You may have seen them before while driving around — cars wrapped with a vivid, black-and-white swirling pattern.
According to The News Wheel, car manufacturers apply these vinyl wraps to a pre-production vehicle that is being tested, in order to camouflage the vehicle’s design and protect it from being ripped off by a competitor.
While many people may think these wraps, with their ostentatious designs, do the opposite of camouflaging a prototype car. However, the patterns aren’t meant to prevent the car itself from being seen out on the road — rather, they conceal the specific details of the model’s exterior.
And why the black and white? That’s because black absorbs infrared light from a camera’s auto-focus, making it nearly impossible to capture a clear image of the vehicle — an effective way to dissuade competitors looking to sneak photos of their work.
“As Southern California’s premier wrap shop we have been witnessing a steady incline in vehicle wrap popularity over the past few years, both in the commercial and private sectors,” says Edmund Karam, President, Lucentwraps.com. “Businesses have realized that vehicle wraps offer the highest ROI for their advertising dollars, acting like a salesman that never sleeps, promoting their brand and name recognition. In the private sector new and used vehicle owners are looking for paint alternative methods to customize their vehicles and create a one-of-a-kind look. We feel that we are just at the tip of the iceberg of this trend and forecast a continued growth for years to come.”
Automakers aren’t the only ones turning to vinyl vehicle wraps, either. For businesses, these car wraps offer one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise. Few advertising methods offer cost-per-impression rates as low as car wraps.
Additionally, consumers are increasingly applying vinyl wraps to their own cars as a way to personalize their vehicles, as car wraps come in colors and finishes that aren’t often applied to factory-made vehicles. These days, getting custom car wraps is no different from getting a plastic case for your cellphone.
One of the biggest trends in personal car wraps these days is the matte finish because of its eye-catching, stylish appearance.
“People are after a unique look, a personal look,” Doug Blackwell, business development manager for 3M, told the Detroit News. “They want anything but ordinary.”
Whether you’re a car manufacturer looking to protect your newest vehicle designs, a small business looking for more customers or an individual who wants to drive around in style, it’s clear that car wraps are the way to go.