BRAINERD – Dan Lundberg decided to open his own store specializing in vinyl wrapping and custom design work in June 2020.
He has been in the design industry for nearly two decades and decided it was time to do something independent and opened Studio Wraps.
Lundberg is from Brainerd and loves the area. He moved to Baxter and Staples for a bit, but he never felt at home the 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 evolved into printing and applying it to projects like vehicles.
One of the main goals of Studio Wrap is to grab attention and get that second look, which in the industry is called being able to “break your neck”.
“The phrase ‘snap necks’ means you took a second look so fast that you ‘break your neck,'” Lundberg said. “And that’s the experience we always provide to our customers. We put passion in everything we do. So that’s the fun part of it.
Studio Wraps offers a wide variety of services, but their primary focus is vinyl wrapping. They will also do banners and business cards, but want to focus on other services more relevant to Lundberg and its employees.
Although Lundberg has seen employees come and go throughout his two years in business, Brandon Pfaff has been with the company since the beginning. Pfaff is the lead designer at Studio Wraps and works on creating custom work. He often has a direct line of contact with the client in order to better understand what his vision of the final product is. Pfaff moved to Kentucky but continues to work for the company remotely as an offsite designer.
Clients come from all over for different design-related jobs. Lundberg and his team of five full-time and one part-time employees work on land with vehicles like cars, boats and motorcycles. More recently, someone from Fargo, North Dakota brought their truck to the shop for some custom designs. This work included matte vinyl on the vehicle trim and custom North Dakota State University designs on the side of the vehicle and on the wheel covers.
Studio Wraps uses a heat gun to help form the vinyl to the surface they are trying to apply it to. Prior to application, they often line the area with knifeless tape, allowing them to cut out the shape without the need for a knife or shaping tool which 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 the edges of the vinyl are secure and precise. In addition to vinyl placement, Lundberg and his team also work with printing and lamination.
Lundberg describes his team’s tasks as commercial or personalized. The design work on the truck would be considered custom, but they also put logos on the cars for companies that made the work commercial.
Custom can be a little more complicated than commercial, but Lundberg said their customers account for about 50% of both. There’s 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 told as a tattoo,” Lundberg said. “OK it’s kind of permanent, not as much as a tattoo, but what would you like and be happy with for a while. So it’s up to us to say it looks good but in same time, it’s your approval level.
Their work is not limited to vehicles either. Recently, Lundberg has been working more with flat designs like wall vinyl, window decals, and floor designs. They have worked for local businesses installing custom interior liners in Ernie’s bathrooms on Gull Lake. They will also install wall cladding for Nisswa Elementary School.
Lundberg also wants to encourage kids, teens and adults to get into vinyl design. On the upper level of the store, stations are set up to help beginners learn the basics of vinyl design. Lundberg also plans to develop the area a little more to sell the bases to those who want to get involved.
In addition to the stations in the shop, Lundberg also tries to give presentations on vinyl packaging and design to CLC students. He believes it’s important for young adults, even before college, to find something they’re passionate about and pursue it. Lundberg’s passion is design and although it’s not an easy industry to get into, he has remained driven and passionate.
“Well, I didn’t go there last year,” Lundberg said of CLC. back and introduce some tips, tricks and things on how to configure some of the vehicle models or how to configure items for the design.
Another unique experience that Studio Wraps likes to offer is events a few times a year. They have comedy shows and different events in the store at 5558 Pine Beach Road just west of Hwy 371 north of Brainerd for people to attend.
Lundberg hopes vinyl interior packaging will continue to become more popular in the future and that he can continue to experiment with different ideas around it.
SARA GUYMON, Brainerd Dispatch, writer, can be reached at 218-855-5851 or