Tasty Bus Builds a Brand Part 2

The Design Process

(Part 2)


Design by definition is art, and the process of developing the right design for your wrap is also an art, not a science. Part of this stems from the fact that early in the process most operators do not know what they want their food truck wrap to look like exactly. Many, if not most, have an idea about elements or, perhaps a feature, but envisioning the entire design before it is in front of you is hard, if not impossible, for most.


The reason for that is, while you might have certain elements in mind, it is critical to deal with the whole look and decide what it does for your brand which is easier said than done. The design process begins with two critical steps:


  • Measure the Food Truck – This can be critical due to the fact that dimensions of certain areas and built-in obstructions on the truck can impact the wrap significantly. If the designer has the dimensions and locations of all features of the truck it is much easier and more effective.


  • A Detailed Interview with the Operator – By understanding key elements such as logo’s, colors, food type and any special features along with general content that the operator is looking for, our designers are better able to understand what is critical to include.


This process generally allows the designer to achieve a look that is much closer to what the operator is looking for on the first draft. If you notice, I said first draft- that is because generally it takes 2-3 rounds of designs to achieve the balance and effectiveness of a great wrap that meets the goals of the operator and their brand, namely, a memorable visual experience that attracts customers and promotes your business.




Version 1






Version 2




Final Approved Design


A Few tips on Design for Food Trucks


  • Your design needs to work for those who are standing on line at your truck waiting for service and are viewing your menu


  • Your design also needs to work from 30’-50’ away as hungry patrons survey the landscape of a number of food trucks to decide which one they want to eat at


  • “A Picture tells a Thousand Words” – Like many famous sayings there is a core truth to this. It is human nature that information for most people is absorbed faster, easier and more effectively with images than words. Also, remember that your prospects are not typically viewing from up close to make the buying decision, so oversized images are generally more effective.


  • Be conscious of the colors you use; do they wash out in bright sun? Does the truck look top heavy or does it lack impact?


  • Don’t try and be a generalist serving all things to all people. First, it does not work and second, it is not what your customer is looking for in a food truck. They are actually looking for a specialist who will deliver an amazing bite of a specific type of cuisine.


  • Don’t be afraid to step outside the box with your design. Remember, you will be going head to head with others competing for the same food dollar. You need to stand out and draw those folks in


  • Keep an open mind when working with the designer. Remember, it is your truck and your food so the design has to reflect that, but it is advisable to listen to the designer because we do this every day and we know what is effective and what looks good writ large!


Finally, have patience when designing, it will pay off. When you see a version that you don’t like try and analyze it carefully. In reality, you probably are not fully satisfied with the entire look but there are likely elements you do like. Communicate that with the designer- it is very important that they understand what you like and what you don’t as they prepare the next iteration of what will be an award-winning design for your truck!


* Coming in 3 weeks’ part 3, production and installation


Jonathan Baltic is in business development at TCS, The Color Spot. He has over 30 years’ experience in branding for major corporations and municipalities all around the US and overseas and has been a highly sought after speaker and writer in a variety of industries on the subject of branding.


He can be reached at 678-385-2188 or  jonathanb@tcs.ink