There are many products out there to help you customize your iDevices while also protecting them. You have cases that have cool designs or those you can totally customize like Uncommon. Or you can protect them with film like BodyGuardz. But what if you want protection but at the same time don’t want a case, however you want your own custom look? Well I have found the answer to that question and that answer is: GelaSkins.  GelaSkins (GS), uses a film overlay on your device called “ControlTac” by 3M.  This film, with a design of your choosing, creates a “Skin” which will practically surround the entire device.  This can all be done by going to GS’ website.   Going to GelaSkins is an interesting process not all that dis-similar to the process outlined for Uncommon in this article. At the GelaSkins website, one can choose from a plethora of pre-made artwork or… create your own, which is way more fun.

If creating your own, the process works like this:

First choose a pic from your personal library, and please, be sure to make sure it is high in resolution. About 2,000 pixels will serve you best.

Then choose your device (in my case it was for an iPad). Upload your artwork. Then click “Begin Layout”.

In this new screen you will see a virtual version of your device and can choose between front, back and wallpaper (I’ll get to that later as it is one of the cooler and more unique features GelaSkins offers that separates itself from the rest of the herd).

Go down to the lower bar where you artwork is located and simply drag and drop the work into the virtual device display occupying the bulk of the screen.

Now zoom, rotate and adjust the artwork until its position is satisfactory.

When done for the front, then do the back and then review the wallpaper. Now this wallpaper option is interesting because what GS does for you is it actually reproduces your chosen, custom art work for both the front and back onto tacky film facsimiles to be applied topically to the device.  Interestingly, what is normally discarded by most companies, GS takes that refuse and actually crops it and sends it to you as a wallpaper to use on the device. So whatever you do, do NOT delete your order confirmation when it comes to your inbox. Because that confirmation has your wallpapers in it. Those pictures that look like the artwork you used for your skins at the bottom of the confirmation? Those are what your wallpapers look like and what you are supposed to install on the device (and in my case for the iPad), will be your lock screen and wallpaper. This “Tri-fecta” of art will now give any device a 3D full wrap around look of pure art. And that is a really nice nugget.

After all the sizing, adjustments and tweaks, click “preview”.

At the preview screen, if everything looks right, click “add to cart” and for $29.95 +S&H your artwork is in the mail to you.

So how does the artwork look in the end?  Simply astounding.  As clear and precise as the image you originally selected.  Nothing is added or removed, and the resolution is only compromised by what you submit for reproduction by GS.  It will be literally a perfect reproduction.  For some examples, here is some pre-made art available right from the GelaSkins site,  as seen below.

The imagery will be as crisp and fine as you see here (if not better).  And this is but a small example of what is available to you if you do not have anything yourself worth creating.

So how well do GelaSkins protect your device?  Well, it will not do anything for drops and hard impact.  But as far as scratches and scoring the back or framing of the screen?  I can tell you 3M does not make junk.  The very people who brought us the Post-It have been in this game for a long time, and are responsible for a very large percentage of the things we use today.  And everything they make is of the finest quality. However, it is worth noting that GS affords no protection for the corners or sides of the device.

So let’s get into how we would put these on an iPad, or any device really.  These skins are a peel & stick item.  And that can be a real difficulty to line up properly causing massive frustration and aggravation.  But yours truly came up with a solution to make this a cake walk.  What is my solution, Daniel-San?  Wax paper…  Yep!  You heard it, wax paper.  Here is how I did it with my iPad.  When my skins from GS came in the mail, I immediately went into the kitchen and laid out two sheets of wax paper. I then peeled off the Skins from their contact sheets and placed them tacky side down on the wax paper.  I then flipped them over and tore off just enough wax paper to expose 2% of the tacky side at the top of the skins.  I then, on each side of my iPad (one side at a time) applied the tack to the device and then smoothed out the skin over the iPad to see how it lined up, as wax paper is semi-transparent and will allow you to see if you are lined up correctly.  If not, it was a breeze to pull up the tack without causing a disaster and re-adjust its positioning.  Once I saw that I was lined up properly, I then pulled out the wax paper in three sections, with each section newly exposed, I smoothed out the tack from the center out, making sure all air bubbles and imperfections were gone, and then continued to move to expose the second section and then third, always repeating the same previously mentioned process.  The result was a fit and finish so fine, that friends and family thought I got the iPad that way.  Yeah, it came out that nice.

So would I say get GelaSkins before others?  Yes.  So should you be in the market and want something truly unique for your device and wish it to look uniformed and complete with a custom, highly stylized wrap-around look?  GelaSkins is the way you want to go.  They’re simply fantastic.