If we've said it once, we've said it a million times: watching YouTube videos does not make you a vehicle wrap expert! That is a frustrating and expensive illusion to have, my friends. For those of you looking to learn how to apply vinyl, some of the best training you can get (other than regular hands-on practice) comes directly from the vendors of wrap film and vinyl.
There's a lot of skill involved in wrapping cars. You have to learn the feel of it through lots of practice.
Our own wrap installers are Avery Dennison certified wrap installers, but 3M, Hexis, Oracal, Arlon and others also offer training courses. The types of things you learn from these classes can drastically improve your ability to do a quality job on a vehicle wrap.
The schedules for training certification courses can be found on each vendor's website:
You can also search for training courses hosted at different sign and wrap installation companies in your area. Some retailers will provide training courses and then give discounts to people with their specific certifications. Those looking for 3M certification training, for example, can look to places like Geek Wraps University in Florida and then get 20% off of their products. Fellers has a similar program.
Justin Pate is a wrap installer who is globally recognized as both an installer and teacher. He is is a partner with both Avery Dennison and 3M, and he travels the world teaching people how to improve their wrap techniques through a program called "The Wrap Institute." Our installers have taken several courses from Justin and say that they learn something new every time. Check out his training schedule on his website or at any conference featuring 3M or Avery Dennison materials.
Mike and Harry are working as a team to wrap this bus for ABLE Youth of Nashville. Mike has several wrap certifications and years in the wrap industry under his belt and has trained Harry to wrap like a pro.
Even if you or your installers are already certified in one of the wrap institutes, it's definitely worth it to continue to take courses and continue your education. Wrap training courses are a great way to stay up to date on the latest innovations in techniques, materials, and tools.
In addition to learning the basics of properly laying and and applying vinyl, you learn pretty much anything else you'd need to know. There are specific courses for super specific details like wrapping car antennae, how to navigate door handles, or even how to cut your panels so you get the best and most efficient wraps. Wrap instructors will also have great advice about which tools and materials will work best for the specific type of application you're working on. Students will learn the best practices of the instructor so the caliber of the instructor can be factor that helps you decide which course to take. The best part about taking training courses? You get valuable practice. Say you want to learn how to do a chrome wrap but don't want to spend a lot of money on time and materials to learn through trial and error, you can always find a group that is training on the latest trends in materials including chrome and carbon fiber wraps.
There are also courses you can take on graphic design for wraps if you're more interested in the design aspect than application techniques. Avery offers courses taught by Stephen Sinek, an award winning designer, in conjunction with their wrap certification classes taught by Justin Pate. Knowing how to properly design, scale, and layout wrap designs can really help make it easier to apply your printed graphics.
Whatever your experience—from greenie to veteran—it never hurts to meet with people in the industry and talk about the latest tips and trends. What are you most interested in learning more about? Leave a comment below!
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