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  • A Ford Transit Custom van wrap, or is it!

    Posted by Rob Lambie on August 21, 2023 at 2:45 am

    I thought I would share this job that we did just over a week ago because it was a bit of an unusual one, ill try and explain…
    Although we designed it, we were very limited in what we could do because the brief was to feature as many old and new pictures to celebrate the company’s 30th Anniversary. We had to use their existing logo, keeping with the “history theme” but install it on a modern sporty van.
    The catch, from design, manufacture and installation, you have 5 days. oh, and last catch… “Nothing comes off, no mouldings, no handles, no wheel flares, nothing!” Even though all these parts are actually separate and do not physically touch each other.
    I do not know if this was because the parts couldn’t come off, or because it was brand new of which their driver said it cost Β£50k but regardless, this wasn’t going to be a normal wrap.
    The original brief was for the van to be completely wrapped but due to the shape, and the fact nothing could be removed, I initially had to decline the job because of the time window, and if I had just wrapped it as a normal wrap. I reckon there would have been a 75% chance that it would quickly fail in multiple places.
    In the end, the customer accepted my concerns and opted for this design and that each part would be wrapped individually as a separate tile and would NOT be stretched, but would be heated and manipulated over the different areas.

    For reference:
    You will see the photo with all the different coloured boxes.
    Each coloured box indicates a separate printed tile and piece of vinyl that was wrapped over the individual parts, mouldings etc.
    Not including the grey Chevron graphics, there were 7 individual printed tiles for each side of the van.
    This is much harder and took substantially longer than a normal wrap. It also used much more vinyl, probably double the amount of vinyl and a lot of waste.
    For me, the key point was that the vinyl formed around and into parts with the minimum amount of heat needed. this meant that the vinyl was still in a relaxed state and would not have any tension.

    The metallic anthracite and silver chevron were fitted separately and were fitted in 4 pieces.
    Before being applied, we took templates of the handles and cut the handles out before installing. Again, this was so we didn’t show stress and glue lines if we had to work the cast vinyl over and around the handles. This would be possible, but because the chevrons have straight lines close to the handles, any stretch or defect would show up clearly as wobbly lines once in place. And I categorically couldn’t cut the lines straight on the bodywork, afterwards. So the chevrons were also trimmed and lowered over the handles 100% relaxed and then squeegeed into place.

    Robert Lambie replied 7 months, 3 weeks ago 7 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • David Hammond

    August 21, 2023 at 5:04 am

    That looks great, good job.

    As you say all the pieces created an additional challenge, especially with them being photos.

    • Robert Lambie

      August 21, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Your right David.
      The pictures were a pain all through the process. A few were digital photos but most were A4 photographs that needed to be scanned, lighting altered, converted to black and white and feathered before merging together whilst assembling them to avoid the window etc. Not that they were all used on the finished job, but there were about 60+ photos.

  • Hugh Potter

    August 21, 2023 at 10:27 am

    Nice job Rob!

    I’m not sure which moulding you refer too, but the side mouldings pop off (clips) so no probs there.
    I have the Transit custom sport, rather than the MSRT, the difference as far as I’m aware is about Β£10k and a load of unnecessary weight in the form of moulded bumpers, trim and seat covers, my factory sport is quicker!

    I digress, I believe the glue all those wheel arch trims etc. on, hence not being removable. The factory Sport has clipped arch trims which are removable.

    • Robert Lambie

      August 21, 2023 at 11:26 am

      Yes, there are limitations to what can be removed, mate. I never went into it with them Hugh, because the customer has dozens of in-house mechanics, spray painters, spray booths and more. When we wrap anything for them, they strip the truck cabs down to the bare bones, no questions asked. So for them to be reluctant to do “anything” to this van, then there has to be a good reason. πŸ™‚

      This photo shows some of the mouldings after only two-panel drop tiles had been fitted.

  • Mark Johnston

    August 21, 2023 at 1:46 pm

    that looks cool. really smart rob. 😎 but those moulds look terrible to fit over. 😳

    • Robert Lambie

      August 23, 2023 at 2:52 am

      Thanks Mark, cheers mate. πŸ‘

  • Jeff

    August 21, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    The van looks the mutz nutz rob. πŸ‘

    looking at those mouldings i would have declined the job. i hope you charged them plenty!

    • David Hammond

      August 21, 2023 at 4:11 pm

      Just looked at the other pics, they’re quite pronounced, how on earth did you manage to wrap those without removing them.

  • Leslie Anderson

    August 22, 2023 at 8:46 am

    i would never have even thought something so uneven and shaped like that could be wrapped! 🧐

    very impressive. i like the idea of showing the company’s history in black and white photographs.


    • Robert Lambie

      August 23, 2023 at 3:04 am

      Thanks, Leslie. πŸ‘
      The idea of the chevron has several things behind its use in the design.
      The Black and white photos are due to the majority of them being very old machines, trucks etc through to the modern-day Trucks, so the Chevron arrow shows the progression of the company moving forward and pointing to the “30th Anniversary” present-day.
      However, its primary function was to be able to use something to purposely break the photos into the solid colour of the vehicle without looking silly. By that I mean because initially, this was going to be a completely wrapped van, but due to time and the complexity of the shapes and no parts were removed. it could not happen. so this was what we opted for doing within the time available.

  • Robert Lambie

    August 23, 2023 at 3:14 am

    Just looked at the other pics, they’re quite pronounced, how on earth did you manage to wrap those without removing them.


    It took me a good 30-40 minutes mate, just sitting and looking at the van trying to suss out a way to be able to do this properly, without parts being removed. Once I had a game plan in my head, using 7 different printed tiles to create the wrap on each side, the most difficult part “for me” was just to take my time and work on each section, piece by piece… Because I get bored very quickly. 🀨

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