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.