Vehicle Graphics Sri Lanka: Truck art – dry zone

The fertile area around Dambulla and Sigiriya in Sri Lanka’s dry zone is the country’s largest vegetable cultivation areas. Sri Lanka’s largest vegetable wholesale market is located in Dambulla. The roads in the area are loaded (not a pun i assure you) with trucks carting the goodies to market (mainly Colombo). These factors make the area good hunting grounds for spotting the hippest and the traditional samplings of Sri Lanka’s truck art. Specially if you are a bit tired of the 2000+ year history littered around you.

The sample below was spotted hurling along the Sigirya road towards the Dambulla – Harbarana stretch of the A6 highway. The wooden body on the Ashok Leyland chassis makes this one a classic. Very 20th century.

Truck art from Sri Lanka's dry zone the traditional style

The image below is of something a bit newer. Cool monochrome sky-blue all metal with a limited palette. The yellow markings are either a reference to Jasper Johns flag and target paintings or safety marking. No figurative imagery at all beyond the restrained 3D typography. Very much of the globalised Colombo School which has been making inroads to the dry zone.

Truck art from Sri Lanka's dry zone - 3D minimalism

Yes there’s hardly anytime for blogging these days but I still managed to squeeze something through and give a sign of life. More on Sri Lankan Graphic design in the archive.


6 thoughts on “Vehicle Graphics Sri Lanka: Truck art – dry zone

  1. Hello sir,
    I am Kandan based in Chennai,India.We are automobile dealers for truck and bus spare parts in Chennai,India.
    We are into this business for the past 25 years.
    We are specialised in Ashok Leyland and Tata vehicles.
    All these years we have been catering to the needs of the local fleet owners within India.
    We are interested in expanding our business to Srilanka.
    I would be glad if i have the honour of supplying spares to Srilanka.If you can give me the requirements of spares list,
    i can give you the quote for the same.
    Then we can proceed accordingly.
    Rest after your reply.
    Thank you sir.


  2. N.Kandaswamy I’m afraid you’ve contacted the wrong person – I have no connections to the transport industry beyond taking a few pictures of trucks on the road. All the best with you efforts to get into the Sri Lankan market 🙂


  3. hey, im a student in Sri Lanka and im avery intrested in these type designs painted on these trucks. could you pls let me know of any place or person’s contact who paints these lorries for a living? i want to write a paper on them. thanks


    1. I don’t know anyone who does vehicle graphics. But take a closer look at the designs on the busses and you’ll see the contact details of the company who does them.

      One name I’ve seen a lot is Anura Advertising but there are others.

      If all else fails talk to the driver 🙂

      All the best with your paper! If you publish it online please let me know about it. I’m quite eager to read it 🙂


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