How to Get & Stay Connected in the Wraps World

Top events to attend, social media accounts to follow, & certifications and training you should consider.

In the last 20 years, wraps have grown from the occasional specialty project at the local sign shop to a full-on industry all its own. Just as with any maturing technology and business model, there has been an emerging network of ways to train, communicate, and promote along with the influencers and respected figures that come with it.

WrapperMapper.com was originally envisioned in 2014 to visually connect all the wrappers that are around the world. No agenda, no favorites, just a solution to the question: “Where is my #wrapfamily?” At the time, this was a revolutionary way to address connecting our industry’s myriad locations and, over the last decade, has become a go-to method for networking at all levels of the craft.

So, how do we continue to expand the power of connection in the wrap world? How do we, as professional installers, printers, shop owners, and managers find more ways to leverage the power of connection and networking now available to us?

Social media accounts to follow

Following high-profile, skilled, and talented wrappers is always an excellent way to gain some personal insight into the wrapping world. There isn’t nearly enough room to list them all, but here are some notable accounts to add to your follow lists. In no particular order, check out these Instagram profiles.

@wrapchannel — Sean Tomlin doesn’t just showcase wrap projects, he also actively travels to wrap shops to interview and profile the inner workings of the industry.

@lewrapsokc — Charlie Trujillo runs a sign and wrap shop out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, while also creating travel videos, training for Avery Dennison, and attending and competing in wrap events.

@danantonelli_kickcharge — Dan Antonelli and his Kickcharge creative team have been delivering signature wrap designs for decades. Dan has written what many would call the definitive works for wrap design and processes.

@metrowrapz — Art lovers and custom wraps galore based out of Hollywood, Florida. Cool wraps and an even cooler shop are the results of owner Bruno Dede’s passion.

@stickwithscott — Scott Decker with entertaining wrap reaction videos and training tips and tricks. Recently a creator of a new wrap tool the WrapTucker, Scott is fun to follow.

@Buswraps — Bus-sized event, entertainment, and show wraps. Big and beautiful, from Nashville, Tennessee, Jamie Mullican is a case study in mega-efficient productivity with mega-sized vehicles.

@DangSticker — Thailand-based wraps out of Bangkok with excellent design and wrap skills. Get a different cultural perspective from the other side of the world.

@joffrey_prowrap — Netherland holds the talent of Joffery Van Der Jagt for top-notch supercar wraps and hand-created knifeless design works of art. Stellar skills.

@pgnola — Kevin Kempf designing incredible wraps out of New Orleans consistently delivers interesting and eye-catching looks.

Online groups

In past years, we have had access to online forums and website-based industry groups, but newer social media platforms have made it incredibly easy to connect to highly specific topics. Facebook Groups is likely the most powerful portal to some amazing wrap-centric topics and gatherings of like-minded wrappers. Some groups are open to the public while others require a vetting process before being added. There are pros and cons for both approaches and your mileage will vary according to your affinity for each group dynamic.

  • The Wrap Society: Created by Niel Scotto (ND Vinyls shop located in Brooklyn, New York), this highly respected group is focused on professional wrappers only. It’s a private group with an application process prior to being admitted. Be prepared to keep it professional and focused.
  • The Wrap Room: The Wrap Room is run by Mike Norng, owner of Auto Film Specialists with three locations in Houston, Texas. The Wrap Room is open to both pros and DIYers alike with a lower bar to entry. The lively conversations here range all over the place in both experience and applications.
  • Commercial Wrap Design Masterminds: Excellent group with a 100% design focus. Get group critiques, learn advanced concepts, and vibe with the artistic elements of the wrap world.

In addition, many other Facebook Groups are run by film manufacturers or are distributor-based like the Metro Restyling Vinyl Wraps Community.

Wraps training systems

Many schools and training approaches have created networks based on the continuing development of tools, film technologies, and application methodology. As such, it is common for many shops to make lifelong connections when attending one of the many hands-on training events around the world.

  • Justin Pate, creator of the nondenominational online training platform The Wrap Institute, has been traveling the world for the last decade teaching wraps to professionals at an amazing pace.
  • Jamie Mullican runs The Wrap Artist and training School of Wrap facility focused on 3M Films and techniques in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Kristin Lanzarone has created the “Master the Wrap” workshops in partnership with Arlon Films.
  • Vorada Chanthavong operates the HEXIS Training Facility in Atlanta, Georgia, and works closely with a global network of trainers in Europe.


Wrap knowledge is one thing, and wrap training is another. The final step in connecting in the wrap industry is testing and qualifying for one or more of the wrap installation certification programs. Many make the mistake of thinking these organizations are just about claiming a skill level, when their biggest power comes from their networks. Certifications equal connections and connections equal more qualified work for you and your shop.

  • UASG: Current President Trace George (owner VSPGraphicGroup Inc.) describes the UASG as “A national network of graphic installation companies that represent the 3M brand. Our members are committed to installing your jobs better, on time, within budget, as expected, and representing your company professionally. The mission of the UASG is to establish the standards for the graphics installation trade by cultivating quality, integrity, professionalism, reliability, and comradery among members. The UASG promise is to organize and promote the professionalism of graphics installation companies that have been vetted and tested under strict guidelines.”
  • Avery Dennison: Originally designed by Justin Pate, the Avery Dennison CWI certification is one of the premier certifications in the world with locations scheduled all over the map.
  • HEXIS: A network of approved installers offers its customers a high-performance and responsive service. Participants are required to guarantee successful work according to professional requirements and per clearly-defined ethics, thus establishing a chain of trust between HEXIS, you, and the end customer.
  • ORAFOL/KPMF: The ORAFOL + KPMF Wrap Training and Certification offers a chance for beginners and seasoned veterans in the wrap industry to connect over a three-day course. The education covers both color change and commercial wraps while hands-on time with an ORAFOL + KPMF trainer aims to teach and advance attendees’ installation techniques. Combining varying skill levels has helped many shops source new installers to the industry and established shops build relationships to collaborate on future projects.
  • PDAA: Ray Weiss, vice president, eLearning, and certifications describes the organization as “The PDAA mission is to unite printers and installers as one community by offering both groups a reliable, unbiased resource of trained and certified professional installers while providing support and camaraderie for the installer community. PDAA is vinyl-agnostic, and our training and certifications don’t focus on any one film or material. We think an installer should be able to handle any material given and carry out a quality and professional installation.”


Believe it or not, getting actively involved in various global competitions is an excellent way to both improve your skills and increase your visibility in the industry. These events bring together wrappers from all walks of life and from all over the world.

  • Wrap Olympics: occurs each year at WRAPSCON / GRAPHICS PRO EXPO and boasts a two-person, team-based approach to wrapping. Real world challenges are the focus in the designated competition area with additional fun skill attempts spread throughout the show at large. Lots of fun with a great judging team and format.
  • WrapsLIVE: a uniquely designed wrap challenge system held at the Las Vegas SEMA event each year with WrapGlove and ORAFOL powering a super-fast and fun wrapping gauntlet-styled approach.
  • FESPA / World Wrap Masters: wrapping events are held in several countries throughout the year with the finals bringing all the winners together for a final two days of competition. The world’s largest wrapping series holds competitions in Mexico, Denmark, Asia (Japan), Europe, U.K., Dubai, Brazil, Norway, and the Netherlands. There is a whole different experience level when you travel to another country and match your skills up with other wrappers who may, or may not, speak English.
  • The Wrap Experience and The Never Stop Learning Contest: Hosted by Justin Pate and The Wrap Institute is held each year at the International Sign Association (ISA) Sign Expo. This is a large-format, multi-member team approach that focuses on the learning experience itself. From wrapping beginners to seasoned pros, each round matches up a new trainee group with specific film trainers from multiple manufacturers. Each team is instructed and then challenged with wrapping various real-world surfaces accordingly. An excellent event each year.

Individual wrap competitions are often held at every graphics or wrap event you may attend. From the HEXIS Wrap Battle panels to the ORAFOL hood challenge. From WENSCO’s blindfolded team wrapping of a hood, to the Wrap Institute’s “Bing Bing” plate and ballon-cutting knife gauntlet. Signing up for these organized runs is fun for wrappers of all levels and provides an interesting industry approach for vinyl slingers.


Last, but surely not least, remember to take the chance whenever possible to socialize with your fellow wrap pros. It could be as simple as having breakfast with your competing shop across town or attending one of the inevitable industry parties that always accompany the various shows and events. Want a party every night? Come to Vegas and attend the SEMA Show in November. From small gatherings to manufacturer to-dos, private shows, and the year’s largest WWWRAP Party — SEMA Week brings ’em in.

When it comes to connecting in the wrap industry, the point is that you need to make the effort to make it happen. It is so easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day survival that you forget you need your people around you as well. Remember, you rarely get the chance to spend quality time with other folks who genuinely understand your day-to-day experience, the pressures you handle, the joys and pains that a solid month with your head covered in liner and laminate entail. Connect in the most ancient of ways — face-to-face. Recharge, refresh, and connect!

TimEvans bw

Tim Evans

Tim Evans is a 30+ year veteran of the sign and graphics industry. Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Evans has witnessed the craft grow from traditional hand-lettered signage through the tech explosion and into the full-color amazing graphics industry it is today. Evans enjoys the daily challenges of being an owner of two successful wrap shops based in Columbus, Ohio, as well as being an active promoter of the print and wrap industry around the globe. Additional skills as a professional published photographer, an avid bushcrafter and an advocate for electronic music keeps Evans busy, active, and creative.

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