GO WITH THE FLOW USING METACAST MDC
Experienced or not, when you attract the range of businesses to your door that Elite does, some of those who arrive are going to have a very particular need and so challenges are going to come in equal variety to customers. What Finla wanted would definitely occupy the more resistant corner of Elite Signs’ performance envelope.
The spark that would ultimately produce the Finla wrap was first thrown way back in January 2020. Very shortly after, a chance encounter between Finla’s VW and an immovable object got in the way of further progress for a couple of months while repairs were sorted. Something a lot smaller but with much bigger impact then happened around March and the resulting lock-down conspired against the job getting done once again.
In the midst of the delays, the livery’s design underwent considerable refinement. Elite had sent a vehicle profile definition to Finla’s agency and the grounding design work was proposed. The design rendered in 2D space took a lot of Elite’s further input and refinement to get to the point where it could be reduced-to-practice in the real 3D world where vehicle’s live.
The design is swept all the way around the vehicle and, despite the vehicle’s panel colour being black, the wrap is a total coverage one with only the roof being spared any treatment. The detail is swept in colour and in density such that each of the vehicle’s sides features its own design. Despite that, each and every fade resolves itself at panel junctions perfectly and the aesthetic is cohesive and jaw-dropping in its attractiveness.
‘Flow’ is an absolutely critical design consideration in Finla’s wrap. The company’s website captures the essence of flow well, with animated elements suggesting the passage of water under, and past, the company paddle boards when they’re in action. Flow was something that needed continual refinement right up to and during the wrap’s application to the vehicle. That made it among the most challenging of the wraps Elite Signs and graphics has produced, and one of the most attractive in the final outcome.
The grounding elements of the design, the large fields of variable density colour are printed on Metamark’s next-generation premium cast wrapping film MetaCast MD-C. MD-C is supplied as standard with MD-Class print quality credentials and that shows in the seamless gradation achieved in the print. Panel-to-panel consistency is critical in this wrap and the wrapping film delivered.
The very experienced application team at Elite Signs is credited with having once said that MetaCast MD-C’s MetaGlide Adhesive is like having ‘magic water’ aiding the dry application the product requires. On this occasion that would help detail on the vehicle fully resolve itself so that everything lined up. Needless to say, the print is laminated with MDC’s Matching MetaGuard Laminate.
The white detailing in the design was applied after the wrap grounding and is cut from white Metamark M7. Cut graphics applied to printed wrap materials gives the finished result a nuance that print alone can’t easily achieve and that would be particularly amplified by the flowing black stripes in the design.
The Elite Signs team turned to Metamark MM-CC in Matt Black for the all important stripes. The stripes too were cut and subsequently applied and were subject to a few remove-improve-apply iterations before the team was satisfied that ‘flow’ had been achieved despite the vehicle’s creases fighting every inch of the way. The applied stripes reinforce the nuance of the applied white graphic elements and present a matt-to-gloss contrast that surprisingly ‘pops’ out of the coloured fields. The matt effect ‘moves’ dependent upon the observer’s view point, further amplifying the desired flow in an almost animated sense.
Whether you stand back and drink in the whole thing, or take a close-up look at the vehicle doesn’t matter. Elite Signs and Graphics’ work invites the closest scrutiny and passes with all those seamlessly graduated flying and flowing colours. It’s just brilliant.
Finla wanted its wrapped vehicle to confer credibility on its brand, its product and the company itself when it was stationed outside its customers’ premises. We think that Elite’s work has achieved that and much more besides. Being a VW van, the bar is quite high in terms of winning eyes as there’s a lot of vans wearing a lot of good looking vinyl out there. This work though, is right up there and distinctive among the best of them. It’s technically accomplished, brilliant in its design, and despite the challenges of actually getting hands on the vehicle, it’s out there now and working hard.
Go to the top of the class, Elite Signs and Graphics.