Car Wraps 101

Car Wrap

A vinyl graphic or film applied to the exterior of a vehicle for purposes such as changing its appearance, advertising, or paint protection.

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Vehicle Graphics

A collective term for various graphics, including wraps, decals, and lettering applied to vehicles for branding and aesthetic purposes.

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Vinyl Wrap

A vehicle wrap made from high-quality vinyl material, known for its durability and visual appeal.

Adhesive Vinyl

Vinyl material equipped with adhesive backing, used in car wraps to adhere to the vehicle’s surface securely.

Full Wrap

A car wrap that covers the entire surface of the vehicle, including the body, windows, and roof.

Partial Wrap

A car wrap that covers only a portion of the vehicle’s surface, typically used for branding and promotional purposes.

Design Mockup

A digital representation of how a car wrap will appear on a specific vehicle before the actual installation, helping clients visualize the design.

Matte Finish

A non-reflective and smooth surface option for car wraps, providing a modern, flat appearance.

Gloss Finish

A shiny and reflective surface option for car wraps, offering a polished and attention-grabbing look.


A clear protective layer applied over the vinyl wrap to enhance durability, UV resistance, and overall longevity.

Air Release Technology

A feature in vinyl wraps designed to allow trapped air bubbles to escape during installation, ensuring a smooth and bubble-free finish.

Heat Gun

A tool frequently used during car wrap installation to apply heat, enabling the vinyl to conform to the vehicle’s contours and surfaces effectively.


A tool used in the car wrap installation process to smooth out and press the vinyl against the vehicle’s surface, ensuring a bubble-free and secure application.


The ability of a vinyl wrap material to conform and adhere to the complex curves and contours of a vehicle’s body.


A pre-designed and pre-cut vinyl wrap pattern tailored to a specific vehicle make and model, simplifying the installation process.

Knifeless Tape

A special tape used to cut precise lines and patterns in the vinyl wrap without damaging the vehicle’s paint or surface.


A protective layer applied on top of the printed vinyl wrap to shield it from abrasion, chemicals, and UV rays.

Vehicle Preparation

The process of cleaning and preparing the vehicle’s surface before applying a car wrap to ensure proper adhesion and longevity.

Removal Tools

Tools such as heat guns and adhesive removers used to safely remove old or damaged car wraps without harming the vehicle’s paint.


A written guarantee provided by wrap manufacturers or installers that covers aspects like material quality and installation, ensuring customer satisfaction and product reliability.

PMS Color

A standardized color system used in graphic design and printing to specify colors accurately, which is essential for matching brand colors in wraps.

Installation Certification

A certification obtained by professionals who have completed training and demonstrated competence in car wrap installation techniques.


Proper care and cleaning practices to prolong the life and appearance of a car wrap, which may include handwashing, avoiding abrasive cleaners, and regular inspections.

Advertising Wrap

A car wrap designed primarily for advertising purposes, often featuring business logos, contact information, and promotional graphics.


Customizing a car wrap to reflect an individual’s personal style, including unique colors, patterns, or design elements.

Vehicle Branding

Using car wraps as a branding and marketing tool, allowing businesses to showcase their products, services, and brand identity on company vehicles.

Paint Protection Film (PPF)

A transparent, nearly invisible film applied to a vehicle’s exterior to protect the original paint from scratches, chips, and other damage.

This glossary should provide a comprehensive overview of key terms related to car wraps for beginners.

Print Resolution

The level of detail and sharpness in printed graphics on a car wrap, often measured in dots per inch (DPI), which impacts the quality of the final design.

Template Library

A collection of pre-made design templates for different vehicle models, making it easier to select a suitable wrap design.

Fleet Wraps

Car wraps applied to an entire fleet of vehicles for uniform branding and marketing purposes, commonly used by businesses with multiple vehicles.

Color Change Wrap

A type of car wrap that completely changes the color of a vehicle, offering an affordable alternative to repainting.

Graphic Designer

A professional who specializes in creating and customizing designs for car wraps, ensuring the artwork fits the vehicle’s contours and brand identity.

Installation Time

The duration it takes to complete the installation of a car wrap, which can vary depending on the complexity of the design and the vehicle’s size.

Visual Impact

The immediate and lasting impression a well-designed and professionally installed car wrap can make on viewers and potential customers.

UV Resistance

The ability of a car wrap to withstand damage from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, preventing fading and deterioration of the graphics and colors.

Wrapping Tools

A range of specialized tools used during the car wrap installation process, including knives, magnets, and measuring tapes, to ensure accuracy and precision.

Removal Process

The step-by-step procedure used to safely and efficiently remove a car wrap, often involving heat, adhesive removers, and careful peeling to avoid damage to the vehicle.

Cost Estimation

The process of calculating the overall cost of a car wrap project, taking into account design, material, labor, and any additional services.

Bubbles and Wrinkles

Imperfections that may occur during installation, which need to be smoothed out to achieve a flawless and professional finish.

Mobile Advertising

Using vehicle wraps for mobile advertising, allowing businesses to promote their products or services as they drive around town.


The expected lifespan of a car wrap, which can vary based on the quality of the material, installation, and maintenance.

This glossary should help beginners understand the essential terms and concepts related to car wraps.


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