What would you get for this semi door lettering?

By signcraft

Posted on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

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In our most recent Trade Secrets e-letter, we asked readers what they would charge for this typical project: lettering the doors of the new semi truck. We want to thank the hundreds of busy sign shop owners who took time to help out on the survey. We know that the thousands of sign shops who we share this with will really appreciate it, too.

The project was also featured in the Design & Price feature in the January/February issue of SignCraft. This is one of the two designs done by RT Signs, Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada. You’ll find eight great-looking designs by four sign designers, with the selling prices, online and in the January/February issue.

Let’s start with the average price for doing the graphics on the two doors of a semi like this one. That came in at $254.

When we broke down the price for the sign by range, 37% of the prices were between $200 and $300. Another 20% were between $300 and $400. Seven percent were over $500 and 14% were under $125.

Just over 90% of those who participated said they would offer a logo design if the truck’s owner didn’t have one. The starting prices for such designs were as follows: 6% said $500 or more, 17% said $300 to $500, 23% said $200 to $300 and 34% said $100 to $200.

The pricing surveys were completed by veteran shop owners. The average was 23 years in the sign business, and 82% of those responding had 10 years or more experience in the business.

And they do a lot of truck lettering. Thirty-five percent said they do one or more vehicles per week, and 42% said they do at least one to three vehicles per month.

Where else can you get great information like this that helps you price your sign work accurately and effectively? Only in SignCraft. Subscribe today and see more designs plus complete pricing breakdowns for this project in the Design & Price feature.

Take a look at some of the comments of those who participated:

“The initial design charge of $70 is built into the selling price and we keep the artwork. When the customer wants to take the design, we charge an hourly rate plus the value of the design, which is typically around $350. We charge a $50 nonrefundable deposit and give them an estimate on how long we believe the design will take us to complete. We also use clipart to save time and money on jobs like this one.”

“If the customer is after a special look, specialty vinyls could be used. Otherwise it could be a flat digital print and cut job.”

“Logo design pricing is based on several factors including the degree of complexity, amount of creativity, how many revisions are required, whether the customer is supplying some specific art they want included, etc.”

“My price is based on the customer bringing the truck to us and includes very little design time.”

“For $250, we retain the design rights. For $350, we give the customer a DVD with vector and JPG files, plus color swatches and suggested uses of their logo. We encourage them to purchase from us to maintain proper usage and consistency of their image.”

“Here in Small Town USA, pricing for vehicle lettering is very competitive. Most customers think you should throw in the logo design, but we don’t do that anymore.”

“I would break out the design at an initial cost of $240, which includes turning over the design to them. Then I would add the print and installation cost of $250 for a total of $490.”

“I’ve changed my company policy and I charge for the design. I feel that any good layout could and probably will be used by the customer. It’s time we get compensated for our talents—not just how many square feet of material we use.”

“I would have an additional charge for the gross weight, US DOT numbers and unit numbers. These are required, so it’s not just a matter of the doors.”

“I would try to up-sell to reflective and add $75 to $100 for this.”

“We work really hard to educate people about their identity and how important it is to have one. They are starting to get it.”

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