The goal of vehicle graphics — be they simple logos or elaborate full-truck wraps — is to establish brand identification and create positive impressions that consumers will remember long after the truck has passed them by. The good news is that surveys conducted by both the ATA and graphics manufacturers have proved without a doubt that consumers do notice truck graphics and feel very strongly that this advertising medium creates a positive image for the carrier.

National Van Lines
Broadview, IL

DESIGNER: Modagrafics, Rolling Meadows, IL
GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Modagrafics, Rolling Meadows, IL

This year's top pick for outstanding vehicle graphics is a whale of a choice. Viewers of these sharp, colorful images get the feeling they are actually witnessing whales in their natural environment, the graphics look so realistic. Notice, too, how the color used on the Kenworth tractor matches the graphics background, creating continuity in the design.

National Van Lines is the exclusive transportation company for all North American projects being developed by the Wyland Foundation for ocean conservation. The vehicle graphics are intended to promote National's involvement in protecting the marine environment, while increasing public awareness of the National Van Lines name. The trailer's rear graphics illustrate original artwork drawn by children participating in a promotional program implemented in 2000 by National Van Lines and Wyland to increase children's awareness of the importance of protecting our oceans. The promotion called for a National Van Lines trailer to stop and visit as many elementary schools in the 50 states as it could in 50 days.

Commonwealth Wine and Spirits, LLC
Louisville, KY

DESIGNER: Steve McCracken, Future Brands, Chicago, IL
GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Lowen Color Graphics, Hutchinson, KS
MARKING MATERIALS: 3M reflective and non-reflective

They like their bourbon in Louisville, and distributor Commonwealth Wine and Spirits has teamed up with Future Brands to remind the city that Knob Creek bourbon is the toast of the town.

Applied to four of the fleet's delivery trucks assigned to routes in Louisville, the new graphics are proving that trucks make powerful advertising vehicles — the campaign has boosted sales of Knob Creek 20%, according to warehouse manager Fred Hayden.

Encouraged by the success of the Knob Creed program, the fleet has begun similar vehicle advertising campaigns on its other 22 delivery trucks.

Holland, MI

DESIGNER: Signature One Design, Grand Rapids, MI
GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Signature Graphics, Porter, IN

The new graphics on Haworth's private fleet are an extension of the company's recent re-design of sales materials and product packaging. It's all part of the office furniture company's effort to “deliver a consistent message” in creating the kind of brand identity that could give it a competitive advantage.

The 3-D effect makes you feel that you could sit right down at the work station and use the laptop. Sophisticated, neutral tones suggest a modern business environment, and the use of a bright red accent piece helps get your attention in the first place.

A contemporary logo design provides the finishing touch to these sleek trailer graphics.

Kraft Pizza Co.
Glenview, IL

DESIGNER: In-house marketing services
GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Modagraphics, Rolling Meadows, IL

We'd be surprised if drivers of the over 200 Kraft Pizza Co. trucks now adorned with these mouth-watering graphics don't have hungry motorists following them home for a slice or two.

Logos and product shots of Kraft's various frozen pizza brands — including TombStone, DiGiornio and California Pizza Kitchen — are displayed appetizingly on the fleet of leased reefer trucks.

Indeed, according to fleet manager Tim Griffin, the fresh graphics were designed specifically “to incorporate a new and stronger brand identity and product packaging along with enhanced ‘appetite-appeal’ photography across every consumer touchpoint.”

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co.
Boston, MA

DESIGNER: Excel Graphics, Whitestown, IN

The standout logo of the Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. — punctuated by the visual pun of red and green traffic lights — is among the most recognizable symbols in New England, where the chain operates.

Recognizing that, Stop & Shop made full use of the sides of the trailer, rear trailer door, cab doors and cab-roof fairing to display the store's powerful brand to motorists. And to enhance highway safety, at night the black lettering glows white when light reflects off it. The new graphics appear on over 300 tractors, more than 800 dry-van trailers and over 300 reefer trailers.

Wayne-Dalton Corp.
Mt. Hope, OH

DESIGNER: Inhouse with SBC Advertising, Westerville, OH
GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Signature Graphics, Porter, IN

Who left the garage door open? Wayne-Dalton wants its trucks to remind everyone that its garage doors and electric openers make it easy to keep that new Corvette warm and out of sight.

Rolling out a major marketing effort for its new “idrive” line of openers, Wayne-Dalton decided to support that program by updating the graphics on its private fleet of 145 van trailers and 10 straight trucks.

The new graphics, with their eye-catching glimpse into WD's rolling “garage,” are viewed by thousands of people, according to the company's marketing manager Marjorie Emerick, making them “cost-effective advertising” as well as upgrading the fleet's looks. Prominently displayed contact information makes it easy for customers to reach the company.

Jack Becker Distributors Inc.
Jacksonville, FL

DESIGNER: Signature Graphics, Porter, IN
GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Signature Graphics

The eight tractor-trailers operated by Jack Becker Distributors Inc. carry a bold graphic message — created in the wake of Sept. 11 — that salutes both the United States with its waving Old Glory and Statue of Liberty at one end and the industries that the company supplies with various lubricant products on the other.

President Duane Rowland points out that the firm, which is owned by an 81-year-old disabled WWII vet, charged its vehicle-graphics supplier with coming up with “a visible durable, affordable system to communicate our company and personal values of honesty, loyalty and determination.”

Shamrock Environmental Corp.
Browns Summit, NC

DESIGNER: Industrial Sign & Graphics, Charlotte, NC
GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Industrial Sign & Graphics
MARKING MATERIALS: 3M Controltac, 3M Scotchprint

Think Green! Although this billboard provides a lot to absorb at 60 mph, the message of the many products and services the environmental company has to offer stands out. The predominance of the color green and the repetition of shamrocks throughout the design are key components to quickly establishing brand recognition for the company.

The fleet graphics, says James McGroarty, president and CEO of Shamrock Environmental, reflects the company's mission, which is a professional approach to any environmental concern, be it hazardous waste management or emergency response services. McGroarty points out that the company uses state-of-the-art equipment and technology, with a solution-oriented goal. Three trailers and one straight truck feature the new decals. “The graphics are most fully appreciated by viewers when the vehicles are stationary at job site locations,” he says.

Coastal Industries
Jacksonville, FL

DESIGNER: Signature Graphics, Porter, IN
GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Signature Graphics

Earlier this year Coastal Industries introduced new trailer graphics that grab your attention and calm you down at the same time. The company's clean, contemporary logo and detailed photos of its products are a striking contrast to the soothing blue background. Multiple shades of blue in a wavelike pattern suggest the water that ties into Coastal Industries' “bath enclosure” products.

For the front portion of the trailer, the focus is on corporate identity, with the logo, company name and web site very visible to the viewing public. The theme continues onto the trailer doors, where the logo, name and web site are repeated.

Through a careful balance of color, visual graphics and type, Coastal Industries' new trailer graphics draw the driving public's attention to their products with a clean, sleek design.

Everfresh Beverages
Melrose Park, IL

DESIGNER: Signature Graphics, Porter, IN
GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Signature Graphics

The Everfresh Beverages fleet just got its new look in May. With vibrant colors and crystal-clear images used to introduce consumers to National Beverage Corp.'s ClearFruit beverage line, the vehicle graphics are a refreshing sight on the road.

ClearFruit, says Andy Paulson, brand manager, was test-marketed in the North East during the summer of 2000 using a marked van and trailer that supplied samples of the product to retailers. “ClearFruit truck graphics,” he notes, “started as a small project. ClearFruit was a fairly young brand for National Beverage and needed the benefit of a highly visible, mobile billboard to market it. The graphics attracted consumers to stop by to taste the product.”

The ClearFruit van and trailer proved so effective as a sales tool that graphics were subsequently created for more of the company's beverage trucks.