Introduction: How to Make Sure People Know Your Truck's Name

About: Hi, we're Dara and Nash. Industrial designers, tinkers, and mayhem builders. Follow our travels.

So, I bought a new truck recently, and being that it is blue and I am a lumberjack-type person, my truck's name is Babe; after Paul Bunyan's blue ox.

My last vehicle was a solid Buick that had the ability to carry just about anything and everything I could ever need to fix most problems (from vinyl tubing to jumper cables to toolkits galore) and so its name was MacGyver. Since I switched, people keep asking me what my truck's name is. So, I've decided that a vinyl decal telling people wouldn't be a bad idea.

What you'll need:
Vehicle-rated Vinyl
Vinyl Cutter
(Not "a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate")

Step 1: Design Something

I have a general idea of what a "blue ox" could be, so I looked up some things on a quick Google search and made a design that I thought looked nice and didn't require an enormous amount of weeding (removal of the stuff that's not wanted from cut vinyl).

The program I used was CorelDraw X6, a rather amazing program. A few minutes of clicking and dragging will get a design that works and you'll be quickly on your way to having a named vehicle.

Step 2: Cut the Vinyl

We have a little professional vinyl cutter. It's basically a 4' plotter with a carbide tipped blade inside. You put a sheet of sticky-backed vinyl in it and use whatever program is installed to send a file to the cutter.

Don't ask what Baud is...I honestly have no idea what it is besides a setting.

Step 3: Weed the Vinyl

So, weeding. Not just for gardens. Also for vinyl. Weeding, again, is the process of removing the parts you don't want from a sheet of cut vinyl. Dental tools, picks, pins, small knives all are useful tools depending on how intricate a design you have. This is pretty simple, so I used a push pin and my fingers for most of it.

You can see here how more and more blue is removed from the sheet until it ends with the decal.

The last step is adding a large sheet of transfer tape (it's basically a 2' wide piece of masking tape) that you use to sandwich the vinyl between the backing and the tape.

Step 4: Christening the Vehicle

I made two decals. One for the tailgate and the other for the gas cover.

Removing the white backing (not the sticky tape), you get a large sticker that you can put over wherever you want to mount the decal to. Careful pulling and prodding will usually get a clean removal on vehicles (glass is a little more tricky).

So, now I have a Duke blue truck with a UNC Chapel Hill blue decal of an ox named babe. Enough confusion there? (It also doesn't help that I went to NC State University)