My name is Evette Eickelmann, and I’d like to tell you about Midwest Label. How I got into making signs was anything but ordinary. From 1991 to 1995, my husband, Fred, and I ran two types of stock cars at a 3/8-mile asphalt track at I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Missouri. Fred built the cars, and I drove them. I was also responsible for the marketing side of that little venture. I would secure sponsorship and work with the sponsor in designing how their message would appear on the car. We ran our racing hobby on a shoestring budget.
Based on Necessity
We when first started racing, Fred would use computer-aided drafting software (AutoCAD) on his Windows 3.1 computer at his work to create the sponsor’s logo. He would print the design to scale using several pieces of dot matrix paper and bring it home to me. I would stick white contact paper on the car, cover in the carbon paper, and tape Fred’s printout on top of that. I’d trace the design with a ballpoint pen, which transferred it to the contact paper. Then I’d make my paint mask by cutting along the lines with an Exacto knife. It was crude, but it worked.
From Paint to Vinyl
A couple of years later, we decided to try a local sign shop so we could look more professional. The new vinyl graphics did look better than our handmade paint masks, but I wasn’t 100% satisfied. Back in those days, multi-colored vinyl graphics were made by layering different colors. The sign shop where I bought my graphics wasn’t proficient in using their vinyl cutting software. Hence, there were unneeded cut lines that detracted from the design.
Open for Business
In 1998, I purchased my first Roland vinyl cutter. I taught myself how to use CorelDRAW and the next thing you know I’m making simple vinyl decals. I wanted to know more, so I went to several sign shows and seminars. I even subscribed to a couple of sign magazines. I told my husband that if we ever got back into racing, our race car would look great! Unfortunately, we could no longer afford to race. So, I started lettering other race cars and got paid to do it.
When I started applying vinyl graphics to race cars, the door opened for me to letter vehicles, storefront windows, signs, etc. The word began to travel that I was making signs, and people that I didn’t know started calling me. At that point, it was only natural that I declare going into the sign business official by submitting all the necessary papers with the federal and state agencies.
Further, to complement this new business venture, I was able to use the other existing business that I’m co-owner of to fabricate custom sign frames and bases. My husband and I are owners of Fred’s Fabrication.
Where Midwest Label Is Today
Currently, Midwest Label outsources full-color vinyl graphics. When I factor in the overhead of making full-color graphics, I should outsource; I don’t do enough volume. However, I still do the necessary artwork and installation.
If you require one-of-a-kind signs or graphics, give me a call or send me a message. I always do my best to make sure my customers are satisfied with the end product.