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Front Windshield Banners

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by WrapperX, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. WrapperX

    WrapperX Active Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    Is there any sure way that fits most vehicles when it comes to creating, cutting and installing cut lettering windshield banners?

    I have heard of upward arcs and downward arcs to counter the natural arc of the window. What works best for you out there?

    Currently I have a job for a windshield. The width at the top points is 49.5" if you drew that line straight across the roof and mark it in the center and measure down to the lowest point of the downward arc of the roof it is 5.25" (see attatchment) Do I arc my cut letters up or down to make it look like it is straight across.

    I have been doing vinyl for almost 6 years and I have never mastered this part application. Please, help me tackle this obstacle once and for all!

    Attached Files:

  2. Steve C.

    Steve C. Very Active Member

    May 22, 2003
    Arch down in the middle. You have the right idea with your measurements.
    Sometimes if the arch does not fit exactly you can cut/splice between the
    letters to make it fit.
  3. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    Nov 4, 2005
    Drawing an arc chord across the top of a windshield as you have done assumes that the curve is a portion of a circle. It is not.

    The objective is to flatten out the windshield into two-space and fit the lettering to that shape. Here's the foolproof way to do it...

    Tape a piece of paper, Tyvek is better, to the windshield from one windshield post to the other and covering the top of the windshield and the front of the roof.

    Trace the outline of the windshield onto the paper with a sharpie.

    Remove the paper and lay it on a flat surface. This is exactly the shape of the windshield if it were flattened into two-space.

    You can either draw a chord across the top of this image and guesstimate the curve needed or, more better, take a picture of it trying for minimum parallax [I.E. standing directly on top of it]. Import this picture into whatever software you're using and make it full size. Now distort the text to exactly fit the curve you just imported.

    ...and there you are...
  4. Steve C.

    Steve C. Very Active Member

    May 22, 2003
    I have rarely had the call to do one of these for anyone other than teens
    who want their car club or favorite band name across the window. Mostly
    I price it so they will try the next sign shop they drive by.

    There is a small printed line with an arrow and the letters ASI on each
    windshield. It is recomended not to have anything desending below this line.
    Also check that the wipers will not extend above this line or you will have
    damaged wipers and vinyl.
  5. Vinyldog

    Vinyldog Member

    Mar 21, 2010
    Tulsa, Ok
    If it's a fleet of vans for a major customer then by all means follow the directions above because that is no doubt the correct way to do it.
    But for retail people I just go to transform and pull the ends up about 1 to 2 inches - You can move it up or down a litte on the window if the arch is too tight or loose - it may not be perfect but I don't think most people will be willing to spend the money to cover the time to do it correctly - they'll most likely be happy just to find someone who will mess with it and put any kind of contour at all on it.

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