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van lettering should i go with the molding line or use a level?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by CENTERVILLE SIGNS, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    Which means you're not really using a level, in terms of leveling to true horizontal, which is what this post is about. You're doing what you should be doing, and referencing something from the body of the vehicle to create the horizontal line to which your graphics are aligned. The fact that you are using something called a digital level does not mean you are using a level to determining where to place the graphics.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

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    No
    It literally means I am using a level as a tool to provide reference for where to place the graphics. You're just being pedantic. People were mentioning that levels were useless because you're likely not on level ground, or the vehicle isn't resting in a level position. It's a tool in the box that can be used to speed up installations. It's as simple as that. If someone doesn't want to use it, or they don't understand how to use it, that's on them.
     
  3. Bret R

    Bret R New Member

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    No level I have not found a square van yet unless it’s a fluke tires suspension ground it lies a level don’t work for me find a good body line and go off that sometimes split the difference at back
     
  4. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    I use the body lines of the vehicle. I've done a few mini vans (not sure what kind of van you are talking about - you should tell us so we can give you our opinion) and the center windows can be lined up easy enough with the bottom of the door but the back window are more of a problem. My solution was to take a 4' flimsy cork backed long ruler and place it on the bottom of the middle windows lettering and extend it to the back window so I'm sure that both windows are level with each other. It's easier with 2 people but I've done it myself. I always tape all the lettering on both sides first to make sure I'm pretty close to finding the right spot. Those back windows are a pain and the last van I did had several bullet points listed on each back window. It worked out fine on one side but the other side was more finicky. I like both sides to be the same so I had to adjust side one a little bit so side 2 fit nicely. Of course nobody sees both sides at the same time but I would not be able to sleep at night if I knew one side was 1/2" lower because of my poor planning LOL
     
  5. SIGNTIME

    SIGNTIME Active Member

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    Either measure from the bottom of the doors or a body line. If neither of those work like on the new transits, I either tape or use magnets and string line to the tops of the wheel wells for a reference line.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    It's not pedantism. When people think of using a level, the usual meaning is to find what is level according to a true horizontal, perpendicular to a plumb. But you are still doing what the majority are advocating, determining how to angle your lettering based on the lines and sweep of the vehicle. Even though you are using an adjustable digital level to aid in aligning multiple lines of copy/graphics, you are not using a level to place them on a true horizontal line, parallel to level ground. I believe that's an important distinction to clarify, since a quick read might leave the impression that you advocate placing the graphics level to the ground, regardless of the vehicle (which is what would happen using the typical bubble level.)
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Hmmmm........ I believe the level is no longer a level, but a predetermined protractor...... and a long one at that.

    I wouldn't consider that a level as being used and described, either. However, it is a nice trick. My only question is....... ya know how much play is in any one of those bubbles. Will a digital always be dead-balls on regardless of what angle you set it ?? Once ya go off on angles and whatnot, the discretion might get weird. When going to the other side, do you start all over again or just flip it ?? According to what's in the truck, it might alter if you don't start all over again for the same reasons as stated on using a conventional level.
     
  8. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

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    No
    I'm sorry, I believe I said:

    Not sure how one could interpret that to mean "level graphics to the ground."
     
  9. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Hmmm, level or bodyline? Both seem a little sketchy. I think a trip to the detail shop to buff that paint out a little will be the first order of business.

    photo_2020-01-03-08.04.06.jpeg
     
  10. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Once Trump flatens their whole country then I think we can trust the level.
     
  11. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Dick Tracy is looking for this guy. mr level.jpg
     
  12. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    Thought of this post on Saturday and had to take a pic!
     

    Attached Files:

  13. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

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    Perfect example of what not to do
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    It looks level with the snow on the roof.
     
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
  15. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    I feel bad for the guy, probably got ripped of by some sign guy for that and then driving around in a maroon van with no hubcaps. He is just trying to make a living.
    That probably was the wife driving to the grocery store on a cold wet Saturday, while he stays home watching their four children tear the house apart and he tries to repair a toaster oven on the dining room table.
     
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 2
  16. Phil Swanson

    Phil Swanson Premium Subscriber

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    One of the first things that we were taught in sign painting school was NEVER EVER use a level OR measure from the ground to letter a vehicle.
    Most commercial vehicles have heavy duty suspensions and are nowhere near level.

    I have always measured from body lines and looked at it by eye to find the best option.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  17. VonsGraphix1969

    VonsGraphix1969 New Member

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    Never use a level.. Using the natural body lines of the truck or van will ALWAYS lead to better results... This way, no matter which way the vehicle sits (empty or loaded) or in an uphill driveway, or just on level ground etc etc, the graphics will always look correct....
     
  18. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

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    There is one vehicle I have worked on that is near impossible to define a body line as there are none. It is those bubble cube vans. You just have to be patient and set the graphic up and stand back and decide visually if it will work.
     
  19. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    LOL, I did the same thing..I'm not making fun of this install, it just shows there is no perfect placement on a vehicle (please ignore the dog nose prints on my window):

    upload_2020-1-28_8-19-21.png
     
    • OMG / Wow! OMG / Wow! x 1
  20. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    ***The only perfect placement on a vehicle is one where you take a picture of the vehicle and superimpose your
    graphics on it & have the customer sign off on it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
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