Back in September, we were contacted by INFINITI Global to design a vehicle wrap for their new INFINITI QX80, which competed in the 2020 Rebelle Rally in mid-October. Let's take a look at the design process that went into creating the artwork for the custom wrap—and the big surprise our Creative Director, Torrence, didn't see coming!
The Rebelle Rally launched in October of 2016. This year marks their 5th running of the race.
The Rebelle Rally is the first women's off-road navigation rally raid in the United States, which extends over eight days across the Nevada and California desert. The best part about this rally is that you don't need to be a professional driver to sign up. All you need is a 4×4 or crossover vehicle, and the dedication to get to the finish line with your teammate by using simple navigation tools like a compass, map, or plotter. (Of course, the event provides drivers with proper equipment and off-road training classes before the competition begins.)
The Rebelle teams were not allowed to use any device that could help them navigate or communicate in real-time—meaning no cell phones! (With no cell phones, it's like two competitions in one. Whew, these ladies have great willpower and dedication!) Photo Credit: Rebelle Rally
So, why would INFINITI want to be a part of this demanding race? The decision started with the concept that luxury and adventure aren't mutually exclusive. INFINITI wanted to prove that those two things are the ideal pair. The INFINITI QX80 is a capable off-road, three-row SUV, and the flagship of the range. Its luxury interior and look belies its rugged roots—powered by a stout V-8 and impressive, available All-Mode® 4WD system.
If you like the look of the new 2021 INFINITI QX80, then we recommend visiting one of your local Nissan dealerships and take a test drive!
"The Rebelle Rally is a demanding navigational challenge that traverses the West, from Tahoe to near the U.S.-Mexico border, and the perfect opportunity for INFINITI to put our flagship QX80 to the test," says INFINITI Global's Editor-in-Chief, Aaron Cole.
The INFINITI Global team in Japan acknowledged the successful projects that we've completed in the past for Nissan, and they referred Aaron to our company—knowing we were capable of bringing their vehicle wrap concept to life! It didn't take us long to decide (really, none at all!) that our creative director Torrence was the best person to lead this project.
"It was my first time working with Torrence, but he fit in seamlessly with the team," says Aaron.
Torrence has been apart of the 12-Point SignWorks team for 5+ years. His experience in the vehicle wrap and graphic design industry extends over 20+ years working with publishing companies, design firms, and the Alabama state newspaper, The Montgomery Advertiser.
Although Torrence has done endless wrap designs for our customers over the years (we lost count!), there are always new puzzles to solve. Let’s take a look at how our talented creative director overcame two challenges for this project.
The first challenge tested Torrence's time management and focal abilities as a graphic designer. The luxury brand needed the design completed in a week's time—enough time for the installation team in California to install the vehicle wrap before the race!
"I knew I needed to work some magic, overnight!" says Torrence. As he geared up for the long nights ahead, he worked intensively with Aaron and the INFINITI Global team in Japan to overcome the second challenge—continuous patterns in the first sketch of the wrap design created by the INFINITI Global team.
The sketch consisted of a continuous pattern of straight lines that extend from the side panel to the rear and bumper. However, vehicle wrap designers and installers try to avoid those design elements. Why?
During the installation process, installers have to stretch the custom-designed and printed vinyl material around the contours of the vehicle’s body. As the material stretches, the continuous pattern and straight lines are difficult to keep aligned as the stretching may distort the pattern.
Shown above is the first concept sketch of the QX80 wrap to be featured in the 2020 Rebelle Rally. Most designs look great on paper, but applying a 2-dimensional design to a 3-dimensional object can yield unexpected results.
To solve this problem, Torrence sketched a new layout focusing the design on the bumper and rear. The INFINITI Global team and Torrence agreed to remove the lines from the front fender and reverse the angle of the lines on the bumper panel. Check out the revised design below!
Although the continuous straight line pattern is no longer extending from the front to the back bumper, the design flow is just as eye-catching! We love how the red color of the vehicle blends into the dark grey pattern—creating an ombre effect while still highlighting the luxury brand and the amazing women behind the wheel. #QXPloration Of course, we weren't going to let the front be without WOW! The new layout still included the Infiniti logo on the hood.
After the approval of the new concept from INFINITI Global, the artwork was ready to come to life from the hands of top-notch installers in California. Take a look at these AWESOME photos of the newly wrapped and Rebelle ready QX80!
“Between decision-makers in Japan, installers in California, and Torrence in Tennessee, we all fit together thanks to Torrence’s patience and understanding. He helped us mold our concept into a feasible plan, communicated with our installers in California, and delivered camera-ready art on time, all the time,” Aaron explained.
Although the adventurous women (also known as Team Wander Women) didn't come in first place in the Rebelle Rally, they finished among the top 10 for first-time competitors and completed the rally in its entirety!
Congratulations to Alice Chase & Nicole Wakelin of Team Wander Women for finishing the race, and being an inspiration to women all over the country! Photo Credit: Rebelle Rally
Team Wander Women weren't the only people celebrating an accomplishment at the finish line. A few days after the race, our creative director received a message from Aaron with some unexpected news.
A fan of the QX80 QXploration design in Japan reached out to INFINITI Global to showcase the livery of the replicated design in the popular racing simulation game Gran Turismo. (The video game allows gamers to customize their own vehicles.)
“Wow! How cool is that!? I remember playing Gran Turismo, with my buddies, during the college years. I never had these options to customize a vehicle. I’ve got to dust off the Nintendo and see what’s new! Am I showing my age?” Torrence jokingly says.
Since the QX80 isn't featured in Gran Turismo, the admiring fan applied the design around an INFINITI concept vehicle in the game. To our surprise, he did an amazing job of replicating Torrence's design and highlighting The Wander Women and their team number on the customized Gran Turismo vehicle!
"The Rebelle Rally is truly a global event, but considering the time difference and unique nature of the challenge, it's doubly impressive that a fan from Japan wanted to show off his QXploration based on Torrence’s final design. It was sincere flattery and a testament to his good work," Aaron stated.
We couldn't be more proud of Torrence and his commitment to go above and beyond to create a striking and Rebelle ready design for the luxury and adventurous brand!
Are you looking for an eye-catching vehicle wrap for your company's vehicle or fleet that attracts clients everywhere and anywhere you or your staff go? Then what are you waiting for?!
Call us today at 615-595-6564 or click the link below to help you design, fabricate, and install the vehicle wrap you've been dreaming about!
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