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Letter the truck, not just the doors

By SignCraft Magazine

Posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Surely the most captivating thing about a vehicle wrap is that it turns the whole truck into a sign. But not every small business needs, nor can afford, a full wrap. But by using a few visual tricks, the creative sign person can ramp up the visual impact of vehicle graphics by lettering the whole truck and not just the doors.

Braun Bleamer, Jet Signs, Palmerton, Pennsylvania, often takes this approach. It lets him give his clients much more powerful advertising–making it a much better value for them. It also gives him an opportunity to upsell from basic truck door lettering when customers don’t need or can’t afford a wrap.

Extended cab and quad cab trucks now make up most of the pickup truck market. Bigger cabs mean more real estate for the graphics. It works on vans and box trucks, too. Either way, Braun takes advantage of the available space in several ways:

Minimize the copy. “Excessive copy probably does the most damage to the effectiveness of vehicle graphics,” says Braun. “When there’s too much to read and comprehend on a vehicle, most viewers get nothing out of it.” He likes to make sure readers will get the primary message in a few seconds.

Push the main message. One approach that Braun takes to these larger truck cabs is to run the graphics across both doors, treating them as a single panel. The other approach is to place the main copy on the front door as large as possible and push the secondary copy to the back door.

Be generous with negative space. The unused space around the lettering frames it and makes it easier for the viewer to read. You’ll see plenty of room around the graphics on Braun’s trucks.

Use graphics to tie it all together. Braun often uses stripes and color panels that extend beyond or run below the lettering to tie the whole vehicle into the signage.

Make the graphics pay off for the client. “My goal,” says Braun, “is to get the client some real advertising value. Vehicles are expensive and they are highly visible. Why not get some real return on that investment by putting all of their advertising potential to work?”

You’ll see more Braun’s trucks and learn more about his design and sales approach in Letter the Truck, Not Just the Doors in the May/June 2016 issue of SignCraft.