For the vehicle wrap market there are several schools of thought on how to handle manufacturer badges and emblems. This month we’ll tackle the basics to get you comfortable removing these obstructions.
For starters, it is important to discuss removal of emblems before you even start designing and printing your wrap. From a design perspective emblems can interfere with the overall message of the wrap and if not incorporated into the design will cause hassles during printing and installation. Because many customers have a hard time understanding why emblems should be removed prior to installation I recommend talking with customers about the emblems, and giving them options you are comfortable working around. I typically tell customers that if they want to leave the emblem in place, I’ll have to cut around it and depending on the shape or size it will detract from the wrap design. Or, I tell them I can remove it to allow the audience to concentrate on the wrap messaging. Be sure to advise your customer that emblems can be damaged during removal, but normally a replacement can be found at a dealership if the original cannot be preserved.
Once you have the ok from your customer, you can begin removing these obstacles. I begin by heating the entire emblem and area around it with a heat gun or torch to activate the adhesive under the plastic emblem. I then use a small pry bar just behind the face being careful to not touch the vehicles paint with the pry bar. Once I slowly work the pry bar underneath the whole emblem it usually will pull right up leaving the automotive tape/glue behind.
The next step is to remove the adhesive residue left behind by using a solvent cleaner. You can use orange Zep, Rapid Remover or Xylene, just make sure whatever you use won’t harm the vehicles paint. As you soak the adhesive residue use a plastic scraper to lift the remnants until the majority is gone. Once you are close to full removal you can soak another rag with Isopropyl Alcohol to finish the job and remove any remaining harsh solvents which may leave a film residue.
You are now ready to wrap a flat surface and produce a clean, undistorted, lift free graphic.