Vehicle Graphics and JKS Go Way Back

As the demand for delivery-based services continues to grow, as does the need for marketing signage that will effectively advertise your company and brand while you’re on the go.

That’s where JKS Incorporated comes in. Founded in 1983, we got our start in spot graphics and vehicle wraps—it’s in our DNA.

But, today’s process looks quite different from yesteryear’s.

Kenney Ring, who worked at JKS as a part of our Creative Services team throughout the early 80s, said our original process was very old school.

“Our clients would bring us ‘art’—usually nothing more than a business card,” said Kenney. “I would have to enlarge this using a device known as an opaque projector which was essentially a metal box with a very powerful light bulb, a couple of mirrors, and a lens. This allowed me to project the art onto a piece of paper that was taped on the wall and trace out the image.”

From here, Kenney would roll over every line in his tracing with a pattern wheel, creating small holes in the paper. After this was finished, the paper pattern would be taped to the side of the vehicle and Kenney would use a small cloth bag filled with powdered chalk to “pounce” (or pound) above every hole in the paper. The chalk would pass through the holes and stick to the vehicle thereby transferring the pattern.

Then came the paint.

“We didn’t have any form of scaffolding in the beginning, only a couple of step ladders,” said Kenney. “So I’d paint a couple of letters, get down to move the ladder, then paint a few more. I typically used a small brush to outline the letters—this is referred to as ‘cutting in.’ You’d use a larger brush to fill everything in.”

In 1985, JKS got it’s very first vinyl sign maker. And while it was a step toward the future, it was a very small one.

“It was a simple machine,” Kenney said. “The fonts were on cards that had to be plugged in like a RAM chip, the vinyl rolls were quite small in width, and anything photographic still had to be airbrushed. So, it was limited.”

Fast forward nearly four decades, and the JKS production space looks quite different. Our process has evolved to become more streamlined and is now almost entirely digital. With the help of multiple large-format printers, there are no limitations to the size, style, or type of vehicle graphics we can create.

Using Adobe Illustrator, we work with our clients to create the perfect design that is fitted for the specific vehicle we are working on. Once a design is finalized it’s printed onto vinyl, cut using a large-format plotter, and transferred directly onto the vehicle. We’ve even since invested in scaffolding to help with installations.

We are firm believers that a branded vehicle is a rolling billboard, raising awareness of your brand wherever it goes. By combining our 37 years of experience and creativity with today’s technology, we’ve become one of the nation’s leading providers of vehicle graphics. Our award-winning team can create head-turning, one-of-a-kind graphics for any type of vehicle—from a golf cart to an 18-wheeler.

Share

Meet Adam – Creator, Doer, Racing Fan

My path to working at JKS Incorporated was a bit unconventional.

I grew up about five minutes down the road from the current office and production space. When I was younger, I was immersed in the world of professional car racing and NASCAR—due in part to my grandparents who loved spending time at the track and even used to score race times before electronic scorecards were a thing. The fondness for this sport that I grew to share with my grandparents is one of the reasons that I applied for a part-time job at the Winston Cup Museum a little over a year after I graduated from college. Continue reading

Share

Meet the Guy with the Sketchbook – Jake Tennyson

I’m new here—well, sort of.  

I started doing freelance design work for JKS Incorporated in mid-October of 2019. After a few months of learning the ropes, I joined the Creative Services team full-time as a Brand Experience Designer at the beginning of January. 

In short, it is my job to make any kind of space (like a trade show exhibit, a display, or interior area) feel like it is a cohesive part of our client’s brand. This process can include creating 2D materials like posters and other forms of signage, designing interactive games and props, and configuring architectural plans.  Continue reading

Share

JKS Is Returning To Its Roots

JKS is preparing for a move back to Winston-Salem in the coming months in order to fuel the company’s innovative spirit as it continues to evolve its capabilities in building brands through experiential marketing. It’s a move that Will and I are excited about for our company, our team and our creativity.

The move to Industry Hill on the northern edge of Downtown Winston-Salem brings the company full circle. JKS started here and the Spencer family has owned property along Liberty Street for generations. In fact, for years JKS was one of the few businesses in that area of the city, putting us at the very forefront of Downtown’s revitalization. As people have heard me say, “Will and JKS were downtown before it was cool to be downtown.” For Will, the connection to this part of downtown is deeply personal.

Continue reading

Share

Marketing 101: People Love Getting Free Stuff

Look around your house or office. Chances are there’s something there that has a company’s logo on it. And there’s also a good chance it’s something you’ve had for a while. I can say that with confidence because statistics back me up. In a recent survey of consumers, the surveyors found that:

91% had at least one promotional product in their kitchen and 74% had at least one promotional product in their work area.

Continue reading

Share

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For A Big Screen

Let’s say you’re at an event. When you look out over the crowd, what are you likely to see? A lot of people these days ignore their surroundings, looking down at the little screens they have in their hands instead. One of the big challenges we face is creating experiences that are fun and interesting enough to tear people away from their devices, and we’ve found that one great way to do that is with a bigger screen! Continue reading

Share

The Three Things You Need To Go From Idea To Reality

There really is no typical JKS project. Some of our clients come to us with a fully formed idea and ask us to execute it. The challenge with this approach is figuring out how to make their vision come to life within budget limitations. But others come to us with just a thought or an idea and lean on us to turn their idea into reality, which is more of a challenge.

Any partner you are working with needs to have three things to make it happen – experience, creativity, and resources. You can apply these three things to virtually any situation where you want to partner with a business to get something done.

Continue reading

Share

Our Crew Can Build Anything (Seriously)

The guys in our shop amaze me on a daily basis. They can literally build anything. Case in point – a doghouse from the future.

Here’s the backstory: I heard about a fundraiser called Raise The Woof to help meet the needs of animals in our community. The idea was that people and businesses would build unique and unusual doghouses that would then be auctioned off, with the money going to support groups like the Davidson County Animal Alliance, High Point Canine Solutions, and other local charities. Now as you know from a previous blog, dogs are near and dear to my heart, so I thought JKS should be represented with a doghouse.

Continue reading

Share