Here the main copy sits in the optical center of the available format.
Another example of the primary copy placed in the optical center of the truck’s doors.

Drop the lettering down on the doors

By SignCraft Magazine

Posted on Thursday, June 25th, 2020

One of the fundamentals of sign layout is to put the primary copy in the optical center of the panel. On a truck, that’s the door panel, or in the case of an extended cab pickup, the two doors on the side of the truck.

Ralph Toews and sons Randy and Travis [RT Signs, Mitchell, MB, Canada] do many truck layouts that way, with bold lettering and plenty of negative space to frame it. But they also bend the rule on occasion by moving the lettering down to the lower portion of the doors.

“This look is common in our area,” says Ralph, “I think because clients wanted something bold but not ‘in the face.’ It’s used by other local shops as well.”

This effect catches the viewer’s eye off guard. The message isn’t where they expect it to be, so they have to take a second look.

The negative space above the lettering focuses attention on the lettering down below. Sometimes a panel or a graphic adds to the message. But in every case, this effect utilizes the whole vehicle as the sign format and zeros the viewer’s eye in on this unexpected placement of what you really want them to see.

This is a helpful alternative effect for when the customer needs clean identification for their vehicle that speaks of quality and professionalism. Every truck doesn’t need to shout its message. Using a quieter voice can be just as powerful, but in an elegant way.