What’s it cost to produce this truck lettering?

By Bert Quimby

Posted on Friday, July 7th, 2023

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The day this truck was in the shop I did two other similar jobs—and I could have squeezed in one more and still left by four. This was a typical landscape guy with one truck and no interest in a logo—he just wanted some nice lettering on his doors.

Materials (excluding markup):

22 feet high-performance vinyl film: $48

Paint and miscellaneous: $16

Total materials: $64

Time design/production: 1 hr. 20 min.

I design these jobs to be easy to produce. My operation is built around doing jobs like this as quickly and efficiently as possible. The layout is clean and simple, and there’s a little airbrush on the lettering. The layers register easily, and it all goes down quickly. It’s colorful because there are four colors plus the airbrush, and it’s bold.

The worst part about working like this is when the customer realizes that they need a tool that they left in the truck that morning. They come back at mid-morning and the truck is done. They don’t always realize that it’s taken a long time for me to be able to turn out a job like this so fast.

Bert Quimby’s shop, Bert Graphix, is in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey.

This appeared in the May/June 2004 issue of SignCraft. While the prices have been adjusted for inflation, they may not accurately reflect current pricing for such signage.


These magnetics were his old truck lettering. You might say they weren’t delivering the image he wanted.

Create the layout: 20 minutes

There’s hardly any real design time involved in this job. I had an idea in my head, and I just started the layout right at the computer. Type it in, pull in the graphic, choose fonts and it’s done.

Cut film and airbrush the fade: 10 minutes

I cut the letters in purple vinyl, then set up to do the fade. I airbrushed House of Kolor Passion Pearl on the bottom of the letter, then mixed in some white and did the top. I darkened the very bottom with Violet Pearl.

Weed and coat: 10 minutes

Next, I weeded the lettering then sprayed on a coat of Frog Juice from an aerosol can. If you spray it before weeding, it makes weeding a little harder. Now I was ready to start applying film.

Apply the green vinyl base: 10 minutes

This step is the key to easy registration. Everything else goes on top of this.

Apply the black vinyl: 10 minutes

I had reverse-cut the lettering in the black panel so that it would just show through the lime green. I thought about using another color on the leaf or Landscaping, but it would just add time.

Here’s a closer look.

Apply the purple and gray film: 20 minutes

Finally, I put on the purple copy and the city name, which I had cut in gray. It was out the door.