Tasmanian signage business Fingerprint Signs has won the Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions Australia and New Zealand “Wrap Like A King” title for vehicle graphics installers and will compete in the world finals later this month in Las Vegas.
|The winning entry: Barn Find 24/7|
Launceston-based Fingerprint Signs - founded by owner Per Nielsen 18 years ago - won for its entry “Barn Find 24/7”, which transformed a pink VW beetle into something old and rusty looking that could have been found abandoned in a barn.
Per’s son Joshua Nielsen, who joined the company in 2016, was responsible for the prize-winning design, which used Avery Dennison wrapping products.
“It came as a surprise and I’m over the moon,” Per told Wide Format Online. “We’re a pretty tight-knit little family business here. My daughter Kirsten works in the front office and another son Tyller also works here as a casual installer. Josh is the senior wrap person and has a real passion for the work. He’s the guy that did the job and most of the design work. The car was pink when he bought it and we had the idea to go back to the original green colour and create a rusty appearance to make it look like it could have been found in a barn. He spent hours and hours on it, I can tell you that. Unfortunately, I can’t go over there to because I’m too busy with the business.”
Josh, 30 (pictured right), will travel to Las Vegas – his first ever trip outside of Tasmania - with another member of his support team, Michael (Mitch) Mitchell, his stepfather.
“My mind is blown,” says Josh. “It came as a massive surprise to me and the team. It’s my personal car but I had a lot of input from my father because it’s his business. Mitch is my stepfather and he’s coming over to Las Vegas to support me because it’s my first time overseas and my first time out of Tasmania, so I didn’t really want to go by myself. Dad would have liked to have come but we couldn’t just shut down the shop for a week.”
Josh says he’s always been a fan of VW’s. “I really love the old school beetles. There was nothing wrong with the car when I bought it but the colour was very ugly. I thought, I can’t afford to paint it so why don’t I use my skills to wrap it? I came up with the idea to make it look like I’d found it sitting in a paddock somewhere.”
He designed the wrap using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, printed it using Avery Dennison MPI 1105 Easy Apply RS wrap material and laminated it in Avery Dennison DOL 1480 Z Matte.
“I’ve always been inspired by the wraps that come out of the US and always had the dream of bettering myself in the wrap industry but there’s not much demand for full wraps here in Tasmania. A lot of people do half-wraps on commercial vehicles but there’s not the calling for the creativity of the full wraps. So, the only way I could do it was to wrap my own car. It’s been a massive head-turner here in Tasmania. Everyone seems to love it.”
Josh says one of his biggest influences is Nick Caminiti from Melbourne’s Exotic Graphix, who has won the “King of the Wrap World” title for the past two years
“Nick is one of my biggest inspirations. I’d been following Exotic Graphix before they won and the work that Nick and his team do in Melbourne is absolutely great. When he won the first title with the hot rod I thought, 'This is something I want to be able to do.' Both of their entries over the past two years were spectacular, they really did look amazing. And it just so happened that Nick took this year off so it gave me a bit more of a chance to win.
“Fingers crossed that I take the trophy but at the end of the day I don’t really mind if I don’t. Just winning this part in Australia…my mind's blown already.”
Other continental award winners announced by Avery Dennison include: North America - “Mission Flyer 2.0” by MetroWrapz of Hollywood, Florida; Europe - “Barnfind 66” by Funkeefish of Tendring, Great Britain; and North Asia - “Tank Ray” by WrapStyle Korea of Gimpo-si, Kyeonggi-do, South Korea.
The continental winners will each receive a four-night stay in Las Vegas for the 2018 SEMA Show, where the “King of the Wrap World” will be announced. The $US3,200 prize pack for each winner includes personalized Wrap Like a King swag, $US500 in gift vouchers, a Race Ramp product and a variety of promotional and marketing tools for the winner’s wrap shop.
The 2018 King of the Wrap World grand prize winner will be announced on Wednesday, October 31 in Booth 12659 at the SEMA Show. The King of the Wrap World extended prize package is valued at almost $US5,000, with additional gift vouchers and exposure via the Avery Dennison website and web advertisements.
The four Continent Wrap Kings used Avery Dennison Supreme Wrapping Film, the Conform Chrome Series and MPI 1105 Supercast Digital film.
Wrap installers can learn more about Supreme Wrapping Film, digital Supercast films, official rules, judges and prize information via avydn.co/WLAK2018
The Fingerprint Signs team (l-r): Joshua, Emerson (apprentice), Per and his wife Susan, and Kirsten.