Our story started with two very special people, my parents, Marshal and Sheri Berger.
Riding is inherently dangerous. If you ride anything on the road at all you know this. Bicycles, scooters, cruisers, tourers, sport bikes and trikes. We all take a risk when our feet leave the ground. But it can be mitigated.
Marshal tried, and failed, to find something to increase his visibility and safety while riding. In the 90's and early 2000's there wasn't much available that was truly effective, or interesting. The standard was prismatic strips of shiny vinyl that didn't reflect well. I remember he looked to local companies for material, products, anything that he could put on his bike to increase visibility in low light. He was disappointed, repeatedly. He even joked once about strapping a stop sign to his back.
Then he found 3M.
I could go on about 3M innovation and their impact on our roads, but I'll put that elsewhere for you to read if you'd like.
When Marshal saw his idea's coming to life as decals on his and his moto families bikes, helmets, luggage and side cars he knew he was making a difference. Possibly a life saving difference.
From there it was rallies and bike shows. His then hobby started meeting the needs of more and more riders. Suddenly he had a business and business was booming.
His products were simple, effective, could be applied by most anyone. Even kids.
That is how Applied Graphics came to be. Shortly there after reflectivedecals.com was born when Marshal purchased the URL and wrote the first website, using html and a digital camera. In 2002 I came back to my home town and Applied Graphics was installed in my garage.
My Dad never did have a motorcycle accident, he was never hit, nobody ever uttered those terrible words "I just didn't see them". There was that one time with a lightening strike but that's another story.
In 2005 Marshal Berger passed unexpectedly, too soon, at the age of 54.
He was not a motorcycle fatality.
Our mission has always been simple. To make riders, or anyone on the road, as visible as possible and to increase the safety of riders and awareness of drivers. It's not complicated. There's a lot of unused real-estate on bikes and helmets, just a small amount of vinyl can increase your visual footprint markedly.
So for your sake, and the sake of the very distracted drivers around you, please make yourself as visible as possible.
Be Seen, Be Safe, and keep the shiny side up!