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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I would like to do something simple to my van like the images I mocked up below. (Maroon Van will have white vinyl) Because this is an older van that may die on me in the next few years I'm looking to go cheap, even if that means I apply the graphics myself.

I priced out FastSigns and they quoted me $850.00

Two local sign shops and an online source won't get back to me with a cost estimate. Anybody have a vendor they might recommend?

I received no reply from Custom Vinyl Lettering, A you apply yourself vendor.
 

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$850 to do everything pictured sounds right to me for an acceptable quality material, it won't be 3M with the UV laminates and all that good stuff but it should be a decent 6-8 year vinyl at that price.

You've got good graphics as well not too busy and right to the point, should pay for itself rather quickly. :thumbsup:

EDIT: Is there a specification of the vinyl used in the estimate? If there is and you don't mind posting it I would be interested to see.
 

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Signs to go?. But be sure about the product used, who ever does the lettering. 3m rules.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is there a specification of the vinyl used in the estimate? If there is and you don't mind posting it I would be interested to see.
This is all I received from them:
FASTSIGNS 219 <[email protected]>
Sep 18

Hi Tim

In regards to your request for a quote for the Ford E350 vehicle graphics a basic cost is around $850.00 + tax. Pricing is based on useable artwork being provided – files accepted are pdf and eps – vector formatted files (converted to outlines)


No info on materials used or quality. FastSigns is a franchise that installs the graphics as part of the price...
 

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This is all I received from them:
FASTSIGNS 219 <[email protected]>
Sep 18

Hi Tim

In regards to your request for a quote for the Ford E350 vehicle graphics a basic cost is around $850.00 + tax. Pricing is based on useable artwork being provided – files accepted are pdf and eps – vector formatted files (converted to outlines)


No info on materials used or quality. FastSigns is a franchise that installs the graphics as part of the price...
I would email them back asking what brand and grade of vinyl will be used at this price and what is the calendared life of the vinyl.

I work for a franchise similar to FastSigns, if you could give me the dimensions on all of those graphics I could tell you what our price would have been if you're interested in more comparisons.

As mentioned above by sunkist 3M does rule, some of the next best that I have worked with would be Hexis and to a lesser degree Oracal and Arlon
 

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$850 sounds high to me......but we are in different parts we do fancy stuff on the race car for 1/2 that. This years was 6 colors for an IMCA Modified

Have you talked to the local sign or T-sgirt shops??????
We recently rewired a building where a gal was opening such a place, we did some talking about wraps for the racecar and shes using the 3m premium and the same stuff but 25% cheaper. Id rather keep the $ local I started with showing pics of the previous wraps and explaining the panels get bent up and replaced alot so they have to be able to be wrapped easily and identical... NO PROB
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well custom vinyl lettering just got back to me. They are asking $850. This is a you apply it yourself company. It is the same price I received from Fast Signs, a we apply it for you franchise.

Interestingly enough the quote from custom vinyl lettering came from a FastSign email address! Grrrr!

I'll try sign11.com next. ,\

...and still waiting on the local guys!
 

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I spent several years as a sign guy and have extensive experience with vinyl. That means I have two primary points to make: first, the $850 for DIY application is excessive, and second, you do NOT want to apply that yourself.

That large circle would be tricky even for a pro to apply. Attempting a DIY application is asking for trouble. Aside from the difficulty, most self applied vinyl fails to consider the chemical interaction between the vehicle surface and the adhesive on the vinyl. Proper cleaning is a must.

Next, measuring tools are useless. That one will make contractor brains go tilt. You guys do everything by precision. Vehicle lines are artistic, not precise. Perfectly measured can produce visually "off" results. Everything must be eyeballed. It needs to "look" straight more than "be" straight. The same is true for balance and centering. In my years of doing that work, I found accurate and visually accurate were seldom the same.

Another issue you will easily run into is the size of the circle. Computer vinyl comes in two standard widths, 15" and 30" and most sign shops use the 15". That means you'll have seams. If the sign shop you are using does cut with 30" material, the actual maximum height will be about 28½". It's best to plan your layout to be no larger than that or have the seams in a less conspicuous location.

It's a shame the local guys are not more responsive. I suggest shopping more and find shops that have been around a while. I didn't check to see how far you are from a bigger town, but you may find it to your advantage to travel a little further to get the kind of service this job will require. A good sign professional will advise you of the things I mentioned above and more. Stay away for instant vinyl shops. They hire cheap and have high turnover. Their sign advice is about as reliable as home improvement advice at the big box stores.
 

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This is why I asked for dimensions, it helps to know if there is any special circumstances like seaming, color trapping, removal of mirrors or any other PITA.

It's good to point out the sign company that replied with attached artwork is not accurate, nothing is to scale and that is a stock photo of his van from google.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is why I asked for dimensions, it helps to know if there is any special circumstances like seaming, color trapping, removal of mirrors or any other PITA.

It's good to point out the sign company that replied with attached artwork is not accurate, nothing is to scale and that is a stock photo of his van from google.
I mocked up those images and others so I could use them to gather my quotes. I have no proofs from any sign companies yet as I haven't decided who to purchase them through.

So far my best prices are a local shop asking $670 for signs not installed and $542 from diylettering.com not installed. Installed my best price is $800 from another local shop...

I am still waiting on two more quotes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would email them back asking what brand and grade of vinyl will be used at this price and what is the calendared life of the vinyl.

I work for a franchise similar to FastSigns, if you could give me the dimensions on all of those graphics I could tell you what our price would have been if you're interested in more comparisons.
My dimentions for my large logos are 90" x 41" one smaller at 44" x 20" and two at 17" x 18" and multiple lines of text at 5" tall by up to 60"

*I would have PM'd this and more info but I can't find that function on this forum (I really didn't look all that hard either) :whistling
 

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Steve's comment is spot on; I was a sign guy too. Do NOT try to apply that yourself, I guarantee you'll f it up and have to throw out your $800 vinyl.

Definitely look for some more local shops to give you quotes- with them applying the vinyl.
Make sure you're comparing the same quality vinyl. I personally use cheap vinyl because I find myself changing little things every year- if I ever find something I really like I'll spend more for premium quality vinyl.

I get my vinyl from designasign.com they often have half price sales and have a good design-your-own tool. Their vinyl is pretty poor quality though because it starts falling off after about a year lol.
 
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