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Posted by:SignCraft's Editors

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Don't let your shop vehicles go to waste

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It’s easy to explain to a client how you can turn their truck into a rolling billboard. You can give them the daily traffic counts for a few of the city streets and point out the exposure they’re missing. You can break the cost down over the life of the vehicle [see Larry Elliott’s terrific chart in How to show the true value of a sign]. Effective vehicle graphics may well be the best advertising value for a small business.
But how about your shop truck?

It can be a little harder to practice what we preach on our own shop vehicles. Often, our own truck lacks the high impact, image-building graphics we produce for others. Sometimes it lacks any graphics at all. Is your shop truck sending the message you want to your prospective clients? (If it is, we’d like to see it! Use the contact form to drop us a note and we’ll send you the details on e-mailing us the images. The contact form minimizes spam for all of us.)

Some shops use their shop truck as a sales tool for the type of work they want to push, whether it’s wraps or high impact design or traditional signs. Others opt for clean, professional identification. Either way, it can be an example of what you know makes vehicle graphics effective: minimal copy, appropriate graphics, and the use of strong contrasts to help the reader get the message in the proper order.

When you think of it, putting our marketing skills to work for ourselves should be the first order of business. For some reason, though, it often gets pushed to the back burner.

Does it have to be a masterpiece? Not really. It just has to convey the image you want for your shop. It should show what you can do. We’ve featured hundreds of great-looking shop trucks in SignCraft just like the ones you see here.

Take a look at the approaches these shops have used on their vehicles. They’re all different, yet all are effective. Let’s start with a few of wraps:


Mel’s Signs, Cavan, Ireland


Prefer a low-key, professional look? So does David Showalter [David Design, Bryan, OH, ]:



Lisa Freshler opted for clean, high impact graphics on this design for Lewis Sign & Crane Service, Mountain Home, AR :



A retro or vintage vehicle ramps up the shop trucks attention-getting power [ Pierre Tardif, St-Gabriel-de-Vajartier, Canada,]: 

You’ll find more photos of Ken Duncan’s [Sauk Valley Signs, Sterling, Illinois] 1946 Chevy pickup in the July/August 2012 issue of SignCraft, with George Perkins’ article on creating faux vintage lettering and striping. Ken restored his truck to look as if it was just rediscovered out behind the shop, behind a stack of old neon sign cabinets. 

It doesn’t have to be truck, either. Why let your car go to waste?

Wildside Graphix, Concordia, KS

 Erik Designs, Rumford, ME,

And while you’re at it, don’t forget the back window. It’s another great way to demonstrate an upgrade you can offer clients:

Airtime Signs, Ocean Grove VIC, Australia,


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