Thursday, December 24, 2009

Design on a dime

Okay, maybe I’ve been watching a little too much HGTV, but such is life. For about a year, we have been mulling over an update to our patrol cars’ graphics. Over the decades, we have had many different designs. The last time the scheme was seriously refreshed was in 1996, when we abandoned the two-tone paint job in favor of a decal set that has changed very slightly in the past 14 years.

Our first attempt at a new look was internal. Some of our own personnel put some thoughts on paper, and we had a couple of cars made-up with the results. You can do that nowadays, because the decals are computer-designed and robotically cut, so you don’t have to buy a boatload. The results--while good--were, well, not entirely inspirational.

Picking up on an idea that we jumped on for redesigning our recruitment materials, we turned to the University of Nebraska for help. Assistant Chief Jim Peschong contacted Professor Ron Bartels, who teaches GRPH 421, Advanced Graphic Design. His class took us on as a semester project, and presented their portfolios earlier this month.

Wow!

The students pretty much blew us away with their concepts and execution, and you can’t beat the price . We are presently conducting an internal poll, and intend to pull together a couple more patrol cars with elements from the most popular concepts, so we can see them in the flesh. My snapshots aren’t the best, but here’s a few slides of the posters that adorn our lineup room (there are a lot more).


14 comments:

Herb said...

Although it would be a royal pain in the back pockets for Dave and the guys at the garage, #5 would make LPD the coolest department in Nebraska. #4 probably should get my vote; crisp, clear, distinctive.

Tom Casady said...

This is just a few of the designs, Herb. I think there are around 16 total--with several variations.

Anonymous said...

I'm a stick-in-the-mud, but I like the current graphics.

I think we can assume that this wasn't a random targeting. Love triangle? It says he was leaving an apt, not his apt, so maybe it was some other guy's ex-GF's apt. Some exes can get awfully crazy.

Anonymous said...

Number 5 was awesome...and number 7.

T. Yost said...

I like slide 3 the best with 5 a very close second!!!

JIM J said...

Merry Christmas to all!

HuskEric said...

I REALLY like #7. Crisp, stylish, and I really like the "Protect and Serve" logo on the side.

I agree with Herb though, #5 would be pretty sweet, although probably the most expensive top maintain the paint on :(

ARRRRG!!!! said...

This is my vote. Maybe it could be put on a Charger or Impala.

Anonymous said...

Was browsing on the internet the other day and saw a website with police graphics for Chargers and Crown Vics. There are some cool ideas if you've got the time.

http://www.vspgraphics.com/police_car_decal_kits.php

anon1 said...

Are you sure this would be the best use of money? Couldn't the cruisers function just as well with minimal decorations? Just how much would you estimate the cost of decals for over 200 vehicles?

Tom Casady said...

anon1 -

We're spending money on the current graphics, so it's an expense wither way--this would just be a new design. Actually, when we transitioned to the current design back in 1996, we replaced a two-tone paint scheme with plain white. The graphics package is much less expensive than the paint job.

Anonymous said...

Anon1,

They don't all get changed at once. As new cars are bought, they will get the new design and in 4 or 5 years all of the cars will have the new design so there is no additional cost.

Anonymous said...

Is it true LPD is going away from 4x4 SUV's???? Very dumb idea!!! Look at the weather this week and re-think that idea......

Tom Casady said...

3:51-

No, that's not true. I addressed this issue a couple weeks ago, when it came up in another comment. I suspect the rumor you gulped results from the fact that this year's replacements will be Ford Escapes, instead of the larger Tahoes or Expeditions.
If you haven't heard, there is something of a fiscal crisis going on in municipal governments nationwide.

Apparently a couple of the SUVs due for replacement are assigned to K-9 officers, and they have opted for Crown Vics rather than Escapes. That's fine, lots of K-9 officers all over the world work from sedans, and frankly its better to have the 4WD vehicles used by regular patrol personnel, so they are available for use in inclement weather.