Are you thinking about purchasing vehicle magnets? There are some things you need to know. Not all magnets are created equal. They come in different thicknesses and different qualities. There are many companies on the internet and big box stores that sell inexpensive magnets, but they are often very thin with very little magnetic power. When magnets are weak, they tend to blow off the vehicle.

Another consideration is the flatness of the space on the vehicle. Magnets should make contact with 100% of the vehicle surface. This means that they cannot be placed over body moldings or anything else that would create an air pocket. Measure your space carefully to make sure the magnet is appropriately sized. Also remember, they will only adhere to steel!

Now that you know the size you need, it is time to figure out your design. There are many places you can design-your-own. This is not necessarily a good thing if this design is for a business. There are many factors to consider when designing: getting a logo that you will like for years to come, proper font selection and size, colors that work for your business and vehicles. Many of the inexpensive, design it yourself magnets for instance have phone numbers that are barely legible. There are many reputable sign and design companies that can give you a look that will be more effective. Remember, vehicle lettering (magnetic or directly applied), when designed properly is one of the most cost effective forms of advertising. You are not buying just a magnet, you are branding your business.

OK, now you have your magnets and it's time to talk about care and maintenance. Wash, dry and wax the vehicle, make sure the back of the magnet is clean and dry. Lay one edge against the surface in the desired position, then let your hand support the sign as the magnet does the work. If you get it in a wrong position, simply remove it completely form the surface and re-affix. Do not apply magnets in weather below 50 Degrees F or above 105 Degrees F, or on any metal that has been sitting in direct sunlight. Be aware that long term use on surfaces exposed to sunlight may result in an uneven fading of the surface because the area beneath the magnet is shielded from the sun. To avoid any surface damages to your vehicle such as dirt getting between the magnet and the surface. The signs should be removed and cleaned on a weekly basis. Wash both the sign and the surface with mild detergent and wipe dry with a soft cloth. If you have fresh paint, remove the signs daily.

The best way to store your signs is on a flat metal surface such as the sides of a filing cabinet or refrigerator. They can also be rolled around a 3inch diameter roll with the printed side facing outward. Do not store in anyplace with a temperature above 120F including the side of your car on a hot day.

Proper use and care will not only extend the life of your magnetic sign, it will also protect the metallic surface to which it is applied.

Article written by Stephanie Calabro, owner of White Rocks Design Studio at Turcotte Design, 425 N. Branch Street, Bennington, Vt. Call 802-447-0169 for more information.