Automotive Window Tinting: The Artist vs.The Computer

Artisan’s Perspective On Window Tinting:

As an artist, finding your preferred medium can be tricky. Art is not limited to fine arts,
painting, sculpting and design; true artistry can come in various forms. Mike Burke,
owner of Sun Stoppers, has been an artist at heart from an early age. During the
1980’s, when automotive window tinting skyrocketed in popularity, Mike discovered his
medium. Spending his days customizing, measuring and hand cutting film to perfectly fit
any make and model vehicle brought an endless amount of joy and fulfillment to his life.

It took extreme skill, creativity and precision to properly install window tint before
computers emerged on the scene with intuitive software that stores a database of every
automotive window template imaginable. Tinters were once true artists before
technology capitalized on the industry. Rear windows were not always installed in one
piece, before the early 2000’s, tint artists had to piece together rear windows. Before
tint material evolved, there was basically no stretch at all, therefore, three hand cut
pieces were used to cover the entire rear window. The tint overlaid the rear defogger
lines and tinters used a butt seam to ensure the end result was crisp, seamless and cut
to perfection.

The skill and ingenuity it took to install custom window tint back in the day is known
in the industry as “tattoo tinting,” early tint artists were able to develop such an
excellent technique that their installations were so clean you would have thought
technology was involved. 

Technologically Advanced Automotive Window Tinting:

With recent advancements in technology, professional window tinters have it easy.
Every reputable tint shop has computer software that allows the tinter to select the year,
make and model of the vehicle they are working on in order to be supplied with a
pre-measured template. The template is then CNC (Computer Numerical Control) cut
on a professional grade plotter and ready to be installed.

This made to order process eliminated the need for tinters to really hone their skills and

develop their craft. Not only has the process changed, the actual tint materials have
advanced as well. Tint used today shrinks and stretches better and tinters are now able
to tint an entire front or rear window with one piece of tint. Modern tint offers a multitude
of high quality features, safety and protection, health benefits as well as an improved
appearance. 

Where Does the Artist Fit In?

Has modern innovation and the overall expansion of the window tinting industry killed off the artist? Back in the day it took skill and know how to properly tint windows, nowadays most modern tinters don’t even know how to hand cut a piece of film. The days of measuring, hand cutting and tailor fitting tint may be forgotten techniques left in the past, but certain tint shops still offer hand cutting services. Sun Stoppers trains their tinters as artists, fully equipped with the tools and technology used today. Every tinter at Sun Stoppers is hand selected for their talent and ability. They are set up for success upon the completion of a rigorous training program that allows them to evolve and mature in the industry. The days of hand cutting and piecing together rear windows may be gone, however that era produced a generation of true artists that have carried their craftsmanship into present day.