What does a fleet do with its livery when it’s been part of a wider transport organisation with a very distinctive colour scheme...and a major division of the group changes hands?

 

That was the slightly tricky challenge facing Bulk Lines, part of the James Barker Group of companies, following the sale two years ago of Freight Lines, Bluebridge and Streamline Freight to the Australian-based Champ Private Equity Group.

 

How to forge an image as an independent operation, yet not lose the time-tested power and historic value of the original livery?

 

The International ProStar which features as this month’s finalist in the PPG Transport Imaging Awards shows what can be done to balance history with innovation…and changed circumstances.

 

The lime green that’s long offered an eyecatching contrast to the dark base green of the companies that sprouted from the original Otorohanga Transport of more than 50 years ago has been extended to the previously-black truck and trailer chassis.

 

And the company logo has been substantially revised. The instantly-recognisable outline map of New Zealand that for years has been the centrepiece of the branding for the late “Big Jim” Barker’s group of companies is still there….but it’s now more stylised, has moved from the centre of the logo and features new, koru-like swirls running through it.

 

As Bulk Lines managing director Peter Barker explains, it was important to try to keep the map element: “It goes back originally to the formation of Freight Lines, when the desire was to identify it as a NZ company – and one that covered the length of the country.

 

“In their turn, Bulk Lines and Stock Lines had similar logos, to project the same message.

 

“There are also sentimental reasons for keeping the map, because it retains the family connection.

 

“We have a lot of Maori staff and families associated with us, so the koru effect of the lines in the map seemed very appropriate. We also changed the font and shadowing on the company name to help it stand out more.”...

 

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