IN THE CLEAR
Using new materials to solve a unique problem
We are about halfway through a slew of trucks for Arizona State Parks, and I wanted to talk a little bit about how they keep each truck unique while maintaining a sense of uniformity. AZ State Parks REALLY wanted to add photos to the back end of the truck beds
to showcase the different areas of the Copper State, and things you
can do while exploring our park system. Sounds easy right? Well, they also wanted to try to fade each photo to white (like the original color of the truck!). We only had a few options when it came to this:
1. We could print the image on standard 3M Control Tac film, which starts with a blank white film, and wrap then entire bedside. Which the break in the body between the bed and cab would hide any differences in the film > paint color, it was an expensive option.
2. We could print the image on 3M Control Tac and end that portion of the wrap just in front of the fade. While cheaper than Option 1, it wasn’t going to look right having the edge of the white film meet directly with paint. Very rarely do we
luck out and the film completely disappears into the paint... it would be extremely noticeable and we weren’t too thrilled about what the outcome would be.
3. 3M recently came out with their MC Series of printable film, which included a new Silver Metallic Film and a Clear Film. With our HP Latex Printer, we were able to print the image directly on the clear film (and cover it with the 3M
8548 protective over laminate) producing a transparent version of the photo. When installed, the paint of the truck was able to provide the solid background needed to ensure the images maintained the vibrancy that you see in the
Option 3 was definitely the winner! From even a few feet back, it’s extremely hard to see where the clear film ends and the paint of the truck begins! The clear film is a tad pricier than our standard wrap film, but we were able to decrease
the amount of coverage on the vehicle which ultimately decreased the price!
We’ve done trucks, transits, SUV’s and even a trailer with this layout and they all look amazing! Make sure to check out our beautiful State Parks and catch one of these vehicles in the wild!