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The History Of Vehicle Wraps

Would you be surprised to know that vehicle wraps were first used in ways other than a branding tool? The history of wrapping cars with vinyl material is a long and interesting one, and the result is one of the marketing industry's most effective and widely used advertising tools.

Without further ado, here is a full history of the vehicle wrap:

Before Vinyl, Paint Was King

Outdoor advertising has a history, rumored to go as far back as the ancient Egyptians. Using Papyrus, these ancient cultures would post painted symbols on the walls of structures to advertise events and occasions within their society.

In more practical, modern times, early vehicles used paint to advertise. It's speculated by historians that the largest companies of the early 1900s, brands like Hershey's Cocoa and Kolb's Red Label Bread painted their logos and slogans onto the sides of passenger vehicles, helping to make their company brands some of the most recognizable of the era. That, however, was before the discovery of Vinyl chloride.

Vinyl Steps onto the Scene

Vinyl chloride, a type of plastic polymer, was discovered by scientists in 1926, but wasn't popularized as an outdoor advertising material until much later. This was due to the elevated cost of vinyl in the decades after it was first produced. Only the largest companies could afford to use self-adhering vinyl graphics.

The earliest documented wide-scale use for vinyl was actually not for advertising at all, as German taxis, after it was decreed that they needed to all be the same shade, it was easier to wrap the full vehicle in vinyl than attempt to match the shade with paint. Perhaps this is what gave inspiration to the marketing industry, but from that point on, vinyl car wraps underwent a boom in the market for truly mobile advertising.

A New Age of Car Wraps

Die-cutting, the process of using a customized mechanism to cut through sheer material in a very precise way, was invented for use by the leather industry, but eventually made its way to other frontiers. One of these new uses for the technology was cutting and shaping vinyl, and suddenly using self-adhering vinyl to wrap vehicles with graphics was affordable and practical.

Suddenly graphics were easily being put onto vehicles and sent out onto the road, and the invention and sophistication lent to the industry by computers in the past 20 years has further allowed this advertising method to boom. Today, you're likely to see tens of wrapped cars and trucks in only a few minutes on the road, with instantly recognizable and consistent brands.

How Are Vehicle Wraps Done Today?

Although the methods of different companies can vary slightly, the industry operates in a pretty consistent way. A business comes to a company like Creative Graphic Solution needing a car wrap for his or her advertising needs. They give us a design for their vehicle, and our graphics team organizes it into a digital drawing of the vehicle being wrapped.

After the digital images are approved, a special printer produces the wrap in strips, specially planned so that no seams show when the wrap actually occurs. Our expert wrap team in St. Louis takes a few days to place the self-adhering vinyl sheet on the vehicle, with no air bubbles or visible blemishes on the surface.

The Benefits in Getting a Car Wrap St Louis

If you use Creative Graphic Solutions for your vehicle wrap, you'll be making a choice that thousands of other business owners across the U.S. have made for the betterment of their brands. Using your vehicle to advertise effectively pays for itself due to the following benefits:

  • As more and more prospective customers view your advertising, you'll get more business, meaning that more eyes will see your wrapped vehicle going forward.

  • This makes vehicle wrapping unique in that it has one of the lowest Costs per Impression than any marketing strategy.

  • It's estimated that around 95% of Americans make contact with an outdoor, mobile marketing campaign such as vehicle wrap ads.

What's more, you have complete control over the way your brand is reflected on a vehicle, giving your marketing a consistent face and a recognizable brand.

For more information on the ways a vehicle wrap can transform your business, call us at 314-649-7446 or go online at

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