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Kaitlyn's blog

TWI Balloon Challenge


We want to see your cutting skills in action. Grab a balloon and submit your entry for the #TWIBalloonChallenge to win a TWI Knife!

The rules are simple:

1. BLOW up your balloon

2. APPLY a scrap piece of vinyl and cut out at least one of the shapes in the PDF below

3. POST a video of your attempt to Instagram or Facebook and show your results

4. TAG @wrapinstitute and hashtag #twiballoonchallenge (make sure your account is set to public!)

5. WIN a limited-edition TWI KNIFE - the first 15 people to share a video of their cutting skills will win!

Best of luck, and Never Stop Learning!™

Wrapping Up October 2019

How to Become a Certified Installer

A lot goes into becoming a certified installer. From fees to different exam types to learning how to maximize your certification - it can all be extremely overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to guide you through all the necessary steps to ensure you’re not wasting time or money.



In the last seven to ten years, manufacturers have started to make their own certification tests to make sure certified installers truly understand their material. Initially, this may seem like more work for you, but in reality, it allows you to choose a certification test that caters to your specific needs. In addition, you’ll know what material you’re working with going into the certification test, which gives you an automatic edge. 

That being said, make sure whichever certification test you decide to take (and the location you take it) is reputable. Unfortunately, some certification tests in certain locations are known for being easier to pass, and even if you pass with flying colors, your certification may not be given the recognition it deserves.



While each certification test is different, most of them maintain a similar structure. In order to go into the test with your best foot forward, it’s a good idea to understand what you’re getting yourself into financially, time-wise, and physically prior to taking the test.

  1. An upfront fee. These fees can run anywhere from $450 to $1,500 - and if you’re taking a workshop prior to the exam, it could be more. Make sure to calculate the total of both the workshop and the test fees to avoid any surprise expenses.
  2. Travel fees. As stated above, it’s important to choose the right location. Unfortunately, this means that you could have some hefty travel fees added to your overall cost of taking the certification test. Look at and book your flights and hotel as far in advance as possible, and make sure you include these costs in your overall certification test budget.
  3. A one-to-three day length. Most certification programs are one to three days long, and involve both a workshop portion and the test portion. Sometimes you’re able to decide not to participate in the workshop portion, but it’s strongly advised to take the workshop as the program instructors may want their film installed in a certain way. HIDDEN FEE: The length and timing of the workshop/test will affect the time you have to install that week. Make sure you factor in these lost work costs.
  4. Both an install and a written exam. Both of these will be on a point scale, and understanding the material is vital to pass both of these exams.



While we believe the benefits outweigh any potential negatives of becoming certified, here are a couple things to consider:

  1. Not passing the test. After all the time and money spent on the certification test, it’s extremely frustrating if you don’t pass come the end of the test. In addition, it could cause you to lose face if people find out you didn’t pass the test on your first try. That being said, make sure you are completely prepared for the test, and that you know your material before you go in. BY THE WAY - we can help with that! Prepare for workshops and certification tests by learning from Wrap Institute videos.
  2. Brand Association. Only becoming certified in one brand of film could easily pigeon-hole you, as clients may think you can’t meet their needs for different material brands. To be a well-rounded installer, it’s good to think about getting certified in as many brands you use as possible to ensure your talents and expertise are showcased properly.
  3. Certification Ownership. Be sure to do your research on who owns the certification once it's obtained. In some cases, if the wrap shop or owner paid for the installer to take the test and that installer leaves, the certification is void. This means the installer, now that they are on their own, will have to pay for and retake the test. This also means the wrap shop or owner no longer has the certification and would have to train another installer. If the installer paid for the test with their own money, then, in most cases, the certification would go with them and the wrap shop or owner would have to send or train someone new to take the certification if they still want that recognition for their shop. It can get complicated, so make sure to talk to the manufacturer before committing to taking the test. 



While becoming certified ultimately takes a lot of time and money, it gives you the confidence to know you’ve reached a professional level of expertise and quality. In addition, you become part of the community of certified wrappers, which leads to respect from clients and other wrappers around the globe.

Also, both direct and indirect job leads often come from becoming certified. In terms of direct leads, the certification program will often list as a certified installer on their website. When a client needs to look for a great installer, they can often search for a certified installer in their area on the manufacturer’s website - and it could be you! In addition, certification ensures you know the material and how to install it extremely well, which ultimately leads to less failures, happy clients, and better business for you. If you have any specific certification questions, feel free to drop them on the Forum, and Never Stop Learning!TM

See which certification programs are near you.


Videos to watch:

Certification Overview

Freelance Installer Tips

Why Get Certified

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:

Wrapping Up September 2019

Hey TWI members – I hope that the wrap world has been good to you in September. Here are the videos released on TWI last month.

October is shaping up to have a great round of informative videos on The Wrap Institute, including some detailed videos on Tesla wraps as well as business advice videos. We're currently filming, and I can't say enough great things about the content on it's way. We've also recently upgraded our equipment, so look for higher quality in both visual and audio. 

SEMA is right around the corner, which is always a ton of fun. We plan to capture all the best wraps there to share with our TWI members who can’t attend the show.  

TWI has also partnered with ISA and will be hosting another Wrap Experience contest at the ISA Sign Expo in Orlando April 1-4.  We have some very exciting news about this event, so keep an eye out for it in the next week or two. This event is open to everyone, and will provide great learning experiences in addition to prizes, so be sure to sign up.  

As always, thanks for being a member of TWI and helping us push the Never Stop Learning™ train.


TWI & ISA Form Ongoing Partnership


ALEXANDRIA, VA – September 3, 2019 – The International Sign Association and The Wrap Institute in partnership with Justin Pate will build on the successful ISA Wrap Experience to provide ongoing programs that further expertise and advocacy for wraps professionals.

One of the largest-scale initiatives will be a series of educational events and hands-on training at ISA International Sign Expo 2020, held April 1-4 in Orlando. More details on the specifics of those events will be released in the coming weeks.

ISA International Sign Expo 2020 is just one element of a multi-pronged relationship between ISA, The Wrap Institute and Pate, widely regarded as the foremost authority on vehicle wraps. In addition to the tradeshow, the agreement will allow the two organizations to work together on education events. 

ISA’s Digital Badge program, which has been well adopted by sign, graphics and visual communications companies, will expand to include skills needed most by wrap professionals. Those who pursue Digital Badges in wrap-related areas will be able to set themselves apart from their peers by showing a commitment to continuing education. ISA and Affiliated Association members will be able to receive a discount on education offered through The Wrap Institute.

The relationship grows out of an extremely successful venture during ISA International Sign Expo 2019. The ISA Wrap Experience featured 81 attendees participating in rounds of hands-on competition combined with education, all led by Pate and his group of highly talented instructors.

"As more companies expand into providing wraps as part of their comprehensive marketing lineup, it only makes sense that ISA and The Wrap Institute offer more information and products in this field,” said Craig Campbell, director of strategic initiatives for the International Sign Association. “We believe this partnership will help both organizations’ missions of building business and expertise for our members.”

ISA and The Wrap Institute also will work on topics of research and advocacy, since wraps often are misunderstood by local communities who respond with aggressive regulations.”

"The keys for continuing to grow the wrap industry in the next few years are threefold,” Pate said. “One, continued education on product and install knowledge with training both hands-on and streaming.  Two, creating crossover revenue opportunities between traditional sign makers and the customization/protection side of the industry (PPF, color change and tint). And, third, working diligently with local businesses and consumers to make them both more aware of wraps and of their benefits in terms of marketing, cost savings and the environment.  I have devoted most of my career to building wraps as a profession and this relationship with ISA will only allow that to expand.”

ISA International Sign Expo 2020 will be April 2-4, with pre-conference education April 1. It will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Registration will open later this fall at 

About ISA International Sign Expo

ISA International Sign Expo is the on-premise sign and visual communication industry’s largest expo. Held each spring, the event features the latest products that showcase the breadth of the sign and visual communications industry along with education and networking events. The event has been named to the Trade Show News Network’s List of Top 250 Trade Shows and ranked in the Top 100 Largest Events by Trade Show Executive three consecutive years. Learn more at 

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 improve the installation community worldwide in order to help the industry reach higher standards of professionalism and efficiency.

Wrapping Up August 2019

Hello everyone – I hope August was a successful month for your business, and that you picked up a lot of new tips and tricks from the following videos that were released in August:

Our TWI Garage booth at Wrapscon 2019 was a big success. The demos from sponsors and special guests were really well received, so we would like to give a big thank you to everyone who helped make those happen. It’s always great to see a lot of great peeps in the industry at one event, so a big thank you to Wrapscon and NBM for putting that show together. Be sure to check out all the Wrapscon 2019 videos if you couldn’t make it there. There is some really great info, plus tips and tricks for hardware removals and installs that will be very useful.

The lineup for September is really strong with a wide mix of quality videos. Week one features Kevin Kempf and Shareef Khan. Week two is mirror week with Mantas, Dimas and myself, plus a detailed breakdown on the TWI Garage floor booth design and install. A must watch for wrap shops. Week three is all about hardware removal tips with Jeff Sharell plus a cool overview on XiX3D with ZENO. Week four has a cool series on wrapping a bathroom stall plus an overview of the cool wrap technique called The Shimmy.

I want to take this chance to give a shout out to Jonas Sjöström (aka JBS Dekor). He has been our top contributor on The Wrap Institute Forum. For those of you who don’t know him, he won the FESPA Wrap Masters 2 years ago and got 3rd place last year, so he knows his stuff. Be sure to trust his advice because it's solid.

Due to the success of the XiX3D with ZENO promotion for TWI members, they are extending it indefinitely for TWI members only. Be sure to take advantage of this as their new beta programs are true game changers. 

Lastly, we are aware of the issue with the thumbnails on the site that no longer show a preview of the video. We are working with Vimeo to get this fixed as it is a code they changed without notice, so there are several layers to sort through. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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