Frequently Asked Questions

Bandit Signs is here to help you get the most from your vinyl. Here are answers to some of the commonly asked questions about our products.

Vehicle Branding & Wrapping FAQ

A vehicle wrap consists of a thin film of vinyl that is applied to the surface of your vehicle.  Bandit offers a variety of different types of vehicle wraps, including full wraps, partial wraps, solid colour wraps and paint protection wraps.

Bandit offers an in-house team of experienced designers who can work with you on your vehicle wraps.

We use state of the art digital printers to print our wraps. All our machines are approved by 3M and we only use original equipment manufactured ink. This ensures that we comply with our 3M matched component system warranty.

Once printed, the material is sent to our drying room for 24 hours for the ink to dry, then it is laminated and will cure for another 12 hours before application.

The process of vehicle wrapping is extremely precise and requires a lot of experience.

Our installers are put through a rigorous apprentice programme before they are given the title of expert installer. Once the have reached this level, they are capable of handling the most intricate design wrap installations. The vinyl material is accurately laid out and applied to the vehicle.

Yes, but only rear side and rear windows. Window wraps are printed on a special perforated vinyl called contravision that allows the driver to see through the rear and side rear windows.

Yes. Graphics, logos, and phone numbers (or any part of the design) can be changed, reprinted and re-installed as overlays on the car wrap.

Yes, the wrap can be removed. The longer the film has been on the vehicle the more difficult it will be to remove. We suggest that you don’t attempt this yourselves, but rather let us handle it for you.

A vehicle wrap, when applied correctly won’t damage your paint, in fact it will protect it. We use 3M knifeless technology to ensure that we don’t cut into your paintwork. The exception to this, is if your vehicle has been resprayed, accident damaged, we have had cases where paint has lifted due to repairs by panel beaters. Your vehicle could also be at risk if it has a clear coat and is older than 5 years (most metallic vehicles have a clear coat).

It is best to hand wash your vehicle. Avoid pressure washers. Washing your car with a soft clean cloth will give you the best result.

While the installation of our wraps only takes from one to three days, you also need to allow a few days for design work, printing, drying, lamination and curing. Lead times on a wrap will not be less than one week unless it is a solid colour wrap off the roll.

Yes. We can wrap boats, jet skis, motorcycles, laptops, buildings and storefronts.

Architectural Wraps FAQ

Our architectural films can be cleaned with commercially available soaps and a soft cloth or sponge. Do not use abrasive materials and be sure to rinse off all detergent.

We can apply our finishes to almost any surface. If a surface is smooth and clean the product will stick to it so the options are endless.

Vinyl Information

Bandit stands behind its motto, “we don’t compromise on quality”. This is why we offer premium materials to our customers. There is a massive difference between economy and premium films.

Bandit is a 3MTM Select Graphic Provider. This allows us to extend the 3M MCS Warranty to our clients, ensuring that your images will perform as expected for the life of the graphic. MCS stands for “Matched Component System”, which means that we print on the correct base material with approved and tested OEM machines and inks, we laminate with matching lam after adhering to strict drying and curing times and we applicate with our 3M certified installers.

In the market place you will always be able to source a better price, the below content will help you ask the right questions and make the right decisions. When obtaining a quote ask the supplier what material they will be printing on.

Bandit uses only 3M approved digital printers consisting of Mimaki and HP, with a spread of different print technologies including latex, solvent and UV. We also only use original OEM supplied inks that tie in with our MCS warranty.

What does this mean? Simply put, we pay more for premium ink that will guarantee your prints to last the duration of the respective supplier warranty, you won’t have to worry about your prints fading.

There are several ways of branding your project, you can use either colour off the roll or digitally printed vinyl. In both cases they are broken down into three categories: Monomeric, polymeric and cast films.

Bandit uses a variety of products across the 3 categories and have confidence in each selected product as we have tested them over time.

Monomeric vinyl

Monomeric vinyls uses the plasticisers with low molecule size which will have more molecular migration within them and so it will have more effect on laminates and adhesives used. These close molecule chains will also make the material brittle and result in the shrinkage when used in the tough environments.

These materials are low cost and ideal for short term promotions, point of sale, indoor applications. There normally isn’t any need to laminate especially when printing with the hardier UV inks.

Polymeric vinyl

Polymeric vinyls uses the plasticisers with large molecule size which will have less molecular migration between them and also has less effect on the adhesives. Due to the large size molecules, they are resistant to any tough environments. Polymeric banners will not have any shrinkage and brittle effect in them.

These materials are typically used outdoors on flat sided trucks and signboards, it is not generally used for wrapping vehicles, however it is often used for decals.         

Cast vinyl

Cast vinyls are manufactured in the less stress process than the calendared vinyl’s. Cast vinyls are manufactured by using the thin film of resin poured over the surface, this gives the super smooth finishing to the surface. While the calendared vinyls are manufactured differently by using the rolled process which is more stressful resulting in the less dimensional stability of the material.

These materials are used for any application requiring long term use, like any outdoor sign and vehicle wraps.

Also referred to as “spot” colour, pigmented or solid colour vinyl. South Africa has a wide variety of off the roll vinyl available on the market, with some better than others. The big difference lies in the technology behind the base film and adhesive. Shortcuts in quality ingredients and adhesive will result in premature degradation of your end product.

The higher-end products from polymeric to cast films will normally have better quality adhesive and air release technology for easier application.

The big quality differentiator is in the cast films.

Colour off the roll – Cast

The most common “solid colour” cast film used by wrapping companies in South Africa is restricted to 1220mm in width and barely ticks the boxes for full vehicle wraps.

Often clients either do not have the budget or the understanding of why they should rather use a premium film, and opt for the cheaper product. These films are prone to lifting and can be seen often failing in deep recesses. They are mostly used in commercial applications.

All premium cast films come in 1520mm x 22m long rolls. These are typically used for high end wraps, where no joins are evident due to the width of the material, which is designed to work in deep recesses.

Major brands like DHL have their own colour manufactured on a premium cast material which comes in 1520mm wide with a built-in laminate that lasts the required period.

One of the most important parts of the printing process is the curing and drying time. Bandit has a state-of-the-art curing room where we allow the solvents from the printing process to dry completely as the characteristics of the film are affected when ink is printed on it. Drying time is 24 hours before the film is laminated and again placed in the room for curing.

Monomeric digitally printed vinyl – We have a wide range of materials for short term applications, point of sale etc. Our sales team will recommend a product for you.

Polymeric digitally printed vinyl – We have a select range of digital polymeric products, but our most popular film is 3M’s IJ35 with matching 3M Scotchcal 8508 overlaminate. We offer a 3 year 3M warranty on this film applied to vertical surfaces.

Cast digitally printed vinyl – We have a much smaller range of cast digital films, the most important one is our 3M IJ180 MC cast film with matching 3M Scotchcal 8518 overlaminate. It is a premium cast film and we sell it into the market with confidence. There are three base colours, white clear and metallic, that can set you apart from the rest. The micro comply technology in the adhesive and high gloss top coat is unrivalled in this space and warrantied by 3M.

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