In order to get to work each day, I have to drive through a small township that is well known as a speed trap. Locals who get nabbed should know better, but the cops collar plenty of others who they say exceed the limit by 10mph. The reputation of this town is known mainly as that — a speed trap. To top it off, most of the police cars in this city are black, angry looking vehicles with no hubcaps. It's the persona the city wishes to exhibit, I guess. There is some good news: one of their best patrolmen, a man who wrote a lifetime average of 420 tickets a month, just retired. For a city in need of some good public relations, the look of their police cars does little to say “Officer Friendly” works here.
Police cars of the past used to display little more than a star on the side of the vehicle. The usual look for the car was black, with reversed white door panels and the official city emblem or star was emblazoned on the side. Today, the look of police cars range from friendly and approachable "community peacekeepers" to intimidating “SWAT-style enforcers,” to low profile “stealth” vehicles.
This week I explored the police car graphics from just one company, ranging from quiet "stealthy" looks to bold super swooshes, colors and mostly san serif italicized fonts. There is the occasional serif font, the rogue Brush Script, and so far no examples of Comic Sans (but still looking). Bearing in mind that fast moving emergency vehicles need to be noticed, and seen — here is a cross section of what I found in police car graphics — or should I say, grafix. In a shoppe… even.