Heidi, our trusty Toyota campervan just got pimped with this amazing campervan wrap. Here’s the why, the how.
Why did we get this campervan wrap?
The reason is quite simple. Because we don’t drive a Volkswagon. VWs are really cool campervans. They’re iconic. They look freakin’ great on Instagram. Having a classic VW means you’re probably half way to achieving the #Vanlife dream, or as we like to call it VanUtopia.
When we bought our plain white Toyota Hiace. It was partly out of necessity, (she was cheap) and partly because there simply wasn’t that much choice. We thought she was really cool but we knew deep down, a little bland. Too bland for a blog.
Be honest. If you saw a plain white late 80s Toyota Hiace Campervan, at best you’d think, “don’t see many of them around.” More likely, you’d not blink an eyelid.
We want to stand out. We want to reach out to more people. Having this campervan wrap this will mean we make an even bigger impression on the people we connect with and hopefully one that lasts.
The inspiration behind our insane campervan wrap
Several years back an artist was telling me about a type of camouflage called Razzle-Dazzle. The cutting angular lines meant from a distance it was impossible to tell where the front and rear of a battle ship was. During World War I, ships used this to deceive the enemy submarines who would send their torpedo the wrong way as a result of the confusion.
Perfect for driving around in we thought! Considering the age of these designs, (they died out with the invention of the aeroplane) they look incredibly fresh. Indeed there is a bar in Berlin that uses Razzle-Dazzle throughout its interior:
Sitting in my living room with Lou discussing what we could do to liven up Hedi I spotted a pair of swimming shorts hanging on the clothes drier. I’ve always loved brightly coloured clothing and I’d bought these swimming shorts in Thailand. (Lou threw away my old pair because there was an increasing chance they’d end up round my ankles in a pubic place – I like to put this down to hard work in the gym but that would be bollocks). They were pretty psychedelic in a similarly angular fashion.
With the seed sewn in my head, the idea was germinating and we started looking at Google images. Not many vehicles other than boats had this type of ludicrously bright wrap. An original idea? Perhaps not quite, but then we came across this amazing design by John Locke:
You didn’t do this all by yourself did you?
Lou and I are incredibly blessed to have an amazingly talented bunch of friends, not least Katy Killip who runs the creative agency Mantra. Having only conceived this branding idea for our van and blog a few weeks before leaving for France, time was of the essence. As it happens Katy has a lot of experience designing vehicle wraps, so when we came to her with the razzle-dazzle camouflage idea, she turned the campervan wrap design in only a week!
The campervan wrap is made of vinyl sheets that stick to the paintwork. The wrapping itself was undertaken by Totally Dynamic of Enfield, who did an amazing job. It wasn’t cheap, (just under £2000), but it will protect the paintwork, which is pretty handy considering the rust starting to appear. We’ve been told it could last ten years if it’s looked after although I suspect this means keeping it in a garage and never using it. Which is obviously the opposite of what we’ll be doing!
Given this is a type of camouflage, there’s a certain irony in the name Heidi. (Originally we called her Heidi because Lou has Austrian heritage and loves the Sound of Music). There’s no hiding Heidi. Quite the opposite approach to the usual #vanlife tactic of blending in with the crowd. That’s just not us.
So, now we have the hashtag #ISPYHEIDI on the side of the her so people who see Heidi around can use this in social media posts. There’s no hiding the fact we’re doing this to get popular. We hope you like it as much as we do!