Iconic brand

New Zealand Truck & Driver - - Out Of America -

CLEAN-SHEET REDESIGNS OF TRUCK­ING FLEETS’ liv­er­ies aren’t that com­mon. Nor are colour schemes that ex­ist com­pletely un­changed for a decade and more (be­cause lit­tle evo­lu­tion­ary ddles are the rule rather than the ex­cep­tion).

And when it’s a liv­ery with pri­mary colours bor­rowed from a pop­u­lar car range, then you’re get­ting into the ter­ri­tory of unique... in the shape of Dunedin’s Icon Lo­gis­tics, this month’s nal­ist in the PPG Trans­port Imag­ing Awards.

e eet – and its colours – are the re­sult of the re­birth of an ex­ist­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion: Har­bour Trans­port had been set up in the mid-1990s as the pri­mary freight con­trac­tor to the Port Otago com­pany – e ec­tively its trans­port arm, though it did han­dle some out­side work as well.

By 2006, it had grown from a cou­ple of trucks to a eet of around a dozen, when the port’s South Freight di­vi­sion elected to han­dle all its own trans­port.

Faced with a dras­tic re­duc­tion in work, Har­bour Trans­port’s share­hold­ers at the time – the Dynes Group’s Peter Dynes and Dunedin trans­port op­er­a­tor Les Wil­son – elected to sell all of what was an ag­ing eet, and start from scratch with three new Fu­sos, a new name…. and a new im­age.

Out went Har­bour Trans­port’s white and turquoise liv­ery, to be re­placed by a sim­ple de­sign of a dark blue above and lighter blue be­low, sep­a­rated by an or­ange stripe run­ning hor­i­zon­tally across the front at just above head­light height, then swoop­ing to near the top of the truck cab at the back. Ei­ther side, the stripe car­ries a de­scrip­tion of the com­pany’s work: Con­tainer & Stor­age Spe­cial­ists.

e de­sign was ar­rived-at in a ses­sion with Ti­maru Signs and Graphix... and there was a Ti­maru el­e­ment to the choice of colours as well: e Fu­sos had been bought through that brand’s then Ti­maru agent, Ti­maru Trucks, which had the same share­hold­ing as Ford car dealer Ti­maru Mo­tors... and the two blues were rep­re­sented on the cur­rent range of sporty XR Fal­cons. e new com­pany’s then op­er­a­tions man­ager, Tony Gare – now a share­holder and gen­eral man­ager – re­calls that the de­sign looked “right” from the word go: “As soon as they brought it up on the computer at Ti­maru Signs & Graphix, there was lit­tle doubt it was the one to go for.”

e name Icon had al­ready been cho­sen, and was made the cen­tre­piece of a logo that in­cor­po­rates the three pri­mary colours and adorns the doors of the trucks and, where ap­pli­ca­ble, above-cab aero­foils.

e name re ected a de­ter­mi­na­tion to be­come Dunedin’s go-to com­pany in the spe­cialised eld of con­tainer trans­port and han­dling that was the path cho­sen by its prin­ci­pals. e fact that the eet size has quadru­pled in size

since its in­cep­tion and the com­pany’s cur­rent po­si­tion as the re­gion’s lead­ing con­tainer trans­port and ware­hous­ing provider sug­gest that the goal has well and truly been at­tained – as does the fact that in 2011 South Freight moved out of trans­port­ing con­tain­ers it­self and took a share­hold­ing in Icon.

Tony cred­its the im­age-mak­ing power of the pack­age – colour scheme, name and logo – with a not in­con­sid­er­able por­tion of that suc­cess: “It was good to be able to es­tab­lish a re­ally strong vis­ual iden­tity right from the be­gin­ning. Im­age is ev­ery­thing, and that’s what we’re about – mak­ing sure we present the brand.

“Be­cause we work for com­par­a­tively few clients, in a small sec­tor of the mar­ket, we’re not seen by too many peo­ple. But the colour scheme is so dis­tinc­tive it sticks in the mem­ory. We reg­u­larly get com­ments of the sort: ‘I didn’t know who you guys were, but af­ter see­ing one your trucks the rst time, now they seem to be ev­ery­where!’

“As you might ex­pect, we’re well known around Port Chalmers, but it goes a lot fur­ther. For in­stance, in Cen­tral Otago, where we’ve been de­liv­er­ing to a pro­ject at Cardrona, we have de­vel­oped a very strong im­age. e trucks are a bill­board for the com­pany.”

ere have been vir­tu­ally no changes to the de­sign in its near dozen years, he adds: “It looked sharp from the be­gin­ning, so we’ve seen no need to change.”

e fact that the Icon eet cur­rently com­prises all cabovers means that the de­sign doesn’t have to be ad­justed to match the shape of bon­neted mod­els, and though the ma­jor­ity of the trucks are day-cabs, sleep­ers are eas­ily ac­com­mo­dated with a sim­ple ex­ten­sion of the cen­tral or­ange stripe.

How­ever, says Tony, it was also put to the bon­neted test af­ter the South Freight buy-in – in the shape of a Ken­worth T400 that had come across. It passed with hon­our: “We were able to have the side stripe start just above head­light height, with the light blue be­low and the dark above... and it looked re­ally sharp.”

Since the strength of the base de­sign lies largely in its sim­plic­ity, there isn’t much by way of dec­o­ra­tive touches other than some un­ob­tru­sive scroll­work on the cab sides.

Sign­writ­ing is looked af­ter by Dunedin’s Cus­tom Signs, while Brown­lie & Scoles, also of Dunedin, han­dles the re­paint­ing of the ve­hi­cles that join Icon from the wider Dynes Group, plus gen­eral panel and paint work. New ad­di­tions, like the DAF added to the eet last year, ar­rive painted from the fac­to­ries.


All pic­tures: e liv­ery trans­fers well be­tween the pre­dom­i­nant makes in the Icon eet....and still looked good on the one con­ven­tional that came with the South Freight buy into the busi­ness

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