How Vinyl Wrapping Transformed Our Isuzu NPS

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Ever since we bought our truck, we’ve wanted to add some signage.  After all, it’s a pretty effective mobile billboard! So we had an idea to add some vinyl wrapping.

So Many Choices…

While the truck and Wedgetail Camper already stand out, we thought a splash of colour down the sides and on the back would look pretty good. Something simple, yet distinctive.

The big white dual cab is a signwriter’s dream – large flat surfaces and a white background. So what to do? Well, the choices are endless.

Truck cab before Vinyl Wrapping.
Truck cab before vinyl wrapping. There’s plenty of real estate to add something good.
Wedgetail Camper before Vinyl Wrapping.
And for all those poor buggers who get caught behind us, the space under the Wedgetail graphic is perfect1!

After a lot of thinking, we decided to keep it simple. A combination of our logo, website header image (the one you see at the top of this page!) and our web address.

Talking To The Experts

We chose Excite Signs in Penrith, Sydney to do this work. Why them? Quite simply, I’ve seen their work before. And it’s first class.

Excite Signs do Vinyl Wrapping.
There are always vehicles lined up at the door, waiting to go in.

You see, Excite Signs do vinyl wrapping for Trans Vent Racing (and dozens of other businesses). Trans Vent own a cross-country racing Triton and a trophy truck, both purpose-built for racing. I’ve known the owners for several years and have been on their service crews from time to time.

Trans Vent Triton at the finish line. Vinyl Wrapping.
Trans Vent Triton crossing the Finish line at the 2016 Classic Outback Trial in Alice Springs. The entire vehicle is vinyl wrapped. Warren’s the driver and Arron’s the navigator.

After a quick chat with Warren at Trans Vent, he recommended I speak to Kyle. So it was time to jump in the truck and pay Kyle at Excite Signs a visit.

A Blank Canvas

Kyle had plenty of good ideas. Of course, the truck wrap designs were limited only by our budget! Simple designs down both sides of the cab and a matching banner across the back of the Wedgetail Camper were the order of the day.

I emailed Kyle our logo and the background image we wanted them to use. He took a couple of photos of the truck, then I left him to it.

They played around with the design. Then they photoshopped a couple of options onto the photos Kyle had taken of our truck. This is a fantastic way to figure out what looks good. Once we agreed on a design and they had given us a quote, we booked the truck in.

The Wrap

The actual application of the vinyl wrap onto the truck and camper took just on three hours. With Vaughan and Kyle working away solidly, it all happened pretty quickly.

First they print out the graphics then cut them to size. Then they wash the surfaces on which the wrap will be applied, to remove any grit and oil.

Using a heat gun, they blend in the vinyl wrap over any ridges and bumps. Of course, Vaughan and Kyle make it look easy – if I’d attempted this, it would have ended up as a twisted, lumpy mess!

The end result? Awesome!

The cab after Vinyl Wrapping.
That’s more like it!
Wedgetail Camper after Vinyl Wrapping.
We’ll have to be on our best behaviour now… everyone will know who we are.

Looking After Vinyl Wrapping

So how do you look after your vinyl wrap and keep it looking good? This is a whole subject on its own. So we’ll answer these questions and more another time.

Suffice to say, it’s pretty simple to keep clean.

Where It All Started

So what else can Excite Signs do? In short, plenty!

I had a yarn to Mark, who owns Excite Signs. They have a small staff – Mark and his wife (who works part time), Kyle, Vaughan and Craig. Mark started the business 30 years ago in 1987, as a signwriting business.

A few years ago, they decided to specialise in signwriting vehicles as a way to stand out from the crowd. Shop front work was getting too competitive. Mark’s interest in anything with an engine meant he already had a background in pin-striping on trucks and other vehicles.

Trans Vent Racing's trophy truck with Vinyl Wrapping.
Again, this Trans Vent Micklefab trophy truck is vinyl wrapped by Excite Signs. Driver Mike and navigator Ross at Mildura. R.I.P. Ross, you’ll be missed.

They still do the traditional shop front work. You see, the car work leads to other opportunities. For example, a business might get Excite Signs to vinyl wrap their fleet of cars, then get them to do wall signage, graphics on walls and so on at the company premises.

Mark explained they provide a full service. Say a company wants a new sign out near the road. Excite Signs will supply the complete package – signage, sign, mounting frame and post for the sign. They use local fabricators to do the steelwork.

But Mark’s passion is trucks, race cars, boats, race boats, custom motor cycles… all the toys! Anything from pinstriping to full truck wraps… and everything in between.

This video shows the Trans Vent trophy truck in all its glory, vinyl wrapped by Excite Signs. And yes, there is a piece missing from the rear guard flare!

Keeping Up With The Times

Technology is always evolving in every industry and of course, signwriting is no exception. Digital printing, digital colour and vinyl wrapping (adhesive graphics) have all emerged in recent years. So Mark has geared up to do all of this in-house, including graphic design. It’s a significant investment, but vital to maintaining a competitive edge.

It’s obviously working. On average for the last 10 years, they’re booked up with work at least a month ahead.

A Step Back To The Past

Mark was saying they have done some work on restored vehicles, for example a restored fire truck was sign-written a while ago. They love this work, it gives them a chance to break out traditional signwriting skills.

They research the period the vehicle is from and try to emulate how the vehicle would have looked back in the day. Most of this work is done by hand, using skills such as pin-striping, hand-lettering and signwriting.

Something Different

Mark and his team have the skills to come up with something different. Their graphic design skills mean they can offer their customers a range of options within a given budget.

Excite Signs are a dynamic business, professional and a pleasure to deal with.

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Any errors or omissions are mine alone.

Note: We are not affiliated with Excite Signs in any way. This is an honest reflection of our experiences with this company.


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