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Tips, Helpful Information and Questions Answered

Jump to: Creative Ideas | Color Harmony | Custom Options

Answers To Your Frequently Asked Questions

We have created an informative report that will help answer many questions regarding installation of graphics. You can download it by visiting the Installation Tips section of the site. For questions more generic in nature, browse this list below. If you do not see your questions answered and you've already read our installation article, visit our Message Board!  

GENERAL QUESTIONS:
• Where can the graphics be installed?
They can be installed on many different surfaces, including painted metal (i.e.. cars, motorcycles, etc.), glass, Plexiglas, Fiberglas (boats and personal watercraft), painted wood, banners, plastics, and more.
• Can I install the vinyl graphics myself?
ABSOLUTELY. Anyone can do it. To ensure you are well informed and know all of tip and tricks of the pros, read my Installation Guide.
• Will graphics harm my car or boat surface?
The vinyl will not harm the surface. Vinyl has been used for years on cars, trucks, boats, personal watercraft and more.
• Will the graphics harm tinted windows?
No. Since tint is placed on the inside of windows and vinyl on the outside, you will not have any problems.
• Can I install the graphics on the inside of the glass?
Graphics are designed to be installed on the outside of glass windows. In some instances the adhesive will be visible through the glass reducing the visual appeal of the graphic.
• What color graphic would look good on my car?
Choosing a color can be difficult. That's why we have a Color Harmony section below. It will explain color harmony and give you specific examples of what colors complement each other. I also advise you to Order Samples. It's a "surefire" way to know whether a color works with your application
• The graphic isn't sticking to my window?
Windows do not have the same properties that painted surfaces have. Therefore, window graphics take much longer to adhere when applying wet. You may need to wait up to an hour or TWO before the adhesive starts to "bite" and you can begin pulling away the application tape. Be patient it WILL stick! I highly recommend you use Window Juice for glass (or other surface) graphic applications. It dries quicker and is specially formulated to work with window graphics.

VINYL QUESTIONS:
• Will the decals last a long time?
Yes, as long they are installed correctly. It is critical you follow the necessary steps outlined in my Installation Guide to ensure years of enjoyment from your graphics. When installed correctly they can last for 7 years or more!
• Does certain vinyl last longer than others?
Yes. Insist on "high performance 2 mil" when ordering any vinyl. Also beware that reflective, fluorescent, and other specialty vinyl does not last as long. Usually the manufacturer will only guarantee one - two years on specialty vinyl. They do look cool though! One great thing about vinyl is that it's not paint. Just take it off and put some new graphics on.

CUSTOM GRAPHICS:
• Do you make custom graphics?
ABSOLUTELY! We can create just about anything. Visit the Special Requests area of the site for more information.
• How can I have a custom graphic made?
Complete the Custom Graphic Request Form and I'll provide the graphic complete with your dimensions free of charge.
• Can I order a graphic on the site in a different size??
Yes. Just order the size that is closest to the size you want and mention in the Comments area of the order form the specific dimensions you'd like. In most instances the price will be the same if the graphic is similar in size. We will contact you if there is a different price before charging your credit card. If your request is significantly different, simply visit the Special Requests area.
• If I send you an image can you create a custom graphic?
Yes. We accept IBM and MAC compatible formats. Just use the Custom Graphic Request Form and attach a file.

VOLUME DISCOUNTS:
• Do you offer volume discounts?
Yes, we are happy to offer volume discounts based on quantity. Simply post a message on our Message Board and I'll be happy to provide you discounted pricing.

SHIPPING AND PAYMENT QUESTIONS:
• What type of payment do you accept?
We accept VISA, Visa Debit Card, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, PayPal and Personal Checks via a secure 128-bit encryption server.
• How long does it take to receive my order?
All orders are custom made upon order confirmation and manufactured within 48 hours (except weekends and holidays) and sent out the following day via USPS Priority Mail. Delays in shipping may be caused by invalid or declined credit cards, time needed to clear a personal check, or out of stock materials. You will receive e-mail regarding any possible delays immediately following your order.
• How do my graphics arrive?
Larger graphics are shipped in sturdy cardboard boxes. Smaller graphics are sent in cardboard envelopes via USPS Priority Mail. Along with your graphic(s), every order receives a squeegee, a SpeedGraphics.net decal, directions to download our installation instructions and video!
• How are my graphics sent?
All orders are sent via Unites States Postal Service Priority Mail. Average delivery time is between two-three days nationwide in the US.
• Why does my credit card billing address have to match the shipping address?
To protect us from credit card fraud, all orders are verified with the card issuing bank for proper address. The shipments can be made to that address only.
• Why did I get an e-mail stating that my address was not valid?
When manually verifying your credit card billing address, if the address given during the order does not match, we can not make or ship your order until we receive the correct address.

Creative Ideas For Graphics

To get the creative juices flowing, I'll demonstrate how most of the designs on this site can be used in many ways to enhance the look of your vehicle. Learn what the design pros know!

First, let's look at a couple of design elements discussed in other areas of the site. Color can really enhance your ride and make it look fantastic. I won't go into detail here, but have a look at the Color Harmony section for ideas. You'll be surprised at what "works." After that, examine the Colors we carry. You'll find a lot of complimentary colors and specialty colors that are cutting edge. Also, take a look at Special Effects. It examines the different styles you can apply to a graphic, such as Outline and Shadow. With all of these things in mind, let's get creative and look at some different ways to use graphics.

The most common "template" used by many auto enthusiasts on the sides of their car, is to include manufacturers logo's (Rollcall) and a graphic element.


This is a red graphic applied at an angle to conform with the cars natural lines. A common place to feature aftermarket enhancements is directly after the front wheel well It's a common theme, but there's a reason for that- it looks great!

The next design explores a different look, but also helps you think out of the box when browsing the products. Side Kit Graphic S303 looks like this when shopping.:

However, this image and ALL of the others can be rotated, rearranged and special ordered. Here's what this image looks like in Blue with an Orange outline. Note the alternative placement of aftermarket logos.

Don't be afraid to manipulate a graphic from it's original form and to order multiples of the same graphic. For example, let's assume you ordered 3 Side Kit S079's in three different sizes and colors. Graphic S079 looks like this in the shopping cart:

You then cut between each of the graphics (being careful not to cut the graphic) and arranged them like so.

I encourage you to try many different positions when you receive your graphic. Just tape it to a spot and stand back. You'll find many times that where you thought it would look best, actually works much better in a different spot. Remember if it looks good, it IS good. If you have a buddy with you, ask their opinion. Two heads are better than one.

Lastly, experiment with not using the entire graphic... Let it run past an area like the wheel well. For example, in this example the front of the SlamWrap tear is not used. But it still looks great!

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Color Harmony

When personalizing your car or boat with graphics, I've found much too often, people don't choose colors that harmonize with each other. In addition to colors chosen, these colors also need to work with your surface color. As we will see, color matching is not always what you think. However, when colors are chosen correctly, the results can be stunning.

Color is one of the elements artists use to create a piece of work. The elements are the "things" an artist can use in his/her work to send a message or express an emotion.

In car design, shape, line, form, space and texture are all used to create what sits in your driveway today. These elements do not exist independently. They rely on each other to effectively create a feeling.

To make our cars look the best they can with graphics, one must understand color schemes. Color schemes are a way of organizing colors. There are no absolute rules about which colors "go together" and which clash. It is often a matter of personal taste. If it looks good, it IS good.

Here are some of the most commonly used schemes:

Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, red is the complement for green and blue is the complement for orange. Yes, if your car is blue orange would be a killer color to use! When two pure complementary hues are placed next to each other, the design seems to vibrate. They create an exciting feeling that quickly attracts attention.
Colors next to each other on the color wheel that have a common hue are referred to as analogous colors. Red-purple, purple and blue-purple is one set of analogous colors because they all have purple in common. The common hue creates a feeling of unity in the design by tying together each part of the design.
Color triads is a color scheme composed of three colors spaced equally apart on the color wheel. Primary colors form one triad ( red, blue, yellow). A high-intensity version of this triad is often an uncomfortable color combination for viewers.
Secondary colors (orange, green, purple) form another triad. This color scheme is less "disturbing."
A split complement combination is created when a hue and the two colors on either side of its complement are used together. The effect of this color scheme is similar to using complementary colors, except that it offers the artist a little more variety with which to work.
Warm and cool colors are two specific sets of analogous colors. Blue, green and purple are cool colors. Red, orange and yellow are warm colors. Warm colors create a warm, sunny feeling.
The use of cool colors produces a cold, icy feeling. When used together, cool colors seems to move away from the viewer while warm colors moved toward the viewer.
A monochromatic color scheme is a one that uses shades, tints and tones of only one color. Although using such a limited palette runs the risk of creating a boring design, it also causes an immediate unifying or harmonious effect. In other words, all parts of the design have something in common, which therefore pulls it all together.

For a wonderful color harmony tool, check out color-wheel-pro.com, this easy to use software has a free trial download and it's very easy to use!

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Customizing Your Order

If you really want your graphic to standout, you need to customize it. Maybe adding an outline, or possibly a shadow to give it a 3-d effect. Size also plays an important part in determining an overall design. All of these, and more, are built into the order form. I'll explain each of the elements you can choose from.

Let's start with Size. Since graphics can be made in any size, it's (nearly) impossible to list all of the combinations. When ordering "designs," defined as graphics without words or logo elements, the size can be skewed to virtually any size and still look great. See the example below:

At 4 inches high and 21 inches long, the graphic looks like this:


At 4 inches high and 40 inches long, the graphic is "sleeker" and longer:

No Problem! If a size you need is not listed, order the size that is the closest to what you want- within reason. If there is a price difference, we'll notify you before your payment is processed. If you need something significantly larger, simply make a Special Request.

Next, let's look at Graphic Effects.

Mirrored Pair

Many times you will want to order a pair of designs, one for each side of your vehicle. When ordering you will see some graphics come as Mirrored Pairs. You will receive two decals of identical size "mirrored."

Graphic 1


Mirrored Graphic 2

TIP! - Use "SideKits" on the hood or other surface. Since they are symmetrical they can be placed, in the shape of a 'V' for example, and make for a very nice design!

Outline

Outlining is the most common way to make any graphic element standout. By adding an outline, you achieve several different design enhancements:

  1. You can introduce a second complementary color that enhances the look of the main graphic.
  2. The graphic looks more finished and "technical."
  3. Makes the graphic standout and looks better overall.

Once you have seen some graphics with outlines, you'll know what I mean. It takes longer to do (covered in my Installation Guide) and costs a little more, but the overall effect, (I believe) is worth it. When requesting an outline, you will receive two graphics. Your primary graphic will be cut to the size requested, the outline color will be sized depending upon the size of the graphic ordered. We allow enough room to align the graphics easily and yet provide a nice edge to your size graphic.

The installation of an outline is exactly the same way you install a standard graphic, however, the outline color is installed first. You simply position the second graphic on top of the bottom layer equally from all of the edges. The graphics include small squares (registration marks) so you can make your alignment easily! Using application fluid provided, you can position and reposition your graphic until it's perfect. I advise you read our Installation Guide for complete tips and how to's.



Graphics 1 and 2 Combined - An OUTLINED GRAPHIC

Shadow

Another great way to make your graphic elements standout is introduce a shadow effect. When you combine graphics that are outlined, throw in some shadowed elements, you'll have very professional and "tight" overall design. When you select the Shadow option, a second graphic will be included with your order cut specifically to create a shadow effect. A unique product that we offer is "shadow vinyl." This vinyl is specially formulated and slightly transparent, so the actual color of the surface shows through. This provides a realistic shadow effect. It makes the graphic look like it's floating and casting a real shadow on the surface. Very cool.

The installation of a shadow is straight forward. Similar to an outline, the shadow layer is installed first. The second layer allows an overlap and is produced with registration marks to make your alignment easy. I advise you read our Installation Guide for complete tips and how to's.



Graphics 1 and 2 Combined - a SHADOWED GRAPHIC

Hollowed Out vs. Solid

You'll notice that some graphics on the site look like this:

Graphic A

Other look like:

Graphic B

I call Graphic A "hollow-ed out". This means it's basically a thin stripe that comprises the design. Your surface color would be the white color in the image. Graphic B is a solid graphic. If you see a graphic (or text) and want it "hollowed out" just mention that in the Comments area of the order form- and vice versa for the solid graphic option.

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