I went on an extraordinary trip to India this past February as part of the grand prize my CHANGE submission won in the American Jewish World Service's Where Do You Give? contest. In addition to the incredible sights I saw, experiences I had, and people I met on the trip, the design and lettering fanatic in me was surprised and thrilled to discover that nearly all the trucks on India's chaotic roads were decorated with elaborate and colorful lettering and illustrations.
I learned that truck owners paint their vehicles to mark their ownership and distinguish them from other trucks on the road. Depending on the type of truck, there are some required labels such as “goods carrier” or the request to honk when passing, but there seems to be endless room for creativity in ornate lettering and decoration—in English and Hindi.
The artistry and skill that go into the decoration of these trucks all
over India is stunning, so here are a few shots I took of the colors, stylized
motifs, and imaginative lettering. If you'd like to see more, I've got extensive collection on Flickr.