I designed this logo about 10 years ago. But they do a lot of biker business and they wanted to play up the black and orange look. So I modified the logo a bit and put it on the doors as one big digital print. The gray stripe was an afterthought—a subtle way to tie the print into the whole vehicle. Photo by Chris Lipfert
This design is a little more aggressive than usual for me. This client, though, is a high-energy guy who wanted a strong identity. On his pickup, the logo spans both doors and there’s no secondary copy. On the big trucks, the lettering stays on the door with a very small phone number, then the stripe graphics tie the design into the hood and fender. Photo by Nick Bazil
I ride mountain bikes with Jason Washer, and he designed the A1 logo before I did any work for them. His style, like mine, is very clean and to the point. I filled the door with their logo, then added the grass graphic and stripes to make it a whole vehicle deal.
Pushing copy to the back door or the quarter panel makes more room for the primary copy. Things don’t run together, and you are utilizing the whole vehicle. The reader gets the logo first, then they can get the phone number or web address if they’re interested.
I reversed the lowercase Es in services to add some interest, then decided to make one white. There was no rhyme or reason to this—it just makes the logo more distinct. This customer is about 45 minutes from my shop, and I’ve been doing his work for about seven years. He likes our work, and I enjoy working with him.
The phone number and website leave the door to make room for what really matters. You don’t need them until we’re sure you got the primary message from the door.
Atlas had just had their logo updated when they came to me. They were using the same generic black and red stripe on all their vehicles, but I changed that to give the design a little more energy and appeal. I also adapted the graphics to each of their trucks to better fit the design of the truck.
A wrap, of course, is a good way to use the whole vehicle for the graphics, as in the case of this van. But it’s not the only way. Photo by Nick Bazil
I moved the list of services back to the bed on this one to keep the main message as uncluttered as possible. I did this about 10 years ago. It’s airbrushed vinyl, but I’d print it now.
Why not use the primary message as large as possible on the truck body when you have the opportunity? The doors can handle the secondary messages. Photo by Chris Lipfert
This is one of those clients who had seen my work, liked what I was doing and just turned me loose. And yes, their trucks always look this clean.
On trucks like this, I take advantage of the large canvas of the truck body for the primary copy. The secondary copy went on the doors and the graphics connected it all.
I kept the logo bold on the door then pushed all the secondary copy back on the truck. The stripes add a kick to the overall look.
The secondary copy could have gone under the side molding, but it would have cluttered things and been harder to find. Moving it back let me better emphasize the logo.

Letter the truck — not just the doors

Bigger trucks can mean graphics with more impact

By Braun Bleamer

Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2016

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The traditional approach to truck lettering has long been to treat the door as the format. Maybe that’s because for years trucks had just two doors on the cab. Now trucks often have extended cabs or four-door cabs, giving us a much larger potential format for the graphics. I like to take advantage of that extra space to deliver extra impact.

Some customers realize that, but most don’t. It’s not unusual to have someone pull in with a quarter-million-dollar tri-axle and say, “I need the doors lettered…” It hasn’t occurred to them that they could take advantage of much more of the vehicle and get much more advertising value from it. When you start asking them what they want to say and what they want to accomplish, it can be like pulling teeth.

Others are much more open to the idea. They may have even seen some of our work and they want something visually powerful for their business, too.

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Braun Bleamer’s shop, Jet Signs Inc., is in Palmerton, Pennsylvania.

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