Thoughts, trends and things to consider about the vinyl business,
the internet, and the future of the industry.
      As the internet continues to grow and become more interwoven into our daily lives, the more we all come to rely on it for information, products and purchases. For this reason, Aurora Graphics developed it's new cutting-edge website which finally enables us to post up and show our vast library of digital art products for the vinyl industry for just-in-time download delivery including professional quality mock up sales tools.

     Our legendary 'Wrap Design Studio' enables users of the site to virtually “try out” any graphic we offer right on the vehicle they choose. You can even change the vehicle color to the right paint color with a click of a button. It's very cool & our customers love it. But there is more to it than initially meets the eye. Read on for additional information and perspective.
     In today's tough economy, a shop needs to turn every potential client into an actual paying client whenever possible. This is easier said than done as you already know. The trick is to get interest, traffic, and the ability to close sales hopefully without expanding your employee base to accomplish this, all while holding down costs as much as possible.

      The internet is one of the fastest growing phenomenon in our everyday lives, it only makes sense that as people surf for product information as well as looking to buy, your on-line presence is absolutely required! To think otherwise is to await the enlightenment you will one day have. ONLY the internet is able to bring a small company nation-wide, even world-wide 24/7 exposure for so little money. As fuel prices grow ever higher, shopping from the comfort of ones own home via the internet, is definitely the wave of the future. Couple that with the publics growing desire for just-for-me, just now, just in time, instant gratification mentality, the time has come when the Wrap Design Studio concept becomes a necessity in today's hurried, technically advanced world.

      Just as a vinyl shop sells a wrap to a client because it’s the ‘most bang for the buck’ his advertising money can buy, so the same can be said for an EFFECTIVE web presence for today's successful business. Leveraging your LOCAL business with a highly effective web presence is a great combination indeed as you can then capture not only the production of the vinyl decals themselves, but also bid and get the installation. Meet your clients face to face and soon you’ll be sent other clients for needs they have that leads to banners, signs, decals and more.

      Phone apps are all the rage these days as are applications on the internet. People like to use the apps and everyone is getting in on the game. Noticing this trend, we designed and built our exclusive 'WRAP DESIGN STUDIO' and integrated it into our cutting edge website www.auroragraphics.net. Built from the ground up as a graphics showcase for the vinyl industry. Thanks to the internet we can now display our entire library of digital art (over 10,000 pieces) that are legendary within the vinyl industry. Couple that with our Wrap Design Studio and now you, as our valued customer can easily login and design on our 350+ vehicle templates with our entire library of digital art available at your finger tips. The Wrap Design Studio was designed by graphics artists for graphics enthusiasts. A very specialized tool, the Wrap Design Studio supports layers like Photoshop. It also supports editing of each layer independently of all other layers and includes the ability to move layers forward and backward in the layer stack. Delete layers you don't need. Build up to 7 layers deep. Hot-Swap vehicle templates within the same layout without disturbing the original layout. Change paint colors of the templates on the fly. All the while each layer remains editable. Move, Scale, Rotate, Mirror, Stretch and Squash images, real-time, right on the vehicle template of your choosing! And yes, it does support transparency! Use barbed wire, skullz, flames and more over your favorite background(s) found on our site. The Wrap Design Studio also supports advanced clipping methods so each graphic or design element auto-masks into the vehicle paint yet stays fully editable. Thousands of superior quality and innovative designs to choose from allows the shop to show them all and then pull from that library like a virtual inventory, paying for only what you need, only when you need it. Fun, easy and quick the Wrap Design Studio is the ‘virtual’ answer to a graphic retailers ultimate dream come true!

      Is your website an asset or a liability? Many vinyl shop websites are nothing more than a ‘Glorified Electronic Portfolio’ of work done for other clients. (Read: BORING) While this DOES show ability and/or creativity, most often the pictures shown are not what the new client will be wanting for themselves. Yet another thought is your really cool partial wrap on a Dodge. While that may be a great looking design, and your client may want that exact one.....but he drives a Ford and it‘s a different color... he can only imagine what that graphic may look like on his Ford (for example) What if you had the on-line ability for that same client to actually SEE what that image, in the right color, will look like on his truck? How much of a positive effect would that have on the client? You’d be providing him the ability to sell himself.

     Does your website change often? Clients and prospects will quickly become bored with your site if it never changes. Been there, seen that (and likely they won’t be back) unless you give them a reason to keep coming back. Keeping it new, fresh and exciting DOES pay off but it requires diligence to do it, and often costs money too if you aren’t able to perform these changes quickly yourself or in-house. The Wrap Design Studio and huge amount of excellent quality graphics / wraps / signage allows the customer to browse and actually try graphics on their own vehicle's template. It’s the ‘interactive’ aspect and the ‘custom’ factor that will peak their interest the most. Couple that will new content being added constantly insures that the prospective client will return until they find the perfect image they want. Then you have a very motivated client who already knows exactly what they want. Then it’s up to you to bid and close the sale! It’s really that simple and it’s really that powerful. After closing the deal, buy the artwork, download and execute!

      The Wrap Design Studio site can be effectively used by you, your employees, as well as your client at home or office 24/7. Any internet connection will enable either you or your client access to the Wrap Design Studio. A Wireless card in a laptop would be the ultimate selling tool for your mobile salesman. Though there are so many ways to use the Wrap Design Studio website, consider some of the ideas below and determine if this would work for your shop as well. Oh, and I should also point out that this online ‘tool’ never asks for a raise, never calls in sick, quits, shows up hung over, never steals, screws off or complains and NEVER quits to go in biz against you.

     *Install a kiosk in your showroom and let customers use it. Once they have figured out what they want, take a look at the finished design and simply quote a price for the work / close the sale. Eliminates the interview time and then the mockup design time or reduces it to a minimum amount of time and effort on your part. Create foot traffic in your shop with this interactive, online tool.

     *Install a kiosk at your local car dealer showroom or another high-traffic area such as a mall setting or auto customizing shop. People can design in their leisure and then submit it for quote from you.

     *Get the attention of high school and college kids and get them to your website. They can take the ball from there and run with it.

     *Advertise your new site abilities at race tracks. Now doing race cars can be much easier and more profitable if the client designs his own car and all you do is output and install.

     *Promote and advertise your website! Now it will be interactive with your clients. What else could you do on your website that would have this much impact, especially for the small amount of cost involved?

     *Interactive site means no more just an 'On-line portfolio of work you did for other people' as now it's a customization tool that can be used by not only you and your staff, but also the clients you attract.

     *Your client will have the self-satisfaction of 'designing' their own wrap / partial that you output and install.

     *Simply roll the price of the art into the price of the job and spend much, much less time interviewing and designing what you HOPE will be acceptable by the customer.

     *Perform mockups in record speed using your own WDS site thanks to our deep library rich in beautiful artwork, templates and design elements. Then upload your customers logo, text or even 3rd party artwork and add it directly to the layout. Email it to your client right then and there. Super easy, fast and effective. Your mockups were never this quick an easy before!

     *Download needed art for instant, just on-time delivery without freight / duties or taxes eating away at your bottom line.

     *Never buy anything until you need it to output a job sold. By adding the cost to the job, you build a digital inventory paid for by your clients.

     *Spend more time making money and less time interviewing, doing mockups and speaking to the customer about the job. *Increase your sales while decreasing the amount of time it takes to close a sale.

     *Operate more efficiently with on-line tools and our vast library of digital art.

     MOST VINYL SHOP OWNERS agree, the reason they got into this business to start with was to make money. Using our system you will close more jobs and complete them faster, which equals increased success and profitability. To make more money, you must make your business process more efficient by cutting time from each transaction, while outputting (most often) a superior printed image that is instantly available on-line. Better art = happy customers which reflects good on you as you become the ultimate digital art source without question.

     Once you come to the realization that you are running a machine that processes vinyl into a finished product that you in turn sell for profit, the sooner you will understand how this system will help you immeasurably by letting you do what you do best: close sales, efficient production, collect payment / repeat. The more jobs you can produce in a day, the more profits you will earn. Aurora Graphics helps you save time everyday, while you output a high quality, innovative design for them. Our exclusive Wrap Design Studio allows your clients to know what they want BEFORE they contact you. How would that aspect alone help your business?

      Have you ever asked yourself what is the most important factor in a wrap / partial / vehicle graphic? Some may say 'The material and laminate'. Others may say 'The installation'. Still others go for print quality, such as with an 8 color machine set on highest quality. I say all the above are important, but the image itself reigns supreme over all the above. It's all about what it looks like. The art itself is the real deal-maker or deal-breaker. If a client sees a printed vinyl image that they like, they couldn't care less what it's printed on. As long as the image stays on and doesn't fail, it is a complete success to them. The base substrate is of little concern. The brand of printer it was output on will never enter their mind, nor will the plotter used to contour cut it. A retail person may not even recognize the image is laminated, much less care what brand the laminate happens to be. THE CLIENT IS BUYING THE IMAGE. THE VINYL IS MEARLY A MEANS IN WHICH TO TRANSFER THAT IMAGE TO THE VEHICLE.

     Base film, laminate, printer choice and ink choice is all up to you, as the professional, to decide what is best for the client. The client trusts you to make sure these things are met. However, the art is in the eye of the beholder and the client will make that ultimate decision. Indeed the work you put out your door is always either working for you, or against you, depending on what it looks like and how it's holding up. That's why more professionals choose Aurora Graphics Digital Art over any other publisher within this industry. Our progressive style, unsurpassed scale and quality coupled with such a deep library makes Aurora Graphics the professionals choice the world over.

     The Aurora Graphics Digital Art Library coupled with our cutting edge website are the result of years of planning, digital art production and understanding the business from within the trenches. Over 3 years to plan, design, produce and refine our cutting edge website equipped with the Wrap Design Studio has been a very extensive endeavor on it’s own. The famous Aurora Graphics Digital Art library, which is what really drives the site, is the results of over 14 years in the making to bring you the most in-depth, highest quality, most diversified, most creative, largest scale digital art resource in the entire world. Others try to emulate or copy us (or) basically try to keep pace with us, only to discover they arrive ‘short of the mark’. Imagine having ALL this content with new stuff added every day and the Wrap Design Studio available to your clients with YOUR SHOP as the source for the final finished decals / wrap / partial. It’s the most powerful, innovative system of it’s kind and it’s now available to shops like yours. One of our clients recently voiced his opinion regarding this cutting edge system: “I’d much rather have the Wrap Design Studio in my business than to be competing against this system through a competitor”. Powerful stuff!

      It’s easy to get into the vinyl business. Anyone can order a new printer as long as you have the cash or good credit. Ordering rolls of media is equally easy to do. Deciding what image to print on that media is the difference between success and failure. The vehicle you do is driving around town and has the opportunity to draw interest from others depending on if they like it or not. The printed image -the art itself- is what will make the customer want to buy it or not. Same with others who see it. Building that sort of ‘reputation’ for killer artwork and super looking finished wrap / partials is what brings you new clients without you spending money to get their attention. New clients will begin to gravitate to you because of your previous work that’s out on the street. Once they see the Wrap Design Studio running on the shops website and then see ALL that is available, you’ll soon have another new client.

     99% of vinyl shop owners got into the business because they wanted to make money, not because they were a frustrated digital artist and needed an outlet for their talents. Thus, consider sign franchises as well as mom and pop shops everywhere. Here is a large group of people long on work ethic, but possibly short on the design aspect and may not possess the skills, time or dedication to become a great digital artist. After all, they were attracted to the vinyl business for profits, not to become a self-paying digital art student. Acquiring the machine, the vinyl and leasing a building are all easily done by anyone with money, talent is not required. However, once all this is in place, the complete recipe is still missing a vitally important factor: what are we going to print on this vinyl?

     All shop owners want to be successful. Some fail, some survive. There are a few factors at work for those who fail as well as succeed.

     Many customers don't want to pay for art up front before it's created. They are more willing to pay for the art once they see it and like it, but that is putting the cart before the horse. Race cars are a large segment of the vinyl consumed in this country. However, most of them are financially broke by the time they get to the wrap on the car and most want a “sponsor”. The time it takes to design the wrap for the race car is a big factor in needing to get more money for the wrap. It’s the time involved in design that usually makes a job ‘less profitable’. If there was a way the customer could 'design it himself' or simply pick from a wide selection of graphics, then the shop owner could effectively get himself out of the design business and be more into production and taking money. It's a form of working smarter, not harder. Leading with your strong suit rather than languishing on a weakness.

      The Bottom line: This is 21st century marketing at it's finest. Using the internet to sell, using the Wrap Design Studio to model and generate new leads, and using email to speed your efforts. All running tirelessly on the Aurora Graphics 24/7 dedicated graphics server. The Wrap Design Studio website allows the average guy to leverage the power of Aurora Graphics to his advantage in the most popular venue of our time: the internet. Use it to better your business. Use it, or compete against it. The choice is up to you.