A business owner recently told me he was planning to start selling his product without any branding or graphic design work. I hope he was going to place his business name on a sign, business card or menu!
Then, last week I was lunching in the Exchange Place area and couldn’t help but notice the line-up of food trucks on both sides of the street. One of the trucks was painted all white with no branding, only a chalkboard outside the truck with the name and menu written out.
I understand what it’s like for a new business. You feel you have a great product and can’t wait to share it and begin earning. However, if I’m enjoying your food and want to tell people about it by word of mouth, in a blog or on social media, it’s going to be next to impossible to remember you if your truck has no branding.
The food truck industry is all about the branding and those really cool graphics that cover every inch of that truck.
In Jersey City, we have events all the time served by food trucks. Everyone becomes familiar with the many brands of food these businesses sell. People spread the word about the food they really like and where they got it. Whether it’s at a park opening, music event or outdoor fair, you’ll always find these trucks lined up and ready to entice.
At the last Hoboken Arts & Music Festival, there were countless food vendors, some under tents, others out of trucks. These vendors’ friendly graphic designs, along with their delicious offerings, make a tremendous difference when competing for our business.
I was really impressed with the truck designs at that Hoboken festival, and, since next week Jersey City is having its first Food Truck Festival with over thirty vendors, I thought I’d tell you about some of my favorites. Not just the branding and graphics, of course, but the food too!
Here are some well-branded food trucks with oh, so delicious food:
Sherri’s Crabcake Sandwich has a very large bold serif typeface, reddish orange like a crab, with a navy outline on white. It’s immediately readable. On either side is a graphic of a crab. It’s very clear on their displays and truck what they are selling. And it’s delicious!
One thing that is unusual is the logo type at the top of their website doesn’t say “Sherri’s,” only “Crabcake Sandwich.” They felt this was the most important part of their branding and wanted it as large across the top as possible. Their website is clearly organized with photographs of their booth, food truck and the crabcakes. Lower down on the page we finally see the complete wordmark/logo for “Sherri’s Crab Cakes” but in a different font, with a video about their product and happy customers at events.
The Flying Pie Guy, an Australian company, has an old–fashioned style logo and graphics as if from the late 19th century. The graphic used is a gentleman with a tray of pies. In a sea of food trucks and tents, their bright yellow and blue stands out, not just because of the colors, but the unique styling.
What makes this a winning food item is it’s the cutest, most delicious pie and easy to hold and eat. It comes in assorted meat, chicken and vegetarian flavors. All the pies are handmade and baked right on the truck.
incrediBALLS. What more can you do to advertise your product than design the food truck with your name across the side as large as possible? The logo type is white and black on a bright orange background. At first I thought, given the name, that they only served meat. But I was happy to see on their menu chicken and vegetarian dishes as well.
Mordi’s. Although I haven’t sampled Mordi’s, I do want to point out their nicely designed logo and food truck. They also use a friendly red, orange and yellow combination. The logo type is sans-serif with simple caps. Surrounding the name, top and bottom is a graphic design indicating a hero sandwich with the name in the center. All of this is within a red circle. The rest of the food truck is covered with an illustrated kitchen utensils pattern.
Milk Sugar Love. In their branding, Milk Sugar Love employs two different renditions of the company name. On their website and ice cream packaging is a heavy sans-serif typeface in upper and lower case, with the three words together as one, in brown and a little pink heart over the “i” of “Milk.”
On the food truck itself and social media pages, we see a lovely script in brown which again uses the pink heart. It is placed under the side window toward the front of the truck. On either side of the order window are a large ice cream cone graphic and type that says, “Jersey City’s Organic Ice Cream.” Across the bottom are sprinkles, and the front of the truck’s background is brown with the graphics reversed. Very stylish, smart design—and great ice cream too!
Amandas Bananas. The first thing that attracted my eye was the jungle-rainforest food truck design with monkeys eating bananas. As I approached to place my order, I noticed a sign that says, “Yes, It’s Really a Banana.”
The logo letterforms are like bamboo sticks in yellow, red and a dark green thin outline. The type is a bit hard to read, and could be simpler. But they have definitely have cornered the market on bananas that are served like ice cream!
The Green Radish. Healthy green is the background color of this food truck with simply designed vegetable graphics floating across the side of the truck. The logo type is a thin sans-serif in a friendly font. The overall design is clean and simple and gives you the impression the food will be too.
I had a delicious wrap with assorted vegetables, but just be careful—it can be a bit messy. As you chow down, the other end could be a bit drippy from the juices.
Food Truck Festival Vendors, Jersey City at Exchange Place, Saturday, August 6, 2016.
- Jersey Johnny’s
- House of Cupcakes
- Incrediballs Food Truck
- El Lechon de Negron
- Milk Sugar Love
- Empanada Lady
- The Cow and Curd
- Bro-Ritos Food Truck
- Callahan’s Hot Dogs
- Gut Busters
- Zinna’s Eats
- Maddalena’s Cheesecake
- Luigi’s Ice Cream
- The Angry Crab
- Fork in the Road
- The Green Radish
- Bearded Pigs BBQ
- Borinquen Flavor
- Aroy-D The Thai Elephant
- Kona Ice of East Essex
- My Hola Paella
- No Pão
- Mannino’s Cannoli Express
- Jimmy Dawn’s
- Madame Pearl’s Liege Waffles
- Eat My Balls Food Truck
- Mobile Mardi Gras
- Ahh la cart
- Carnival Consessions
- ONLY 1 PLACE
- Mexi-Flip Taco Truck
- Soda City
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