History of Contra Vision Transit Advertising

1989 – The first use

The first ever use of one-way, see-through transit advertising appeared as a poster on bus windows for Beeline Buses in Manchester, in 1989.  The posters were for Imperial Tobacco and printed on a “new” patented material called Contra Vision®.

Contra Vision Ltd (UK), was the company created by Roland Hill, the inventor of see-through graphics.

First Contra Vision Bus Wrap Bee Line
Pan Pacific Hotel Bus Wrap

1991 – World’s first total bus wrap

In 1991, the world’s first total bus wrap was produced by Contra Vision in New Zealand for the Pan Pacific Hotel. The unique characteristics of Contra Vision® see through window graphics made it possible to wrap the entire bus in promotional graphics, extending the imagery over the windows for the first time while still allowing passengers to see-through from the inside. This particular transit wrap involved shipping Contra Vision part-processed material from Europe to be spray-painted in New Zealand. That was just the beginning, the eye-catching format of transit advertising soon became hugely popular in Australia, followed by South Africa, and the UK.

1992/1993 – World’s first digitally printed bus wrap

The USA entered this market in 1992 when Visual Technologies, Inc., a licensee of Contra Vision North America, Inc., provided Contra Vision® for the first “full wrap” bus in the USA, for the US Postal Service in Denver, Colorado.  The first digitally printed bus wraps in the world used Contra Vision®, imaged by the 3M™ Scotchprint process, which advertised the launch of Crystal Pepsi in March 1993.

Through a process of continuous innovation, Contra Vision went on to develop a range of printable perforated window films and soon licensed multi-nationals including 3M, Orafol and Avery Dennison to use this ground-breaking invention.

Crystal Pepsi Bus Wrap
Contour Cut Bus Window Graphic Using Contra Vision

Today – Keep on innovating

Today Contra Vision remains the world leader in one-way vision and see-through graphics technologies. The value and interest from advertisers and Out of Home agencies for this application continues worldwide, with eye-catching and innovative designs that can transform each bus into a great opportunity for branding and communication campaigns.