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Design in Time 

Vehicle Templates and Digital Artwork Ease the Load

By Digital Output Staff

Vehicle wraps remain a popular marketing platform. To accelerate production, many print service providers (PSPs) rely on vehicle templates and digital artwork suppliers. Templates provide ready-to-use layouts, detailing specifications for popular car, truck, and even boat models. The same is true with artwork, instead of designing a clever twist, flame, or insignia from scratch, these images are already created with a vehicle in mind.


Wrap Bad, But Well

Templates and digital artwork are a viable addition to any PSP’s business. They provide a dramatic reduction in preparation cost. Tim Hilcove, manager/shareholder, SmartWrap, relies on templates from The Bad Wrap to create vehicle wrap and fleet work. “We never use line drawings or clip art,” he admits.


The family owned and operated business, located in Phoenix, AZ, specializes in effective marketing pieces, with vehicles as the primary medium. It focuses on commercial and fleet work, with most clients purchasing new vehicles or those less than two years old.


With the rapid turnover the team at SmartWrap experiences, it makes sense to work with The Bad Wrap. All of the templates are available online for download and they are updated on a weekly basis. According to Hilcove, these can be purchased individually for $29.95. A yearly subscription service is available for around $600 to $700, ideal for those planning on using a lot of templates.


“We pride ourselves on clean, effective designs that work. In everything we do we strive for a clean, uncluttered feel and the templates we use support that goal,” shares Hilcove. Part of the allure, the templates are actual vehicles, presenting realism to customers. The templates do not include any other images such as trees, walls, or parking lots in the background. Anything that could distract the customer is eliminated.


In addition to traditional services, The Bad Wrap also offers custom templates. Print providers can send in images and vehicle information via the Web site submission page. The company then works with the customer to generate the appropriate measurements and create a final template. Typical turnaround time is four days.


Tools of the Trade

In addition to The Bad Wrap, a number of other solutions are available to PSPs.


Action Illustrated offers themed vector and clip art packages for use in vehicle wrap design. Many of the DVDs include anywhere from 700 to 1,500 vectored EPS images, some with editable templates and template editor software. Interested buyers can flip through a digital book of the entire collection prior to purchase to ensure it is the correct fit, all online from the comfort of their own computer. Of note for vehicle wrap graphics is the Action Graphics package, which includes over 1,200 vectored EPS images such as flames and tribal designs for $299.


Art Station Vehicle Templates provides two services to its customers. The basic template solution is available as a download or a hardcopy DVD. In addition, Wrap Dimensions is intended for a shop’s quoting department. A PDF, it breaks down the square footage of vinyl needed to wrap a vehicle—it factors bleeds, wastes, and window film in the quote. It is also available via download or DVD. The price breakdown for new customers is $299 for the templates, $199 for Wrap Dimensions, or $399 for the bundle. Existing customers renewing annually pay $149 for the templates, $99 for Wrap Dimensions, or $199 for the bundle.


According to Larry Lopez, owner, Art Station Vehicle Templates, while the company line is that templates go back ten years, some really go back to the mid 1990s. It constantly adds to the collection and sends updates to its customers every three months notifying them of the additions. Lopez says the files are easily identified, unlike other vendors who label artwork by code names. The right template can be quickly located with a file name based on make, model, and year.


Aurora Graphics Inc. offers artwork online via its main Web site and collections of artwork on DVDs. Online, users experience the Wrap Design Studio (WDS), which features hundreds of photo-based vehicle templates that allow for artwork to be dragged into them and preview the finished job. All U.S. vehicle brands are available for the past ten years, including all new 2014 models. WDS is also used as a customized storefront for print providers. Through a subscription, users can have a custom Web site that includes Aurora Graphics artwork—all skinable to a user’s shop name, email address, and phone number.


Artwork is constantly updated, with the Web site refreshing content two or three times a week. The variety sets the company apart from its competitors. “Dinosaurs to flames to high tech to camo to abstract, pattern fills, and also futuristic machines and robotics—we have it all,” explains Dave Dorsey, owner, Aurora Graphics.


CADlink Technology Corp. promotes its Pro Vehicle Outlines (PVO) suite of templates, available as either a DVD set that includes a vehicle reference guide or as an online subscription-based product, for either six or 12 months. The DVD set is bundled with a 12 month online subscription that provides 24/7 access to new templates. Over 9,000 templates are available, ranging from 1994 to 2014, including all of the most widely used North American vehicles. While the PVO suite is released annually, new vehicles are added weekly. These are found online, via an easy-to-use search engine.


“PVO is the original creator of North American vehicle templates—having started over 20 years ago. The templates are known by professionals as being the most accurate, detailed templates in the industry. PVO also provides the largest North American template collection available today,” shares Luke Green, sales manager, PVO, CADlink. The company is known for its unlimited North American-based support, offering templates on demand when possible, especially if a newly released vehicle is unavailable.


MR Clipart US offers both vehicle templates and design elements for $99 a year with the MR Clipart Online Club 1-Year Unlimited Membership. The 12 month subscription provides users with all of the graphics on the site the day they buy, plus everything added in the next 12 months. Another option is the MR Clipart Online Club Lifetime Unlimited Membership. For $399 the user is granted lifetime access to the site, plus anything added/updated for life. For those not ready to commit, single file purchases are also offered for $15 each.


ONYX Graphics, Inc. promotes its ONYX SmartApps VehicleWraps plug-in for Adobe Illustrator. Users can bring any existing template into the design program and then create a layer, which leads to printable panels in a few clicks. The idea is to provide printers with a familiar design program, avoiding a revamp in workflow—the result is streamlined production and finishing.


“My car looks awesome, my jobs are free of errors, and this plug in is hands down the best product I have in my arsenal. In my opinion, it is the best investment any new or established sign company can make when doing vehicles wraps,” admits Eric Goodman, Goodman, like many users, enjoys the ease of use of ONYX SmartApps VehicleWraps.


Art and Templates

Vehicle wraps—whether large or small, multiple cars or a single job—are an everyday staple. To compete, PSPs need to offer aggressive pricing, quick turnaround, and high quality. Templates and pre-designed digital artwork help. These investments alleviate time spent on unnecessary tasks and aid in focusing a PSP’s attention onto grander sights.


May2014, Digital Output

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