What is your current role at Arlon Graphics? What do you like about it?
I am the Technical Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa. I manage most of the technical matters in that area.
I love travelling and meeting people, but what I like best is that every day is different: different places, different tasks, different questions.
How did you first get into vehicle wrapping?
My first contact with “bigger stickers” was in elementary school. My friend’s parents had a shop making road signs and I was always there helping.
Before I started to wrap, I was a graphic designer in a small Polish sign shop. One day my boss took me to a Nissan showroom, left me with printed vinyl in front of a van and said, “finish it before 5pm”. I had no clue what I was doing.
Imagine the worst wrap possible, full of bubbles and wrinkles, multiply it by 20 and you are still very far from the disaster I made. The owner of that van had to be blind or had shown me a lot of mercy, as he paid for it and didn’t complain at all!
Best or most difficult wrap you have ever done?
I wrapped more than 10.000 vehicles (full wraps) by myself – yes, I counted them at some point. The one I was most happy with was a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 wrapped with Arlon UPP Combat Green. Two months after wrapping it the customer asked me to strip it as he didn’t like the colour anymore!!
The most difficult…
When I was living and wrapping in the Netherlands, a customer said he wanted to wrap his Porsche 911. He paid a photographer to create a unique design. The photographer took a picture of a nice scenic view and he shrunk it to the size of few mm. Then he copied it multiple times, making it darker, lighter, darker, lighter, so from a distance it looked like carbon.
If you took a magnify glass to it, you could see some trees and a lake in the detail. The difficulty started when he said he wanted the graphic to fit perfectly around the whole car. So, these tiny rectangles should fit between wing and bonnet, bonnet and bumper, bumper and wing etc. etc. I guess I should say it’s impossible as a Porsche is a very rounded car, but I love challenges. So, I printed some panels with the crazy graphic and started to walk around the car and think how to manage it.
I was walking four days like that, sticking piece here, piece there, stretching a bit here, stretching a bit there etc. etc. Wrapping itself took just 2 days. But I did it. Every part of the car was fitting perfectly. Even parts which were broken like handles and mirrors. It was so good that Top Sign magazines from Netherlands and the manufacturer of that film came to me asking “but how???” I kept the secret for myself.
You travel around the world a lot, who are the best wrappers and why?
I wouldn’t like to say who are the best as there are many excellent wrappers in every country. I can tell you who have the best attitude as a group in general…UK wrappers.
Not always, but most often they agree with manufacturers requirements / expectations and follow the recommended techniques. If the path of understanding a topic is A, B, C, they go A, B, C. In many other countries’ wrappers want to jump from A to C without understanding B, because they believe it’s not needed. It is vital to understand the technique required for each material.
How does Arlon Graphics differentiate itself from the competition?
We make vinyl! We don’t make tools, we don’t make labels, we don’t make reflective jackets etc. We make only vinyl and we focus on making the best quality vinyl. We don’t need to be the biggest, but we want to be the best and the most innovative as you can see with products like SLX™ Cast Wrap, Fusion Wrap and IllumiNITE Wrap™- all with FLITE Technology®.
What can we expect from Arlon Graphics in 2020?
The best quality for products, service and support.
What’s your favourite Arlon product to work with and why?
Easy answer. I love Arlon SLX™ Cast Wrap. One of my responsibilities in Arlon is to resolve non-print related complaints. When it comes to difficult surfaces like vehicles, with previous products, we were already having only a few claims per year in the whole EMEA territory. But since we have SLX™ Cast Wrap, I forgot what the word ‘claim’ means. It is the easiest to install, the most stable and the most trustful product I know.
What makes FLITE Technology® so amazing and innovative?
FLITE Technology® is something what we have been working on for a few years. It is far more than a repositioning system. It’s a perfectly balanced combination of initial tack, giving the easiest repositioning before and after use of the squeegee, the final bond ensures the product stays in the most demanding recesses, but it has excellent removability even after years. FLITE Technology® is the future and is why other brands try to copy it, but a copy will always remain just a copy and second best!
What interest do you have outside of the work place?
My biggest love outside of work is MMA. Mixed Martial Arts is very technical sport. It requires lots of skills and lots knowledge. It’s a sport for people who can think quickly, strategically and execute a plan and fit to the situation.
If you could offer one piece of advice to people using Arlon products, what would it be?
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a question. We are here to help and support your business.
What will be the next big thing in vehicle wrapping?
I can’t tell you, but I can assure you we are listening very carefully to what wrappers, even in the smallest shop, want and we are always working on something what will surpass their needs.