Horn Please: The Decorated Trucks of India

Photographer Dan Eckstein traverses the subcontinent's vast highways, documenting elaborate lorries and their drivers

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From the mountainous city of Leh in the north to the palm tree-lined tourist-haven of Kerala in the south, India is a vast nation of rich diversity—whether it’s landscape, language, food or even automobiles. The country’s intricate and ever-growing network of highways is the stage for some of the most elaborately designed and eye-catching trucks in the world. To document the phenomenon, photographer Dan Eckstein recently travelled throughout the country, shooting these bright, bold and beautiful machines. The resulting hardcover tome published by Brooklyn’s powerHouse BooksHorn Please” represents a melange of folk art, Indo-psych aesthetic and vulnerable humanity.


The book’s title is a nod to a phrase commonly heard and read on India’s motorways. It’s written on the back of nearly every truck in the country. Because drivers are often away from home for weeks at a time, the trucks are a great source of pride and attention to detail—both inside and out—is staggering. Interiorly speaking, the trucks serve as both a home and place of worship. With India’s religious diversity in mind, Eckstein portrays a society more united than divided. While the intricate patterns and vivid colors are inspiring from a design perspective, portraits of the drivers are equally captivating. Eckstein manages to communicate both the allure of the open road and the loneliness that comes with it.

Peruse the slideshow for a few standout shots from the book. “Horn Please” hits bookstores in December and is currently available for pre-order from Amazon for $35.

Images by Cool Hunting