Developing Food Truck Awning Designs That Work

Awnings brandishing a food truck’s logo are becoming so common that we felt we would put this article together to help aspiring food truck owners (or existing truck owners who have yet to purchase one) in the design of their own food truck awning. Like the street signs that you’ve seen countless times whose names you can’t recall when asked for directions, food truck awnings can blend into the landscape until they are no longer noticeable.

Bright red, hot pink, sunny yellow, the number of colors to choose from goes on and on. Yet, even with bright color schemes, these mobile advertisements can seem to disappear over time. They lose their luster and after time, don’t seem to perform out as intended. Awnings are supposed to eye-catching, they’re supposed to make people walking, cycling, or driving by take notice.

But how can you get the right fit for your mobile food business? What colors, designs and fonts work best for food truck awnings? While certainly not the most exciting advertising medium, these fixtures are necessary, if used to tie into the branding of your truck.

Developing Food Truck Awning Designs That Work

Food Truck Awning Aesthetics and Functionality

Awnings have been recorded to be used in ancient Egypt and Syria. Remarkably, these fixtures have changed little since that time. In the year 50 B.C, a Roman poet wrote about them as part of the grandeur of the city. These fixtures have been a part of storefront commerce since their inception and came to prominence during the early 19th century and were fabricated of simple materials.

Originally developed as a demarcation for businesses and restaurants with personality, these structures can provide shelter from sun and rain for customers walking up to your food truck’s service window. Over time, these fixtures became more colorful and durable. The color was to attract customers and the durability to ensure safe passage in and out of an establishment.

Unfortunately, with these innovations comes familiarity and that means people no longer take notice when passing by a business’ storefront. In order to overcome the ubiquity, thinking a bit outside the box is necessary.

Designing Eye-Catching Food Truck Awnings

What is important is to stay away from the ordinary, to choose a shape and design that makes a distinct impression without being too busy or distracting from the wrap on your truck. This means striking a balance and allowing the fixture to do what it’s intended to do best. Consider using complimentary colors (to your wrap) while keeping it brand-aligned. This will make it really pop.

More tips:

  • Less is more. The thing with food truck awnings is they often the second thing customers see after the graphics on your truck. So, it’s tempting to put a lot of information on them. But that can make it look crowded or take away from other signage. Include what’s needed to identify the business and pique interest. Strike a balance between what’s necessary and what’s not to get the most out of the fixture.
  • Don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole. Shapes and patterns are very important. You want your mobile food business’ awning to complement your wrap and not to look out of place. Choose a shape that blends into the shape of the truck well and patterns which set it off simultaneously.
  • Let graphics speak for your themselves. Some of the most iconic awnings have little to no information about the business on them. Instead, they incorporate graphics which make them stand out. Good graphics can even project a mood. If you show someone the word ‘hamburger’ that doesn’t make your mouth water as much as a picture of a juicy hamburger will.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for mock-ups. Look at the various designs when using a professional graphics or awning company to get a feel for how the finished product will look. With some imagination and a little persistence, you can design an awning for your food truck which really catches the eye.

Here’s a handy video on how to open and close a fabric food truck awning by Concession Nation, Inc.

2017-03-31T08:41:49+00:00 By |Under the Hood|

About the Author:

Richard is an architect by degree (Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan) who began his career in real estate development and architectural planning. In September of 2010 he created Mobile Cuisine Magazine to fill an information void he found when he began researching how to start a mobile hotdog cart in Chicago. Richard found that there was no central repository of mobile street food information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for MCM was born.

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