Vehicle Graphics Jargon Translator

Feel like Vehicle Wraps and Graphics People Speak Their Own Language?

Well... for better or worse, it's kinda true.  But understanding some of the industry jargon can be the difference between a great wrap and a disappointing one.  

We believe informed buyers are smart buyers. We don't want you to get lost in the lingo. Our jargon translator will get you in the know and on track to a great wrap.

 

Vinyl Wrap

Vinyl wrap is the best way to advertising your company on the road. The vinyl has adhesive on one side, and customized print graphics on the other that fit your company's brand. The vehicle wrap allows you to advertise while you're on the road, making it great for companies that have fleets or spend a lot of time traveling.

Cast Vinyl

Cast vinyl is a very thin and premium vinyl designed to conform to curved surfaces and hold that shape. Cast vinyl is ideal for the contoured surfaces of vehicles. Cast vinyl offers longevity and quality outdoor performance. Learn more about the big difference cast vinyl can make for your vehicle graphics.

Calendered Vinyl

Calendered vinyl, commonly used in sign making, is created for application to flat surfaces. Calendered vinyl is best limited to short term promotional graphics when used on vehicles.  This vinyl is great for advertising on city buses or vehicles where the graphic will be switched out fairly frequently.

Printable Vinyl

Printable vinyl is white (non-colored) vinyl designed for use on digital wide format printers. Printable vinyls allow you to create any imaginable design and to customize your graphics using your specific images, colors, logo, fonts and effects. 

Non-Printable Vinyl

This vinyl is designed and manufactured to not need printing. The color pigments are manufactured right into the vinyl creating a consistent solid color.  There is a lot of innovation in this area.  Every year the top vinyl manufacturer come out with new colors or variations with amazing affects including mirrored chrome, matte finishes, color changing, neon colors, textured and sparkle finishes - just to name a few.  

Cut Vinyl

The "cut" part of "cut vinyl" refers to die or precision cutting around shapes and contours to create a shaped decal or lettering.  Vinyl is cut from either a solid color vinyl or a multi-colored print on vinyl using a high speed computer directed precision cutter.  Follow this link to learn more about how cut vinyl can save you money on your fleet graphics project.

Solvent Printing

Solvent printing, a printing process (used in the vehicle graphics industry in the past and still in use by some vehicle graphics printers today) uses solvent based inks to print on vinyl. The solvent evaporates, leaving the ink behind to produce the print. These vapors are regulated in the US by the OSHA.  Fortunately there are now environmentally friendly, super high quality, wide format printing options today (see Latex printing below).  Read more about the risks and concerns associated with the use of solvent printing for vehicle graphics.

Latex Printing

Latex printing is designed for high quality, flexible graphics to be applied to a wide range of products. Riveting Wraps uses a state of the art HP Latex wide format printer for vehicle graphics.  Latex printing does not produce hazordous vapors associated solvent printing. In addition to being environmentally friendly, latex printing produces crisper colors than solvent printing.

Self-Adhesive Vinyl

Self-adhesive vinyl has one side that graphics are applied to, and is backed with a strong adhesive, allowing us to apply it to your vehicle.

Air Release Channels

Premium vehicle wrap vinyls have air release channels built into the adhesive backing that let air escape from under the vinyl as it is applied on vehicles. Learn more about how air release channels in premium wrap vinyls prevent problems that can shorten the life or your vehicle graphics.

Temporary Adhesive

Not all vehicle wraps are intended for long term use. The promotional graphics you see on city buses are a great example of temporary graphics. They need to look good while they are on the bus, but generally are designed to be switched out fairly frequently. In these cases, we use the vinyl specified by the transit organization with an adhesive backing formulated for short term use.

10-year Vehicle Wrap Vinyl

When you first talk with vehicle wrap companies they will often throw around the term 10-year vehicle wrap vinyl.  Be aware that this does not necessarily mean your graphics will be warrantied for 10 years.  While your graphics may very well look great for 10 years, this is far beyond the shorter 4 year warranty (or less in some geographic areas) provided by the best company in the business 3M.  This is an area you will want to dig into the details to understand the specific vinyl they will be using or the coverage they provide on their warranty.

3M

3M is a top US Fortune 500 company with a wide spectrum of innovative products.  Their investment in R&D, testing and production facilities make them the best in class in vehicle wrap vinyls. 3M materials are high quality products that always print beautifully and will adhere cleanly to your vehicle and importantly, remove cleanly from your vehicle. We love using 3M vinyls because of their superior quality compared to most other vehicle vinyl.

Look for IJ180-CV3 vinyl by name from your vehicle wrap company when looking for a high quality long term vehicle wrap vinyl. (Now that's some serious, but important, jargon to pay attention to!)

Avery

Like 3M, Avery Dennison is another large company specializing in adhesives and vinyl manufacturing.  Also like 3M they offer premium cast vehicle wrap vinyl for vehicle wraps and graphics. Look for Avery Supercast vinyl by name from your vehicle wrap company when looking for a high quality long term vinyl. 

Wrap Kits (Or Kitting)

Kitting is a term used to describe the process of assembling an entire vehicle wrap package for shipment to a remote location for installation - although quality production practices also rely on kitting for internal use as well. Quality kitting shows that you treat installers with respect and attracts superior talent to your projects.  While you may never see a wrap kit, it is important to understand how it impacts the quality of your wraps.

Partial Wrap

Partial wraps are perfect in situations where covering your full vehicle in graphics would be difficult or expensive, but you still want to get your contact information and company name on the vehicle. We have a few systems set up to help you optimize you partial wrap, so if you’re interested, ask us about it!

Full Wrap

A full vinyl wrap is a custom design graphic that covers the entire surface of your vehicle. Like paint, in can actually change the color and appearance of your car, truck or van. It turns your car into a mobile advertisement!  Is a full vinyl wrap the right choice for your business vehicle(s)?  Find out more here.

Vector File

Vector files are typically created and edited in Adobe Illustrator. These image files are easy to scale up and maintain their quality throughout. Using this type of file prevents your design from getting pixelated when we make it the size of your vehicle!

Color Management

Color management is making sure the colors you have on your logo, image, or design will match the way they are printed in our studio. We use CMYK and pantone colors to make sure that we are consistent with what you see and what gets applied to your vehicle.

CMYK

CMYK are the four colors used in a printing process.  CYMK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). These four colors are used in combination to create any printed color on the color spectrum.

Pantone

Pantone colors are colors blended using CMYK that is designed to make sure various people are all viewing the same color. Therefore, the color you see on your currently wrapped vehicles will be the same as the color on future vehicles. It’s designed to break down a large range of color to a still broad, but more narrow group to allow designs to collaborate on color.

Stock Images

Stock images are professional images that you can purchase for commercial use from stock image companies.  Discover the pros and cons of using stock images for vehicle wraps here.

Laminate

Lamination involves applying a clear vinyl (laminate) to the graphic side of the printed vinyl. Laminate is used to protect the ink on the vinyl from scratches, keep it clean, and prevent UV rays from fading the image. Find out why laminate is essential for long term wraps and graphics.

Proper Adhesion

Although just about all vinyls will adhere to a vehicle, this does not mean they are the correct vinyl to use. Make sure that the vinyl being used on your vehicle is intended for that purpose. You want to the vinyl to stay attached, but not be so bonded that it will be difficult (and messy) to remove. Additionally, make sure your car has been cleaned. Wrapping a dirty car will give you problems, as the vinyl may stick to the dirt instead of your car. Proper adhesion will help make your wrap last longer, and allow for an easier replacement wrap when the time comes.

Vinyl Memory

Vinyl tends to have memory. This means that once it has conformed to a shape, it prefers to stay in that shape. Most vinyls want to remain flat. When we apply it to vehicles, we use a heat gun (180°F!) to loosen up the vinyl, and mold it into new shapes. We then apply it to your vehicle, and as it cools off, the vinyl gains new memory of the shape of your vehicle to help it stay attached longer.

Vinyl Removal

If your vehicle already has vinyl on it, the old vinyl will need to be removed before we can put new vinyl on. The longer the vinyl has been on the vehicle, the harder it is to remove later. Find out the best time to remove vinyl your self and the best time to leave it to the professionals.

Adhesive Removal

Sometimes after removing all the vinyl from a vehicle, there is leftover adhesive that sticks to the vehicle. We take the time to remove this from the vehicle as well, as it would leave all kinds of bumps and bubbles if new vinyl was applied over the top of it.

Vehicle Hardware

Vehicle hardware is all the part of the car that aren’t wrapped. This includes  windshield wipers, windshield cleaners, plastic bumpers, emblems, etc.

Vehicle Emblems

The vehicle emblems are the small pieces usually on the tailgate of the vehicle that indicate the make or model of the vehicle. When performing a full wrap, these need to be removed. If reapplying the emblems will interfere with the graphic, we typically will not. If you are interested in re-application of emblems, make sure to reach out to us and let us know.

Knifeless Tape

Knifeless tape is a wire or filament embedded in a piece of tape.  This tape is applied to the vehicle surface under the vinyl and the filament is pulled to create a straight or curved clean cut through the vinyl.  The use of knifeless tape can protect the paint on your car from nicks or cuts during vinyl installation

Degreaser

This a cleaner we apply to vehicles before we install. As part of preparing the vehicle, we ask that it be cleaned, however, we have a few of our own steps before it’s clean enough for us to install. Essentially, the cleaner the better, since that will get a stronger and longer adhesion to the vehicle.

Liability/ Guarantees

Not all vehicle wrap companies offer a warranty. At Riveting Wraps, we want you to be more than satisfied with your wrap. That's why we have a guarentee to make sure that your wrap is produced with the correct vinyl and laminate, and installed correctly to ensure it will last.

Perforated Vinyl

More commonly known as window perf, it has the same adhesive qualities of standard vinyl, however it has small holes in it that allow you to see out. On the inside the windows will look slightly tinted, while on the outside everyone will see your design.

Window Perf

More commonly known as perforated vinyl, it has the same adhesive qualities of standard vinyl, however it has small holes in it that allow you to see out. On the inside the windows will look slightly tinted, while on the outside everyone will see your design.

Squeegee

A squeegee is a simple tool we use here to smoothly apply vinyl to your vehicle. It's plastic and has an edge that pushes the vinyl into the vehicle to help it adhere, while making sure that it all lays down flat.  It is mind blowing what can be done with this simple tool - learn more here.

Design Proof

A design proof is a visual representation of your vehicle graphics.  The proofing process comes after you have confirmed your order with us and we begin designing your graphic. You are in the driver seat. Your graphics are produced only after you approve your design proof. Look for these 5 things in your vehicle graphics design proof.

Panel Layout

We make sure to label all of our panels and make sure they are all included in the box before we ship off a kit. The panel layout process helps us ensure we aren’t missing any pieces and that each part will be easy to locate when it arrives on location.

Panel Alignment

Before installing the vinyl onto the vehicle, it’s important to make sure you have all the pieces and line up all graphic images or lines of text. We use magnets to hold each panel against the vehicle, and verify that all the parts are there before we apply the vinyl.

Vinyl Letters

These are typically created out of cut vinyl and are used for your phone number, email, address, or website to put on your vehicle. This is a great alternative if a full or partial wrap are too expensive but you still want to have key information on your vehicle.

Post Heating

Post heating is a process that involves reheating curvy areas and edges, like bumpers and door handles, to improve long term durability and help the vinyl hold its shape. Post heating allows the vinyl will to achieve better adhesion, as the memory will fit exactly to the shape of the vehicle surface.  Learn how to avoid companies that skip this important step.

Edge sealing

Making sure the vinyl is firmly sealed at the edges is essential in making sure the wrap stays on longer. If an edge comes up and is unattended, it can cause the rest of the panel to start peeling off. Edge sealing is most important in areas such as the wheel well, where the vinyl will be exposed to a lot of movement or dirt.

Clean Vehicle

A clean car, van or truck is one of the most important ingredients in a long lasting vehicle graphics.  It is essential to prevent dirt and debris coming between the vehicle surface and the vinyl graphic. Before you bring your vehicle in, remember to stop and get it washed. A dirty vehicle is a disaster for long term graphics.  Learn how to identifiy the companies that care more about the longevity of your wrap than taking short cuts to undercut competitors on price.

Certified Installer

We only work with the best installers. Therefore, we only use certified installers to make sure your vehicle wrap looks its best. Our in-house installer is certified, and if we need to outsource the installation to a different location, we look to partner with  other certified installers.

Complex Curves

All vehicles have a slightly different shape to them, which is why pricing varies from car to car. Part of this has to do with the shape of the vehicle. Applying vinyl to a flat surface is much easier than a curved surface. The more rounded the vehicle, the more difficult it is to apply the vinyl.

Rivets

The majority of box trucks have external panels held together with rivets. While the shape of the box truck is generally flat, a successful wrap takes into account the shape of the rivets as well. Make sure the vinyl proposed for your box truck graphics conforms to the shape of the rivets or your investment and brand presentation may quickly be compromised.  Learn more about materials for box trucks here.

Custom Wraps

Custom wraps are what we specialize in. Custom wraps are a great opportunity to use your company name and logo on an intriguing new advertising media, your vehicle!. We have a great team that will help you through the design and installation process. Let us help you turn your vehicle into mobile publicity for your business!

Color Change Wrap

These are instead of getting a new paint job for your vehicle. They are solely intended to change the color of your vehicle. This type of wrap will fill in all the little bits inside the door jamb where some color will be seen is covered up. This is not standard of us when we do most wraps because it’s more expensive to install and may not be necessary for your business. So if you’re interested in this make sure to let us know.

Commercial Wrap

Commercial wraps are what you see standard for just about all commercial vehicles on the road. You’d have no way of knowing it didn’t have the same elements as a color change wrap unless you looked at the door jamb of the car. There you’ll be able to see just a little bit of the car's original color. We do commercial wraps standard because they will save you a little bit of money while losing out on none of the value that you would with a color change wrap.

Gloss Finish

Gloss finish is the most popular finish for vinyl vehicle gaphics and wraps. The gloss finish is similar to th paint finish on almost all vehicles.  Gloss vinyl or a digital print with a gloss laminate will have a smooth, auto paint-like finish.  Compare and contrast gloss vs matte to make the right choice for your vehicle graphics.

Matte Finish

A matte finish has a very flat look to it. This vinyl will have a flat paint-like quality with none of the shiny light reflecting qualities of gloss vinyl. Compare and contrast gloss vs matte to make the right choice for your vehicle graphics.

Removeable

Sometimes you only need temporary vinyl. This usually used for promotional purposes that will only be on your vehicle for a short time. This vinyl is designed to be removed easily.

About Riveting Wraps

Our mission is to transform vehicles both visual and functionally. We provide high quality commercial vehicle wraps and graphics designed to grow your business.

Learn More


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