Justin Pate Shares How and Why He Started Teaching Wrap Classes

How and why did you start instructing Avery Dennison Wrap Classes?

I launched my first DVD set back in 2008 (Techniques and Tips) and teaching workshops was a natural extension from there. I started teaching workshops on digital, full print car wraps in 2008 for Mutoh America as they really began to focus on car wraps. Then, in 2011, Avery Dennison took over the program, and it’s expanded from there to include an advanced color change workshop and a certification program for North America.

What is the difference between the Basic-Intermediate and Advanced Class? Who should be taking these classes?

In the Basic-Intermediate workshop, there is a big focus on learning good fundamentals and how to install all types of applications related to commercial installs: walls, floors, windows and car wraps. In the Advanced class, the focus is on color change car wraps, which require more advanced techniques and a deeper understanding of the material.

Based on this, if someone is new to the industry or has only been working on flat signage, the beginner class is the first step. If an installer has had experience in car wraps or has taken the beginner class, the advanced class is the right choice as it skips over the basics and goes  deeper right out of the gate.

What tips and tricks can class participants learn about digital full print wraps? What about color change?

The workshops are based around a system I created called UGIS: Universal Graphic Installation System, which I recently updated to 2.0 Digital Full Print and 2.0 Colorchange.

The main principle is to show the distinct differences in terms of techniques and tools on how to approach a digital full print car wrap versus a color change wrap. This significantly helps to avoid overwrapping and provides clear guidelines on what type of cuts to make, what tools to use and so on. Within all this, the participants will see the latest tools on the market and techniques like: triangles, the palm, Belgian Corner, Koji’s Corner, cold pre-stretch, pre-stretch and more.

The classes offer installers a chance to raise the quality of their wraps while also lowering install times. How is this possible?

By showing the latest tools and techniques within a clear, easy-to-understand system, the areas that are traditionally problematic like mirrors, corners, door handles and bumpers become much easier to wrap. This means that instead of struggling on these areas, installers can have high workflow while, at the same time, avoiding overstretching or making mistakes. This is the sweet spot that the workshops hit, and it really resonates.  

What have you learned about the vinyl wrap industry during your years of leading Wrap Classes?

Simply, that every year, the wrap industry gets bigger and bigger. If you are not up-to-date in terms of the latest tools and techniques, trends and materials being offered, the industry will  quickly pass you by. I find that the installers that are taking workshops, even if they are experienced, and watching videos online are making more money. They are working smarter, not harder, because they have committed to “never stop learning.”

Why should installers pursue Avery Dennison Certification?

It’s a challenging test, and if they pass, they are part of an elite club of installers in North America. Being Avery Dennison certified helps in terms of getting work, being recognized in the industry and setting them apart from their local competition.

What I like about the test a lot is that it’s inexpensive compared to other programs. If an installer fails the first time, they can take the test again and Avery Dennison Certification is for life with no annual dues. If I was still installing day-to-day, I would definitely become certified.

What are the most important recommendations you have for installers who want to achieve certification?

First, you should have at least 10 full wraps under your belt before taking the test, otherwise the chance of failure is really high.

What I really like about the Avery Dennison test is they focus on the end results. How the installer gets there is up to them, which means they don’t have to wrap a certain way or use tools they aren’t used to. They can bring their own tools and wrap as if they were wrapping for a client back home. The quicker they get in their normal work groove and forget that they are taking a test, the better they seem to do.

Which aspect of the classes is the most fun or rewarding for you to teach?

It’s the joy of sharing knowledge, tips and techniques that either give new installers a strong foundation to build on or helping the experienced installer learn how to wrap faster with higher quality. The name of the game for me is finding that balance between work and life. I think what the installers learn in the workshop gives them a great chance to make good money doing something they love while still getting home in time for dinner.