In Summary

  • A team of Communication Design students created a winning campaign to raise awareness of a road safety issue among 18-25 year olds
  • Experts from strategic creative agency Hard Edge and transport industry partners judged the entries

Re:act is an initiative of strategic creative agency Hard Edge and Swinburne School of Design. It has become a compulsory project for third year students in the Communication Design Honours program.

Re:act challenges 18 to 25-year-olds to consider their actions on the roads. This year it focused on the dangers of driving near heavy vehicles.

“We believe it’s the first time a behavioural change campaign about vulnerable road users around trucks has been specifically targeted at the 18 to 25-year-old segment,” says Andrew Hardwick, Managing Director, Hard Edge.

Communication Design third year honours students competed against one another in live presentations.  A panel of experts from Hard Edge and transport industry partners judged the entries.

Caitlin Preyser, Charlotte Hicks and Grace Kirby won the competition with their Don’t Truck Around campaign.

The panel described the Don’t Truck Around campaign as a great play on words. The simple, effective graphics and text was commended. Students were required to identify an action 18 to 25-year-olds could take away from the campaign.

The expert panel believed that the call to arms for truck awareness was simple to understand. The activation of the campaign around construction sites was highly effective.

“The Don’t Truck Around campaign was perceived as appropriate for the target audience. It can easily transfer across other demographics. The link with the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project was clever and well placed,” Hardwick says.

Re-act campaign bumper stickerDon’t Truck Around campaign bumper sticker by Caitlyn Preyser, Charlotte Hicks and Grace Kirby. Credit Justin Cooper.

The Don’t Truck Around team looked at colloquial and Australian slang language to create a link to the target audience.

“We wanted it to be casual and informal. It needed a bold, straight to the point tag-line that referenced trucks,” says Caitlin Preyser, Communication Design honours student.

“We surveyed a large group of 18 to 25-year-olds. We gained an understanding of how they felt about driving with trucks on the roads. We talked to Re:act project partners and experienced sitting in an ATA Safety semi-trailer truck cabin,” she adds.

The students used Re:act research material and article resources to understand the trucking world. They investigated the complex mind-set of the 18 to 25-year-old target audience.

“We then knew where our campaign would be most successful. We chose roadside billboards, car accessories and installed messaging across hoarding at Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel project site,” says Preyser.

Re-Act Dashbord image Don’t Truck Around campaign rear vision mirror swing ticket by Caitlyn Preyser, Charlotte Hicks and Grace Kirby. Credit: Justin Cooper.

Messaging communicates directly to the audience in the relevant environment, where it’s crucial,” she explains.

Re:act has the support of key state and federal transport organisations including the Transport Accident Commission.

The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria, Transurban Group, and the Australian Trucking Association are supporters. The Australian Road Research Board and National Road Safety Partnership Program are involved. The Melbourne Metro Rail Authority is also a supporter.

Watch a video of student presentations: Peter Dixon, Cave Studios. 

Read more about Grace Kirby, Charlotte Hicks and Caitlin Preyser’s experience working on their ‘Don’t truck around’ campaign.


Read more news on design at Swinburne.