Updated: Jan 14, 2021
How many times have you applied car lettering only to step back and see the dreaded slow slope in the lettering? You measured twice and applied once, right, just like the saying goes? How does this stuff happen? Don't worry, it's happened to me too early on in my car graphic installation career. But I want to share a tip with you that will allow you to lay perfectly straight lettering on cars or whatever vehicle you are applying to. And you can use this same technique when applying larger graphics as well.
Once I have my lettering masked and ready to install, I will measure the distance between a flat horizontal part of the vehicle and a flat part of the lettering, for instance the cross bar on the top of a letter "T" and a crease or fold in the side of the vehicle. Once I have done this several times across different letters to make sure that my measurement is consistent, I will tape the letters in the middle as well as on each end to secure them in place. (see above picture).
Next, I will tear the tape at the end of the graphic as shown above, leaving one end of the tape attached to the vehicle. This will serve as my registration point, or alignment guide. Once I have pulled back the mask to reveal the lettering, I can align the tape from the mask to the tape on the vehicle and begin squeegeeing the lettering into position while at the same time keeping my tape ends matched up. This will ensure that my lettering stays true to my original measurement and doesn't get out of position. Repeat this step for both ends of the lettering.
Once you are done, step back and enjoy a perfectly aligned graphic.