By Megan Kranzler
Based in Vaughan, Ont., vWrapz is known for digitally printing and installing large-format, full-colour vinyl advertising wraps on vehicles, including cars, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), minivans and buses for clients like Crate & Barrel in Toronto and Vancouver, the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) and Escarpment Pet Retreat in Burlington, Ont., as well as for suppliers, sign shops and advertising agencies as far away as California. The company’s president, Charlie Halpin, has more than 25 years’ experience in marketing, creative design and graphic installation.
In addition to commercial wraps, however, vWrapz has developed expertise in customizing and installing solid-colour personal-vehicle wraps, using a wide range of matte, metallic, carbon fibre and brushed-steel films. The company’s qualified trainers have even been hired to teach courses in Toronto, Montreal and Halifax in the art of installing these films, primarily on luxury vehicles.
“We started out supplying printed wraps to corporate users,” Halpin explains. “The personal wrap market just came along and we embraced it.”
While the majority of clients for digitally printed wraps are businesses that want to turn their vehicles into moving billboards and promote their branded design elements, logos and contact information, solid-colour wraps are often intended for personal use. Rather than advertise or help generate income, their purpose is simply to change a car’s appearance, without the cost and time needed for a paint job.
“Restyled vehicles are becoming more popular and customers who don’t want to spend money on a high-end paint job can look toward vinyl to get the same result,” says Josh Culverhouse, senior product support specialist for film manufacturer Oracal. “The more customized you can make your car, these days, the better. With the wide variety of matte finish, metallic and textured colours available, it’s easy to see why restyling enthusiasts are excited.”
For its part, vWrapz has specialized in matte vinyl, wrapping a Chevrolet Camaro SS and a Hummer H2 in black, a Cadillac Escalade in white and a BMW X6 in black and pink, to name a few examples.
“Matte black is popular,” says Halpin. “Chrome, on the other hand, is garish—and potentially litigious. We do not want to be responsible for any accidents due to someone being blinded at night by a wrap! So, we will not install chrome wraps.”