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Kaitlyn's blog

Wrapping Up July 2020

Happy August TWI members! I hope that July was a busy month filled with Instagram-worthy corners and happy customers.
Here were the great videos released in July:

In July, we added two new playlists - "How to Wrap a Porsche GTS Cabrio with Mirror Chrome," and "How to Install PPF on a Rolls-Royce Dawn." Make sure to check these out!

We are very happy to announce that we now have an autoplay feature, which was a TWI member request! After finishing a video, the next video will play automatically. Since TWI is a custom-built site, this has been a tough request to fulfill, so we are extremely happy to debut it this month. We hope it further enhances your learning experience.

The videos in August will be a mix of PPF, full print and high-end custom install videos with tons of great info and workflow ideas. This year has not allowed me to travel nearly as much as I normally do, which in a way, is a blessing because it has allowed me to spend more time at the new TWI Center in Munich. This means I've had the chance to spend more time with Rainer and fill out our new video categories. Be sure to look out for these additions throughout the fall.

As always, thank you for your support and best of luck in August!


Wrapping Up June 2020

Happy July everyone! I hope that June was a safe and successful month for all you TWI members. It was a great month of new videos in June, and here's what dropped:

June was an epic month for TWI, and we took a big step forward in rounding out our platform by launching Dan’s Design Distillery. This is a game-changing private workshop with Dan Antonelli from Kickcharge Creative that will transform your wrap shop workflow and design skills. Be sure to check out the design section of our website to find out more from this wrap industry leader, and check out our workshop options.
Next week marks the 2,000th video on TWI, so be sure to look out for some special giveaways. It's a huge milestone for TWI and one that is firmly based on you, our loyal members, for always striving to learn more and take the wrap industry to a higher level. I also want to thank the dedicated team at TWI as well as Rainer Lorz and Pascal Braker for leading the new TWI Center in Munich.  
For July, look for a lot of videos on PPF, especially early on in the month where Rainer, Patrick and myself wrapped up a beautiful Rolls Royce Dawn. There are a ton of great tips and tricks as well as amazing footage from the new TWI Center in Munich. 
Also, this month we will announce special new workshops for Europe which is something I'm very excited about. These will be extra unique workshops that help support the manufacturers and fill some gaps within the training field.   
Best of luck in July and, as always, don’t forget to seal the deal.


Wrapping Up May 2020

Hello everyone – I hope everyone has stayed safe and busy during May. Here are the videos that were released last month:

This month we have a very exciting video lineup. The first week focuses on an antimicrobial film from Hexis, and different places you can wrap it to increase profits. The Wrap Institute made the Official Product Video for them, so be sure to check out all those videos.

In June, we're starting an in-depth series on wrapping with chrome film. In this case, Rainer, Justin and Patrick will wrap a Porsche. The quality of the footage and info is super special and a must-watch. 

This month we also are launching The Never Stop Learning Online Wrap Contest. This is a modified version of the Never Stop Learning Contest we run at the ISA Sign Expo. Every Tuesday at 2:30 PM Central Time we'll post an image on Instagram of a wrapped object. You have to guess how long it took to wrap in the comment section. On Wednesday at 2:30 PM Central Time, TWI will post the video of Justin or Rainer wrapping that object. They'll give live commentary, so it's like a mini-workshop. Once the video is over, we will see who came closest to guessing the time, and the winner will get a super cool prize. So far, we have prize packages from PID PROSeries, Yellotools, 3M, Steinel, GSWF, ORAFOL™ and General Formulations. We hope you enjoy this contest and win one of the prizes!

Lastly, we are very happy to have hosted the first workshop at the TWI Center in Munich. This workshop was for Avery Dennison, and look out for us to host other workshops for a wide variety of manufacturers.

Thanks as always for being a member and Never Stop Learning!™

Wrapping Up April 2020

Hello everyone – I hope that April was a safe and focused month! Here are the new videos that TWI released:

As you can see, we have a new index along with playlists and featured videos. We hope that you have been enjoying it and we really would love to get input in terms of what kind of playlists you would like to see. We will be very focused in the next few months to really fine tune these to make your viewing experience even better.

We are happy to say our progress on the center in Munich is coming along. We're hoping to debut it in May, so stay tuned.
Look out for a great new Wrap Institute program that we will be launching soon. It focuses on improving an essential aspect of a wrap shop that separates them from their competition and helps increase profits. We hope you will enjoy it, and the only clue I can give is that the name of the program has three words and they all start with the letter "D."

It may seem far away, but keep in mind that the Never Stop Learning Wrap Contest and The Wrap Experience, both led by TWI, are still taking place in Orlando in August. We have been speaking with ISA, and they say it’s a full go, so we can’t wait. We have all the incredible designs ready for the contest, so be sure to sign up when registration opens.

We know that this has been a challenging time in various degrees for all TWI members. We hope that you have been mentally strong during this time and have found ways to grow your install skills as well as business workflow. TWI strongly feels that the wrap economy will pick back up to pre-Corona levels in the coming months. We have made lots of product videos for exciting new materials that will debut in June, so the summer should be a fun month of wrapping.

Thanks as always for being a member of TWI and Never Stop Learning!™


COVID-19 Links

Hey everyone. We're closely following what's happening to the wrap industry as a whole worldwide right now. We're here to help you all as much as we can. To that end, we've gathered up some resources/advice, including ways to make money during this time, links to use to explore getting help from the government, and ideas for how to take advantage of this downtime. If you haven't seen it, here's a link to the IGTV post of Justin talking through these links/ideas.


**UPDATE** As of April 18th, the CISA updated it's guidelines to include sign and graphics companies as essential businesses. Read more here:


**Helpful links for small businesses, by country:**

This is an evolving list.


Economic Response to the Coronavirus:

Coronavirus information and support for business: 

Taxation support: 
Mental Health Support – Lifeline:



PPP Application Form

How to submit your SBA PPA Loan Application, tips via

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDL) - this load advance will provide up to $10k of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.

US Chamber of Commerce: - 

ISA  - International Sign Association: 











Wage Subsidy Link:

LEO Business Continuity Voucher:

SBCI Covid 19 Loan Scheme:

Microfinance Ireland Loan Scheme:

Crowe Covid -19 Support Hub:


Ideas to Push Forward:

  • Pivot to signage - advertise through your social media and websites that you also offer signage, specifically cater to those companies that are still in operation like hospitals, restaurants (in some regions), government agencies, etc. that may need signage created for covid-related messaging.
  • Some shops are seeing more activity from color change/ppf customers. Consider expanding your offerings to include these products.
  • Home wrap shop - some people have turned their home garages into a "contactless shop". If this is something you can safely do, while continuing to practice safe distancing and protection measures, it may be an option to continue wrapping.
  • Explore antimicrobial film, like Hexis' Pure Zone film - door handles, countertops, etc.
  • Use this time to master productivity programs like Trello, Google Drive, etc. Brush up on your social media game - Later is a great resource to check out.


Other opportunities for savings:

  • Adobe is giving everyone two months of FREE Creative Cloud. This is not announced anywhere, but we have heard from lots of people who have tried this successfully! Here's how to get 2 months free.
  • Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants for up to 30,000 eligible small business in over 30 countries where Facebook operates:
  • Google is offering $340 million in ad credits to small and midsize businesses with active Google ad accounts over the past year. Credit notifications will appear in their Google Ads accounts and can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across our advertising platforms.

The Importance of Inspection

Inspecting a vehicle prior to installing vinyl is extremely important for your reputation as a wrapper, as well as the reputation of your wrap shop and the happiness of your client. If the vehicle has damage that would cause the paint to lift while removing the vinyl, it’s vital that both you and the client are aware of that before the wrap is installed. In addition, it is important to be aware of potential trouble spots, and to communicate any modifications based on these spots to the client. Our pre-install inspection sheet is available on our shop, and is a free download for TWI members. 


Beginning a pre-install inspection sheet

The first step to filling out a pre-install inspection sheet is to fill in the primary information, such as the client’s name, the make, model and year of the car, the license plate and VIN number and the date of the install. 

In addition, it’s recommended to have an index of damage that commonly occurs on vehicles such as scratches, dents, chips and rust. This will help you easily identify problem-areas, as well as make it easier for you to indicate problem spots on the inspection sheet. 

The inspection should take place after the hardware has been removed and the car has been thoroughly cleaned. This is due to the fact that paint damage could easily be hidden by hardware on the vehicle, and dirt could look like paint damage that doesn’t actually exist. In addition, removing hardware will make it easier for the installers to determine if the paint is OEM or not. 



Cleaning is one of the most important steps of the pre-install inspection process. It’s vital to begin this process by doing a thorough wipe-down with general cleaner such as soap and water, but that’s not all. Since oil and tar could still be on the car following this general clean, you may want to use a scratchless sponge or a clay bar. Finally, you’ll want to degrease the entire vehicle. This can be done using an Isopropyl alcohol and water mix. If you’re thorough, the inspection process, as well as the wrap process, will be a breeze.


The Inspection

The best way to start your inspection is to find and use a handheld light to ensure maximum visibility on any potential issues. Some areas could be dark, or have dark coloring, which makes this handheld light a must-have. Also, have a dry erase marker on hand with a color that has a good contrast to the color of the vehicle’s paint.

As you work around the car, do a complete 360-degree check. Do not skip any spots. The main surface area should be checked as well as the edges. Look at the surface from different areas, as trouble spots may only show from a certain point of view. Focus on looking for damage in high-contact areas such as door handles, mirrors, rocker panels, wheel wells and under bumpers. 

As an installer, you’re not only looking for major damage, but minor damage as well. This could be anything from paint imperfections to scratches and scrapes to body imperfections. Any paint imperfections are weak spots and should be noted in the form.

The key is to circle the damage with the dry erase marker.  This will make it easier to reference when you get to the photos.

Make sure to note the damage as you go around the car, instead of at the end. If you wait, there’s a higher likelihood that you’ll miss marking spots down. 

Use the index to note which type of damage is in certain spots on the inspection form, that way when the client asks you to specify the damage, you’ll be able to know exactly what it is quickly.

During the install, place the sheet in a safe place, such as the driver’s seat or the dashboard, as you’ll need the client, as well as the lead installer to sign it before you release the car. 



After you’ve finished your first 360-degree check and filled out the pre-install form, you’ll want to take photos of each damage spot you marked. This will provide photo evidence that the damage occurred before the install, and will help clients understand the possibilities of damage occurring while the wrap is being removed.

A clear reference point as to where the damage is on the vehicle is vital, and it’s highly recommended to circle the damage with a dry erase marker so that you do not lose the spot. 

After you’ve finished taking photos, put them in a dedicated folder for the client, and save these photos until the wrap is removed. It’s recommended to keep these photos in a cloud storage platform such as Google Photos, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Trello.



One of the most important things to do before you begin to install, is to determine whether or not the paint is OEM. If it is OEM, most manufacturers offer a guarantee that states the paint will not be damaged when the film is removed. Unfortunately, this is not the case if the paint is not OEM.

It can be difficult to tell if the paint is OEM or not, but luckily, there are some indicators to help determine the status of the paint.

Indicators the paint is not OEM:

  • There are sections on the vehicle where the paint color does not match

  • There are sections on the vehicle where the paint has an orange peel look to it.

  • Lines of paint on the molding. This is an indication that this was taped off and painted

  • Body lines that do not match up (e.g. one side of the hood has a wider gap by the front fenders)

  • Dirt in the paint

In addition to these indicators, you can also purchase tools to help you determine whether or not the paint is OEM. One option is a tool that determines the thickness of the paint by using magnetism, and another option is an electronic reader that can determine the thickness of the paint.

Make sure to discuss the protocol with the client, and explain the difference between OEM and non-OEM paint. Most vinyl manufacturers indicate (or should!) that warranties do not apply to non-OEM paint. This will need to be communicated with the client to avoid later confusion. 



This process is vital to your business, as you want to make sure to have proof of any existing damage, as well as the potential for lifting paint before you begin your install. This is the only way to ensure client trust and manage the client’s expectations. A happy client means a happy installer, which often is accompanied by an increase in profits.


Video Links:

Wrapping Up February 2020

Happy March everyone! Seems like everyone I talk to in the wrap industry is busy these days, so I hope that was the case in February. It certainly was for TWI. Here are the videos that were dropped:

The Never Stop Learning Wrap Contest and The Wrap Experience, both in conjunction with The Wrap Institute and ISA, are just around the corner. Be sure to sign up for the contest as there are over $15,000 worth of prizes to win. The Wrap Experience is an interactive area around the contest, and the theme is “Pivot for Profit”. It’s all about finding new ways to increase revenue with what you already have in your wrap shop or for your skill level as an installer. 

TWI was part of a cool charity drive for Australia in conjunction with Yellotools, Graphic Art Mart and Dallas Fowler.  As of now, there are only 8 squeegee sets left, so if you didn’t get one, be sure to grab them as only 100 were made and all the money goes to a good cause.  

The Wrap Institute Center is coming along in Munich, and we will be filming there in March and plan for the first workshops to begin in April. More into to follow.

Be sure to check out the shopping cart for a new offer exclusively for TWI members. The offer is for a cool app that's geared toward pricing and workflow – Mobile Tech RX. TWI made some product videos for them and the pre-inspection function alone is worth checking out. For now, they are set up for PPF, and in the future, will expand to color change and full print.  

As always, thanks for supporting TWI and letting us push the concept of Never Stop Learning!™


Wrapping Up January 2020

Happy February everyone! I hope the first month of 2020 was a successful one. Here are the videos that dropped in January:

Lots of things going on in The Wrap Institute this month:

TWI has partnered with ISA to offer the first every online digital badge for vehicle wrapping. TWI members get a special discount for this so be sure to check out the shop section on the site. Look for more levels to come in the next few months.

TWI Live Miami is just around the corner on February 8th at MetroWrapz in Miami. We will be wrapping 2 cars from start to finish – a BMW i8 Roadster (owned by Austin Mahone) and a Porsche 911 GT3. There will be tons of cool wrappers there, prize giveaways, demos by Phil Aquin from 3M Knifeless Tape, free food and drinks plus much more. It's free and fun, so come on by!

Registration for the Never Stop Learning contest is now open! The trainers will be Phil from 3M, Ritchie from Arlon, Dimas from Avery Dennison, and Dan from Orafol. This is an amazing competition that is open to all levels. All participants get free tools and a t-shirt for entering. 

The TWI training and testing facility is under renovation in Munich. I was just there at the end of January filming the first round of product videos with Rainer. I’m very excited about it for a wide variety of reasons, and look for the quality and depth of the TWI videos to go even higher in 2020. Super exciting stuff.

Best of luck in February and as always, Never Stop Learning!™


ISA Offers Online Learning Course for Those Interested in Vehicle Wraps

ALEXANDRIA, VA – January 27, 2020 – The International Sign Association is adding to its online learning courses with a new stand-alone course, Intro to Vehicle Wrapping. The course includes the expertise of The Wrap Institute and covers a history of vehicle wraps, available materials and considerations for setting up a wrap shop.

ISA and The Wrap Institute in partnership with Justin Pate have an expanding relationship, built upon the highly successful 2019 ISA Wrap Experience at ISA International Sign Expo. It featured 81 attendees participating in rounds of hands-on competition combined with education, all led by Pate and his group of highly talented instructors.

The ISA Wrap Experience will be back in 2020, with educational events and hands-on training at ISA International Sign Expo 2020, held April 1-4 in Orlando, Florida.

“Vehicle wraps have become increasingly important to sign, graphics and visual communications professionals,” said Craig Campbell, ISA’s director of business development. “As more and more companies explore this business opportunity, it only makes sense that ISA and TWI assist them as they improve skills and expertise.”

The online course is part of ISA’s self-paced learning courses for sign, graphics and visual communications professionals. The Intro to Vehicle Wrapping course is part of the ISA Digital Badge program. Those who successfully complete the course receive a digital badge which can be shared on social media and professional networks, showcasing the skills and competencies learned.

Those who successfully complete the course receive a digital badge which can be shared on social media and professional networks, showcasing the skills and competencies learned. 

“We’re super excited to add another level to the partnership between The Wrap Institute and ISA,” Pate said. “The balance between the depth of ISA and the clear information on The Wrap Institute videos combine into a solid platform that can be trusted by consumers while being beneficial for all levels of installers.”

The online learning course is $35 for ISA and ISA Affiliated Association members and $50 for non-members. The Wrap Institute members can receive $15.00 off the non-member price with promo code TWI15.

To learn more about ISA’s online learning programs, visit

About International Sign Association

The International Sign Association (ISA) strives to be the leader in shaping and developing the sign, graphics, and visual communications community worldwide.

About The Wrap Institute

The Wrap Institute provides access to industry information, a dedicated community of wrappers, and instructional videos taught by wrap experts from around the world. The main objective of The Wrap Institute is to help the installation community worldwide reach higher standards of professionalism and efficiency.

Everything you need to start vinyl-wrapping cars

Technically speaking, you can get a car wrapped with just a squeegee and a knife! But if you want to save on time and materials, and set yourself up for the best result possible, these are the core tools/products we recommend:


  • Before you can even think of learning how to become a wrap installer, you’ll have to invest in a squeegee - a reusable, flexible applicator that’s used to apply film to a variety of different types of surfaces. There is a variety of squeegees on the market, so check out our squeegee overview before you buy!

Felt Squeegee Buffers

  • During the install, you want to avoid scratching on the material or the vehicle. The best way to do this is by applying a felt squeegee buffer to the end of your squeegee prior to install. The ideal buffer material for vehicle graphic applications is thin, soft felt, but there are other buffers on the market for wet applications such as paint protection film, chrome, windows and tint. 

Light-Duty Utility Knife and blades

  • When cutting on or near a vehicle while wrapping, having the right knife is absolutely crucial. You’ll want to get a light-duty utility knife with a rounded, plastic front so that you can push the knife against the body of a vehicle and keep a steady hand without fear of scratching anything. You’ll also want to find a multi-cartridge knife, as you should expect to use at least 2-3 blades during a single vehicle install. 

Safety box for blades

  • This one could easily be overlooked while you’re buying your knife and blades, and once you start installing, you’ll need it to click the blade off and store in a safe place until you can discard it properly. 

Tape measure

  • Tape measures are an upfront, essential tool. They’ll help you save time by making sure you get the measurements right the first time and avoid costly reprints and cutting the material the wrong size. There are different types of tape measures that work for different types of installs, so make sure to check out our video on tape measures to find the right one for you!

Cleaning supplies

  • Prepping the vehicle for install is as, if not more, important than the vinyl install itself. To ensure no dust or dirt gets trapped under the wrap, make sure you have the proper cleaning supplies on hand, such as spray bottles and microfiber towels. Click here to see all of TWI’s recommended cleaning supplies. 

Basic Tool Kit

  • You might already have one of these on hand! The right basic tool set is key for removing hardware, and can help immensely in a situation where you just can’t wrap around something. 

Heat gun

  • Heat guns help installers in a variety of ways - from warming the material prior to stretching it, to post-heating to make sure an install sticks, to triggering the memory effect in certain films, the heat gun is a necessary tool for all installers. There are lots of factors to consider when buying a heat gun to find the right combination of price, technology and durability. 


  • Markers are one of the unsung heroes of wrapping, and they’re super cheap too! To get started, we recommend you pick up some water-soluble and wax markers to help you work smoother and more precisely. 

Masking Tape

  • Masking tape is another unsung hero of the wrap world. It can be used in a variety of ways during an install to help lower surface energy which can help the film tuck under or around objects like door handles, molding and much more.


  • Magnets are absolutely key for wrapping solo. Look for a magnet option that won’t damage your graphics or the car, and use it to position and hold panels in place. For some surfaces, such as aluminum and walls, you’ll need to use masking tape, but for many installs, magnets are a huge help.



Not absolutely necessary - but great to have!


Knifeless Tape

  • This tool helps safely cut excess film away from a vehicle without having to use a knife. This is especially essential for the beginner or intermediate installer, as this will remove the chance of you cutting on a client’s car. There are four types of knifeless tape available: Design Line Tape, Knifeless Finish Line Tape and Knifeless Bridge Line Tape.

Application glove

  • Application gloves help form film safely into curves and recesses on a vehicle. In addition to prohibiting the transfer of lint or skin oils, they have anti-static properties and excellent friction resistance when moistened with a soap and water solution. 


  • This tool often doesn’t get the spotlight, but it’s essential to avoid cutting on the car when cutting away excess film. The blade is encased in plastic, which makes it impossible to cut on the vehicle. You want to make sure you rotate the blade out regularly on this tool to ensure nice, clean cuts. 

First Aid Kit

  • No bleeding no wrapping - this one is a given. In a job where dealing with sharp blades is a regular thing, you want to make sure you have materials handy to deal with a bad cut or two.