Don Hummer Trucking
Brand Identity / Brand expression / Advertising / Social Media / Photography
Growing Legacy
The Brief
Preparing a multi-generational trucking firm for the next wave of expansion.
The Opportunity

Since 1982, Don Hummer Trucking has built a successful business hauling freight around the country, in addition to a thriving logistics division. What initially started as a brand refresh project has evolved into an Agency of Record relationship. The primary challenge that needed solving: A trucking firm is only as strong as its drivers and fleet. When we started working together in 2020, fierce competition made it difficult to hire and retain quality drivers. Then COVID hit and threw everything into flux. Rather than wait for the dust to settle, DHT and FUEL got to work laying the foundation for growth. And that meant telling the firm’s story of multigenerational leadership with trucking in their blood, a modern fleet, a roster of A-List clients, and a culture that puts drivers first.

Vintage Don Hummer International Truck

Brand Identity

A logo crafted by the wife of the founder has represented the firm for decades. Understanding things like that are tough to let go, the FUEL team went to work. In this spirit, the designers focused on making subtle changes to modernize the logo without fundamentally changing things as it had considerable equity in the marketplace. This meant adjusting the lean of the letterforms and creating consistency across the proportions of the typography to make it truly “Oblique” rather than taking a standard font and slanting it.

Brand Expression

FUEL designed a dynamic Brand Expression strongly influenced by the forward driving angle featured in the logo. Sub-brands are focused on the different ways the firm supports its drivers, causes, and other organizations. Photography showcases the great people and culture while demonstrating how the firm is making a better trucking company. Textures are inspired by professional life on the road. And typography choices allowed for some playful moments, like depicting the overhead of the truck which becomes the lowercase “i”.

Employee Retention

The most surefire way to grow a trucking firm is to keep the quality drivers you have. To help Don Hummer Trucking celebrate the tenure and success of their current drivers, FUEL collaborated with the firm’s leadership team on the Ultimate Driver Challenge.
This program created a way to recognize the exceptional efforts and dedication from the veteran drivers while giving less-experienced drivers something to shoot for.

With milestones ranging from 500,000 miles up to 2 million, the program celebrated not just the distances driven, but the quality aspects of no tickets or accidents — both of which have an impact on the bottom line. 500,000 miles to 2 million and beyond.

Ultimate Driver jacket

Custom apparel, merch and signage at Hummer headquarters to both recognize and encourage. The Ultimate Driver Challenge is an ongoing process and drivers can work towards their goal each year. This includes: driver recognition wall at the terminal, awards banquet, social media posts, drivers recognized on website.

Environmental design of the Hummer ultimate challenge wall

Livery Design

As an extension of the Ultimate Driver Challenge, FUEL collaborated with the client team on the development of the Heritage Collection. Inspired by vintage movies, tv shows, limited edition trucks, and trucker culture from era of the firm’s founding, these livery designs featured custom paint selected by Don Hummer Trucking and a badge designed by FUEL. Drivers must earn their way into this exclusive club. The modern rigs get a dose of this iconic styling as a fitting tribute to the firm’s early days, while drivers receive coveted recognition as the firm’s elite.

Employee smiling wearing Heritage Collection hat

Advertising

To break through the noise in the competitive media landscape, FUEL spearheaded a print campaign to communicate key selling points as to why it pays to join the stable of drivers for this family-owned firm.

Direct Mail

This conversational approach to messaging extended into Direct Mail campaigns that delivered the message to the prospective driver’s door.
Don Hummer Trucking calendar

Social Media

FUEL created a series of social media posts and ads to get the branded and recruiting messages out on the Facebook/Meta platform. These leveraged the inherent structure of the medium to maximize the impact of the creative while elevating the firm’s presentation in social.

Photography

While building an asset library for the firm, the art direction had a clear goal: we wanted to get into the shoes of a driver and capture the real people that work for Hummer. As part of that, we would take every opportunity to show off the clean, new equipment in the fleet as it’s a major sticking point for drivers when choosing who to work for.

Imagery would also reinforce the idea that no matter the job title – from CEO to shop maintenance staff – everyone working for the company has a connection to the road.
Don Hummer Trucking employee in front of truck

Recognition

Best of Category | Photography

ADAI 64th Annual Design Exhibition Art Directors Association of Iowa (ADAI) 64th Annual Design Exhibition (2022)
Award for Excellence | Photography
Art Directors Association of Iowa (ADAI) 64th Annual Design Exhibition (2022)
Bill Bollman
Creative Director

Bill Bollman is FUEL’s Creative Director. Before co-founding FUEL in 2001, he worked for Horizon Communications, JW Morton and Basler Design Group. Bill studied Illustration at Hawkeye Tech in Waterloo, Iowa. An expert in the “old ways” of hands-on print production, these skills influence his work in the digital world to this day. His work throughout his career has been featured in international publications including Graphis, How International Design, Communication Arts, and The One Book as well as numerous design annuals and reference books.

Hometown: West Union, Iowa
Involved in Design and Marketing since 1988
Interests: Fitness, Travel, Movies