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Are you looking for some exciting and interesting ways to make your car stand out from the rest? Perhaps you want a way to show off your interests or hobbies, or maybe you just want something fun and different that will brighten up your day. If so, there are plenty of great options for auto decals out there. Whether you have a specific design in mind or are open to ideas, there are lots of cool options available.
Whether you have a new car that needs some flair or an old one that could use some love, these 50 best automobile decals will definitely make your life awesome! From amusing labels like Cat Hairball Alert to more practical graphics like Emergency Kit, these decal ideas are sure to add character and keep you safe on the road.
1. Get the Business Background
Vintage Automobile Decals designers combine aesthetics and mechanics to create attractive cars that are safe, energy-efficient, and fun to drive. If you have a love of motor vehicles and the desire to turn your dream automobile designs into reality on the road, then a career as an automobile designer might be for you. A challenging career field to pursue, you can nevertheless develop the specs for the next hot new car with some planning, time, and determination.
2. Take art, math, physics, and language classes in high school.
Art and design classes will help you develop your drawing skills. Mastery of physics and mathematics will help you craft cars that can navigate through different terrains and weather conditions.
- Take a foreign language, such as Spanish or French. Because the major automotive manufacturers are multinational corporations, knowledge of 1 or more foreign languages may be beneficial as well.
Vintage Automobile Decals
3. Study automotive mechanics so you understand how vehicles function.
Take engineering electives, if available. Watch YouTube videos online. Subscribe to the print and digital magazines that describe automotive mechanics, designs, and trends. Understanding how cars worktop to bottom is the first step in being able to design your own.
- Besides learning about cars, study how trucks and SUVs work. Also, learn about how all vehicles operate on different types of terrain.
- Learn about the elements of color, fabric, and design to enhance your ideas about car interiors.
- As most automobile consumers will be driving on concrete or dirt roads, understanding the principles of roadway construction is helpful as well.
4. Draft car designs in a sketchbook.
Use a pencil to draw existing models, as well as develop new designs. Practice sketching exteriors and interiors until you can confidently and accurately draw both. You should sketch new designs continuously, as you will use some of your best sketches as the basis for a design portfolio you’ll need for both academic and job applications.
- Sketch each new idea on a different page. Doing so makes it easier for you to incorporate sketches into your design portfolio.
5. Pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
Most car manufacturers look for individuals with a background in industrial or mechanical engineering for automotive design jobs. Enroll in one of these programs, and complete a concentration in automotive design.
- Often these degree programs can be found at colleges and universities located close to auto manufacturing plants.
- Look for scholarships to lower the costs of enrollment. Maintain a high GPA in high school to become eligible for scholarships. While enrolled, keep your grades high to keep your existing scholarship or become eligible for scholarship opportunities.
Vintage Automobile Decals
6. Earn a minor or take elective coursework in marketing and sales.
If you don’t want to pursue a minor, audit some marketing classes in your spare time.
Doing this will help you pitch your own designs more effectively to future employers, as well as how to assess what designs consumers will find irresistible.
- Read industry periodicals like Automotive News that cover car marketing and sales, as well as marketing periodicals like AdAge.
7. Develop your design portfolio.
Your portfolio is a collection of your best 8 to 10 projects that you will need to apply for graduate degree programs, as well as for entry-level positions. Focus on showcasing a broad range of pieces, and include more sketches than computer-aided designs. Create both a print portfolio and an online one.
- Use a portfolio application to create an online portfolio. Sign up for an account and upload your digital files. Scan your print files and upload them to your online portfolio page. Caption each piece with a small narrative statement that explains the context of the work.
- Print high resolution, color copies of your sketches, and design files on standard letter size (8.5 in (22 cm) by 11 in (28 cm)) paper. Place each in an individual propylene plastic sleeve, then place all the sleeves in a binder.
- You may need to assemble more than one print binder, as some interviewers may require you to give them a nonreturnable copy.
8. Decide what area of automotive design interests you most.
Automobile designers generally work in 1 of 3 areas: exterior design, interior design, or color/trim design. Use your classroom and internship experiences, as well as your knowledge of industry trends, to decide which aspect of automobile design you expect to find the most personally and professionally fulfilling. Learn everything you can about that aspect of automotive design.
- Exterior designers decide what the outside of the vehicle looks like.
- Interior designers focus on making the vehicle interior comfortable for the driver and passengers and placing the controls and creature comforts in the places most accessible to the vehicle occupants without affecting safety.
- Color/trim designers decide what materials (metal, wood grain, leather, fabric, carpeting) are to be used on the inside and outside of the vehicle to make it most visually appealing and comfortable.
Vintage Automobile Decals
9. Network with professionals in the automotive industry.
Attend on-campus industry functions and share your business card with professionals you meet. Keep your classmates’ contact information handy as they may be able to provide you a job referral in a year or two. And share your goals with your professors. Networking is an invaluable way to identify career opportunities.
- Send those who help you a handwritten thank you note. The personal touch goes a long way with most people.
10. Search online for and enter automotive design competitions.
Competitions, especially those sponsored by auto manufacturers, will give you a clear picture of industry design expectations, trends, and standards. Winning a competition can help you build your profile as a designer – and can land you a cash prize or even a job offer!
- Even if you don’t win the grand prize, be sure to mention a top ten finish on your resume. Entering competitions can demonstrate to employers that you are unafraid to take risks.
11. Find and apply for automotive design internships.
Work with your college’s career counselor to help identify these internship opportunities, and develop a plan to land one successfully. Use your collegiate career planning office to polish your resume, practice your interviewing skills, and identify local networking opportunities with those in the automotive industry.
- Most automotive manufacturers will send you email notifications of new job and internship opportunities if you sign up on their website. Take advantage of this feature to identify opportunities you may qualify for.
- Use job search sites like Indeed to set up real-time email notifications of jobs posted on their system based on keywords you’ve searched for.
12. Pursue graduate studies to get an edge over the competition.
Check the industry trends about this field in the Occupational Outlook Handbook on the website of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, check salary surveys for professionals in this field. Search online for the job openings that most appeal to you then write them down, noting those that require graduate degrees.
- Based on these results, if you believe you need a graduate degree to be competitive in this field, decide whether you should pursue a graduate degree before looking for full-time employment.
- Automotive design is a competitive field, so a graduate degree may well be worth the investment to land your dream job.
13. Look for, and apply for, job opportunities as early as your junior year.
Search for openings on general job hunting sites as well as on the job boards of niche sites, such as Automotive News and Auto Jobs. Also, look through the job listings on the websites of major auto manufacturers.
- Take advantage of the flexibility in your schedule as an undergraduate to engage in informational interviews as well as apply for a few full-time positions.
- Send personal thank-you notes to any personal contacts you make. They may be a resource later down the road.
14. Update your design portfolio at least once a month.
As you complete more sketches and classwork assignments, continue to incorporate your best pieces in your print and online portfolios. Remove older pieces, as well as pieces no longer up to the standard of the rest of your work.
- Keep your professional social networking profiles up-to-date. Make sure you include a link to your online portfolio in a prominent position.
Vintage Automobile Decals
15. Apply to full-time automotive design jobs with a tailored resume and cover letter.
Include a prominent link to your design portfolio in your resume. Emphasize the engineering and design coursework you have taken and the design software packages you are proficient within both documents.
- Don’t send a generic cover letter. Human resources professionals receive dozens of job applications a day. Make yours stand out by adapting it to the requirements of the job and the needs of the company.
- Work keywords from the company’s job description, and even mission and values statements into your resume.
16. Show up prepared for each interview by developing an elevator pitch.
Research the company beforehand, noting any new major initiatives that have been launched recently. Think about the role the automotive design team plays in the firm’s current sales efforts. Imagine what you would do to help the company succeed if you had a position there, and write this down on a sheet of paper. This is your pitch.
- Edit your pitch down to a clear, concise speech of 1 to 2 minutes at most. Memorize this pitch.
- Practice it repeatedly in the days leading up to the interview until you can recite it confidently and enthusiastically.
- For example, your elevator pitch might be: “Nice to meet you. My name is John. I’m an aspiring automobile designer who has completed three internships focused on interior automobile design. Along with my BA in engineering design, I minored in marketing to better understand how to leverage consumer data into my designs to create marketable vehicles. I find your design team’s work inspiring and innovative and I’d appreciate the opportunity to put my skills to work at your company.”
17. Brush up on your engineering knowledge before the interview.
Dust off your college textbooks, and review fundamental mathematics, engineering, and science concepts as you may be asked questions design to test the engineering concepts behind your designs. Search online for examples of commonly asked engineering questions that may be asked by automotive manufacturers as part of their hiring process. Use these questions to guide what you study.
- You may be asked questions such as: explain the thinking behind your drivetrain design, or what did you identify as the constraints of the automotive system you designed.
- Practice answering examples of questions you find within a certain time to mimic the conditions you’ll face in the interview.
Vintage Automobile Decals
18. Sell your skills as a designer during the interview.
Share your pitch, when given the opportunity. Use your answers to their questions to emphasize how your designs are feasible from an engineering perspective, can solve real-world problems, and be marketing effectively to a consumer. Share your thoughts about current designs to demonstrate you keep up-to-date with the company and with industry trends.
- Take your time and speak distinctly and concisely.
- Treat any and all staff you meet as if they have a hand in hiring – because they might!
Vintage Automobile Decals: Unlikely. You should study transportation or industrial design for your best chances of becoming a Vintage Automobile Decals designer. You must choose the right school as well — there is a handful to choose from, but of those, there are really only two or three schools that are the best in the world and will vastly improve your chances of getting hired.