it touches anything, that’s where it’s staying. Any complications with the reflective vinyl would mean we would, basically, have to redo the whole van. So, away we went!
We started by completely disassembling the van. We took out the mirrors, headlights, taillights, grille, rear bumper, door handles, and even the side and rear windows were going to come out of this project. After all, turning something white into something black can be tough and we just wanted to do it correctly. There were some areas that just couldn’t be covered with vinyl. Mainly the under portion of the van. So how do you make something black without paint? Answer… Plasti-Dip. The beauty of this product is that it will peel off just like the vinyl if the vehicle owner ever decided to remove the wrap. So off we went…
We used 3M 1080 series matte black wrap film. I would highly recommend 1080 for applications like this. To maximize coverage and decrease seams. We used at least 20 different individually cut pieces of vinyl. We also wrapped inside of the door jams. So that no matter where you looked you would not see white, mission accomplished!
The reflective portion of the install went rather seamlessly. When we started to apply the reflective vinyl. It all started to visually come together. We could see the decision to use reflective over matte was the correct one.
Window Graphics: Stylab
Any small business owner knows how tough it can be to make your shop stand out among crowds of other stores in a downtown setting – it’s no easy task! Especially when all of the other businesses in the area are utilizing outdoor advertising such as window signs and sandwich boards, etc. What better way to make your business really pop than to put a creative spin on your façade with an eye-catching vinyl design? That’s exactly how we were able to help our client Stylab Salon!
Stylab Salon is situated right smack dab in the middle of downtown Portland, among dozens of other salons and small shops with the same window front. They came to us with the only direction being that they wanted to advertise their happy hour special, which created the perfect opportunity for the PSC graphic designers to get creative with this project. We wanted to not only advertise their happy hour, but to also help the salon’s exterior by designing something purposeful and attractive so that it will draw the attention of passers-by.
One of the main challenges with this project was figuring out a design that would allow a good amount of visibility through the windows, since this was an important factor for the owners of Stylab. They didn’t want to completely block the windows, even with perforated material since that would still impact the visibility. That’s when the idea of a repeat pattern of cut vinyl emerged, and it was actually our first time ever trying to create one – which, needless to say, was a learning experience! After a few failed attempts, we had finally made what we thought to be a creative, interesting, and suitable design and luckily the owners of Stylab thought so too! It was great to see the result after installation, and I don’t think there’s a person who walks by that storefront now without taking a second look!