9 Tips for Designing a Food Truck Wrap
Food trucks = happiness on wheels.
There’s nothing more original than a simple idea executed flawlessly. The concept of a food truck is beautifully simple and creates incredible value by bringing food to where the people are! Yeah, the concept of mobile food vendors has been around for a while, but the food truck revolution is somewhat new. Obviously, the best element of a successful food truck is the delicious food, but, an important and complementary feature of a good food truck is the way it looks. Creating a visually engaging food truck wrap is not too difficult, but when there are endless possibilities, it can be overwhelming! Here’s a list of 9 tips for designing a food truck wrap for you to consider if you’re taking on this exciting endeavor.
Keep it simple, stupid!
Sorry for calling you out like that but this is a hard truth that people need to understand. Overwhelming your audience with lots of words and crazy imagery is never a good idea, so stick to established design principles that make your brand instantly recognizable.
Functionality is one of the most necessary components of a food truck. Literally every single thing within the truck must be for a specific purpose, otherwise, it’s just a waste of space. Think of the food truck graphics in the same way. Avoid putting text and important imagery over serving windows, exhaust vents, door handles, etc…
Use Contrasting and Complementary Colors
If you don’t know or understand the concepts behind color theory, take some time to read about it. Did you know that you can change someone’s mood with certain colors? Complimentary and contrasting color schemes will help your wrap design to stand out. Keep the first two tips at the top of your mind, though. Overwhelming your audience can have unintentional consequences.
Create Your Design with Vector-based Art
Vector graphics are great to work with because they can scale up to huge sizes without becoming pixelated and blurry. Adobe Illustrator is one of the best tools for creating vector artwork, although there are other tools available.
Outline Fonts and Expand Strokes in Final Artwork Files
Your final vehicle wrap design will probably include a call-to-action and may be in a custom font to fit your aesthetic. Before you send off your final design files for printing, make sure that you outline all fonts and expand the strokes of all design elements. This ensures that there will be no errors when the artwork is printed full scale.
Base the Design off the Actual Food Truck
Food trucks are almost always custom-built to accommodate all the necessary appliances needed for serving food in remote settings. This means that there (most likely) will not be an accurate design template to work from so make sure you have good photos and measurements of the actual truck you’re creating the design for.
Utilize Negative Space
Negative space is the parts of a design that are left intentionally bare or empty. Including empty space within your design, in a way, gives your design room to “breathe”. It allows the viewer to easily interpret and understand your advertisement which enables the message to stick.
There is nothing wrong with going online to search for food truck wrap designs for inspiration for your own wrap design. This tip isn’t saying to copy another designer’s work, which is wrong. In fact, it really is a great way to get out of a design rut.
Design for the Brand
Graphic designers know a thing or two about branding, especially the visual aspect of creating a cohesive brand identity. This tip is just a reminder that a food truck design is just one part of a whole brand. Keep font choices as similar as possible to other branding assets as well as similar spot colors and imagery.