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Need help with preparing graphic design for a cars

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  • Need help with preparing graphic design for a cars

    Hello everyone,

    As topic says, I need a help with graphic design for a car. Or I should say few questions.

    I have to create a full car cover design and I have few things which bother me.

    1. What resolution should I do? Do I need create huge file in illustrator that is 1:1 to a car?

    2. Do I need to create wrapped shapes (for all car curves)? And create design for each detail of a car (like doors, roof)? Or can I create one flat image like in this video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K2HClel9_M


  • #2
    Is this an assignment or for a project that will be printed? If it will be printed, contact your printer to get their specs.
    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KitchWitch View Post
      Is this an assignment or for a project that will be printed? If it will be printed, contact your printer to get their specs.
      It will be printed and then putted on a car.
      How you would do it? Lets say you know default resolution. What is next step?

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      • KitchWitch
        KitchWitch commented
        Editing a comment
        Call your printer and see if they have specs for that type of job, or a template, or suggestions. See what type of files they require and start from there.

        I've never designed a car wrap, so that's the best I've got.

    • #4
      Kitch is 100% correct, and there really is no other answer. Even if you had previous experience with vehicle wraps, step 1 would (and will always) be to contact the person or persons responsible for output and installation. Either or both may have specific requirements, specifications, templates, etc., that would provide answers to your questions, or at least offer some direction to get you started the right way.
      I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

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      • #5
        A vehicle wrap isn't like preparing artwork for a brochure or a poster. For those things, the art preparation is typically about the same. With a vehicle wrap, the variables are all over the place. Every model of vehicle is different from the next, and the capabilities of the different companies that do that sort of thing differ.

        As those above me have said, you need to identify a few likely vendors, then call them up and explain the project to them. The one you pick will tell you what the next steps are, which likely will involve a template they give you and the basic specs you'll need to follow.

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        • #6
          Yup, I don't print car wraps or install them just because there are too many variables. The people I have that do it for me require different file preps for different vehicles, and they need to see pictures of, or in person look at, the actual vehicle in question. Overlaps for panels vary per vehicle. A flat design when stretched over the curves of a car will more likely not align at the seams simply due to the stretching and heat that needs to be applied.

          I just found out about a wicked pissah website that has in-scale car templates (not including current year cars) at $25 a pop. BUT a flat rendering still does not help you set up for the sometimes drastic compound curves of the sheet metal, doesn't tell you the bleed overlaps and doesn't hit at any deep body flairs that need to be accounted for. I hesitate to post it as it would open up a world of hurt for installers everywhere.

          You need to talk to the INSTALLER about all that. The installer will usually have a print vendor they like to work with or even do the output themselves. I can print stuff once the installer tells me what he wants, but I wouldn't think to do it without that information.

          You would do your files at 100% actual size.
          A lot of street rides are done with their art in vector so that the resolution is tack sharp and looks good when sitting static on the street or at a meet or show. They may use photoshop raster images for background textures and stuff where blur does not matter (motion blurs and drop shadows.) Auroragraphics.net has a lot of commonly used ''cool'' vector art and high resolution textures.

          The files will be prepped in Illustrator with all raster images placed, the raster part running 50-150Ppi at full scale depending on the art. It's very easy to rez up background textures as blur is inherent in the graphic. The vector stuff has no inherent resolution and outputs at the 1200 or so Dpi of the printer so always looks good.

          Advertising art is usually a little more forgiving as it's meant to be viewed at highway speeds or as a parked vehicle viewed by people passing by at least at walking speed. Still, Illustrator is the preferred layout tool, with raster art placed and all text and vector art created in Illustrator. The raster part can go as low as 35ppi but 50-150 is usually preferred just so you don't give the client brand a shoddy look. Don't give the client brand a shoddy look!!!

          There are a lot of after-print lam effects and no-print paint color change options in various steps of legality out there. (yes, some car wraps are illegal in some states and even an advertising wrap on a commercial vehicle could get ticketed if parked over night in a residential area where such things are forbidden by neighborhood covenants or home lease agreements.) If you don't have a real working knowledge of wrap technology, you do your clients a disservice. I'd highly recommend any designer doing these things attend a few expo events at the local ISA or NBM or SGIA show, pick up swatch decks and watch the line pros do demos of some of the most difficult wrap techniques out there. Like all things design, you have to keep up with the technology.
          Last edited by PrintDriver; 09-22-2017, 06:56 PM.

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