Ok, let’s be honest. What Bay Area resident doesn’t love food trucks? They’re cheap, tasty, and offer huge gastronomic variety. But with so many to choose from, and what seems like a dozen new trucks popping up each week, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So I’m here to offer you the easy solution: the age old “judge a book by its cover” (or, if you prefer, “judge a wine by its label”) technique. Here’s a quick round-up of my favorite local food truck designs.
Regular office trips to The Chairman have become a tradition here at Noise, and it’s no secret that this truck satisfies both our stomachs and our eyes. The design is a modern take on Chinese propaganda posters, and I only wish they could have kept their original name to match. I’m also pleasantly surprised by the bold Off the Grid truck graphics, where the giant type chooses not to “work around” the food service windows that other trucks might consider a constraint.
Both Casey’s Pizza and Skylite Snowballs keep it simple — and do a really good job. The majority of their truck bodies are a single color, with a touch of well-designed typography in only the necessary places. Each one has a bit of vintage flair as well (and the adorable boxiness and mini-ness of the Skylite truck doesn’t hurt, either).
Alas, the Brunch Box is no more (reinvented briefly into Bandit, and now Fogcutter), but I just love the over-the-top illustration that envelops the entire truck. Luckily, the newly-named truck still sports the SF victorians and pimp rooster, but I do miss the old typographic logo treatment. The Old World Truck also boasts all-over illustrations, with a sketchier style that even extends to their social media icons. (Bonus: check out this video on the making of the Old World Truck.) What makes both of these trucks work is the limited color palette; just imagining them in a full rainbow gives me a mild seizure.
One way I’ve noticed food trucks distinguishing themselves is with interesting materials that go beyond the standard graphic wrap. Ebbett’s Good to Go is reminiscent of old “woodie” automobiles, with charming wood paneling surrounding the service window, adding dimension and character. The Treatbot Truck, meanwhile, has the super hero ability of disappearing into its environment with its mirrored panels. Just pray that it’s not driving next to you on a sunny day!
Taking customization a step further, these food “trucks” use unexpected and unique vehicles to serve up their goodies. Eat le Truc not only cooks in their converted school bus, but also has a small seating area inside where guests can enjoy their grub. And I’m totally smitten with El Sur’s vintage 1970 Citroen H-Van, which was shipped to the Bay Area (by way of New Jersey for restoration) all the way from France! But perhaps the most impressive “truck” of the bunch is the Del Popolo behemoth — a shipping container converted to a mobile, glass-encased, wood-burning pizza oven. In a word: wow.
photos found here
Though not technically a truck, we’re still big fans of the little coffee cart right around the corner from our office. The friendly folks at Papa November serve up sips featuring Stumptown coffee, as well as delectable homemade baked goods. (You must try their nutella pound cake with espresso glaze.) Their darling silver trailer also sports an ingenious signage solution: they cross-stitched their logo onto the shade in the service window. So clever and beautiful!
photo by Gammanine
Of course, I can’t write a post about food trucks without plugging our own client, Tres Truck. We had a complete blast working with the folks at Tres Tequila Lounge & Mexican Kitchen, collaborating to create a playful luchadores-inspired design. Follow them on Twitter to find out when they’ll be serving up bacon-wrapped hot dogs near you!