sherriff car fleet graphics by DeDona

History of Vehicle Graphics and Advertising

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Even in medieval times family crests or emblems were emblazoned on carriage doors, standards, and shields to help quickly identify a friend or foe. In the 1800s railroad companies employed company graphics, placed on each car to quickly and repetitively identify the company hauling coal, freight, cattle, mail, and/or passengers through one’s vicinity. In the early 1900’s, ice, milk (think Divco milk trucks), baked good, produce and other sundries were delivered in a motorized or horse drawn vehicles that made use of elaborate signage that helped customers identify a company brand. It made no difference whether there was competition for the same goods or services: A company’s brand was – and is – a symbol of pride.

Until the late 1990’s, however, the most affordable medium for branding one’s vehicle was paint. Although vinyl was discovered (invented accidently) in the mid-1920s and opened a Pandora’s Box of new products, real and potential, the cost to produce it did not decrease until the 1980s. Production costs coupled with the expense of die-cutting technology rendered self-adhesive vinyl graphics cost prohibitive for small business and its customers. Automotive body shops were still the go-to for custom paint and graphics.

By the late 90s new technologies emerged making vinyl graphics even more affordable. Powerful computer design applications, pressure sensitive vinyl film, and color printers with the capability of printing enormous graphics have decreased in, cost making them more affordable than ever for small business.

Today, self-adhesive vinyl wraps are available to anyone or any business that wants to wrap a single vehicle or an entire fleet. Vinyl wraps can be installed in three days or less, not including the time to “cure,” depending on the size of the vehicle and the amount of matching required by the graphics in the wrap.

To see how it’s done be sure to check out our advertising wrap timelapse video.

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