Getting Started in Wraps: In-House vs. Outsourced

What you need to know about in-house printing and outsourcing wraps

If you’re just getting into the industry or are branching out on your own, you have a couple of options. You can choose to print in-house, which means you’ll need to invest in the equipment necessary to do so, or you can outsource the graphics while you do the installation.


If you’re already doing full-color printing in-house, you have a printer, laminator, worktable, computer, RIP software, and design programs. You may need to add to your current equipment or software, but you’ve already made some initial investments.


If you decide to outsource your graphics, you’ll need to find a reliable source for your printed graphics. Make sure you have a solid understanding of the materials you want to use, including the proper overlaminate, so that you know what to look for from your supplier.

If you do outsource, consider you’ll have less control over color management, and you won’t be able to do quick reprints for messed up or ill-fitting panels. Also, consider whether you’ll be designing the wraps and providing the artwork to the printer or if that will also be outsourced.

It’s important to research the path you want to take in this industry because if you plan to specialize in color-change wraps, then you won’t need to worry about outsourcing printed graphics. Rolls of color-change media can be purchased from a wholesaler and are ready to install. Vinyl samples are available for your customer to choose from, so you don’t have to worry about color discrepancies either.

Learn more about getting started in wraps here.

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Charity Jackson

Charity Jackson is owner of Visual Horizons Custom signs, a full-service commercial sign company based in Modesto, Calif.  She has been in business since 1995 and specializes in vehicle wraps, design and project management and workflow. You can visit her website at

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