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.

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