By Daryl Hanson, Regional Supply
If you haven’t come across it yet, you likely will soon. Sweeping across the sign industry like a tidal wave comes the relentless march of the vehicle restyling films.
That may be a bit much in the hyperbole department, but there is little question that these films are making a pronounced impact. All of the major manufacturers, from 3M to Oracal to Avery, have all introduced products designed to meet this fast-growing segment of the market and while these films are not strictly intended to replace the traditional printable vehicle wrap films and laminates, they do provide an intriguing alternative and deliver some unique looks.
All three manufacturers have designed their film to be a quick and easy way of re-styling the look of vehicles and all three feature gloss, metallic, carbon fiber and brushed look films, though the tints differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Several of them feature a version of an air egress liner, so bubble-free installation is virtually assured as is easy coverage with a 60” width for almost all the materials. As with all air release products, usage of an liquid application fluid is unnecessary and not at all recommended. Like all self-adhesive products, surface preparation is key and the author highly recommends the usage of Rapid Prep for cured paint and a fully dry surface, as well as a temperature at minimum of 50 degrees Fahrenheit (minimum 70 is preferred) prior to installation.
While the films themselves are similar from vendor to vendor, there are some unique offerings from each. 3M, with their 1080 series, also carries a full line of matte colors. Oracal offers matte colors, but with the 975 series, further features a gamut of textured films, including several new 3D dimensional films unique to them, including cocoon, crocodile, dune, emulsion and honeycomb. While not strictly a restyling film, Oracal also offers a Rapid Air version of their Engineer grade reflective film (5650RA), suitable for vehicle applications. Avery, meanwhile, has introduced a Conform series, also unique to them, which is the only chrome look (silver, gold and blue) product on the market.
The nature of this product is such that the applications do not stop at vehicle applications, though that is by far the most prevalent usage. Items such as cell phone cases, laptops, door panels, coffee makers, microwaves, refrigerator doors, vending machines, even large format printers, have all been treated to a fresh new look with this film. With the ultra-highly conformable nature of this product, the applications can be very considerable.
At Regional Supply, we are committed to continue our industry-leading service by providing a wide range of these bold and exciting new films from all three manufacturers. With new variations being released all the time by these vendors, we may not have everything on the shelf, but if we don’t, we can get it. With in-stock product availability by the linear foot, it has never been easier or less expensive to get your feet wet with these products. If you are already familiar, we also feature an array of installation tools, including Rapid Prep.
I invite you to take the opportunity, if you haven’t already, to check our website at www.regionalsupply.com for availability on this and any of our other lines of fine products, pricing (if you register for an account) and more information.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, please ring us here. We’re always happy to help!
4517 West 1730 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104
7820 King Street, Unit 4
Anchorage, AK 99518