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Pros & Cons of Vehicle Magnetic Signs October 8, 2009

Posted by yellowdoggraphics in Advertising / Marketing, Product Spotlight.
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Our magnetic signs look real... but not this real.

Our magnetic signs look real... but not this real.

If you have a refrigerator, then you probably have some magnets. They are great for holding grocery lists, coupons and business cards for cool sign shops (hint, hint).While we can do small sizes magnetics like that, that’s not what we are talking about here. Vehicle Magnetics can be a great way to advertise when you are driving around. But they do have their good points and bad points.

First off we will start with the advantages of the vehicle magnets. The best part about the magnets are that they are easily removable. You can put them on during the week and take them off if you go out of town on the weekend. Some people also like to take them off at night if they are going out. They are nice because you aren’t locked into having a just a work vehicle. If you have multiple vehicles that may be used, like for deliveries, then you can transfer them from one vehicle to another. So the main advantage of the magnetic sign is it’s ability to be removed and reapplied.

There are some draw backs to using magnet signs. They need to be positioned on a fully flat surface which means they should not be used over vehicle molding or go over gaps in the vehicles body. If you do this, you will very likely lose it while driving down the highway. They can also become a target for teenagers to run off with. They have no real use for it besides showing it off as a trophy. They magnetic signs also need to have a little maintenance, such as taking them off once a week and cleaning any dirt or water that has creeped in behind it. When you do take them of for any extended amount of time, you need to store them flat or else they will become warpped and won’t lay flat in the future. Also a word of warning, if you leave them on for years with never taking them off, they can become bonded to the vehicle. We haven’t seen this, but have heard horror stories about it happening.

So overall, they magnetic signs need a little upkeep, but it is relatively easy. It’s greatest asset of being removable can be it biggest detriment also. But if you are careful and follow the steps outlined above, you magentic signs can last you for years. Maybe someday we will start creating magnetics with gps trackers so if they do become lost, you’ll be able to find them. As of now, it is cheaper to just buy a new one.

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Jobs in Bunches! September 10, 2009

Posted by yellowdoggraphics in Advertising / Marketing, Business Spotlight.
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Jobs in Bunches!It doesn’t happen all the time, but it is always strange when we get certain types of jobs in bunches. We can go a couple months without any calls asking for static cling signs, then have 3 different orders within a week. It would make sense if we were running a special on static clings, or if there was a newspaper article about them, but that never seems to be the case. Some of the other products we’ve had this happen with have been vehicle magnets, stickers and posters.

The weird bunching that brought this to mind is that we did graphics on our second food serving vehicle this week. The graphics aren’t as elaborate as the hot dog cart wrap, it is large logos on Cal Poly University’s Curb Side Grill vehicle. We actually did the job for Matt at West Coast Trailers who had the job of building and installing all the kitchen facilities inside the vehicle. Matt was great to work with and does some really incredible stuff in building mobile kitchens/concession trailers.

Curb Side Grill logo on vehicle

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, but it can be fun to look for patterns and try to figure out if there is any significance to them. I’m curious if anyone else out there has had a strange or unusual grouping of jobs. If so, leave a comment of what it was and if you know what caused it.

Hot Dog Cart Wrap – part 2 September 9, 2009

Posted by yellowdoggraphics in Advertising / Marketing, Business Spotlight.
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Scan of Bear the wanted to use. The bottom of the paper was torn off.

Scan of Bear they wanted to use. The bottom of the paper was torn off.

After sending the proofs for the vinyl wrap to the customer, they came in on Friday afternoon to discuss them. They wanted a few changes, which ended up to be changing just about everything except for the font I had chosen for the lettering. They had a drawing of a bear they wanted to use. It was drawn with a felt tipped marker and they wanted to add some colors to it, so I knew I had some work to do.

I think the biggest change was losing the red & yellow stripes and filling up the background with the picture of the hot dog on one side and chili dog on the other. They also wanted to move all of the contact information to the lower section. This made sense because while the cart is being used, the top sections open up and you can’t see them.

I finished up the proofs on mid morning on Tuesday (monday was Labor Day and we were closed.) They came in around noon and approved them. They also stressed that it had to be completed by the end of the day as they were having a big grand opening with it on Wednesday. Luckily the hot dog cart is relatively small, but printing and wrapping it the same day is quite a rush job. We didn’t finish it up until about 6:30 that night. The customers came and picked it up and loved it. Here are the pictures of the completed hot dog cart wrap.

We knew it would be a tough job because of the quick turn-around needed. It was fun and interesting to see where we started and the changes made to get to the final product. So now if you see this around town (it’s pretty hard to miss) you’ll know the process it went through from start to finish.

Hot Dog Side - ClosedHot Dog Side - Open

Chili Dog Side - ClosedChili Dog Side - OpenBack Side of Hot Dog Cart

Hot Dog Cart Wrap – part 1 September 3, 2009

Posted by yellowdoggraphics in Advertising / Marketing.
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I wanted to track the process of a job to show what we start with, what we end with, and how we get there. Today I had a someone call in the morning asking for a quote to wrap three sides of a hot dog cart. The overall height is 56″ tall with the sides being 68″ wide and the back is 46″ wide. I gave him an estimated cost including installation which he said sounded pretty good.

Back of cart that they want totally covered.

Backside of hot dog cart.

What we get to start with.

What we get to start with.

A few hours later, he came to the shop and said he wanted to move ahead with wrapping the hot dog cart. So I went out and double checked the measurements and took pictures of the hot dog cart. As you can see it has been used, but they wanted to get a whole new look on it. We told me that he wanted the name ‘Brown Bear’s Hot Dogs’ with the phone number on it. They also wanted a bear holding a hot dog. They also had some pictures of their hot dog and a chili dog they wanted on there.

From there I sat down to design the wrap. I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do, but didn’t have a clear picture yet. I started off searching for some clipart of a bear eating a hot dog. It sounded like something I should be able to find and did. Next I picked a font for their name that was big, bold and fun and that fit with the bear clipart. I then needed a background and decided to us kind of circus tent stripes with red & yellow (like ketchup & mustard). I didn’t want to look like ‘Hot Dog on a Stick’ so I made sure to not make blue a major color. I then put these items together and added their hot dog & chili dog pictures. These are the proofs that I sent to the customer:

As of now, I have not heard back from them yet (I sent the proof about 30 minutes ago). I will see if they like the layout and if they would like any changes. If they do make major changes I will post the new proofs here. Other wise I will show some pictures of the process on putting the wrap on how it looks when it’s finished. Stay Tuned!

Brown Bear's Hot Dogs Sides proof

Hot Dog Cart Side Proof

Brown Bear's Hot Dogs Back proof

Hot Dog Cart Back Proof

Radio Van Wrap in Fresno – It Just Rocks! August 27, 2009

Posted by yellowdoggraphics in Advertising / Marketing, Business Spotlight.
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KFRR 1041 Van Wrap Driver SideKFRR 1041 Van Wrap Passener SideThe people from KFRR 104.1 radio brought in a van they wanted wrapped. They gave us a simple direction in that first, they wanted their 104.1 logo with the slogan ‘It Just Rocks’ big. Second, they wanted to have the Kevin & Bean logo to be easily seen. Third they wanted the van to stand out.

This was an easy design and layout for us. The van has big flat areas on both sides and KFRR only wanted two messages to be seen. Once we placed both the 104.1 logo and Kevin & Bean logo in the design, we only had to pick a background that would be eye catching, attract attention and fit the overall feel of the radio station. We thought we did a pretty good job and the people at KFRR 104.1 loved it. I say you could put this van on the road or in a crowded parking lot and pick it out from a mile away. Of course, this is assuming your eye sight is good enough to see things a mile away. 🙂

KFRR 104 1 Van Wrap Back & Side

Don’t Tint – Advertise! August 18, 2009

Posted by yellowdoggraphics in Product Spotlight.
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Would you like to make money for tinting you windows? Of course you would. You tint your windows for at least 1 of 2 reasons: So people can’t see in or to keep the sun out. Well now you can accomplish both of those along with standing out to 1000’s of potential customers by using perforated vinyl on your windows.

Perforated vinyl is a vinyl with tiny holes evenly spaced in it. We can print you advertisement on the area that isn’t holes and apply it to your window. The cool thing about this material is from the outside, you see whatever is printed on it. It doesn’t matter if you have pictures, words or colorful backgrounds, that is what people will see. Now from the inside, you can see out as if there is nothing on the window at all. It’s like magic! So people can’t see in easily, it blocks some of the light coming, it doesn’t obstruct your view and you can have bright colorful advertising at eye level for everyone else to see.

Another thing that is nice, is adding color to the windows. It stands out because it is still uncommon, but we have seen a rise in people choosing this over cut vinyl decals on their windows. Here are a few samples of how different it can make a vehicle look and stand out. This vehicle was done for The Jeri Kuddes Team at Guarantee Real Estate.

Side View Perf Vinyl

Back View Perf Vinyl

Sometimes The Customer Can’t See the Forest August 14, 2009

Posted by yellowdoggraphics in Misc.
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Forest of trees (Small)We all know the customer is always right. Its just that on occasion they are right about the wrong things. For example we had a customer who wanted realistic flames on his golf cart. Long story short, we made a proof which he approved, we printed the graphics and applied them to the front and sides of the golf cart.

Now I will admit that applying vehicle wrap graphics to a vehicle is very different that to a flat sign. Flat vinyl on a flat sign equals easy. Flat vinyl on a vehicle body with complex curves, equals challenge. An over simplied example would be telling someone to wrap a piece of paper around a baseball.

Back to the golf cart, there had to be some small areas where the vinyl is cut and it creates a seam where it overlaps itself. I won’t get into the specific of why and how here, but we did what we felt was an excellent job. The customer however, would not accept it. He could see the overlaps and he knew they were there, and that just would not work for him. We tried to explain that people aren’t looking for little seams (the trees), they are looking at the flames and the overall look (the forest). But in the end he was right, there were seams, and thus the graphics were no good to him. So we removed all of the vinyl and gave him back a blank golf cart. At least we got some cool pictures to share.

Golf Cart AngleHood CloseupGolf Cart Side

Farmer’s Market … Delivered To Your Door? August 13, 2009

Posted by yellowdoggraphics in Business Spotlight.
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Do you love fruits & vegetables from your local farmer’s market? Do you sometimes skip the farmer’s market because it is so dang hot outside? Maybe you plan to go, but you forgot which day it was on. If only there was a way to get great farmer’s market quality fruits and vegetables without any hassle.

Delivery VanWell, the solution can be found and the Fresno Home & Garden show this last spring. Since you don’t have a time machine to go back there and look for yourself, let me tell you what you would have found. You would have ran into Nick Salazar, owner of Farmer and the Dale. He has put together a system of getting produce from Lone Oak Ranch, a small family farm located in Reedley, Ca. and delivering it to your doorstep. The best part, you don’t have to wait and see what they will give you each week, you go online and tell him exactly what you want. You can login and see a list of everything that is available. You then mark which 10 items you want, and presto, next Thursday he drops off your order to you.

They have everything you would expect to find at a farmer’s market. We’ve had corn, watermelon, strawberries, artichokes, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, squash, garlic, lettuce, onions, pomegranates, bell peppers… and those of just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. As of this posting, they have a list of 51 items that are currently in season and available.

Personally, I  tend to not eat enough fruits and vegetables. When we decided to sign up for this service, I figured if we got all this produce and I didn’t eat it, I’d be wasting money, and I hate wasting money. So, its a nice system to trick yourself into eating better. I doubt that’s what Nick had in mind when he started the business, but it works for me. I recommend you try out Farmer and the Dale. You won’t be disappointed.