NOW THERE’S AN IDEA – AN MDX AND MDC PARTNERSHIP
There is some debate in the sign and allied industries as to who produced the world’s first vehicle wrap. While there were a few headline grabbing commercial wraps that could lay claim to the honour, it seems likely that earlier pioneers were wrapping bits of vehicles long before spectacular buses and the like took to the road.
What is also very likely is that the earliest pioneers of wrapping probably took a few arrows in the back for their trouble. Materials capable of tolerating the punishment that wrapping deals out didn't come along until a forgotten industry practitioner somewhere established a real demand for wraps.
A long time before we all became familiar, for good reasons and otherwise, with the term ‘viral,’ wrapping underwent what we would've, back then, characterised as an explosion. Opinion leaders, influences, pioneers - call them what you will, put wrapping on the application map, and it was widely copied. Wrapping today is among the most popular of all the techniques used to produce commercial vehicle liveries.
Having great ideas that are likely to be copied is where our story starts.
Eyecatching Signs, is based in Richmond - that’s the one in Yorkshire by the way. The team there comprises some of the country’s most experienced and creative hands when it comes to wrapping. That was recognised recently, when one of the works to roll out of the company’s workshop, won the hotly-contested Vehicle Graphics Of The Year Category in The British Sign Awards.
The winning wrap was a technically accomplished work that looked great and that exemplifies the potency of wraps as an advertising or livery medium. It turns out that this wrap was by no means the only one that's worth a second look and that comes from Eyecatching Signs.
The team at Eyecatching Signs really went to town when the company was approached by owner of a local business selling premium coffee and chocolate. The business is called Mocha and its owner wanted it elevated to a status beyond ‘well-known.’ Not exactly backward at coming forward, a celebrity-calibre wrap was commissioned to help with the task.
What the Eyecatching Signs team cam up with is remarkable. It’s a wrap, but perhaps the most conspicuous element adorning the vehicle, is a fabricated chocolate bar, removably fixed to the roof. That’s not exactly something that’s available in the shops, and so the Eyecatching Signs team made it from scratch - and a liberal quantity of expanding foam. The effect is helped along with paint, tinfoil and bit of gold vinyl. Does its job we’d say.
The body of the vehicle is adorned with super-quality digital print wrap that positively invites a closer look. Closer examination reveals what appears to be printed chocolate bar, but a touch confirms what disbelieving eyes have been shouting about. There’s a physical, 3D effect going on in the detail comprising the chocolate. Repeat - 3D effect, going on in the chocolate.
We just had to find out more.
Steven Smith was happy to disclose how he and his team achieve the effect. The physical elements depicting the textural aspects of the chocolate, were cut from MetaWrap MD-X with its matching MetaWrap Laminate in situ. The geometry was then weeded, and the pre-spaced elements were applied to the vehicle. MD-X is obligingly conformable, even when laminated, so that part of the job progressed well.
The next step in the process required both imagination and technique. Printed MetaCast MDC again covered with its matching MetaGuard MDC Laminate was then applied over the top of the MD-X elements on the vehicle, with the printed detail in register. Now, that takes some doing.
The printed MD-C is a premium quality next generation cast wrapping film and it was coerced in around all of the textural detail already on the vehicle. The finished effect then, comprises print and three-dimensional under-detail in register. The effect puts up a performance, that print alone could never accomplish. It looks sensational. And it does its job.
The finished vehicle takes to the streets regularly and its owner hands out sample of his wares. The vehicle is an instant celebrity and arguably one of the most inventive wraps on the roads. It doesn’t just advertise the business it sets out to promote, it says great things about Eyecatching Signs too.
Returning to the whole notion of innovation and application growth. Someone who has a vehicle and a business to promote is going to intersect with the Mocha vehicle at some point in its career on the road. That person will see the effect and will want it himself. Extrapolate that forward and you have growth in the market.
Are dimensional wraps likely to become ‘a thing?’ We’d argue that it’s very likely. We thank you, Eyecatching Sign - whether you’re he first or not.