Reproduction Labels

After working out which paint label was originally attached to my car, the next job was to reproduce it. There are some reproduction labels for sale but not, as far as I know, a good quality single field Salchi label.

Missing Ferrari 308 Paint Label
Missing paint label

I never noticed until now, writing this blog post, that one can see the outline of the Salchi logo in the photo above of the adhesive left on my deck lid. One can also see the text ‘…ESTA VETT…’ confirming the original label was a single field Salchi label. It also looks like the paint code was written on after it was affixed to the decklid since the ’99’ of code ’99-R-190′ has clearly indented into the leftover adhesive:

99-R-190 Ferrirai 308 color code
Color code imprint on the deck lid

Note the color code was 99-R-190 and not the 20-R-190 code asserted by the Ferrari factory for my car. I am pretty sure the two codes refer to the same color… rosso chiaro.

It was always my intention to try to reproduce this label and to that end, I emailed Salchi in Italy twice several years ago to find out if they objected to me reproducing the paint label, which, technically speaking, is still their intellectual property. The first email went unanswered and the second was returned with a short unrelated statement saying that the no longer made automotive paint and they could not help me. I took that to mean that they did not mind 🙂

The first job was to measure the sticky patch on my deck lid and transfer the dimensions to my Adobe Illustrator. I know there is some room for error here and while I want to make the best facsimile I can, if the dimensions are a millimeter out here or there I don’t mind. It is not like I have an original to compare it with.

Drawing the label

I identified the fonts used on the label. Unsurprising, given the age of the label and the limited number of fonts available before digital technology, almost all the text was set in Helvetica, albeit kerned and spaced differently. On my Apple computer, Helvetica Neue was actually a better match than regular Helvetica which is a little odd because this label predates the Helvetica Neue font by about 5 years. I manually drew the Salchi logotype, as I have no idea what font they used. It seems to be derived from the Glidden typeface of the earlier label.

Label draft on paper

Once I was happy with the design on paper, I transferred it to adhesive silver foil. I think the result is a good reproduction of the Salchi single field paint label (with period-correct registration errors – I’ll try to improve those later). It is going to take me a while to perfect the Italian ‘9’ though.

Reproduction Ferrari 308 paint label
Replacement label in place

Disclaimer: describes the restoration work I perform on my car and only my car. I am not a professional mechanic. The website content is presented for entertainment purposes only and should not be seen as any kind of advice, information, instruction or guidance for working on any other car. The opinions stated here are my own and no-one else’s.

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3 Responses

  1. Martin N. says:

    Well done. One hint. I did exactly the same for a self-made Glasurit paint sticker.
    But as an addition I protected the finished laser print on the silver foil with a thin layer of clearcoat laquer.
    Holds up well since ten years, except a small area came in contact with the trunk rubber seal, where it now of course worn.
    Next sticker I will place a bit different.

  2. Martin N. says:

    Hi David,
    hardly noticable I would say. Though on my Glasurit label there’s not much of the reflective finish remaining as opposed to your sticker. And I think it depends on the clearcoat and thickness of the coat. But it’s easy to try it first on a scrap piece.
    With that self adhesive silver foil material I also did my own coolant header tank label and the ‘high tension’ label on the rain shield above my single distributor.
    Would be great, if one could add pictures to comments.

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