Starting a Wraps Class from Scratch at Saddleback Community College
Saddleback Community College Wraps | Mission Viejo, California
Mark Podolak never knew where his love of cars would lead him. A graphic design and graphic communications instructor at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, Calif., Mark was tapped by his department in 2017 to lead a new vehicle wraps class – two weeks before it started.
Educating the Educator
To prepare him for his new role, Saddleback sent Podolak to Roland’s Born To Wrap workshop, held at Roland DGA headquarters in Irvine, Calif.
Podolak described the comprehensive, two-day experience: “Born-to-Wrap taught me all the basics. I just kept raising my hand, and Matt [Matt Richart, of Digital EFX Wraps] answered every question. He was very encouraging,” said Podolak. In the workshop, Podolak learned each step in designing, printing and installing a vehicle wrap.
Fortunately, Saddleback’s vehicle graphics shop already had top-of-the-line technology: A 64-inch VersaEXPRESS RF-640 large-format inkjet printer, a 30-inch VersaCAMM SP-300i printer/cutter, and a GX-400 large-format cutter.
“Born to Wrap taught me all the basics.”
Podolak’s one-credit vehicle wrap class is called “Introduction to Vehicle Wrap Design and Application.” The class spans two weekends, and packs in 40 hours of learning activities.
During the class, all three of the Roland machines are kept busy. “Our Roland inkjets are really robust. We’ve had zero repairs, and the image quality and print speeds are great,” said Podolak. “Our cutter is also extremely fast, plus the accuracy is outstanding.”
Thirty minutes into the first class, Podolak teaches his students the hinge method over seams. After that, the class moves on to installing wraps over mirrors, handles, and hoods.
Later the students design stickers, using VersaWorks RIP software to send their designs to the Rolands for printing and cutting. “The VersaWorks RIP is easy for the students to learn,” said Podolak.
Podolak also brings in guest speakers to talk about careers in signmaking as well as vehicle graphics design and installation.
“It’s important that our students are familiar with the industry-standard printers and cutters as they head out into the world,” Podolak said.