Posted on Monday, October 30th, 2023
Double-cab pickups provide a lot more room for graphics, making the truck door lettering an even better value. In our most recent Pricing Survey, we asked SignCraft readers what they would charge for basic lettering on one of these trucks by giving them this situation:
“You designed a logo and storefront sign for this customer, who just bought a new double-cab pickup truck. They want the logo used large on the two doors on both sides and also on the tailgate. Quote the price for lettering their new truck.”
We showed this great-looking example by Erik Dickson [Erik Designs, Rumford, Maine] to give an idea of the type of project—a straightforward two-color lettering job without any printed graphics. We also asked them what they would charge to design a basic logo if the customer didn’t already have one.
Thanks to the sign pros who participated, we have the results. Before we dive into those, though, we want to thank those who took time from their busy day to help out on the survey.
The selling price
The average selling price was $539 for both sides of the pickup and the tailgate. There was a wide range of prices, but about 70% of them fell between $300 and $600.
The average selling price of a basic logo design with no illustration for a customer who didn’t have a logo already was $258. About 70% came in at $400 or less.
Along with these two selling prices, we also asked some basic information about the sign maker’s business, market and experience.
Over half, 53%, were owners of commercial sign shops (primarily non-electric signs), and nearly a third (28%) owned full-service sign shops (both electric and non-electric signs).
Speaking of experience, the respondents were long-time sign people. Almost 90% had been involved in the sign business for 11 years or more:
Almost 70% lettered three or more trucks per month:
Here’s how they described their markets:
Almost half had 1 to 3 employees, and about a third worked alone:
A closer look at the prices
The average selling price for the truck using the customer-provided logo varied among with the shop’s volume level, but ran higher for the shops that did fewer trucks per month. For a shop that does two or less trucks per month, the average was $617. Shops that did 3 to 5 trucks per month averaged $530. For shops that did 6 to 8 trucks per month, the average was $473. For shops that did 9 or more, the average was $492.
Less experienced sign makers tended to charge less. The average selling price of those with under two years in the industry was $600. With two to five years in the industry, the average rose to $720. At 6 to 10 years in the industry, the average was up to $813. These averages were all assuming the customer provided their logo.
Market size mattered, too. In large urban areas, the average selling price of a truck done with the customer-provided logo was $625. Among shops in mid-sized towns, the average was $571. For those in rural areas, the average dropped to $521.
Are prices up since 2020?
Yes, and they were up significantly. The average selling prices for truck lettering like this is up from an average of $446 in the similar survey that we did in 2020 to $539 in 2023. That’s an increase of 21%. They were also up across the board—in all three categories of experience, market size and volume.
What they had to say
Here’s a sampling of what the respondents had to say about this project:
“In 90% of the cases, the truck graphic would be printed, laminated and contour cut. We do very little cut vinyl with overlays these days.”
“I would price this using a premium cast film, 3M IJ180, for example.”
“If this was a one- or two-color cut vinyl job versus a digital print job, the price would be different. Also, design with how many revisions were involved? If I have to spend more than an hour on that, the price would go up.”
“We generally upcharge $25 to 45 for door badge removals if required.”
“I have done a bunch of these. Generally it takes less than two hours total including design, print, laminate, contour cut, weed and apply transfer tape, and installation. I tell customers to drop it off in the morning and pick it up at the end of the day, which allows me to work it in around other jobs.”
“It wasn’t specified whether the truck would be lettered with vinyl or hand lettered. Vinyl would be $450; hand lettered would be $600.”
“I offer hand lettering also and if the customer preferred hand lettering, it would add 50% to the price.”
“We would remove the Ram 3500 badging to open up the space, remove visual distraction and clean up the overall look. This would be discussed with client ahead of time, of course.”