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Getting a second look is part of the design at Studio Wraps

Dan Lundberg, the owner of Studio Wraps with a passion for design for over two decades, hopes to use it while finding new ways to explore vinyl wrapping.

Dan Lundberg poses for a photo in front of Studio Wraps logo inside the shop at Studio Wraps on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2022.
Dan Lundberg poses for a photo in front of Studio Wraps logo inside the shop at Studio Wraps on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2022.
Sara Guymon / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — Dan Lundberg decided to open his own store specializing in vinyl wrapping and custom design work in June of 2020.

He’s been in the design industry for almost two decades and decided it was time to do something independently and opened Studio Wraps.

Lundberg is a Brainerd native and loves the area. He moved to Baxter and Staples for a little bit, but it never felt like home in the same way Brainerd did.

Lundberg graduated from Brainerd High School and went to college at Central Lakes College. He always had a passion for graphic design and majored in communications, arts and design while there. He describes design as his first project and it has evolved into printing and applying it to projects like on vehicles.

Custom design logo to promote Studio Wraps motto of snap necks.
Snap'n necks Steve, a designed by Brandon Pfaff to promote Studio Wraps saying of "snap necks" on the wall inside the shop at Studio Wraps on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2022.
Sara Guymon / Brainerd Dispatch

One of Studio Wrap's main goals is to grab attention and get that second look, which in the industry is called being able to “snap necks.”

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“The phrase ‘snap necks’ means that you took a second look so fast that you ‘snap your neck,’” Lundberg said. “And that's the experience that we always give our clients. We put passion in front of everything we do. So that's the fun part of that.”

Studio Wraps does a wide variety of services, but their main focus is vinyl wrapping. They also will do banners and business cards, but want to focus on other services that are more interesting to Lundberg and his employees.

Although Lundberg has seen employees come and go throughout his two years of operation, Brandon Pfaff has been with the company since the beginning. Pfaff is the main designer for Studio Wraps and works on creating custom jobs. He often has a direct line of contact with the customer in order to better understand what their vision for the final product is. Pfaff moved to Kentucky but continues to work for the company remotely as an off-site designer.

More designs and office space within Studio Wraps
Another office area with custom floor and wall designs inside the shop at Studio Wraps on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2022.
Sara Guymon / Brainerd Dispatch

Clients come from all over for different design related jobs. Lundberg and his team of five full-time employees and one part-timer work on a lot with vehicles like cars, boats and motorcycles. Most recently, they had someone from Fargo, North Dakota, bring their truck to the shop for custom designs. This job included matte vinyl on the trim of the vehicle and custom North Dakota State University designs on the side of the vehicle and on the hubcaps.

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Studio Wraps uses a heat gun to help form the vinyl to whatever surface they are trying to apply it to. Before application, they will often line the area with knifeless tape, which allows them to cut the shape out without the need of a knife or shape tool that could potentially damage the underlying surface. Precision is important especially when applying the vinyl to an object like a vehicle, Lundberg said, and the team will often use flashlights to ensure that the edges of the vinyl are secured and precise. In addition to the vinyl placement, Lundberg and his team also works with printing and lamination.

Lundberg describes the jobs his team does as either commercial or custom. The design work on the truck would be considered custom, but they also put logos on cars for companies making the job commercial.

Custom can be a little more complicated than commercial, but Lundberg said their clients are about 50% of both. There is a lot more creative freedom with custom orders and Lundberg compares the design process to a tattoo artist drawing a tattoo.

“Most of them I related like a tattoo,” Lundberg said. “OK, it's kind of permanent, not quite as much as a tattoo, but what would you like and be happy with for like a while. So it's up to us to say this looks good but at the same time, it’s your level of approval.”

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Office space inside studio wraps
Office space next to rolls of vinyl inside the shop at Studio Wraps on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2022.
Sara Guymon / Brainerd Dispatch

Their work also isn’t confined to vehicles. Recently, Lundberg has been doing more work with flat designs like wall vinyl, window decals and floor designs. They’ve done work for local businesses installing custom interior wraps in the bathrooms at Ernie’s on Gull Lake. They also will be installing a wall wrap for the Nisswa Elementary School.

Lundberg also wants to help encourage children, teenagers and adults to get into vinyl design. In the upper level of the shop, there are stations set up to help beginners learn the basics of vinyl design. Lundberg plans on getting the area set up a little more as well to sell the basics to those who want to get involved.

In addition to the stations in the shop, Lundberg also tries to give presentations on vinyl wrapping and design to CLC students. He believes it’s important for young adults, even before college, to find something they are passionate about and pursue it. Lundberg’s passion is design and although it isn’t an easy industry to get into he stayed motivated and passionate about it.

“Well, I didn't go there last year," Lundberg said of CLC. "It's been weird with COVID, but I'll usually try to feature a one-hour or two-hour session for the students and just kind of give back and showcase some tips, tricks and things on how to set up some of the vehicle templates or how to set up some stuff for design.”

Another unique experience that Studio Wraps likes to provide is events a few times a year. They have comedy shows and different events in the shop at 5558 Pine Beach Road, just west of Highway 371 north of Brainerd, for people to attend.

Lundberg hopes interior vinyl wrapping continues to become more popular in the future and he can continue to experiment with different ideas revolving around it.

SARA GUYMON, Brainerd Dispatch, staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5851 or sara.guymon@brainerddispatch.com

Sara Guymon recently joined the Brainerd Dispatch as a staff writer.
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