Metamark MDC found a winning partnership with Hudson Signs and produced a very notable commercial wrap…


Vehicle livery design has moved on. Moved on to a better place where new media, and the creative depths of the signs and graphics producers who use it, have evolved solutions that reflect more demanding expectations from the market. Digital print, and self-adhesive print media that can drape and conform to complex surfaces means that design and image detail can reach places that paint, brush and legacy media never could.

At the leading edge of this continuing development, next-generation wrapping film from Metamark will be found. Metamark MDC is enabling deeply creative signs and graphics producers to take livery design and application further. Among those companies is Ipswich based Hudson Signs. Metamark discussed a recent job the company had undertaken with its Martin Pyke.

Western Farm Commercials is a regular customer of the well known signmaker and got in touch wanting a new livery for its latest van. The vehicle in question was finished in silver which may command higher residual values, but complicates life a little because the colour doesn’t figure in Wester Farm Commercials’ branding. As attractive as it is, the silver had to be covered and that meant a wrap.

Wraps, and those who make them, have had a while to work out figurative and literal wrinkles but many who today tackle them approach design so as to avoid collisions of interest between looking good and avoiding application problems. Those who are a little braver tend to have the hands on skills needed to wrap well, and are also using the right wrapping media.

Martin Pyke and Hudson Signs’ work for its client Western Farm Commercials was designed to look like a livery reflecting the state-of-the-art and not to avoid application challenges. Despite being grounded in the school of design favouring legibility and utility, it still features expanses of flawlessly printed colour swept in density and tone. Its design elements pull the eye over panel gaps and junctions where minute misalignment would kill the effect. It’s not a forgiving design seen through an applicator’s lens. It’s a stunning one seen by the market at large though.

Martin Pyke and the Hudson Signs team used Metamark MDC for the job and he had some good things to say about the experience. “We’ve had a lot of premium quality vinyl under our hands here, but Metamark’s wrapping film has delivered us just about the best application experience. It conforms where needed and the adhesive makes it easy to position with great precision. We were able to make sure that the detail fell exactly where we needed it to and that everything that needed to align did.”

The vehicle itself bears our Martin Pyke’s thoughts on the subject and that’s news well received at Metamark. It took the company a while to refine the formulation that comprises MDC and a lot of work finessing the detail. MDC, as a result, is made with precise application in mind and it clearly does a great job in very expert hands. That said, it tolerates those who’re on the learning curve too and makes for better results all round.

Martin Pyke’s MDC wrap is protected with a layer of MetaGuard MGC laminate. This gives the top quality print a bit of additional ‘pop’ without hurting the colour fidelity and it doesn’t impair the handling of the base film either. The printing is of exemplary quality and the overall impression the finished wrap creates suggests that preparation was done properly too.

Martin Pyke continues, “This wrap was a Metamark affair from start to finish really. We used Metamark cleaning products from the new accessories catalogue to get the panels into good shape and we even had Metamark tools involved getting everything that needed to be cut trimmed. I was impressed with the squeegee products too. The surface of the cast laminate and the cast MDC underneath have not been compromised by squeegee pressure.”

Hudson Signs’ work for Western Farm Commercials is attractive and effective. It serves as an example of best practice from a design standpoint and a lesson in well managed application too. The net result is a livery that has taken the whole sector a little further forward. It rings the bells and blows the whistles without looking contrived or indulgent. It favourably halos the client’s brand. It serves Hudson Signs as a great example of what skilled hands and creative input can achieve.

Mark Godden



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