Nick Caminiti and his team at Exotic Graphix took their second Wrap Like a King entry to an entirely new level and won the international contest’s crown for the second year in a row. The 11-member Exotic Graphix team often unwinds together on Friday evenings after a long week of installing wraps and one week into the competition decided to enter with a unique idea.
“We look forward to Wrap Like a King each year because it gives us the opportunity to create a project that a client often won’t execute because of their budget limitations,” shared Caminiti. “We enjoy the opportunity to be more creative and try new things with the vinyl - really challenging ourselves to reach new levels.”
The idea for Lei’d Low was sparked by an Exotic team member’s desire to create a 3D wood effect. The team aligned on the idea of choosing a very difficult vehicle, with a lot of curves, to install the wrap. The Volkswagen Beetle has no straight panels and was identified by the team as the car to wrap for the Challenge.
“Our entire team took on the challenge of wrapping a Beetle,” said Caminiti. “The crew saw the vision and everyone was on board. With six weeks to go before the contest’s deadline, we bought the car and started the creative process!”
Caminiti’s dad, Rocky, a former mechanic, took the car apart. In order to create an ideal surface for the vinyl wrap, the panels were sanded, prepped and repainted for the vinyl to adhere. New parts were researched, bought online and sourced at salvage yards.
The wood paneling details were created by turning an image of wood into a grayscale image and separating the different layers, then each of the 10 layers were cut using Avery Dennison 900 Supercast Black. After 20 hours of weeding and applying the 10 layers to create the wood texture, digitally printed MPI 1105 Easy Apply RS™ laminated with DOL 6460 High Gloss was applied as the eleventh layer to complete the 3D look.
“The process of creating the wood panels was intense,” added Camini. “Now that we have the technique down, we could easily replicate it. The entire wrap was a learning process and we feel we developed skills that we’ll be able to use in the future for our commercial clients.”
The roof of the Beetle was especially challenging because the team wanted to apply it in a single piece. All 11 members of the Exotic team helped with the roof application. They even developed a special IR heat system and curved bars to match the shape of the car, which enabled them to stretch the film evenly and ensure success.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be named the winner of a global competition twice in a row,” said Caminiti. “There were many amazing wraps in Wrap Like a King this year; the competition was fierce. We burned the midnight oil to get this project finished. I’m so proud of us for bringing our vision to life and taking the title.”
“Nick and his team have created two amazing projects two years in a row,” said Peter Wright, Wrap Like a King judge and technical marketing manager, Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions, Australia/New Zealand. “It’s exciting to see what they’re achieving with Avery Dennison films for Wrap Like a King and their clients.”