Vehicle Decals

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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The art of designing and installing vehicle decals has seen many changes over the last few years. Both commercial and private drivers have been applying vinyl decals to their vehicles since the technology became available. Many times, it is specifically for advertising purposes, but there are drivers who use vehicle decals as purely decorative, too.

Developers of vinyl technology such as 3M have worked to increase the performance of vinyl and simplify the use of vinyl adhesives. Adhesives have moved from being complex chemical processes requiring professional installation and removal to a relatively simple process that can be performed by non-professionals in as little as one hour. The type of vinyl used in vehicle decals has also changed; current vinyl allows for repositioning before final adhesion and also allows air to escape, limiting the occurrence of air bubbles.

Vehicle Decals and Wrapping

Recently, simple vinyl decals have given way to more complex vinyl vehicle wraps. Wrapping is a process where large format graphics are printed on large sheets of vinyl and carefully applied to the entire surface of the vehicle--sometimes even including the windows. The vinyl is thin and elastic, and conforms easily to the contour of the vehicle.

Since its introduction a few years ago, the technology of vehicle wrapping has been primarily used for high-profile commercial advertising. Companies such as Jet Blue Airways, Nike, and Dryer's Ice Cream have all used vehicle wraps as part of successful ad campaigns. Soon, however, those who can afford it will no doubt wrap their private vehicles, giving birth to a new generation of high-tech eye-catching street machines.


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