View Full Version : Van Lettering

Island Lawn
03-14-2001, 01:19 PM
I'm having my van lettered next week
($250 design & installation)

I expect this to bring in some calls!
Also, will project a more professional image.
(1st impressions count!)

The lettering lady told me to wash, but dont wax, the van before bringing it in.

Should I use anything like a degreaser, or bug/tar remover?

The van isnt that dirty at all, I just want the vinyl to stick well.


[Edited by Island Lawn on 03-14-2001 at 05:24 PM]

03-14-2001, 08:42 PM
So long as the vehicle isn't a rust-bucket, the vinyl will hold just fine. It does project a professional image, but don't get disappointed if the calls don't come streaming in. I haven't had too many calls that way, but I also have never MADE calls that way. But it something you have to do to look professional.

Make sure your name and logo are big, so they remember that when they look in the phone book for you.

Price sounds about right, too.

03-14-2001, 08:48 PM
Have you thought about magnetic signs? There alot cheaper and can be moved from vehicle to vehicle. Just a thought.

03-14-2001, 09:33 PM
Magnetic signs are a good way to go except for the possibility of theft (first hand experience) if left on while away from your vehicle. No..I can't figure why someone wanted the signs advertising MY business. But then again who knows what goes on inside the mind of a thief.
When I had my vinyl lettering done I also had my web address put on as well, I find that more people will link to a web address than will pick up the phone to call

Just my 2 cents worth.

Barger Signs Services Div.

Island Lawn
03-14-2001, 11:26 PM
I considered magnetic signs, but I based my decision on trying to project a more professional image. This company does very professional magnetic signs as well, but just didnt "out do" vinyl.

03-14-2001, 11:33 PM
I aagree. That's what I'm ordering tomorrow for my dump.


Fine Lines Lawn
03-14-2001, 11:44 PM
I like permanent vinyl lettering. I've had past trouble with magnetics blowing off or rust forming under them. (I seldom removed them) Permanent signs give a look of a permanent company. Also, be concise. Company name, phone number and web address are sufficient. It's hard to read a full business card on a truck going 50 mph.

Randy Scott
03-14-2001, 11:46 PM
Island Lawn, I would not worry about doing anything to the van. If this lady is a professional she will know how to prep the surface. They will most likely wash the area with soap and water and then wipe it down with a wax and grease remover. Then use a solution formulated to ease installation of the vinyl so they can squeegee the air bubbles out. :) When I took my trailer to get done last month there was more snow and salt sprayed on it than you could shake a stick at. They know how to get that stuff ready, let them do it! Good luck! :D

Fine Lines Lawn
03-15-2001, 12:19 AM
Very catchy company name.
I like it!

03-15-2001, 08:42 AM

Sometimes your truck isn't going 50mph so it pays to have some information on the services you provide on your truck. I can attribute several jobs that I signed last year directly to truck advertising. People may not call directly from the phone number on the truck but a professional sign job will make them recognize you in the phone book before the companies they don't recognize. Sometimes people will just approach me at the gas station or Tim Hortons. I got a $7000 job like that the first week I had my truck done!

[Edited by diginahole on 03-15-2001 at 07:47 AM]

John Allin
03-15-2001, 09:40 AM
I'll bet you got a buck two ninety eight in THAT lettering.....

03-15-2001, 09:45 AM
$500 for the vynyl lettering and $800 for the green paint

Kent Lawns
03-15-2001, 11:01 AM
What truck lettering DOES do is augment other advertising.

People get a flyer/phone call/see ad and think "Oh, I've seen them around".

This is possibly a greater value than the truck letting being a direct advertisement vehicle.

Island Lawn
03-15-2001, 11:33 AM
That's my thinking Kent.

A person may see my van "all over the place!"
It's hard to get that kind of coverage w/ flyers w/o getting fined for littering and!LOL!

03-15-2001, 12:45 PM
Okay, Island.

Now I'm going to give you one of my free marketing tips. Wherever you drive with this thing, especially if there's no trailer behind it, park it where it can be seen by the most people.

In a parking lot, park close to the street, and pull far enough that passersby can see the logo. Do this always. It sounds like a little thing, but I can't tell you the number of times I had people say "I've seen your trucks around," back when I had a single pickup.

Make yourself VISIBLE.

03-15-2001, 12:57 PM
We've done this in a couple of wys. First we have one 1ton dump, in school bus yellow. Lettering in vinyl. This is an attention getter. Second a 6x12 trailer professionally screened on all 4 sides. Trailer is black with yellow and green lettering. Can be seen from a mile away. Park it on the street in front of your jobs. That lettering cost me $500 and got me a $20K job the second week I had it. Magnetic signs are a testament to the permanence and commitment to your business.

John Allin
03-15-2001, 01:02 PM
Back when we only had 3 or 4 trucks, we used to repaint the wheel rims every 4 months. Changed the colors slightly. Couple years later, we heard people say that we had several dozen trucks. We also numbered the trucks. No single digits, and none were consecutive (example: 11, 16, 24, 33).

Perception is reality.

03-15-2001, 01:42 PM
Perception BECAME reality.
LOL That one is funny to me. Stonehenge was going to be in those parking lots anyway, so parking strategically was an easily done marketing strategy. But taking the time to paint rims different colors & thinking about & taking time to manipulate public perception, that's thinking outside of the box. You didn't have a choice but to grow into your perceived size. Wow.

03-15-2001, 04:09 PM

I had thought of doing the same thing, but I had pangs of guilt that stopped me. Barely.

I had even come up with a numbering 'system' so that if anyone ever asked - "why do you have trucks with numbers much higher than the # of trucks you have", I would have a logical explanation.

For example:

First digit is vehicle type:

1 = pickup
2 = small dump
3 = large dump
4 = skid loader

Second digit identifies the number of the vehicle in that category

1 = First vehicle in that category
2 = Second...
3 = 3rd...

So your first pickup would be numbered '11'

Still might do it. JAA hit the nail squarely on the head. Perception is reality.

Here's another freebie tip - wear a hat. Not a ball cap. Check out my website, the planting page. I'm the one in the Panama Jack style hat.

You don't even know how many people have seen me or my guys so many places that we've never been, because they saw the hat. And then said "There's that Stonehenge guy."

Cheap marketing, but it keeps your company in their heads.

03-15-2001, 05:07 PM
Another thing to think about when you have your vehicles lettered is to drive like a complete gentleman. It is funny how much of a better driver you become when your name and phone number is in big bold writing right there on the side of your truck. Always remind your employees to drive decent because they are representing you. Potential clients WILL remembver your name if your trucks are being driven aggressivly, but NOT in a good way.

John Allin
03-15-2001, 07:04 PM
Ain't that the truth !!

03-15-2001, 07:27 PM
Digin -

BTW, very nice truck. The two-color thing is really attractive.

You're right about driving like a gentleman. I must not normally drive like one, because by late June I'm wishing I could put magnetic signs on to COVER UP my company identity, drive fast and flip the bird when it's appropriate.

03-15-2001, 08:13 PM
Be sure to take your hat off too!

03-15-2001, 08:13 PM
Stone or is it Mr. Henge

That is why the lord invented rental cars. LOL


03-15-2001, 09:28 PM
Back in the 70's my uncle had started a trucking/paving/excavating biz. he started out with five trucks, big tri-axles. He had the trucks painted hot pink. You laugh at hot pink within three years he had 40 trucks on the road. everything was pink rollers, trailers, etc. his trucks were in the papers and everyone talked about how wacky they were with the color. he swears that the color is what blew his business up....

03-15-2001, 09:44 PM
In the advertising business that is what they call a "hook" and I think your uncle found one big enough to land Moby Dick.


03-15-2001, 10:25 PM
My employer recently had the body & paint done on the welding truck I drive. From the body shop, it went straight to be lettered, by airbrushing. He also had planned on having a mural done on the hood. Since I'm the only one who drives it, he asked what I would prefer. Naturally, I replied "Something skydiving related" since that's my obsession, at least from May thru October.

With the help of some photos for ideas, and thanks to the artist's talent, there is now a mural showing two people in freefall holding a banner with our company's name on it. The clouds in the background trail off down onto the doors, where they draw your attention to the company name painted there as well.

I realize this isn't a cheap way to go, but it definitely gets noticed!

One other effective marketing strategy, no matter what style of lettering you choose, is to keep your truck clean. I know it feels like a losing battle in the winter months, but it works!

03-16-2001, 12:12 AM
Sounds like your company owner is doing more than marketing to the customer.

I'm sure there aren't too many companies out there that'd have a truck painted to the specs of the employee driving it. He wants to keep you, and is willing to paint a truck with something personal for you so there's buy-in from you.

Smart employer.

03-26-2001, 12:36 AM
Just this week had lettering done for my dump truck and it was produced for me by a company called Fast Signs. They do lettering in many formats but the one I like to work with is pre-cut vinyl. I had this on the truck and looking (I applied it myself) fine in less than an hour. The price was very reasonable to go from an anonymous dull looking truck to a nice professional looking piece of equipment for my business. More than that the dump is just fine but how could anyone know how to hire it for any work without a good lettering job? I'm not sure if this company is national or not but I am certainly pleased with the service, price, and most of all the quality.


SlimJim Z71
03-27-2001, 06:59 PM
Here are the pics that R.W. Nagle was trying to post:




03-27-2001, 07:27 PM
Tim - a big "Thank you!" My computing skills aren't as good as my welding skills.

I thought of posting the pics simply because "Picture is worth 1,000 words".