Sunday, November 12, 2023

Plumbers at work

 


     Good design can stop me in my tracks. Like this cute little plumbing truck, spied on Illinois Street last Monday as I was walking from Union Station to Navy Pier — a hike, I know, but I had the time, the weather wasn't bad, and I take my exercise where I find it. 
    When I got home, I checked in with the owner.
     "We've been in business over 30 years," said John Baethke, whose company, founded by his father, is based at Cicero and Addison in Portage Park. "When we started, for 10 years we had a white van with a magnet on the side. Then a white truck with red, white and blue lettering. Probably three years ago, we wanted something a little more unique, a little more attractive and simpler."
      Just as you wouldn't do your own plumbing, so smart plumbers don't do their own graphic design, and Baethke brought in KickCharge Creative, a New Jersey company specializing in "truck wrap designs for home service companies."
    "Through a process of working together, we rebranded together," he said. Now they have 10 of those trucks.
     It was a lucky break for me to catch them downtown.
     "We try not to work in the downtown area," said Baethke. "Difficulty parking." Otherwise, they try to stick to the Northwest side.
     Because they were downtown, where parking is difficult, they sent two men. That's why there was a guy in the truck, Ron, to see they didn't get a ticket while a second plumber was inside. I notice him, but balked at rapping on the window and quizzing him.
       "That's an attractive truck you have there, my good man." Maybe not. 
       But fortune favors the bold, and when I got to the end of the block, I realized I should find out what kind of job they were on. So I doubled back, resolved to do just that. But the truck pulled away, turned left in front of Navy Pier, and was gone.
   Baethke filled me in. "They were looking at a unit being remodeled, checking the plumbing."
   Always smart. Easier to make sure the plumbing is right before the drywall goes in. Spend money to save money. Just as I'm sure getting those graphics on 10 trucks did not come cheap. But neither does good plumbing. Both are a sound investment.


8 comments:

  1. That's an attractive truck you have there, my good man." Maybe not.

    That made me laugh, thanks.

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  2. It's too bad we can't post photos here to show othe good, or bad designs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But you can email them to me and I can post them, possibly: dailysteinberg@gmail.com.

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  3. bit of a design geek myself, thanks for another off-the-beaten-track piece. cool truck btw.
    paul w
    roscoe vil

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  4. That's good design. Ask the man who knows. My first wife was a graphic artist. (SG)

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    Replies
    1. small world, so was mine
      paul w
      roscoe vil

      Delete
  5. I don't care for the design. A friend of mine has a business called "Patriot ______", going for his home team crowd, the MAGA seditionists. The Baethke truck rings that same bell in my head.

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