The Food Truck : A Case Study

The Food Truck was a project I have worked on over the last 5 months; this being my senior year of design school at UMD Duluth. I decided to write about this project today because I felt I learned quite a bit about the process of designing a brand from scratch. Prior to this project, I would typically have a general direction set in mind while diving into a new work. While I would usually have alternative ideas in the very early stages of the project, I would rarely waver from this original concept. That was until I started working on a design system for a non-profit food truck concept for my Senior Design Studio class, The Food Truck.

Starting out the project, I had a pretty solid idea of the direction I wanted to go in. I had a general concept for the look and feel of the brand, and was leaning in a modernistic, sleek approach shown below.

I started doing extra brand assets, developing patterns, and throwing stuff on mockups. Typically, once I was this far into a design process I felt I couldn't back down, as I had already put way too much time into the process. But due to the current pandemic situation, a miss communication happened and threw a slight curveball into my plan. Instead of being more prepared with a single direction, we were instructed to have 3 separate directions lightly glossed over. This wasn’t a major deal as we were still very early in the design process, but as stated earlier I was not accustomed to scrapping a semi-flushed out idea.

As you could have guessed already, this direction did not get picked. And to follow with the cliché, I would say I am very happy that it didn’t. I’ve been told this story by countless teachers, peers, and professors throughout the past couple of years, and to be honest I thought I would have learned simply through that. But anyone who is smart enough to be able to read this has also surely learned by now, that learning the hard way is quite often the fastest way.

This project was a non-profit start up company. I decided to have mine be a traveling food truck, which would strive to reduce waste while also feeding the community. The main way The Food Truck would achieve this would be through collecting food that hadn’t gone bad yet, but would be still be discarded at the end of the night by local restaurants and businesses. For example, locations such as Jimmy Johns and Subway often have left over bread at the end of the night that is still good for at least a week when refrigerated, but is thrown out due to it no longer being as fresh as we deem edible these days. Pizza joints such as Little Caesars will throw away multiple whole pizzas at the end of the night due to their hot-N-ready program. The Food Truck would then distribute this food to those who need it.

or is it