Custom decals put the right name and logo on police vehicles

When applying vehicle graphics to official police vehicles, care needs to be taken in placing them so the message isn't confusing. If more than one entity name is featured, it's vital that viewers understand the relationship between the two. In December, the Queensland Police Service came under fire for using decals on the vehicles that featured the name of a local company sponsoring an awareness effort.

According to the Australian news source ABC, the logo of Santos, a mining business, appeared on police vehicles late last year as a signal that they were sponsoring a safety awareness campaign.

Compared to the rest of the vehicles, which featured elaborate illustrations of an outback road and a cartoon kangaroo, the Santos company logo is relatively small. It also appeared next to the images of other corporate sponsors.

All the same, it stirred up controversy among locals, who thought that it was an inappropriate sponsorship that didn't match with the campaign's intention and created a conflict of interest. In response to that, Santos reaffirmed its solidarity with the campaign and Ian Stewart, the Queensland Police Commissioner, defended the agency's approach to this decision.

"We sign contracts so everyone knows what the ground rules are and there's only a conflict of interest if in my opinion if we were to give someone preferential treatment and that's not what we do," he said. 

While the authorities are standing by this campaign and everything that comes with it, businesses should think of the different ways that car and truck decals impact the viewer. Ideally, all of the proper logo information can be incorporated together in one design without losing any of the overall intention or seeming to contradict itself.