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Third time's the charm for sign business owner

Tim Hooper’s Hyundai Accent, a car that by no means is flashy, screams for attention. His economical commuter car, emblazoned with ads for his sign-making business, turns heads from Mariposa to Merced every day.

Even if fellow drivers don’t need his service, they’re still learning about deSigns, the business he opened at the beginning of the year along Main Street.

With all the bright colors and the business’ logo, they don’t have much of a choice.

Hopper, 41, opened deSigns, his third sign business, in Merced because he noticed the local growth and the potential for more.

His other shops, now sold to other owners, were in Dublin and Oakhurst.

In Merced, he’s offering business cards, yard signs and vinyl banners. A 4-foot-by-8-foot sign costs $254, which includes the design.

Hooper’s setup is relatively simple — a computer, a $15,000 commercial printer and a cutter that uses a laser to determine where the slices need to be made.

“With the technology, you can print out anything and stick it on any surface,” he noted. For example, a car.

The vehicle wrap, which runs about $3,000 and can be financed, is one of the many ways local businesses can advertise.

“When it’s done, it looks like a paint job,” he said. “It’s been around for a while, but it’s getting more affordable.”