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Old 01-06-2023, 04:32 PM
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Default Better decals and labels

I've been kicking around the idea of starting a project to create some better underhood and interior decals. There's a lot to be desired in terms of the fonts, spacing and colors used on many of the reproductions.

I haven't done anything like this before, so I'm not really sure what I'm in for, but thought I might give it a try. A number of years ago PB made a more correct 455 HO air cleaner decal, so I know it can be done. I'm looking for something to serve as an experiment. Wondering if you all have any particular example decals that are commonly used, but way off the mark...or maybe a label that hasn't been reproduced before?

Here's an example of a '65 tire pressure decal. Not only are the fonts and spacing wrong, the original appears have been a water slide.

Original:


Reproduction:
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Old 01-06-2023, 05:09 PM
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good idea boss...i could really use one of these


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Old 01-06-2023, 05:17 PM
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LOL - that one might be a Day 2 addition. I'm guessing it was placed next to the "ass, grass or cash: no one rides for free" sticker.

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Old 01-06-2023, 05:50 PM
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haha never seen that one...

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Old 01-06-2023, 06:00 PM
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I've always wondered why a person can't just bed scan, or hand scan originals into a bitmap and touch them up pixel by pixel rather than trying to match fonts etc. ... basically just take a digital "picture" of an original and go from there.

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Old 01-06-2023, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dataway View Post
basically just take a digital "picture" of an original and go from there.
It's very easy to re-create these decals with the right software, with the right vinyl you can print them at home. I do all of that stuff in Corel PhotoPaint. I have PhotoShop, but never use it.

The big thing with aftermarket decals is the adhesive is not as good as OEM.

For kicks I created this window sticker for our Firebird. I scanned both sides of the window sticker from my dad's '69 Grand Prix and copied the font and spacing. I used the data from my PHS documents. Not perfect but fun to do.

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Old 01-06-2023, 06:31 PM
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You know the dealer codes are not for Pete Ganis Pontiac?
Wrong zone too.



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Old 01-06-2023, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verdoro 68 View Post
LOL - that one might be a Day 2 addition. I'm guessing it was placed next to the "ass, grass or cash: no one rides for free" sticker.
I had that sticker on my first 69 firebird 😂

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Old 01-06-2023, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoovDaddy View Post
It's very easy to re-create these decals with the right software, with the right vinyl you can print them at home. I do all of that stuff in Corel PhotoPaint. I have PhotoShop, but never use it.

The big thing with aftermarket decals is the adhesive is not as good as OEM.

For kicks I created this window sticker for our Firebird. I scanned both sides of the window sticker from my dad's '69 Grand Prix and copied the font and spacing. I used the data from my PHS documents. Not perfect but fun to do.

Thatís as good or better than the one I bought for my car. Itís not the same as originals Iíve seen textually, yours is.

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Old 01-06-2023, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verdoro 68 View Post
I've been kicking around the idea of starting a project to create some better underhood and interior decals. There's a lot to be desired in terms of the fonts, spacing and colors used on many of the reproductions.

I haven't done anything like this before, so I'm not really sure what I'm in for, but thought I might give it a try. A number of years ago PB made a more correct 455 HO air cleaner decal, so I know it can be done. I'm looking for something to serve as an experiment. Wondering if you all have any particular example decals that are commonly used, but way off the mark...or maybe a label that hasn't been reproduced before?

Here's an example of a '65 tire pressure decal. Not only are the fonts and spacing wrong, the original appears have been a water slide.

Original:


Reproduction:
If hoovdaddy canít hook you up I know someone who can make them for you Iíd have to dig out his info but he does a lot of nostalgia drag race decals. I gave him my super stock nationals original decal I found in my car under the dash to copy and they came out perfect and mine was shriveled up from heat and age he does nice work, . He sells them online now.

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Old 01-06-2023, 08:09 PM
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FWIW, I've been a professional graphic designer for 25+ years and know the tools and process pretty well. I was looking for a project to connect my two passions while helping the hobby. I saw a gap in the quality and accuracy of decals and thought that might be a good place to start.

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Old 01-06-2023, 08:32 PM
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Also FWIW, I once tried to match a digital font like that and gave up after scouring several online font collections I could find. I think I was trying to recreate tach graphics at the time...

I concluded it was easier to copy and touch up an image as dataway suggests but I don't have access to professional resources and experience that you have. Even touching up a scanned image, I had to run it through image processing software to dilate and sharpen/soften edges. The printing process will likely be different than the original, which you know will influence the accuracy of the finished product. This may make it difficult to reproduce accurately even if you have the right font.

If you get into "customized" labels with serial numbers, date codes, etc., that may be a bigger challenge. If you are a pro, I'm curious what it would cost to have a font developed for you? How is that even done?

No question there's a market for more accurate reproductions of MANY labels but I am clueless about that and not your market. Obviously many repros like the one you shared were printed with the wrong font and ended up being close, but different.

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Old 01-06-2023, 10:24 PM
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Yes, I've been busy making decals for my 67. I also made the instrument cluster and jack usage and stowage. Injet vinyl sheet adhesives appear to tolerate automotive use well.
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Old 01-06-2023, 10:30 PM
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Can someone please make "Ram Air II" hood decals. Use "Ram Air IV" as an exactguide.

Colors: Black, White, Red. I'd like Red.

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Old 01-07-2023, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half-Inch Stud View Post
Can someone please make "Ram Air II" hood decals. Use "Ram Air IV" as an exactguide.

Colors: Black, White, Red. I'd like Red.
Everyone owns a pair of scissors, might as well make it "Ram Air III"
That is just so wrong, LOL. Offering custom colors could be fun.

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Old 01-07-2023, 04:37 AM
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I made new decals for my 1993 Ford tractor by scanning the life size examples found in the service manual, printed on laser adhesive vinyl. Then cut them out, top coated them with spray poly clear and put them on the tractor ... so far been outside for a couple of years and they still look fine.

Vinyl I used was Avery UltraDuty GHS Chemical Labels, originally intended for 50 gal drums. Kind of pricey, $50 for 50 8 x 11 sheets.

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Old 01-07-2023, 06:37 AM
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This is something I first posted about ten years ago. My brother is a retired Chrysler engineer and lives in a suburb of Detroit. One of his neighbors, who was a retired designer for GM, passed away. When his kids cleaned out his house they tossed a bunch of GM manuals from the early 1960s, and my brother grabbed what he could from the dumpster before it was hauled away.

The manuals aren't the sort of thing you would expect. They mostly describe the elements of GM graphic design for logos, symbols, and text as they were to be used for signage or package labeling. They show how to lay out signs for use in GM offices or factories, and how to design boxes for parts (the familiar boxes you'd see Delco ignition parts in, for example.) Included was this diagram showing how to correctly draw the Pontiac arrowhead, and an example of the Pontiac typeface (called 'Pontiac Gothic'.) Interestingly, the manual says the letters are for "use in headings and display copy, but should never be used in text." There are two different versions of the 'M' for some reason.

I don't know for sure but the font may be useful for some labels and stickers on the car.




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Old 01-07-2023, 08:02 AM
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If anyone needs it, I took those dimensions and drew up files in AutoCad .dwg format (2007 for compatibility) and in .dxf format (AutoCad R12) .. don't think I can attach them to this post. But can email them.

Also modeled a quick part from the drawing ... added a bit of a bend to fit a 68 GTO bumper

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Old 01-07-2023, 08:28 AM
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You all have been very busy -

K

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Old 01-07-2023, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gto4ben View Post
Yes, I've been busy making decals for my 67. I also made the instrument cluster and jack usage and stowage. Injet vinyl sheet adhesives appear to tolerate automotive use well.
That glovebox label looks identical to the original. Nice work on all of them.

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