Car Couture PDF Print E-mail
Written by Amy Scalia   
Saturday, 05 June 2010 07:56

Car Couture
A local expert explains how you can get your car looking just as fabulous and fashionable as you do with vehicle graphics for any taste and budget.

Wrapped in Burberry, covered in Chanel and stopping traffic. No, a head-turning fashionista isn't strutting down the sidewalk. Couture cars are now ruling the roads.


People are getting their cars covered with custom "vehicle wraps." You can get any logo, photo or custom graphic wrapped over the paint of your car.


"We've seen some cool stuff that's been done all over the world from clothing to Chanel wrapped cars to Burberry to you name it," says Christian Beebe, owner of Over-the-Rhine-based Worldwide Graphics and Sign Co. "It's amazing what you can do with them. A car to a lot of people is a personalized thing, so people are turning more and more to this for expressing themselves." 060710FASHION2.jpg


Vehicle wrapping originally started as an advertising vehicle (pun intended), Beebe says. He provided the following information about vehicle advertising and why it's so popular:

  • Vehicle advertising generates between 30,000 and 70,000 sightings per day.
  • Vehicle signage garners about 8.4 million impressions in a 12-month period.
  • 90 percent of travelers notice vehicle graphics. 

Just as a contrast, Beebe says, radio attracts 900,000 listeners in six weeks, direct mail reaches 20,000 names with one postcard mailer and billboards get 700,000 impressions in one month. 1209KROMBHOLZ.gif


People mainly use vehicle wrapping for advertising purposes, but a new trend has emerged to use it as an alternative to painting for their cars, boats and planes, Beebe says. 


The wraps are made from special vinyl engineered for vehicle applications. "This vinyl is made to stretch more over many of the compound curves that vehicles have, while at the same time, making the material somewhat easier to remove down the road while providing gorgeous color," he explains.


While it is time intensive to remove the wrap, Beebe says it typically doesn't affect the finish of the car. However, it ultimately depends on the paint. For example, the wrapping may damage the finish if it has been repainted or has any issues that would make the paint not adhere underneath as strongly as a factory paint job.


To put it on, "It's a very involved process and a very custom process, just like custom painting a car," Beebe says. In general, this is the step-by-step process for most vehicle wraps, Beebe says:

  • Bring the vehicle in and check over the entire vehicle for any spots or issues that could arise.
  • Measure the entire vehicle and get an idea of what the customer is looking to do. Based upon those things we will give the customer a price on doing the wrap from A to Z. Once the customer agrees to the price, we receive a deposit and get started on design.
  • Customer approves the design. We will print the graphic at extremely high quality on the wrap material.
  • Once the print is done, we let the print sit out for several days before laminating the print. This is crucial, but many shops don't do it.
  • Laminate the print with a very high gloss laminate causing the print to look "wet."
  • Cut all the graphics down that are needed.
  • Cleaning the entire vehicle with a four-step process that removes the door handles, mirrors, etc.
  • We will then give them a warranty sheet, which explains how to take care of the vehicle, and we send them off.


The wraps typically last about five to seven years if taken care of properly. "They should be treated like a custom paint job if you want them to last, just like anything else and be treated as an investment," Beebe says.


Pricing varies, depending on the complexity of the vehicle or wrap and the design involved and level of perfection the customer is looking for. "Normal vehicle wraps can range from $3,000 to $6,000," Beebe says. "[But] complete and partial wraps allow an option for any budget."


Learn more about Worldwide Graphics at or give them a call at (513) 241-2726.




Photos courtesy of Worldwide Graphics and Sign Co.


Amy Scalia -


Amy Scalia, a Cincinnati native, is the editor in chief and publisher of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


More articles by this author

Bring Mama Mimis Home for the HolidaysBring Mama Mimi's Home for the Holidays
Bring Mama Mimi's Home for the HolidaysYou know Mama Mimi's...
Mama Mimis Donates to Ronald McDonald HouseMama Mimi's Donates to Ronald McDonald House
Mama Mimi's Donates to Ronald McDonald HouseCincy Chic chats with...
Last Updated on Monday, 07 June 2010 08:16



We have 1396 guests online