Driving the message

The winners of this year's FLEET OWNER Vehicle Graphics Awards know trucks can deliver more than the goods. Whether they're talking cheese or newspapers or even shipping cases, these 13 winning entries exemplify how well words and images can combine to drive home the message of what exactly a fleet or the business it serves is out to deliver day after day, mile after mile. THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

The winners of this year's FLEET OWNER Vehicle Graphics Awards know trucks can deliver more than the goods. Whether they're talking cheese or newspapers or even shipping cases, these 13 winning entries exemplify how well words and images can combine to drive home the message of what exactly a fleet or the business it serves is out to deliver day after day, mile after mile.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Santa Ana, CA

DESIGNER: JOHN GOTHOLD, DGWB, SANTA ANA, CA

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: EPIC MEDIA GROUP/KWIK ZIP SYSTEM

MARKING MATERIALS: FLEXIBLE VINYL; KWIK ZIP SYSTEM

You don't have to “Read all about it!” but you can see all about the news reported by The Orange County Register over the last 100 years every time one of its four semi-trailers or 22 straight trucks passes by on their delivery routes in Southern California.

The new graphic treatment was created “to bring awareness to the 100th anniversary” of the newspaper, says director of marketing & promotions Lelani Bluner.

“The newly installed graphics have increased the appearance of the fleet with its eye-catching, colorful graphics,” Bluner points out.

She says a 100th anniversary graphic was incorporated into the design and can be seen on each side of the truck or trailer. The graphic panels present events or landmarks that have impacted Orange County yesterday and today. “This is a mobile mural to remind people to remember the past and look towards the future.”

According to Bluner, the new graphics are increasing employee morale and have garnered positive feedback from the public as well.

“The design has created significant impact and awareness in the community and has generated a number of inquiry calls,” she notes.

In other words, these are 26 very special editions.

GEORGIA CASE CO.

Tucker, GA

DESIGNER: ALEX IVACHEZ

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: MEDIA VEHICLES

MARKING MATERIALS: COOLEY FLEX-FACE & AVERY

There's no mistaking what Georgia Case delivers. This straight truck, says company owner Brian White, was given this all-out graphic treatment to do nothing less than grab the attention of “anyone needing cases for entertainment production equipment transport.

“We're a small niche industry company that must target-market to our prospective clientele,” continues White. “Our truck goes where we go so it made sense to wrap it completely to look like our product.”

Along with providing a highly distinctive rolling advertisement for Georgia Case, the graphics on this medium-duty Sterling workhorse serve another purpose.

“This truck was older and had minor damage that would have needed to be repaired if we [had] applied decals to the sides,” explains White.

“With Media Vehicle's [graphics] framing system, we saved the money that would have gone to the body shop,” he adds. “The banners install right over the dents and make the body appear new.”

Graphics that look good and work smart — that's definitely a case to be sold on.

SARGENTO FOOD INC.

Plymouth, WI

DESIGNER: BOB PEIFFER, CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER, SARGENTO

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: EPIC MEDIA GROUP/KWIK ZIP SYSTEM

MARKING MATERIALS: FLEXIBLE VINYL (KWIK ZIP SYSTEM)

Sometimes “cheesy” can be good. Real good. Especially when you make an entire tractor-trailer out of Wisconsin's famous dairy delight, including the reefer unit.

Yes, it's just paint and graphics. But it looks good enough to eat — well, good enough to keep the “Sargento” name in mind when shopping for something very edible.

“The new design is part of a corporate initiative to place focus on our core business, cheese! The fleet's 25 tractors and 46 trailers travel in excess of 2.5-million miles and serve as another media form,” says fleet operations manager Danny Buss.

This appetizing, integrated design screams “look at me!” and makes full use of every visible inch of the fleet's rigs to deliver the message that Sargento is all about one thing — cheese.

“The corporate logo is reflective, as is our copy line… ‘Our Family's Passion is Cheese.’ This allows for better visibility at night,” points out creative services manager Bob Peiffer.

“Initially, the graphics appear to meet longer-term wear expectations,” notes Buss. “Covering the trailer panels [with the KWIK ZIP graphics] will ensure increased trade value when the graphics are removed for equipment trade-in.

“From an appearance perspective,” he adds, “we feel strongly this is an eye-catching vehicle.” And the editors of FLEET OWNER strongly agree.

MILLER BREWING CO.

Milwaukee, WI

DESIGNER: MODAGRAFICS INC. AND ZIPATONI

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: MODAGRAFICS INC.

MARKING MATERIALS: AVERY MPI 1010

As a national brand taken to market by independent distributors, Miller Brewing has devised a vehicle graphics program that combines the flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of trucks with easy application for local installation. At the same time, the company continues to foster brand awareness with a single marking program that covers everything from route beverage trailers to vans and Hummers taken to special events. And, of course, it looks great.

Touting the company's two main brands — Miller Lite and Miller Genuine Draft — the decals for the route delivery vehicles are digitally printed as they're ordered by various distributors. This just-in-time system allows the supplier to provide graphics customized for straight trucks and trailers with a variety of door configurations for quick application.

The wraparound graphics for the special events trucks were designed to help Miller reach the broadest target market possible. They not only make a bold graphic statement but also speak to that target market in both English and Spanish.

HATFIELD QUALITY MEATS

Hatfield, PA

DESIGNER: IN-HOUSE

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: GRAPHICS SOLUTIONS

MARKING MATERIALS: FLEXIBLEVINYL, COOLEY FLEX-FACE

Brand awareness took one large step forward as the private fleet operations at Hatfield Quality Meats converted to these vibrant full-coverage graphics with digitally printed flexible vinyl panels. Using photography provided by the National Pork Board, this 110-year-old Pennsylvania supplier is now using its fleet to offer motorists mouth-watering views of its signature fresh pork products, while also extending its “The Freshest for your Family” tag line.

Adopted late last year, the new design is not only graphically impressive, but also cost-effective, according to vp-marketing Bob Zender. The 100% side-coverage panels cost about the same as the simple logo graphics the fleet had been using, and require only minimal downtime to install.

Hatfield, headquartered in the Pennsylvania town of the same name, operates a fleet of 85 trailers and 61 tractors, distributing fresh pork products from Maine to Miami. The family-owned company turns pork from local farms into ham, bacon, sausage, franks, fresh pork and other meat products.

MAZDA DEDICATED DELIVERY

Irvine, CA

DESIGNER: KEN CAMASTRO, DONER ADVERTISING

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: LARGE FORMAT DIGITAL

MARKING MATERIALS: AVERY 2003EZ AND DOL 2000

Mazda's “Zoom-Zoom, soul of a sports car” campaign is one of the most successful and well-known television and print media advertising efforts of the decade. It you've got a winner, why not extend that campaign beyond the constraints of the traditional media and take it to the road, especially if you've got new cars to show off?

With a fleet of 47 trailers, the parts-distribution arm of the automaker covers a lot of miles in a year, so it makes great sense to take its message out to the people who drive, and, of course, buy cars. It's especially effective this year because Mazda has just launched an entirely redesigned model lineup. There aren't many of the new cars on the road yet, so these 53-ft.rolling billboards give the automaker the opportunity to put “virtual” vehicles on the road and in front of drivers.

Better still, the rolling Zoom-Zoom campaign costs no more than a typical one-month fixed billboard effort, says the company.

FOSTER FARMS

Livingston, CA

DESIGNER: PRIMOANGELI-FITCH

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: MODAGRAFICS

MARKING MATERIALS: AVERY NON-REFLECTIVE VINYL MPI FOR DIGITAL PRINTING; AVERY FT1000 SERIES VINYL FOR TRACTOR GRAPHICS

Fresh and natural is the message Foster Farms wants to convey through its fleet graphics. Aware that its rolling billboards have just seconds to catch the eye of the motoring public, the company went with full coverage graphics for its 537-trailer fleet.

The challenge was to remove the old graphics, which Modagrafics had provided Foster Farms for the past seven years, and install the new full-coverage wraps without disrupting the Foster Farms distribution system. Modagrafics had crews working daily on location, re-doing trailers based on what equipment could be freed up for the day. The turnkey system of removal and installation helped keep the company's re-image program on schedule.

The uniform look of all the trailers with their big bold images and colors makes for an impressive fleet traveling throughout the Western States.

MODAGRAFICS INC.

Rolling Meadows, IL

DESIGNER: MODAGRAFICS

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: MODAGRAFICS

MARKING MATERIALS: AVERY MPI 1010 NONREFLECTIVE ON 3 VANS; AVERY MPI REFLECTIVE ON ONE STRAIGHT TRUCK

When Modagrafics set about redesigning its fleet graphics it wanted something that would make potential clients say “Wow!” That's exactly what the new vehicle graphics do. The company says it gets calls constantly about its attention-grabbing trucks.

Modagrafics graphic installers drive these vehicles across the nation when completing graphic installations for fleet and retail customers. The full-wrap vans show off what the company can do.

In addition, the Modagrafics box truck not only serves as an example of full-color graphics on the side of a truck, but one side and the rear graphics are printed digitally on reflective material to stand out at night.

The passenger side of the straight truck also displays the company's Fleximount system, which enables a quick graphic change that can be done easily with panels that are re-usable. This is an effective tool for short-term promotions that may need to be run only for a few months out of the year, or promotions that need to be changed more often. The company says the decals are easy to maintain and are great for protecting the truck against paint chips caused by road debris.

LASCO BATHWARE

Anaheim, CA

DESIGNER: PURDIE ROGERS

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: EPIC MEDIA GROUP/KWIK ZIP SYSTEM

MARKING MATERIALS: FLEXIBLE VINYL & KWIK ZIP SYSTEM

With 149 of its 270 tractor-trailers outfitted with new graphics — part of a corporate campaign to build brand and product awareness — Lasco Bathware is making a big splash across America's highways.

The first thing you notice is the vibrant ocean-blue color on the sides and rear of the trailer. Next come the eye-catching bubbles, which appear to literally float across the trailer. The sleek white lettering of the Lasco Bathware logo is clearly visible against the deep blue background. Ditto the clever tag line, “Hundreds of ways to come clean,” which alludes to the diversity of products offered, from traditional bathtubs and showers to more luxurious soaking tubs and whirlpools.

To reinforce that message, four panels provide visuals of individual products, as well as the relaxed, refreshed consumers who use them.

And for a touch of fun, the graphic incorporates everyone's favorite bath toy, the yellow rubber duckie. Squeaky clean, indeed!

To complete the picture, Lasco carries the concept onto its tractors, but with a reversal of colors: ocean-blue bubbles against a white background.

These graphics evoke a clean, refreshed feeling…perfect for the product the Lasco fleet delivers.

SUGAR FOODS

Sun Valley, CA

DESIGNER: PEPERSICO CREATIVE GROUP

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: SIGNATURE GRAPHICS

Bright pink is not a color typically splashed across the sides of an over-the-road trailer, so it grabs attention right away. And while some may still refer to it as bubble-gum pink, it's a color the sugar-free consumer is more likely to associate with a packet of Sweet 'N Low, one of America's most popular sugar substitutes.

According to Chris Travisano, vp-marketing for Sugar Foods Corp., the new trailer graphics are part of a campaign to “re-define Sweet 'N Low's market share as America's favorite sweetener.”

Using a not-so-subliminal format, the phrase “America's Favorite,” is repeated three times in big, pale-pink block letters across the trailer. Printed smaller but brighter along the bottom is the directive to “Think Pink,” leading right into a picture of the familiar pink packet itself.

Complementing the trailer graphics are tractors painted a royal blue that matches the Sweet 'N Low logo on the packet itself.

Couldn't be sweeter.

HORTON INC.

Roseville, MN

DESIGNER: VERITAS MARKETING LLC

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: LOWEN COLOR GRAPHICS

MARKING MATERIALS: 3M SCOTCHPRINT VINYL

Can you imagine driving in high winds on the freeway when suddenly the metal frames holding your truck graphics become loose and fly off? This actually happened to a driver for Horton. Luckily the dislodged graphics landed in a ditch, not onto an approaching vehicle. The alarming event prompted Horton to abandon the mounted-frame graphics system it had been using.

In addition, the fleet had been unable to clean the winter salt, dirt and road debris imbedded in the graphic material without taking units out of service.

For a better solution, Horton turned to 3M, which recommended Scotchprint Graphics because they are easy to clean and adhere directly to the trailer. “The new graphics allow for exceptional reproduction of our signature polar bear and arctic tundra,” says Mary Bolan, Horton's director of marketing. “They're easy to clean, less expensive and most importantly, more dependable.”

WEST MARINE

Hollister, CA

DESIGNER:: VINCE ALLEN, IN-HOUSE

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: MODAGRAFICS

MARKING MATERIALS: AVERY NON-REFLECTIVE VINYL MPI; AVERY FT1000

When West Marine purchased new trailers recently, it decided to upgrade trailer graphics as well. So it was out with the old and into the drink.

Just one look makes it clear the new design does a great job of projecting the idea that boating is what West Marine is all about. The vivid blue water on the 53-ft. trailers is impossible to miss, and the bold white lettering of the West Marine logo puts the name of the company front and center.

By adding the highly visible tag line, “We make boating more fun!” the company conveys the message that West Marine “can supply everything you need for a fun day out on the water,” says Maria Brandon, manager of transportation.

The trailer graphics also help potential customers get more product information by providing a toll-free phone number and web address.

And the clean, sophisticated design is carried through to the tractor, which is painted a deep blue to match the trailer's water.

SPECIAL AWARD

SHELL LUBRICANTS

Houston, TX

DESIGNER: KERRY GROUP, ST. LOUIS, MO

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: CRAFTSMEN INDUSTRIES

MARKING MATERIALS: AVERY DENNISON VINYL

The title of the awards program is “Fleet Graphics,” but sometimes a one-off design also deserves special mention. This Shell Rotella tractor-trailer was created as a traveling showcase for the company's truck lubricants, bringing a mobile theater and product displays to truck shows throughout the country.

As impressive as this custom-made trailer is inside, the combination has also been carefully designed to foster the brand's quality image as it makes its way around the show circuit. Both tractor and trailer are painted in Rotella's signature blue, with liberal use of chrome and polished aluminum emphasizing the combo's traditional take on trucking.

Product packaging takes pride of place on the trailer, as it should to reinforce brand image, while the various applications for the company's heavy-duty lubricants are also highlighted with dramatic vehicle photos of construction and agricultural equipment, as well as heavy- and light-duty trucks.

All in all, Shell Rotella's designers have come up with a showcase of a show truck.

TAGS: News
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