About Leeward Productions
Custom Auto Tags with Your Artwork Created Free by Accomplished Graphic Designers
Leeward Productions (formerly Shi ney Communications and Cartags.net) has been designing and selling custom auto tags since 1989. For many years the company concentrated on screen-printing only aluminum auto tags and produced all its own license plates. A key part of our offering has always been a focus on good plate design and including it as part of the package with straightforward, predictable pricing, without artwork setup fees except in limited situations.
A truly easy buying process. We know that many potential customers have nowhere to turn for design work, or are uneasy paying open-ended hourly rates for something they aren’t familiar with, as may be the case elsewhere. Removing this barrier to a good plate design is the missing piece of the puzzle that simplifies the buying process to make it truly easy. Tell us what you want, we do the rest, it’s just that simple. Or tell us hands-off if you’ve got a design you’re already happy with, and we’re okay with that too.
An ownership change in recent years prompted us to consider broadening the plate types we offered and expand into a fuller array to better serve the varied requests we kept getting. To do this we began working exclusively with hand-picked wholesale producers nationwide, guided by the company’s previous experience gained printing our own plates in finding the best firms to team up with.
A plate type for every budget. Each producer we now work with has been chosen for what they do best, at the lowest reasonable price without sacrificing “build quality” compared to similar alternatives. Our goal is to offer a range of volume-priced custom auto tag types that have proven most popular over the years, so your group can choose the right plates for your situation and budget. And so that regardless of which way you want to go, you still receive a good design.
Rely on our thorough product knowledge. We know license plates inside and out, and can help you decide which custom auto tags are best for your requirements. We strive to provide plates with the best durability specification and/or appearance for each type of production method, aimed in most cases at longer-term name-identification and promotional use within a given budget. And don’t forget at Leeward Productions you’ll actually talk to a real human being — without having to wade through the maze of a phone menu system designed to make you hang up first. Old-fashioned service like what used to exist in America is still alive and well here.
Good design is built right in. Leeward Productions does more than simply kick license plates out the door with no further thought given. Free design work for custom tags is provided in most cases (about 90% of customer orders) by experienced graphic designers, based on your logo, idea, or rough sketch. For license plates or any other promotional items to do their job, they must successfully gain attention, and be visible and readable from a distance, not to mention look good to project the image you want. Design is a key element in this. Our philosophy is to help you put it foremost, built right into the pricing so you don’t have to worry about it.
Competitive pricing. But if you think including design work in the price might make our custom auto tags cost more than elsewhere, think again. Most places price their plates without the cost of design work included, or make you do it yourself with a crude online layout interface, or you pay an open-ended extra hourly add-on rate for it — so as to be able to advertise the lowest “list” prices possible. But that temporarily “hidden” cost of design will eventually factor in, if a plate design is to be more than a slap-together throwaway. We believe our plates are already competitively priced, but for a true apples-to-apples comparison, if you submit professional print-ready art using one of our templates, you’ll qualify for a discount. Compare our prices with others’ after that, and we think you’ll agree you get a very good deal at Leeward Productions — and one that relieves you of the worry of getting a good plate design if you don’t have design skills yourself.
Satisfied customers nationwide. Leeward Productions customers include businesses, churches, schools, nonprofits, EMS and fire departments, and many others across the United States who use our custom auto tags to identify and advertise their organizations.
The Artists Behind Your Custom Auto Tags
Lee Shi ney founded the business and, though he has since moved on, is who started us on the road to offering durable custom auto tags that put design out front. Lee ran our former tag printing department, has been a graphic designer and fine artist since the late 1970s, and today creates and produces fine art after his years with Leeward Productions. Branching out from the world of freelance design work, he first began designing and producing custom auto tags under the name Lee Shi ney Design (later Shi ney Communications). For many years Lee printed our car tags by hand with the help of his son and daughter, who are now out on their own, his son following in his footsteps as a screen-printer and his daughter in print media and marketing.
Lee also owned and operated a popular small art gallery in Wich ita, Kan sas for several years, and as something of a Renaissance man, still pursues his passion for fine arts, which he has been turning into a business of its own. You’ll find more about Lee and his work, plus an exhibition of his art and photos of his latest gallery showing at leeshiney.com.
Ward Nic holson, a long-time graphic design colleague of Lee’s, joined Leeward Productions in 2003, and now mans the helm running our front office. He’s also the friendly voice on the phone who takes your order and supervises the design and layout of your custom auto tags. Ward started out in business as a freelance advertising typographer in the early 1980s during the era of phototypesetting machines, doing work for design firms and advertising agencies. After desktop publishing technology with personal computers superseded typesetting in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he moved into graphic design and business copywriting.
More recently he did a brief stint honing his skills at Greteman Group, a prominent design agency, before coming on board with Leeward Productions. With his exacting typographic background, Ward is a hands-on “detail man” whose oversight ensures everything is ship-shape with your custom auto tags order before it goes into production. And in his dual role now also steering the ship, he’ll be glad to answer just about any question you might have. At Leeward Productions you’ll talk directly with someone working on your order, not intermediaries, including the man on top.