sideview design of a red broward county sheriff fire rescue car

How Firefighter Truck Graphics Are Designed

You might know what you like and what you don’t like when it comes to firefighter truck graphics. But what you may not be as familiar with is the design process that goes into creating these graphics. With a better understanding of this process, you’ll have more clarity about the design options available to you for your own fleet. 

After all, choosing fire truck graphics is no small feat! For starters, you need to be sure you end up with a look you like. But at the same time, you also need to be sure your graphics are high-quality, built to last, and display all of the important information you want them to. Not to mention, you need to be sure your graphics meet NFPA visibility requirements.

(We talk more about fire truck lettering, NFPA visibility requirements and much more in this post: How is Fire Truck Lettering Applied to a Fire Truck? Don’t miss it!)

Removal of Old Firefighter Vehicle Graphics

Before adding new firefighter vehicle graphics, the old ones need to be removed. The process for removing previous graphics depends on the material used for the graphics. 

Over time, vinyl graphics can begin to wear down from general wear and tear and even UV damage. High-quality graphics installed by professionals will give you the best chance of long-term effectiveness with your graphics. You will get a greater return on your investment on your vehicle graphics if you opt for professional services and high-quality materials from the get-go. 

Exercise caution if you plan on removing firefighter vehicle graphics on your own! Removing vinyl decals without damaging the vehicle ore requiring a paint touch up is done best by professionals. Otherwise, you risk causing further damage to your fleet that calls for touch ups and more work.

Removal of old graphics and installation of fresh graphics can be coordinated if a department needs to refresh or fix damaged graphics to eliminate extended downtimes for vital vehicles.

2 Types of Graphics Available to Fire Departments

If you’re purchasing large rigs for your fleet, they likely already have graphics. However, you will almost always want to customize these graphics so they are up to date and include accurate information for your fire department. To create a uniform fleet, Fire Departments can require the companies they get their large vehicles from to buy the vehicle graphics from their preferred graphics company. 

When you are choosing firefighter vehicle graphics, you will have two primary options to consider: decorative graphics materials and reflective graphics materials. 

Decorative Graphics Materials

There are all kinds of decorative graphics you might want displayed on your fleet, including shields, badges, patches, city or state, emergency numbers, and more. 

We have utilized many of these decorative graphics materials:

  • Non-reflective vinyl: Most traditional non-reflective vehicle graphics are made of vinyl, including vinyl vehicle wraps. Non-reflective vinyl is a cost-effective option with a long active life.
  • Gold Leaf: Traditional gold leaf lettering is still utilized on modern fleets, and it adds a striking visual element to any fleet. Many departments like to utilize turn gold to add to their fleet and customize it to their tastes.
  • Printed Gold Leaf Effect: This is a more cost-effective option for creating the look of real gold leaf lettering. Printed onto Scotchlite™ reflective or non-reflective material then created using design software.
  • Sign Gold: This machine produced material is a common alternative to gold leaf and printed golf leaf effect.
  • Chevrons: Chevrons are a great way to increase visibility and identify your vehicles as emergency responder vehicles. Many local municipalities and even states are beginning to require chevrons on the backs and sides or police vehicles, sheriff vehicles, and fire rescue vehicles.

Reflective Graphics Materials

Reflective graphics materials help elevate your firefighter engine graphics in a few ways. 

First, they are more eye-catching, but this is beneficial not only for style purposes but function as well. It’s important for emergency vehicles to have as much visibility as possible. This helps keep their occupants safe while also protecting other drivers and pedestrians.

If you opt for reflective graphics materials for your fleet, it could include:

  • 3M Scotchlite: This material boasts a number of benefits, including enhancing visibility while still remaining flat. Additionally, no edge sealing is necessary, and application is straightforward.
  • 3M™ Diamond Grade: This material does call for edge sealing. However, it also offers more reflective qualities than other materials used for firefighter engine graphics. 
  • ORALITE: Another flat reflective material that does not need edge sealing.

Firefighter Truck Graphic Selection and Application Process

Once you’ve decided on the firefighter engine graphics materials that are right for your fleet, it’s time to move forward with the selection and application process.

This begins with a color rendering layout. This gives you the ability to visualize the graphics for your fleet and make any change requests before moving further into the process. 

Then, you can move on to final graphic approval. This is when you sign off on the final elements of the design. Now the graphics company can move forward with fabricating your graphics.

Once the designers receive your renderings, they will start fabricating and creating your designs. Once complete, they can be applied to your fleet and your vehicles will be refreshed, up to date, and ready for use! 

(Are you looking for more design inspiration for your own fleet? Take a look at this post next where we share the top 10 emergency vehicle graphics ideas you might not have considered!)

Trust Graphics Design International for Your Firefighter Trucks Graphics

Ready to upgrade your existing firefighter truck graphics? Or are you starting fresh with a brand new fleet? Either way, Graphics Design International has the graphics solution you are looking for. Proudly dedicated to Police, Sheriff, Fire Rescue, Security, and the Public Safety Community, our company the only nationwide fleet graphics to do that. As a result, this also means our services are designed with the unique needs of emergency services industries in mind. 

During every step of the process, from design to installation, you will have the full support of our dedicated team. We have seen and done it all, and we make sure to go above and beyond for all our clients. We have covered all of your community’s fleet graphics!

Would you like to see some examples of our work? Click here to browse our fire rescue kit photo gallery.

Call us today for a quote! To started on your own fleet.


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