Fire Truck Graphics

How Does Fire Truck Lettering Get Applied To A Fire Truck?

Just like your crew and the people you serve, your fleet deserves the best. You work hard to keep your fire trucks in the very best condition, and part of that includes choosing the best fire truck lettering graphics. After all, the graphics on your trucks are part of their overall image. This same image is responsible for representing your pride and commitment to your community. 

It’s also important to remember there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to fire truck lettering and graphics. There are a number of important things to keep in mind when you select graphics for your fleet. In today’s post, we’re going to cover these considerations, your fire truck lettering options, and how the application process works. 

Selecting The Right Graphics For Your Fire Truck Lettering

As for there not being a one-size-fits-all approach for fire truck graphics, it often comes down to the information you want to include on your fleet, as well as your aesthetic preferences for the graphics. The information displayed on your emergency vehicles is not only an aesthetic choice, but it’s also important for displaying helpful information to the public, including emergency numbers. At the same time, it also makes your vehicles identifiable and recognizable, helping to keep your team safe. Not to mention, reflective graphics help other drivers spot your vehicles. Even in less than ideal conditions, keeping the public and your team safer at the same time. 

backview picture of a west palm beach fire rescue

In addition to your preferences, there are also certain requirements outlined by the NFPA that need to be considered.

For example, in the most recent NFPA 1901 Standards for Automotive Fire Apparatus, some of the requirements include:

  • 25% of the front of the automotive fire apparatus must be covered with reflective striping that is at least four inches tall
  • 50% of the cab and body length of the apparatus must be covered with reflective striping that is at least four inches tall

Reflective striping is only part of the graphics process for fire trucks though. You will also choose what information is displayed and the style you choose to display it. 

Fire Truck Lettering Options

sideview design of a boynton beach fire rescue

The letters on your fire truck identify the unit, the department, and provide plenty of other important information. 

Some of the information that might be displayed on your fire trucks include: 

  • Fire department name: Most fire trucks include the name of the fire department at a minimum. 
  • Logo: Does your department have a logo you’re proud to show off? Why not add it to your fire trucks? 
  • Unit number: This helps track and identify fire fighting vehicles, and it also provides a reference point for a number of other important purposes. 
  • City, town, or village: The city, town, or village where your fire department operates is another important piece of information most fire trucks include. It quickly signifies to the public the area you serve and also makes you more identifiable to the public. 
  • Quotes or sayings: If your department has a motto, quote, or saying your group lives by, it’s probably a point of pride. That’s why many fire departments choose to display it on their vehicle. It also signifies their commitment to the public. 
  • Flags: Whether it’s an American or state flag, you may choose to have it applied to your fire truck alongside the lettering and other graphics. 

Turn Gold Offers


You may also choose to include turn gold additions in your design. We offer traditional, authentic turn gold, as well as less expensive alternatives. Whichever you choose, you can be sure you will have a design that looks great and is built to last. (Did you know graphics can actually protect your vehicles from dings, scratches, and other damage?) 

Click here to see our classic turn gold offers. Or visit this link to see the printed turn gold options we offer.

Once you have decided on the fire truck lettering you want on your fleet, it’s time to consider the graphic selection and application process. 

Fire Truck Lettering Graphic Selection and Application Process

Depending on the graphic design company you work with, the fire truck lettering process can vary slightly. However, there are some basic steps most companies follow throughout this process.

Color Rendering Layout

This first step involves discussing each department’s vision for the fire truck. Based on the discussion of vehicle type and usage, design, color pallet, and material needs and graphic requests, the sales representative works with the graphic design team to create a color layout of the truck base color and lays out digital renderings of striping, logos, imagery, and any other required graphics. This color rendering includes the NFPA required striping and graphics.

Final Graphic Approval

Next, the client gets the chance to carefully review the color rendering layout. It’s important that you get a comprehensive preview of how your fire truck will look when the process is done. Once you’re happy with this preview, your approval means we can move onto the next step of the process!

Final Renderings are Sent to the Designers

With your plans finalized, it’s time for them to be sent to the graphic design team. They bring your vision to life, creating the graphics that will ultimately be applied to your apparatus. 

Once the sales representative translates the approved design into a work order, it is sent to the various different printing and processing departments to be produced and processed – this is where we bring the vision to life.

Fire Truck Graphics are Installed

After the production team creates the graphics and fire truck lettering, it’s time to apply them to the fire apparatus. This step includes adhering the graphics onto the fire trucks, rescues, and support vehicles. This step can be coordinated with removal of old graphics if a department needs to refresh or fix damaged graphics to eliminate extended down times for vital vehicles.

Of course, adherence to NFPA guidelines is also taken into account at all times. We know you’ll love the finished product!

(Are you looking for more graphic design inspiration for emergency vehicles? We have a great post with the top 10 designs right here)


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