Two Color Wrap - Application Ideas?

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I have a job to put graphics on 3 Astro vans.


Here is a sketch I made based on the clients ideas. There will be more added such as a phone number and a URL. On the back of the van will be a list of what they do (home theater/automation).

I have not done a job this size but my idea is to cut the large logo in 4 peices in each color.


Each Green outline shows each a section of vinyl. The design will fit within 24" rolls.

I have a few ideas...

#1 - Cut the larger black (solid not outlines) shapes and apply them wet, then apply the red shapes on top wet.

#2 - Cut the red shapes and apply them wet. Then apply the black outlines, cut in parts with transfer tape, dry or wet.

#4 - Cut the large black shapes then the red shapes. Weed both colors then use transfer tape on the red and apply to the black when still on the backer. Apply this two-color graphic to the van wet.

#5 - Better ideas?

Any thoughts? There are pro's and con's to each but I have never done a large install like this in two colors. The only critical allignment is where the two peices come together, or rather 4 if you count each color on the left side of the large logo. The other sections of the logo are seperate so the allignment will not be as critical.

The vinyl is Oracal 751 on 24" rolls. The template for the van if anyone wants to know came from BadWraps.com and allows you to slide your graphics underneith the highlights and shadows of the van and already has a mask cut in the layered Photoshop .TIF file to make desinging easy. The cutter is a USCutter SC 50". I will make the sections of the vinyl designs in Illustrator before sending to SignCut Pro.



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If it were me I would apply it in 2 separate layers. The solid black wet no mask. Give it PLENTY of time to dry and since I am a window tinter by trade I have the proper hard large squeegees I would need... I would then apply the red layer....

On the left side of the design make sure you give yourself plenty of room for the overlap on both layers but I would alternate the long side and short side for the over lap from the red to black layer...

I would soak the van and the vinyl with app fluid have the van marked out with masking tape so you have a good solid outer edge so lining everything up is a breeze. Before you try and apply the red layer make sure the black layer is dried this will make life easy.... Also make sure you have at least 1 extra set of hands available.

Again this is just the way I would do it as I am used to tinting glass so I am used to working with large pieces of film. Everyone has to find a way they are comfortable with. As long as it looks good in the end there is no real wrong way to do it.. Some may be more work or take longer but until you have alot of practice you have to do what you feel you are most comfortable with.

As an added note with something that large I would get yourself an Orange Crush Squeegee and handle. It will allow you get the water out from between the film and van... Put a scrap piece up there to practice on you want to push hard but not hard enough to scratch or tear the film... Also you will need to have a heat gun you may have to heat the film to get it to seat probably in the body lines or channels and along the contour....

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Thank you Dr12volt1338. I was thinking this way might be the best for me too thats why I listed it first.

Do you happen to have a link to the hard squeegess you speak of? I have a 6" wide blue one which is essentially the same as the normal 4" ones people use for vinyl.

At least with having 3 vans to do I can work on one and then move onto the next without rushing it.

I am curious to any suggestions though if there are other thoughts.

thanks again


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This is an update to the project. I thought it might be helpful for people to learn from it.

Almost done...


One of the vans I wrapped. The door logo is smaller than the original sketch and I think looks better. The graphics were done as described earlier in the post by putting the large sections of the logo on in pieces via a wet application.


Three vans parked out front with me. Two of the vans on the left had a side window I covered with white vinyl first. The right truck is the cargo version with no windows on the side.


This is what the vans used to look like. Granted you can tell what they do with the old design but the new design was more about branding.

On the back of the van, not shown, had more text to tell what they do.

By the time got to the 3rd van, I was able to get the whole van done in less than 4 hours with one helper including cleaning up the van before and the space after and stopping for lunch. The 2nd van took us 7 hours in comparison.

Timelaps on YouTube



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Thanks for posting the process and timelapse video. they turned out great.

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Those vans look great man. Did you leave any overlap at the seams to allow for shrinkage? Also badwraps.com is for sale and not an operational site. I found thebadwrap.com though. Is that where you got the template?

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Those vans look great man. Did you leave any overlap at the seams to allow for shrinkage?

Yes there is one overlap for each color on the lower left of each large logo. I offset them for each color so the red seam does not show up on the black seam. There is a little more than 1/2" of overlap for each color.

Also badwraps.com is for sale and not an operational site. I found thebadwrap.com though. Is that where you got the template?

Yes sorry www.thebadwrap.com is where I got the photoshop template (raster) illustrations used in the first post. They are nice because it keeps the shadows and the highlights on a layer above the graphic and automatically hides the artwork at the edge of the vehical. I am pretty good with Photoshop so I could do this myself but this was much quicker.

Also I found some vector templates on www.the-blueprints.com that I used to scale the vector artwork and figure out the cuts and what size I needed to make the graphic to make it fit on a 24" roll. These I didn't show the client but I used them myself for layout and also to measure when I applied the graphics on the van. The scale of these was 1:25 but I resized them in Illustrator to 1:10 by enlarging them 250%. This was easier to work with in illustrator and also made it easier to cut on the vinyl cutter because I could just move the decimal place over by one after the graphics were in the cutter.

I also "cut" the templates first by using the ball point pen tip on my cutter on a 24" roll of butcher paper first to test all my cuts and tracking and make sure I could cut these before I tried it on expensive vinyl. It was a lot of trial and error because I was getting weird errors if I tried cutting without the weeding lines turned on. I eventually scaled them smaller and left the weeding lines turned on. I also ended up nesting two shapes in each color together and cutting that at once. When I tried nesting all 4 shapes together I could use less material but it meant I would ruin them if the tracking got too far off. So I split the difference and went with 2 shapes per cut.

So the files I cut on the machine were the following...

- Drivers Side Black, part 1 & part 2

- Drivers Side Red, part 1 & part 2

- Passenger Side Black, part 1 & part 2

- Passenger Side Red, part 1 & part 2

...which accounted for 8 seperate files for each van with 16 pieces to apply. I was able to nest the URL and phone number in some of the negative space to maximize the usage of the vinyl.

The door logos were cut seperately and the black all at once to keep registration. I used the wet method for the logo section, with transfer tape, and dry with transfer tape for the letters. I then just eyeballed the red section of the logo and applied that wet too. For me I was getting the best results that way although I tried the doors all dry too.

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