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So glad to have found you people

thomas barth

New Member
I too have been logging in for a while and haven't introduced myself. I'm Tom, and live and work here in Northern Indiana. I and most of my family run a design firm. Our primary clients are RV manufacturers, making motor-homes, 5-th Wheels, travel trailers, and the like. We design the exterior gragpics for clients like Keystone, Gulfstream, Forest-River, Trail-Lite, to name a few. I don't take credit for all the designs rolling around out there, as many are just bad, and we have many compeditors (sp?) and clients who love poor design. My father started the business 20yrs ago after leaving the research labs to sell the products (vinyl) he had developed. If I put on my first decal when I was 4yrs old, I have been working with decals for 35yrs. I don't have a showroom, don't advertise, and only produce decals (screened, die-cut, domed, or just plain old cut on the plotter) for original equiptment manufacturers. We work with large decal manufacturers to produce what we design and sell. We do short-run stuff here at the ranch. And yes, I do signs for clients once in a while and love it. Hope that is not too much info. Let me know if ya got questions. Thanks, Tom

Dave Drane

New Member
Welcome Tom, I guess you should know what you are doing with all that experience. When i started my apprenticeship (long before you) a "decalcomania" was a waterslide transfer as self adhesive vinyl came shortly after. It was the best invention at that time because the ordinary transfers had to be finished in clear which was an extra run.
Anyway enough of my dribble and welcome aboard from down under. :Australia :Welcome: :Coffee:


New Member
Hi Tom....welcome!
I have put on some of those big graphics....... some are very very thick vinyl.
Anyways....hi from Seattle!


New Member
Hi Tom

Welcome Tom

If you are in the Elkhart area, I grew up close to you. (Ligonier) Watch out for those buggies.

thomas barth

New Member
Wow! Thanks for the welcome!

The questions were very much appreciated, as I many times get the snub from sign people because I make OEM vehicle graphics. The answer to the "do you live near Elkhart Indiana" is yes. Elkhart county produces 56% of the RVs made in the United States. And yes, I do watch out for "buggies" because we also have the second largest Amish population in the country. I live in Middlebury, not far from Ligonier.
The questions and comments re: large screen printed die-cuts and the crazy colors goes like this. The colors come from large converters who order them from Avery and 3M. Mostly metalics, these colors are chosen by the paint colors Detroit specs in. Those desisions are driven by consultants such as the Color Marketing Group. Each converter has thier own custom color deck that is only available to them. You can get any color under the sun if you buy 10,000 sq. ft. Since most of us cant't do that, and the guy with the RV just wants a stripe or name added to his vehicle, I suggest getting color selector guides from Sharline and Universal Products (both located in the Witchita KS area). They have "automotive aftermarket" and sign supply colors that match many of the colors you need. If money is plentifull, get in touch with Gregory and they can flood screenprint a piece of vinyl in any color to match, but I don't think they do metalics. If you still can't find the color, contact me and chances are good I have a piece I can sell ya cheap. The answer to the "thick vinyl" on large die-cut: either they're using calandered film, or your feeling the many layers built up in the screen printing process, not to mention the occasional clear-cote. I hope that answers those great questions. Again, I thank you all for the interest! Tom (I also do some signs and really enjoy it)