Bigfoot logotypes - historical study - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-09-2014, 12:16 PM   #1
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Bigfoot logotypes - historical study

So now that my vintage 17-foot Bigfoot is clean and has all the original graphics removed, I've been toying with the idea of creating new vinyl graphics for it to give it an updated look. Well, as "updated" as you can make a colonial white colored RV look anyway.

As a source of inspiration for the project, I started looking at pictures of Bigfoot trailers and campers through the years to see what kind of "evolution" the factory graphics have gone through over time. From a "previous life" I have a background in graphic design and I find such subjects fascinating. But after digging into the research, I discovered that the use of logotypes by Bigfoot over the years was pretty erratic.

Here's a graphic (attached) to illustrate the changes from the beginning to now. The dates reflect model/years, not production years. In other words, some of the trailers BF is producing now are going to be sold as 2015 model/year trailers. Same as the auto industry.

As you can see, the early days were simple. As far as I can ascertain, Bigfoot started in 1977, first producing 1978 model/year trailers. I've seen listings for "1976" and "1973" Bigfoots but I've not been able to verify any actually existed before 1977. Can anyone confirm?

Anyway, the basic logo had a long run until 1992. Interestingly, they would change the oblique angle (angled backwards or forwards) depending on what side of the trailer it was placed.

In 1993 BF went to a "brush script" style logotype. For whatever reason, this logo had a short run, lasting only until 1994. But it wouldn't be the last time we'd see it.

In 1995 they moved to a all-cap, bold face type style which lasted four years. Interestingly, even though they moved away from this logo on their actual products in 1999, it's still prevalent on their web site and on some printed materials.

Bigfoot RV - Truck Campers & Travel Trailers - Recreational Vehicle Manufacturer

Coming from a background in marketing and corporate communications, I find this highly irritating and visually confusing. But I'm sure they have their reasons. This was the era that company founder, Terry Mayall, and two other BF directors, perished in a plane crash in Washington in 1998. One can't help but wonder if there is/was a connection to this with the logo, especially since it's still used today in some places.

Anyway, in 2000, the 93-94 script logo made a reappearance. I'd love to hear the story about how/why that happened. These kinds of corporate decisions do not usually happen casually. I'm sure there is some back-story to the reappearance of the script logo.

The script logo had a long run this time, lasting until 2007, then starting with the 2008 models, gave way to a new "noodle" style logotype. This was applied to all 2008 and 2009 m/y trailers/campers except the 2008 Bigfoot Xtreme model, which had its own unique "Serpentine" type-style logo.

In November 2008 Bigfoot Industries closed its doors and was sold at a bankruptcy auction sale on January 25, 2009, emerging as Bigfoot Industries 2010 in January of 2010. As far as I know, there were no Bigfoot trailers or campers produced as a 2010 model/year. The first trailers/campers were built by the new company as 2011 model/year products and that was the first year for the new (current) logo, a new variation on a script-style logotype.

Through all the years, as near as I can tell, the actual cartoon bigfoot creature has never changed. I'm surprised it's never been better integrated into the logotype at some point.

I really like the 2008-09 logotype the best but I can understand the company's need to shed themselves of that branding after re-emerging as a new company. The current logo looks pretty nice to me as well, and I'll probably use a variation of it on my trailer.

I hope somebody finds this information interesting. I welcome additional information/corrections/comments.
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bigfoot_logotypes_by_year.jpg  
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Old 08-09-2014, 07:49 PM   #2
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An interesting post - to us Bigfoot owners at least! Here you can see what the graphics looked like on our 1987 Bigfoot when we bought it in 2011. Since then, we've had all new graphics installed, keeping the striping and the Bigfoot character as they look here.

Click image for larger version

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Interestingly, on the inside we have what we assume to be an original Bigfoot clock and the Bigfoot character looks quite different. I've seen other iterations of him too.

Click image for larger version

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The Bigfoot character in our owner's manual looks just like the guy in the decal on the outside of the trailer.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:43 PM   #3
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That's an interesting clock. I don't think I've ever seen that version of the Bigfoot character. The one in my 1989 17-footer is quite different even though it was built only 2 years after yours.

My clock works great BTW...twice every day.
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Old 08-10-2014, 12:05 AM   #4
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Thanks for this post, Rick.
I can't say they are getting better as they now have their most illegible script. It's very interesting to see what they have had over the years though and it would be good, as you say, if we had the stories behind the changes. I do like the name. Hope their re-appearance goes well.
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Old 08-10-2014, 01:15 AM   #5
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Nice post I'm sure I will follow.
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:07 AM   #6
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Then there is the question of which "running Yeti" image to use, the early skinny or late fluffy one.

Side Logo Photo by tomNjo | Photobucket
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:43 AM   #7
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Tom,

Thanks for sharing that. Wow, that is a hideous beast! LOL

Any ideas what years this logo was used other than 1980?
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:13 AM   #8
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Mike, it's odd that our clock has one character and the outside has another. I wonder if one or the other was not original. Or maybe Bigfoot Industries was in the throws of an identity crisis?

Tom, I'm afraid I have to agree with Mike about that particular "yeti". Like you say, he's not as cute as the other one. Makes you wonder about the decision to go with that figure doesn't it? BTW - the inside of your Bigfoot is adorable!
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Old 08-10-2014, 12:04 PM   #9
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Fuzzy Brown BF

The stripes on our '89 were pretty ragged (faded, checking, and cracking) and the BF logos had been removed.
We got the stripes redone this year. DH ordered these color logos, and we decided to mount them as shown. We also have a larger version on the tire cover.
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back wall stripes before.jpg   Fuzzy brown BF.jpg  

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Old 08-10-2014, 12:16 PM   #10
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Looking at the clock logos, it looks like Kathy's has the skinny logo and Mike's has the plump logo. Since the outside logo on Kathy's is the plump version, I wonder if they were using up stock of the older clocks? Or, maybe someone replaced her clock?
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:59 PM   #11
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On Lora's '89, there's no Bigfoot character at all on the outside, just the striping. Maybe a PO added the character to ours at some time? Taking another look at our clock and Tom's Bigfoot exterior shot, I'd say the two characters are quite similar. Kind of like a photo and its negative.

Ok, so I just took a look at our owner's manual and related material that came with our trailer. The glossy sales brochure has the cute fluffy guy on it. Then there's another brochure printed on brown paper that's more of an operation manual and it has the "ugly" guy on it. Go figure.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:57 PM   #12
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Lora, looks like you may have painted your strips on. Or are they decals?
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:57 PM   #13
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neat....

my contribution....I forget where I found this but it's definitely BF...
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Old 11-09-2017, 03:37 AM   #14
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What font you choose might depend on how you decide to create your applied graphics, as in printed versus cut out.

A cut vinyl decal means you need to use a font that is friendly for vinyl cutting. The term friendly means that it is easy to "weed" out the unwanted bits of vinyl that surround the lettering. For that kind of applied graphic stick with fonts with simple, smooth lines. If you are hiring a pro to cut the vinyl for you they can help you sort out what will work best for your lettering and which graphic example will be best for your big foot icon.

You can find list of fonts that work well for vinyl cutting from the vinyl cutting websites.

As to the changes in the styles over the years...looks to me like they enjoyed having new design variations every few years. It could also have been that the person who did the graphics approvals was one of the persons who perished in the plane crash. Or perhaps they kept changing the supply vendors who made the applied graphics for them and those vendors had their own in house graphic design people. I suspect it might have been all of these things that created the variations.
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