See the photo gallery of the winning entries

Making the pitch

From our Editor's Choice to our honorable mention winner, this year's Fleet Owner Vehicle Graphics Awards winners run the gamut of graphic design. From driver recruitment pitches to the Sierra Mountains to anniversary celebrations, it's clear that fleets are finding more innovative ways than ever to utilize the space on their vehicles.

Whether a fleet runs a van, a straight truck, or a tractor-trailer, companies of every type can benefit from the visibility their vehicles offer. Be it brand recognition, public causes, or even hiring pitches, the available space on today's vehicles becomes just wasted space if it's not adorned with high-impact graphics.

So take a look through the following pages and see how this year's Fleet Owner 2011 Vehicle Graphics Awards finalists are using their trucks to better promote their brands.

EDITOR'S CHOICE

COMPANY: Roehl Transport

LOCATION: Marshfield, WI

DESIGNER: Sartori Creative, Wausau, WI

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Signature Graphics, Porter, IN

MARKING MATERIALS: 3M

Drivers want to drive the best equipment — that's a fact. So what's the best way to recruit the top drivers for that equipment? How about using that equipment as a rolling job recruitment advertisement? That's exactly what Roehl Transport has done with 25 trailers in its fleet of over 2,000.

Roehl has incorporated the catchphrase “Experience the Power of Red” on all the units amid several recruitment pitches. On its refrigerated fleet, the slogan is paired with the saying, “Hot Jobs, Haul Cool with Roehl” along with snappy graphics that include fire under the words “Hot Jobs” and ice dripping down from the top of the trailer over the words “Haul Cool.”

“The bold designs demand attention and preserve the paint underneath the graphic to maximize the trailer value at the end of the program,” says Cindy Faber, director of the driver employment center.

On its dry vans, prospective drivers are encouraged to “Think outside the box,” and to understand that “The difference is like night and day” when driving for Roehl versus another company. But perhaps most appealing for many drivers is a fourth graphic with pictures of the presidents along with the saying, “Get to know these guys better with our Sign-on Bonus.”

Each graphic includes the goroehl.com website address and phone number prominently displayed.

COMPANY: City of Lake Worth, FL

LOCATION: Lake Worth, FL

DESIGNER: Joseph S. Kroll, director of public services

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Expose Yourself, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

MARKING MATERIALS: NA

When your name is Lake Worth and you reside in Florida, clean is definitely the image you wish to project. That's exactly what the city of Lake Worth is trying to do with a new graphics package. One of the city's trucks has been wrapped with an environmental theme designed to promote clean waterways and a pollutant-free society. On the side of the truck is the phrase, “City of Lake Worth, where the tropics begin.” The cab is painted to depict a natural habitat. On the back of the vehicle is a saying that identifies the real reason for the design: “Keeping the Lake Worth Lagoon clean & beautiful.”

“The goal is to make the public aware of how important it is to keep our waterways clean and free of pollutants as the city moves forward,” says Joseph S. Kroll, director of public services. “The graphics show these benefits. The results will be a greener and cleaner environment for all to enjoy.”

Even the “Keep back 50 ft.” notification on the back of the vehicle seems to work as part of the overall design.

— whether it's to stay back of the vehicle or the lagoon, it's good advice either way.

COMPANY: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

LOCATION: Chico, CA

DESIGNER: Jason Roberson, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Modagrafics, Rolling Meadows, IL

MARKING MATERIALS: Avery Supercast MPI 1005

Sit down for a sip of a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and let your mind wander to a pristine image of the Sierra Mountains. That's the image that the private fleet for the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. wants you to have the next time you see one of its trucks on the highway.

The company adorned the sides of 14 trailers with the images of fresh hops peacefully growing in front of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to remind passing motorists of just how good its products are. Joined by the tagline “Purest ingredients. Finest quality,” the trailers leave you yearning to quickly get home and enjoy the finest products Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has to offer.

Each trailer has a dark green front, perfectly matching one of the 12 tractors pulling the rolling billboards, raising both the product recognition and improving the appearance of the company's vehicles for the next seven years.

COMPANY: Kraft Foods — Bull's-Eye

LOCATION: Madison, WI

DESIGNER: Chicago Draft FCB, Chicago, IL

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Modagrafics, Rolling Meadows, IL

MARKING MATERIALS: Avery Supercast 1005

No, that truck you see did not just get shot up by a bunch of renegades. It's the Bull's-Eye truck from Kraft Foods. “The idea behind the initial design is to inform consumers that the type of barbecue sauce that you choose says a lot about the type of person you are,” says Michael Cole, senior director-transportation, for Kraft Foods. “Bull's-Eye barbecue sauce is for bold people. Make the bold choice. We hope the design will build consumer awareness about our four new bold flavors across the country.”

Kraft's intent is clearly conveyed through the “Make the Bold Choice” slogan traversing the trailer and the “holes” throughout the sides and rear of the trailer, undoubtedly placed there by that giant red bull just dying to bust out and deliver his bold barbecue flavor to your next outing. The design is currently on 15 trailers.

COMPANY: Golden Flake Snack Foods

LOCATION: Birmingham, AL

DESIGNER: Jamie Jackson, Golden Flake Snack Foods

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Modagrafics, Rolling Meadows, IL

MARKING MATERIALS: 3M

Pull up behind that Golden Flake cheese curls and puffs truck and just see all the good stuff inside. That's exactly the visual drivers are left with when they are behind one of Golden Flake's vehicles; rear door graphics are “filled” with boxes of the company's popular snack foods. Also prominent on the vehicle is the company's clown mascot holding an American flag and reminding people to buckle up for safety.

The vehicles use reflective material to add visibility at night and call attention to the trucks. Huge, oversized cheese curls and puffs decorate the side of the trucks as well as the company's trailers, just inviting passing motorists to crunch away.

Golden Flake has also decorated other vehicles with images of their multiple styles of potato chips, including their “sweet heat” barbecue chips and their “dip style” chips. In all, the graphic display creates a lasting image for the customers while leaving no doubt what Golden Flake is all about for new customers.

COMPANY: Virginia Linen Service Inc.

LOCATION: Petersburg, VA

DESIGNER: Bridget Marshall, director of marketing, Virginia Linen Service Inc.

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Lowen Graphics, Hutchinson, KS

MARKING MATERIALS: 3M 1J-180Cv3-10 white/3M Scotchlite Reflective

How to celebrate 75 years? That's what Virginia Textile Service was tasked with as it approached its 75th year in business. The company decided to make its fleet of three tractors, three trailers, and one straight truck, look just like its products — linen. Using its signature color orange for brand identification, Virginia Textile created a checkerboard pattern on its trailers with orange and white boxes for maximum visibility and recognition. Each of the checkers feature a linen texture that refers back to the company's main service — linen rental.

With its name and website prominently displayed, the checkers serve as a perfect tool to bring attention to the company and its 75th anniversary logo, strategically located both near the rear of the trailer and on the back roll-up door.

According to the company, this is the first time it has used vinyl graphics on its trailer.

COMPANY: Arco

LOCATION: Phoenix, AZ

DESIGNER: BP West Coast Fuels marketing team

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Classic Stripes, Milwaukee, WI

MARKING MATERIALS: Avery Dennison T-1500 reflective

Creating one image. That's what Arco, a part of global energy provider BP, is doing with its West Coast fleet. The redesign of 58 tandem units and four 43-ft. tankers is underway to more closely associate the vehicles with the branding on the company's more than 1,300 Arco-branded retail sites in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona.

The tractors are blue and white and the trailers include a solid blue strip running down the side, offset nicely by the clean shine of the tank. Along with the company's name and logo, one simple phrase sums up what Arco is all about: “Straight up gas.”

In addition to all the necessary safety warnings that are common on tankers, you will find reflective markings along the sides and back of the trailer. Since the early 1970s, Arco has considered itself a vital part of America's history. The design of the trucks reflects its heritage while reiterating what the company is all about: gas.

COMPANY: Wrigley Mars Van Team

LOCATION: New York, NY

DESIGNER: Robert Millan, Wrigley Sales, Chicago, IL

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Modagrafics, Rolling Meadows, IL

MARKING MATERIALS: Avery Supercast

Snickers, M&M's, Starburst, Skittles, Extra gum, Twix, and Lifesavers are all represented on more than 40 vans decorated by the Wrigley Mars company to celebrate its iconic brands. Each van is completely covered bumper to bumper in one of the company's products. Whether it's the green M&M, or the chocolate-caramel combination of a Twix bar, these vans, which deliver directly to stores, reinforce the identity of each product. On some vans, multiple products are displayed. To maintain individual brand identity, the vans are painted in the color that best represents the product. With eye-popping graphics and mouth-watering images, the vehicles “show we care about our image and maintain a clean fleet,” says Shane Mellow, national broker manager.

The graphics are expected to last three to five years.

COMPANY: Johnsonville Trucking

LOCATION: Sheboygan Falls, WI

DESIGNER: Anthony Rammer, creative director-brand communications, Johnsonville Sausage

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Signature Graphics, Porter, IN

MARKING MATERIALS: 3M 180 Plus and 680 CR

Welcome to Tastyville! It's that little place where sausages taste just a little bit better, a little more flavorful. That's the message that Johnsonville Sausage is trying to get across with its private fleet. Nineteen of the company's trailers include a full wrap with mouth-watering pictures of fresh sausages with just two simple words adorning the sides of each trailer: Johnsonville paired with either Tastyville or Flavorville.

No matter which side of the trailer you see, the phrasing and images align perfectly with the company's national ad campaign. “We have always paid attention to utilize the moving billboards that are our trailers,” says Gary Roshe, fleet operations coordinator.

A side benefit for the company is trailer resale value. Because the units are completely wrapped, the white paint beneath is protected, improving trade-in value. The addition of 200 sq. ft. of reflective material improves the overall safety of the fleet.

COMPANY: Noble Oil Services Inc.

LOCATION: Sanford, NC

DESIGNER: Signature Graphics, Porter, IN

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Signature Graphics

MARKING MATERIALS: 3M 680 series reflective

Looking to improve its image and brand recognition, Noble Oil Services turned to a sleek new design that incorporates a contemporary look with a crisp, shiny metallic tank offset by a sharp white cab. Black lines seamlessly run from the cab through the tank of the company's straight trucks, eventually meeting up with an overlay of three “oil droplets” forming a perfect circle. The fresh, white paint job on the cab, coupled with the bright metallic tank, provide a clean look to the vehicle and leave a positive impression of the company as a whole.

The company name is plainly visible, as is the phone number on the back of the vehicle. The design was introduced this year and is currently on five vehicles, with 12 more planned for later this year.

HONORABLE MENTION

COMPANY: Fair Oaks Farms

LOCATION: Fair Oaks, IN

DESIGNER: Signature Graphics, Porter, IN

GRAPHICS SUPPLIER: Signature Graphics

MARKING MATERIALS: 3M 180C-12

A special mention needs to be made of the Fair Oaks Farms bus. While the company operates 25 tanker trailers hauling milk and cheese, it's the company's two buses that caught the attention of the judges. Decorated in a typical cow pattern from front to back, the buses are used to transport children to the company's farm so they can learn more about the operations of the dairy.

In addition to creating brand identity for the farm, the coloring and patterns on the buses help hide the dirt that inevitably appears while transporting children through a working dairy farm.

Fair Oaks is owned by the Bos, den Dulk, McCloskey, Schakel, and Van Ravenswaay families. It produces butter, milk, ice cream and cheese products.