Wrap Industry Support & Information… PROFILE: Wraps Magazine, SDG and WRAPSCON

Times change and business fortunes are rising and falling.  Here at Wrapper Mapper we thought it would be a great idea to start doing some profiles on the wonderful resources that are out there for the wrap industry.  To this end we are actively reaching out in order to gather and promote some of the magazines, organizations, shows and events that have been supporting our shops throughout the years.  Our dream is that these Profiles will put you in touch with more information that will prove useful during these trying times.

For the premiere story we spoke with James “Ruggs” Kochevar who was kind enough to share some history, some fun events and some new exciting changes.

“Sign Business started in 1985, where we differentiated ourselves from other magazines in the market by focusing on vinyl and computer driven graphics. As the industry advanced, we developed Digital Graphics, which was a deep-dive on the printed aspect of sign making. As the years passed, we saw the emergence of the wraps market and with consultation of some industry heavy hitters, we took a leap and developed WRAPS magazine in 2008. It started as a bi-monthly magazine centered on educating people about wraps, what they were and how you might incorporate them into your business. Then the recession hit in 2009. It was then that we compiled our magazines into Sign & Digital Graphics, with wraps being a topic we covered monthly in each issue.

In 2013, when the economy was had strengthened and more businesses where back to 100% earning potential, it was time to break WRAPS magazine back out on its own, this time as a hearty annual. In the years since, we have become the authority in wraps education, covering topics such as certification, install techniques, running a wraps business, printing and finishing for auto, floor, interior and exterior building wraps and more. The insatiable following for WRAPS magazine prodded us to create WRAPSCON (@ THE NBM SHOW.) This started out and has remained the premier event “For wrappers, by wrappers.” Industry titans like Justin Pate, Jim Miller, Troy Downey and Frank Fellers have supported the event over the past six years with exhibits, live demos and other educational opportunities at the event. Our WRAPSconnect panel discussion; Wrap Olympics, the industry’s largest, team-wrapping competition; and Meet the Masters Happy Hour have made this the can’t-miss gathering of the year.

With 2020 comes new challenges and new opportunities to serve this great industry. A lot of our sign/wrap community is struggling right now and we are looking at ways to help, not only now, but for the long term. Part of our responsibility to the market is getting our readers the most useful information we can regarding business acumen, cross-over opportunities, and being as profitable as possible with sound product and process practices. Enter the GRAPHICS PRO era. This new magazine will help do exactly that. If you liked SDG, you’ll love GP! And WRAPS will still be coming to you mid-June, so keep your eyes peeled.”

COVID-19 Coronavirus

Tips to keep your shop running running during COVID-19

The wrap and graphics industry, like so many others, is being directly affected by the current global pandemic.  We have already begun to hear stories of accounts drying up, entire projects being canceled with zero notice and shops completely shutting down.  Here at Wrapper Mapper we hope that you are actively taking steps to survive the gathering storm regardless of where you are on the planet.

With planning in mind we reached out to some respected wrap industry professionals with a request to provide some information that may help you get through our current crisis.  Charlie & Jillian Trujillo with LE Wraps (Lettering Express) located in Oklahoma City, OK USA along with Jim & Starla Miller with Miller Decals located in Atlanta, GA USA were kind enough to share some tips, tricks and words of wisdom…

“First things first – protect your family, business and team. Without family none of this is worthwhile.

We here at LE have a team of 26 folks and our priority this moment in time is keeping those people safe and employed. My worry is that the country will go on a major lock down and we’ll have to close our doors for an extended period of time. Now is the time to grind and to stay on top of the daily calls, emails, quotes, etc.

Just like everyone else in the world we are taking these extra steps to ensure our clients and staff are safe. Our design team is working from home and the folks working in house are constantly sanitizing, wearing gloves and keeping their distance from one another, as well as our clients. Any sign of cough or sickness means you are sent home immediately. This requires everyone to be honest and trustworthy on the subject. We are not taking any chances.

It’s time to get creative when it comes to sales. Fortunately we were a sign shop that evolved into a wrap company. While making signs and little stickers aren’t always our favorite projects, sales are sales and we want to continue helping other companies anyway possible. Personally, I am leaning on those small local businesses during this crisis. From what I can tell these folks are still spending money, but how long will this last? That is a question I cannot answer and I am completely uncertain what the future holds. These are not major sales, but if the folks are calling in need of DOT numbers or “Joe’s Plumbing” decals, get them squared away ASAP. The response I have seen the past few weeks is, “So happy you guys are still open and willing to work!” At minimum you are making them happy and possibly creating a relationship for life.

Take this time to handle those internal projects that you have not had the opportunity to manage with the busy daily flow. We are finalizing internal work such as a mural, wayfinding signs, deep shop clean, pamphlets and other literature that will help us grow our business after this madness ends.

Being transparent with your staff is crucial as well. Don’t let them live with the uncertainty of what the future holds. Daily updates are huge. Have a plan for that “what if” moment. Make sure you know your next move and communicate that with your team. This will help ease the elephant in the room.

Lastly stay positive, wash your hands and support your local small businesses anyway you can.

Sending love from OKC

Charlie and Jillian Trujillo”

“It is very stressful, but we are managing it.

We are typically out 2 weeks or more for jobs. Since they shut down the NCAA Final Four last week, it has been a waterfall of cancellations. The schools went on Digital Learning Days this on March 16th, so now everyone’s children are home. The stores are wiped out of alcohol, paper towels, toilet paper, bread, etc. We are wiping all shop door handles and surfaces daily with Lysol wipes. Companies are saying they can’t write checks and get them out because the offices are shut down and no one is there to sign them, so cash flow from accounts receivable is questionable at this point. We accept credit cards which are charged a fee to process, but we will take what we can get.

Today I will be trying to figure out Georgia Department of Labor Unemployment filing for the Emergency Rule 300-2-4-0.5, containing Rule 300-2.4-.09(1) Partial Unemployment Amendment that was adopted on March 16th, 2020. This will enable my employees to continue receiving paychecks through the unemployment system once our jobs are exhausted. I am attending an online conference through Chase for Business today at 2:30PM that will discuss the COVID-19 escalating and how to position myself during crisis. We held an employee meeting yesterday to discuss concerns and talk about our plans for the rest of this week. We will meet again on Friday to make a plan for the following week. At this point, it is definitely one day at a time.

This week so far we have completed a Toyota Prius, Ford C-Max, 4 Ford Transits, a Box Truck, a 24′ and 28′ trailer, finished up a color change as well as a repair to replace a fender on a color change. That was already scheduled two weeks ago, before the chaos started. I have a feeling this is going to stop abruptly, so we are doing all we can to complete things and get them back to the customers. Our business is not a ‘work from home’ setting in any way, so this virus is serious to our livelihood. My heart aches for everyone in our wrap community faced with the responsibility of running a small business. It can be overwhelming at times, and this is one of those. We will survive and come out stronger and more educated in the end. Once the silence sets in I will be hard at work fine tuning the business. Time to sort through the ‘start, stop and keep’ items, make lists and set goals for the future.

Best wishes and stay positive!

Jim & Starla Miller”


Our best wishes and thoughts go out to the entire #wrapfamily during these trying times.  Yes, it’s tough but we will survive by being smart and continuing to work hard.  We are a community of hands-on people.  We love the satisfaction that comes from building and growing and creating.  We are innovators.  We are stubborn and tenacious business owners who focus on solving problem for our clients every day.  We can do this!

New FESPA World Wrap Masters updates and re-brand released

Some exciting news from the world’s largest and highly regarded wrap competition organization is here!

Artist Ben Allen creating the final canvas.

The FESPA marketing team has redesigned the World Wrap Masters feature with a new logo and design, which can be viewed at the official website: https://wrapmasters.fespa.com/. Working closely with Ben Allen, a contemporary artist focusing on graffiti and pop art prints, the new look was developed to reflect the lively vehicle wrapping community. Visitors to World Wrap Masters 2020 in Madrid Spain will be able to see live graffiti art demonstrations from Ben Allen on 24 – 26 March.

Neil Felton, CEO, FESPA comments: “We are excited to be hosting once again the European qualifier and final of World Wrap Masters 2020, where there will be a lot of top talent on display. It is very important for us to keep the competition fresh and exciting each year, which is why we felt it was time for a reinvigorated look and feel that was more representative of the global wrapping community. World Wrap Masters will be one of the most energetic and eye-catching features at FESPA Global Print Expo 2020 this year and one that visitors definitely shouldn’t miss!”

Vehicle wrappers still have the opportunity to apply to compete in the World Wrap Masters Europe competition, although spaces are limited. For more information and entry details visit: https://wrapmasters.fespa.com/events/world-wrap-masters-europe-2020

For more information on the World Wrap Masters series, visit: https://wrapmasters.fespa.com/.

Visitors to the show can also see the latest vinyls, films and print and cut machinery at FESPA Global Print Expo 2020. To register your attendance to FESPA Global Print Expo 2020 visit www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com and use code FESM216 for free entry. An entry ticket will also gain you access to co-located shows European Sign Expo and Sportswear Pro.

NEW Wrap Training Map!!!

Announcing the new Training Map starting for 2020!!! … because figuring out more ways to continue helping out the wrap industry, our fellow wrap shops and professional wrappers around the world is kind of what we do here at WrapperMapper.com.


“Where can I get a good solid training class in my area?” is a pretty common question for us and one that most professional wrap installers will have many times over their career.


Of course you can always have access to easy and reliable training when you sign up for The Wrap Institute online (use our discount code TWWRAPPERMAPPER for a great savings) BUT how awesome would it be to easily see where Justin is doing an actual live training class?  How about John Duever running an Avery SWI class, Adam Sumner doing 3M training at Wrappix or Rafal Zmuda doing a group session at The Wrap Center in Europe?


We are bringing it all together in one place.  Now you can easily check the new Training Map page and see what is available for this year!  We have tried to make it super easy to filter by training/skill level, focus on a specific film manufacture or look for a specialized organization.


Check out what we have so far and keep coming back as we continue to add wrapping classes across the globe!


WrapperMapper Wrap Training Map:  http://wrappermapper.com/wraptraining/


Avery Dennison Introduces Paint Protection Film Cutting Software

MENTOR, Ohio – Nov. 21, 2019 – Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions (NYSE:AVY) has announced the launch of the company’s new Paint Protection Film Cutting Software – now available across the United States and Canada.

As one of the industry’s most user-friendly cutting programs, it was created with dealers and installers in mind. Intended to be used in combination with Avery Dennison Paint Protection Film SPF-XI, users can choose from thousands of precut templates to find the perfect match for a specific vehicle. Shop owners and installers can rest easy knowing they can deliver an exact fit for their customers while offering long-lasting protection with the use of SPF-XI.

“We continue to evolve with the industry and our customers,” said Abby Monnot, senior global segment manager, Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions, North America. “Because of this, we invested in the opportunity to expand our technologies and offerings to help our customers be more productive and profitable. This new software is a supplement to our SPF-XI product. It has unlimited cuts for a low monthly fee, so you can use our SPF-XI product and not left software costs take away from your profits.”

Paint Protection Film (PPF) protects a vehicle’s appearance from insects, road debris and minor abrasions. Offering the film, or the service to install the film, allows the opportunity for dealers to earn incremental income. PPF can be a profitable upsell opportunity with average MSRPs that could range from $500 for a partial and up to $6,000 for full installations.

Avery Dennison SPF-XI PPF, coupled with the software and templates, can be a significant addition to a business. Additional benefits of the new software include: manually, hand-nested files that serve to save more material than automated nesting; the ability to see the square footage of each kit for easy and fast pricing; wrapped and unwrapped edge kits; and the ability to set the cut order so track marks are not left across materials.

The software is available through subscription. Avery Dennison is offering a dealer special, while supplies last, for one free sample roll of SPF-XI with the purchase of a one-month subscription to the software. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/ppfsoftware.

For more information on Avery Dennison vinyl for car graphics and where to buy Paint Protection Film or other materials, visit graphics.averydennison.com. Join the conversation on Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions’ social channels, including Facebook and Instagram.

Announcing TWI Endorsed Trainers!

The Wrap Institute is proud to announce our newest development – TWI Endorsed Trainers!

These days, finding the right wrap trainer and determining their qualifications can be difficult. If you spend a lot of money and time on a wrap course and get a poor training, it can instill bad habits, provide misinformation and be extremely frustrating.

TWI Endorsed Trainers are instructors who have been hand-selected because they fit criteria that exemplifies our slogan, Never Stop Learning™. Learning from or working with a TWI Endorsed Trainer means you will receive top-level instruction using the best methods possible, without influence from any outside brand, product or service. TWI Endorsed Trainers are always working to improve their craft using new techniques and tools as well as constantly modifying and enhancing their trainings to remain cutting-edge.

To be clear, these trainers do not teach workshops for The Wrap Institute. The Wrap Institute is supporting wrap film manufacturers by highlighting their best trainers, and helping installers worldwide find trusted resources for hands-on training.

For more information and to see TWI Endorsed Trainer criteria, visit: wrapinstitute.com/trainers


Late, so late, to WRAPSCON 2019

I was late… really, really late this time.  My flight from Columbus started off just fine but a unwelcome surprise in Phoenix derailed the trip pretty quick.  “We regret to inform you that your flight to Long Beach has been canceled” is NEVER the text you want to recieve while sitting in the airport… CRAP.  Turns out that the airline had proactively re-booked me on another flight… YAY!  …But the flight was going to drop me off at a different airport. An airport an hour away from the convention center… CRAP again!

Still, after catching the new flight and grabbing an Uber driver willing to get me up the coast to Long Beach, I can make this work.  Forget checking in to the AirBNB and who cares that I was carting all my luggage and camera gear.  I told the driver to just drop me in front of the convention hall and let me jump out.  I finally arrived at WRAPSCON 2019! 

From the second I stepped on the floor I felt I was home.  I honestly know that I am one of the most fortunate people in the world to able to earn a living in the wrap industry.  As I am fond of saying, this is the only industry where people pay us to color and play with cars.  We have amazing designers.  We have super cool projects.  We have brilliant tools and gadgets to work with.  We have the best people in the world.  We have #wrapfamily.  

For those of who missed WRAPSCON this year you missed some great stuff.  Ruggs Kochevear and his amazing NBM team spent an entire year putting together a concentrated wrap experience for us.  Where else are you going to see industry greats doing demonstrations in practically every booth?  Where else are going to get Justin Pate and The Wrap Institute team giving talks and allowing anyone to try all the different films? The 3M booth was hustling alongside the KPMF, Orafol and Teckwrap teams. Hexis was running their super popular Wrap battle panels. Famous faces wrapping right in front of you from all over the world. Every single one of them willing to chat, show off a tool or discuss a technique… so cool.

Finally, let’s certainly not forget this year’s Wrap Olympics! A two-person team rolling head-to-head against another one. This unique competition format has the wrappers moving from cars to rough texture walls. Wrapping odd and difficult objects (a bowling ball AND pin this year). Live designing projects and working together to implement the film installation. We had some great teams from all over North America as well as Europe and Asia. The final winners by judges decision was the team “Aloha Hillbillies” made up of Shane Oliberos (Xero Wraps) and Charlie Trujillo (Lettering Express) who took home a massive amount of prizes.

As in year’s past the Wrap Olympic’s judging team was made up of Starla Miller (Miller Decals), Jen Carney (Carbon Wraps), Luis Tirado (WBC Graphics / BladeCage) and Keith Savage (Savage Wraps) and Adam Sumner (Wrapix Imaging) with the whole event MC’ed by everybody’s favorite bayou boy Kevin Kempf (PG Nola). A virtual ton of wrap industry knowledge and expertise in this group for sure.

So, late arrival aside, this year’s WRAPSCON was an event to remember and one you should NOT miss next year!

WLAK 2018 winner


MENTOR, Ohio – June 3, 2019 – Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions has announced the opening of its annual Wrap Like A King Challenge. This year’s vehicle wrap competition will run June 3 through Aug. 30, 2019, and it will again include Regional Wrap Kings, Continental Wrap Kings and the crowning of the prestigious “King of the Wrap World.”
Wrap installers from 50 countries across the world are invited to submit commercial, full print or color change wrap projects to be judged for the chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes. The prize packages for 2019 are worth a combined total of over $30,000, available to Regional Wrap Kings, Continent Wrap Kings and the “King of the Wrap World.” In 2018, more than 200 installers entered the challenge.
“We’ve been expanding the Wrap Like A King Challenge to new regions across the globe over the past two years, with the newest addition of South Africa for this year’s competition. We’re also introducing the ‘People’s Choice Award’ which allows the public to vote for their favorite project. This new award will provide additional and well-deserved recognition for our valued customers,” said Bill Podojil, vice president, Graphics Solutions North America. “We’re astonished at the level of creativity and talent with each passing year, and we anticipate the submissions for the 2019 challenge to surpass our expectations.”
Participating nations make up 13 geographic regions across the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and South Africa. Wrap installers in these regions will submit projects featuring Avery Dennison Supreme Wrapping™ Film, the Conform Chrome series, the ColorFlow™ Series, MPI 1105 Supercast Digital film or a combination of car wrap films to be evaluated against their regional peers by a panel of judges.
The 10 Regional Wrap Kings will win nearly $2,000 worth of personalized marketing materials, Avery Dennison product, SEMA passes and more. They will then go on to battle for royalty on their continents: North America, Europe, North Asia and Australia/New Zealand. The overall
winner will be chosen by the judges as the best in show and crowned the “King of the Wrap World” at the 2019 SEMA Show, Nov. 5-8 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Industry experts from around the globe will use their wealth of experience to narrow down the field, picking the most beautiful, technically challenging or otherwise most impressive wraps to move on in each round of the Challenge.
The 2019 Judges Panel:
● Justin Pate – The Wrap Institute, Global Pate is an Avery Dennison-certified installer/instructor in the United States with over 20 years of experience. He leads the Avery Dennison North America hands-on car wrap workshop and certification program and is co-owner of The Wrap Institute.
● Myles Kovacs – DUB® Magazine, USA Kovacs is the president and co-founder of DUB® Magazine, a U.S.-based magazine that focuses on the urban custom car culture and celebrities and their vehicles. He has been in the auto industry for 25 years.
● Yianni Charalambous – Yiannimize, UK Charalambous is the owner of Yiannimize, a wrap shop in London catering to celebrities and high-end clientele. He has an incredible social following, with more than 1.3 million YouTube subscribers.
● Eddy Speelman – Speelman Graphic Applications, Europe Speelman is the owner of Speelman Graphic Applications and has been an Avery Dennison trainer for 15 years. He has been part of the wrapping industry for decades, and he specializes in color change applications, paint protection and window tinting.
● Molly Waters – Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions, North America Waters is a senior technical specialist in North America with over 19 years of industry experience. She often travels all over the country visiting sign and wrap shops and talking with customers about the car wrap industry. She also frequently contributes to the Avery Dennison blog.
● Peter Wright – Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions, Australia/New Zealand Wright is a technical marketing manager and works with the ’industry’s leading installers, teaching vehicle wrapping workshops and promoting the industry. With strong expertise in leading vehicle wrapping workshops, he has trained more than 2,000 people from Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN countries.
● Sarel Krüger – Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions, South Africa Krüger joined the Avery team in 2011 after working in the signage industry for nearly 10 years. His experience ranges from equipment and software, to the manufacturing of signage and graphics, vehicle wrapping and, ultimately, the supplying of material.
● Frank Marquart – Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions, Europe Marquart is a technical marketing manager, digital print media, in Europe and actively participates in product development and relationship management with printer OEMs.
● Jun Kinoshita – Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions, Japan
Kinoshita is the sales manager for Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions in Japan. He introduced the Certified Wrap Installers training program to Japan and worked together with Justin Pate on the training course.
The five continent winners will receive a four-night stay in Las Vegas for the 2019 SEMA Show, where the “King of the Wrap World” will be announced. The $3,200 prize pack for continent winners also includes personalized Wrap Like A King t-shirt, $500 in gift vouchers and a variety of promotional and marketing tools for the winner’s wrap shop. The “King of the Wrap World” grand prize package is worth almost $5,000, with additional gift vouchers and exposure via the Avery Dennison website and web advertisements.
Car wrap installers are encouraged to enter a vehicle wrap project using Avery Dennison Supreme Wrapping™ Film or digital cast films online at wraplikeaking.com. Official rules, judge bios and prize information are also posted on the site.
For more information on Avery Dennison vinyl for car graphics and where to buy Supreme Wrapping Film, visit graphics.averydennison.com. Join the conversation on Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions’ social

Wrap Visualizer is live online from Avery Dennison!

As the wrap industry continues to improve, progress and innovate it is always great to witness excellence. Unveiled at FESPA Europe in Munchen Germany, the wrap visualizer was demoed live and online to an excited public. Avery Dennison has made their system available for free to the industry with a simple click on the link… Avery Dennison Visualizer

A conversation with Abby Monnot, Sr. Global Segment Manager, Automotive Aftermarket & Marketing Manager Graphics NA with Avery Dennison reveals the thought process behind the new powerful tool…

“In working with many wrap professionals, visiting countless wrap shops across the country and watching the interactions between customers and shop owners, we realized there was a gap in the industry.  The gap was being able to showcase digitally the closest replication possible to what our colors look like in real life, to help wrap professionals sell a color change wrap.  We hope to take the guesswork out of your customers choosing a vehicle wrap and hope it helps streamline your sales process.  All new colors will be featured on the visualizer tool, so you’ll be the first to see them!  We will keep taking feedback and improving the tool over time, so be on the look out for new updates.”

One click to the visualizer tool and you too can see the Avery Dennison wrap film colors, in real time, on a great rendering system. Your wrap shop has just received a game changer new tool!

WrapStock PR – A free, online, wrap visualizer takes off!

Design first! Wrapstock® is starting up a revolutionary project for the automotive wrap industry.

Owners of passenger vehicles, companies or enthusiasts who like to check out beautiful cars – pay attention! The new platform Wrapstock® is born. With Wrapstock® designers from around the world can engage in providing hundreds of original wrap designs. We make it possible for the creation of simple stripe looks to more complex and textural wrap designs in a centralized, web-based place where you can select a design for your car.
Project creator, Martin Tureček (co-founder of the worldwide network of WrapStyle franchises) explains… “We have built this virtual warehouse of design wraps around real-life and long-term experiences of our wrapping companies. The goal is to make the design process a simple, fast and affordable variant for anyone wanting to quickly change the appearance of his or her vehicle. We have made the design system and designs as variable and applicable as possible for nearly every vehicle model”
You can select a new design without limits after registering for free. And what if one of them really excites you and you simply have to have it? “Just download it and have it printed on wrapping foil/film and wrap a vehicle. As the general partner of the project, we, therefore, selected the best of the best, Avery Dennison,” Martin revealed.
For more demanding clients who have not found the right design from the catalog, we offer the option of creating a completely custom-made design. “We also invite designers around the world to the platform who can offer their designs here. The aim is for Wrapstock® to thrive and so that there would be something new here every time. Our ambition is to create a worldwide community of trend setters,” explained Martin.
And another innovation confirming their work in this is being prepared for the near future – a virtual showroom. As the name implies, thanks to the possibilities of virtual reality, you can confirm with your own eyes if a particular wrap will really fit your car. Everything new begins with a design, so our motto is Design first. And we live up to it,” said Martin in conclusion.