Now that you understand why your food truck design matters more than ever, you might be wondering if you need external help or a designer and where you will find one. Unless you are a graphic designer, this isn’t something you should attempt on your own. You want your truck design, logo, branding, color scheme, website, social media, and more to be cohesive. This is where the experts come in.
Consider hiring a professional and although this will cost you more than an amateur, but the results will be worth it. Interview graphic designers and ask them about not only creating your logo and food truck design but putting together a cohesive branding package for you. Ask the designer if they have experience with custom car/truck wraps and if they currently work with a skilled printer.
However, if spending so much money isn’t part of your game plan, you can always hire an amateur like a design student or freelancer. Just remember to also ask the same questions you asked the professional designer. You want this person to have some experience with large, custom graphics and especially vehicle wraps.
Finally, when working out your food truck design, you want to think about the message you want to convey. What feeling do you want your visitors to walk away with? Note that this extends past your food to the design of your food truck.
You want your food truck, logo, and colors to stand out to the customers. You want your presentation to be memorable, and something your customers won’t forget. You are after a food truck design that sticks with the customer long after they have left.
In a crowded food truck park, it often doesn’t matter which truck has the best food, especially because often they all have great food. Therefore to stand out from the competition, your truck is expected to be attention-grabbing, clean, and design-rich. Draw attention, grab the customers’ curiosity, and entice them with your food so you are the busiest food truck in the park.
A food truck is more or less a rolling billboard, so it is critical to get the design right, even if that means investing more money up front. Notably, your food truck’s design will become the basis for your branding efforts. Your colors, logo, and overall vibe will be what your customers come to associate with your food, so the design is about more than just attracting hungry diners. Here are top factors to consider when designing your food truck;
Important Factors to Consider When Designing Your Food Truck
Although you may very well spend the majority of your time in one spot, you can’t neglect how your truck will look in other situations. When you are driving on the highway, will people still get a positive image of your brand? Have it in mind that the little drive time provides valuable advertising opportunities.
Experts note that vehicle wraps can create between 30,000 and 70,000 impressions in a day. While that number is likely for wraps that are on the road all day, your truck will still catch eyes in between setups, so it needs to look good.
Note that the most critical concern is that your truck’s design shouldn’t be marred by things like opening the doors or the service window. If your design creates unintended imagery or blocks vital information like your logo or text, it isn’t working as well for you as it should be. Remember that all of these elements should be visible and clear at all times, whether you are set up for business or have closed up shop for the day. Design with all configurations in mind.
Vinyl Wraps vs. Paint
Right before you find a designer, you will also have to make the decision of whether you want to use vinyl wraps or paint for the outside of your truck. Vinyl wraps are more popular because they make it easier to get a precise design and can take advantage of graphics. Nonetheless, wraps are more costly, so you will need to keep that in mind if you are on a budget.
Another option is to do a mix of the two. This can be accomplished by painting your truck a solid color and then adding vinyl stickers that feature your logo or other images. This will save you money while still giving you the opportunity to design an eye-catching truck.
Have it in mind that color psychology plays into marketing by identifying and appealing to peoples’ associations with certain colors. For instance, many consumers find red colors to be bold and create a sense of urgency, so many restaurants choose red. Also, yellow is often optimistic and creative, but some consider it cheap. Read up on color theories and see if you can use them to your advantage when selecting brand and graphics colors.
Apart from color, look for other aspects that can influence the customers’ emotions. After all, much of marketing is about making people feel a specific emotion. Are you stationed outside of a ballpark, where you want customers to feel the all-American vibes of your classic-recipe hot dog truck? Are you hitting the farmer’s market crowd, where freshness and local ingredients are aspects they value? Try to work with those characteristics in your designs.
Note that an all-American design might feature red-and-white stripes or a pattern that looks like the stitching in a baseball. If you are appealing to people who like fresh food, then choose to focus on enticing, crisp images and green colors. Use the things your customers value to elicit certain feelings and positive associations with your food.
Food trucks mostly end up in environments where people see them from far away, like festivals and city streets. Therefore, designs with large fonts and imagery are much easier for people to see from a distance. In addition, most of the readability of a sign comes down to several characteristics of its text — namely the height, color, and font.
Large lettering is easier to see, especially if it is located high up on the truck. Note that one way to really boost your visibility in this aspect is to use 3D lettering atop the truck. With a more traditional 2D design, large letters are always a wonderful idea. In terms of font, consider big and bold styles that are easy to read. Small, ornate styles could be too difficult for many people to read, especially those with low vision.
Text isn’t the only element that needs to be sized up for your food truck. Have it in mind that images also need to be seen far and wide, whether they are illustrations or photos. Showcasing your menu is great, but don’t overcrowd the truck with pictures of every dish. Just decide a select few to show off in high-resolution imagery.
Also, don’t forget that color will play a role in how legible your text is from far away. High contrast ensures that readers can differentiate your text from the background and that it is particularly readable for people with low vision.
Note that colors like blue on white, white on black, and black on yellow create high-contrast combinations. Check out the guide created by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) to see more options. According to the OAAA, designs with high color contrast improve outdoor advertising recall by 38%, so it is worth paying attention to.
Whether you are stationed on a busy street or at a festival or fair, bright colors can make your food truck stand out against the background. They should also, of course, match your food and brand. Always remember that the color of a food truck wrap will influence the associations that customers have with your food.
For example, a bright green truck might invoke images of freshness and plant-based foods, while a neon color could be fun and vibrant for something with a retro feel. Whatever theme your restaurant has, your colors should support it.
Also note that bold colors are necessary, and part of being bold means being decisive about your color choices. Don’t use a rainbow of colors that overwhelm the viewer as too many colors can clash and don’t offer a strong match to your brand identity. Instead, select a few colors that work well together and are a part of your overall look. If you choose your colors well, you can turn your food truck into an excellent display of your brand’s image.
Your logo will also be a big part of branding your truck. Will you use a visual representation of your name? Or, will you show off the food you are selling with your logo? Furthermore, these questions will help guide the direction of your branding efforts. If you are looking to cater weddings with your truck, perhaps a more classic, upscale logo that simply showcases your name would be best.
Meanwhile, if you are looking to stand out in a busy city, your logo should be fun and can definitely be edgy. You should also note that the font used for your logo should be legible. You don’t want to fall in love with a font that no one can read.
Food Truck Floor Plan ideas and Tips to Consider
Health and Safety Regulations
No matter where you are in the journey towards owning a food truck, it is important that you develop a clear understanding of everything that can influence your decisions. To guarantee that your business operates safely and legally, take extra care to adhere to your local health and safety codes. Failure to do so can result in your business being fined or even shut down.
The length and width of your truck have a large impact on how you choose to organize the layout and everything in it. No matter what size your truck is, you will be presented with the challenge of fitting all the equipment you need into a limited space. According to Marco Novo from Chef Units, the most common food truck sizes are 14 feet, 16 feet, and 22 feet.
If you want to design a food truck floor plan by yourself, consider the food truck equipment you need to buy and the unique space you will be working in. You can cater to the space you are working with by mapping it out and designating specific zones for equipment based on the truck’s dimensions. For instance, remember that you can take advantage of the vertical space of your food truck by buying a combi oven, shelving, and hanging racks.
Outfitting a food truck kitchen for business is more like designing a commercial kitchen for a new restaurant. You are expected to designate areas for cooking, chilling, storing, and serving. And since a food truck is much smaller than most restaurant kitchens, you will have to utilize every inch of space.
Owing to the size and style of a food truck, there are only a few layouts that can be considered. Normally, both sides of the truck are lined with items, and there may be something across the back, as well. But you are expected to have adequate room for the employees to move around, so the equipment has to fit the space very well and be efficient,too.
Food truck design is indeed dependent on how you want customers to feel when they see your truck. Note that after you have been around for a while, they will start to associate your colors and logo with the delicious food they crave.
It is necessary to incorporate these themes into your website and social media too. Don’t be afraid to get creative as this will earn you extra points with diners. Starting a food truck can be overwhelming at times, but when you see your vision come to life, you will realize how much of a difference a well thought out design can make.