top of page

Bringing a Can's Story to Life

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

When I was first approached to design a can for a beverage, inspired by the family lore and hard-working spirit of big-rig truckers, I feel like Jason said the phrase “Are you familiar with?…” quite a few times. Indeed, I was very unfamiliar with the trucker world, aside from the hats. I love trucker hats.

I had been trying my hand at t-shirt design, logos, and labels, but they were all for beer companies. So, I was fairly confident I had the skillset, but I had never worked on creating an entirely new brand identity before. I was extremely nervous, but also very excited.

I obviously wanted to do the whole trucker community justice in my design, so I had to research, study images, and use materials from the Running Lights family. This was a very personal project for them, so for me to be invited into it was not taken lightly.

As I’ve developed more and more of my “style” in graphic design, I’m learning how I lean heavily into line work for my vector-based art. I think this is clearly evident on the can: the truck is outlined, and the “stripes” running through the background are essentially tapered lines (this design was from Big Mike’s original 1987 Kenworth). Even the “Running Lights” font design has bold line work. That was something I definitely brought to the table. But what I wasn’t too sure of were Jason’s color scheme ideas. It was another area I was a little unfamiliar with: 1990s Agassi.

I spent a decent amount of time searching images of Andre Agassi’s amazing tennis uniforms from the 1980s for inspiration to create color palettes. Then I would make gradients out of the palettes, and applied those to the mountains of the background label. That’s when I think we realized how we could make our label as a “template” and draw inspiration from various Agassi- color schemes as flavor differentiators.

A few more big-rig-inspired elements on the label design: the running lights along the bottom, the gear shifter shape for the nutritional highlights at the top left, and even the “facts” along the bottom were borrowed from the mud flaps.

I’m extremely excited with how these labels turned out, and I’m especially excited about the product! I think Running Lights has combined inspiration from a variety of sources into a cohesive brand, and will appeal to a variety of consumers!

Keep your Running Lights on!

Derek Cook

Related Posts

See All


bottom of page