Freitag

Design-a-truck

Hi! Welcome to the Something More blog.

We thought we’d use our first post to share some recent work we’ve done for Freitag’s 2015 Design-A-Truck contest (while conveniently using it as an opportunity to shamelessly plug our entry at the same time).

Crowd sourcing design is a bit divisive, but can sometimes provide a great opportunity to work on something a bit more unusual. We felt the chance here to have a truck design moving around Europe, that eventually got turned into something people wear was worth a punt.

We knocked a few ideas around and eventually landed on a couple of different approaches.

The first was built around the theme of just doing something fun and joyful – to create something that would make you smile if it drove past you in the street. Trucks are things that move, so we starting thinking around the idea of depicting something on a journey, flying down the motorway. We liked the thought that sometimes it’s the stupid things, like the Nyan Cat or Microsoft’s fire breathing unicorn, that work just because they don’t really make a lot of sense. They create weird characters that feel really iconic. So we asked how could we take the journey of a trucker and make it as daft as possible.

The result was a mix of random visually interesting things (like a lolly), but mixed in with a trucker theme; check shirts, caps, smoke- stacks, traffic cones and other motorway furniture.

One of the interesting challenges of the brief was to create something that would work successfully when big on a truck – but equally provide lots of interesting graphic elements when chopped up to make bags at the end of it’s life. This lead us down the path of creating a scene around the character where we could build in a rich variety of pattern and shape. We deliberately kept some areas quite bold and flat, while building in lots of detail to others, like the wood grain pin striping on the lolly stick. We liked the idea that people would be able to work back and tell which part of the image their bag came from.

The flip to night on the trucks alternate side was an easy way to create more graphic variety. Some of the switches are subtle beyond the point of anyone getting them, like the cats (there to reference to the cat’s eyes of a motorway). Here they sleep in the day scene, but are bright and alert at night. More importantly, the day/night cycle helped convey a sort of relentless, work-hard trucker spirit of always being on the go.

Thanks to Hungry Sandwich Club for help making it move.

Our second approach was a bit more of a homage to the world of freight-like graphics. Lots of repeating patterns, geometric shapes, bright colours and typography. We talked a lot about how well a copy route would work given that the truck was going to be moving through a lot of different countries, but in the end we justified it to ourselves that if we kept it short we might get away with it. Various trucker puns, phrases and quips went around the studio until one felt right.