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Ask Matt ... to rap on vehicle wrapping

Artistic wrapping turns company vehicles into rolling ads. Artistic wrapping turns company vehicles into rolling ads.

Q. I have seen many cars and vans driving around town painted from front to back with their business logo and some with big pictures. How do they do that?

It’s called wrapping. I found a place where you can have it done locally — Signature Signs & Graphics on Upward Road. The business is owned by Tracy Glover, who has been doing signs and banners for some 18 years. Most of Glover’s work is what he calls a “partial wrap” because a full wrap can cost between three and four thousand dollars. “Usually what happens is that a customer comes in wanting a full body wrap and once they find out the price, they go with the less costly paint job,” said Glover. “From a visibility perspective, it’s not really cost effective to have an entire vehicle painted but we can do it.”
The wrapping process is actually quite simple. Glover’s graphics artist takes the chosen picture or design and prints a “digital vector” picture on special media paper. The pictures, usually two or more, are then laminated, cut and dried – a process that takes eight hours. Once the vehicle is cleaned and prepped the design is squeegeed on. If there are major curves in the vehicle body a heat gun is used to manipulate the vinyl in tight corners.
One of Glover’s jobs was for Brian Stuller of Stuller Power Solutions, a generator sales and service company. “I think we paid about $1,800 for the wrap but Generac, our supplier, paid half of that,” said Stuller. “It’s great advertising – a walking billboard. People see it and call us to have their generators serviced.”

 

Q. I understand that stores can track you through your cell phone while you are in their store. Are any stores in the area doing that?

Good question but a hard one to answer. It was reported that Home Depot was using tracking technology provided by a company called Euclid Analytics but discontinued the practice about five years ago. I checked with some of our local business people and came up dry. Anyway, here’s how it works. Wi-fi antennas placed in stores track the “pings” that every cell phone makes. The data is collected and analyzed and reports are generated that can tell the store things such as when you entered, when you left, how long you lingered in a particular aisle, and more.
If you have loaded any “shopping apps” to your phone you may be a target of another kind. The same tracking technology can be used to send digital discount coupons to your phone the moment you walk by a participating store. Pretty smart.
Like it or not we are all being tracked. Fortunately most small businesses can’t afford the cost of such tracking service. There are ways to protect yourself. The easiest way is to do a web search on “how to stop being tracked.” Stay safe out there.

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Send questions to askmattm@gmail.com.