Featured Project: Having a Ball at Homecoming

So you want to wrap an eight-foot bowling ball. Are you sure you want to wrap an eight-foot bowling ball?

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This week’s Featured Project is a throwback from a few years ago, but it’s one of the more unusual wrap jobs that WRAPS magazine has ever received.

Joseph Frisby from the University of Maryland’s Department of Transportation Services sent these photos in of an unusual wrap the did for its Homecoming Parade float that year. The theme of the float was ‘Roll Out The Red,’ referring to the school’s homecoming game opponent that year, the Clemson Tigers.

What if, the organizers thought, we could have a giant eight-foot bowling ball knock down bowling pins decorated like Tigers?

As Frisby wrote at the time: “Sounded great on paper, then the nightmare began. (Disclosure statement: Fellow vehicle wrappers and graphics installers, do not judge this project for its craftsmanship. We’re just showing project ideas. Thanks.)”

He says the ball was initially a beach ball patterned with eight panels of red, blue, white and yellow. The transportation department’s graphics manager, Phil Hyon, tasked two student graphics designers, Christa Ursini and Carey Ward, to prepare the artwork.

From here, we’ll let Frisby describe the rest of the adventure.

“The issues were, should we do half the ball, top half, bottom half, go from top to bottom, side to side, and how much excess for stretch factor? A lot to consider for first attempt.

“We decided design and wrap the same as the pattern that was currently on the ball. Prints were created and printed on our Roland VP-540.

We chose not to laminate, considering it would be too costly for a one-time use. We initially printed on a glossy white vinyl. During application there were way too many wrinkles which I, Joseph Frisby (ORAFOL Wrapping Academy graduate and installer for this project) contributed to the ball constantly deflating and material not conforming for this unconventional project. We printed remaining graphics on GRA 3551 Rapid Air, applied them from the apex of the ball to the middle/equator and continuously inflated to aid in application. Once all panels were on, there were still quite a few wrinkles, which probably wouldn’t have made a good showing. So, I went over the entire ball with a squeegee and heat gun, smoothing out as many wrinkles as possible.

I guess it all paid off because The Department of Transportation Services won the competition at the homecoming parade! Lot of lessons learned in the process but we also discovered the potential of this type of wrap job. Maybe school logo-wrapped balls for halftime entertainment or company logo wrapped balls for company functions? Endless possibilities.”

Who said academia has to be boring? Well done, Frisby and friends.


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