Police Vehicle Graphics

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Vinyl technology has been used in police vehicle graphics since the middle of the last century. As the kinds of vinyl available for automotive graphics grew and improved, most police vehicle graphics did as well. Once simple to install and recognize, many police vehicles are now barely recognizable from their predecessors.

The simple side of American police vehicle graphics is the standard black-and-white or metallic blue color scheme--both popular with police forces in the past. In many cases, the lettering on emergency vehicles used to be applied with heat-sensitive adhesive that was relatively difficult to install and remove. Current graphics have become must more complex, with vinyl stripes, gradients, and insignia decals.

Contemporary police graphics are often applied using self-adhesive vinyl decals. They use the same technology as custom auto graphics shops use for race cars and other vehicles. The vinyl decals aren't permanent, but they will hold up though adverse weather and normal wear and tear for a number of years.

Applying Police Vehicle Graphics

Like many other automotive decals, police decals are cut from solid sheets of self-adhesive vinyl with the aid of a computer-guided cutting tool. The excess vinyl is then removed by hand, often necessitating tools to insure that no letters are removed with the waste vinyl. The letters are then coated with transfer paper, cut, and applied to the vehicles.


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