MEA are an independent charity specialising in delivering practical, creative and effective solutions to fuel poverty. They also work to promote energy reduction and accelerate the uptake of renewable energy solutions. For a few years they have used a wrapped van as a learning tool to show various ways of limiting heat and energy loss from the home. This van has provided an interactive learning environment, which could be easily taken to various events.
The original wrap was designed to look like the exterior of a house which had been photographed by a thermal imaging camera. The side door could then be pulled across to reveal a room inside the van detailing what insulation and methods had been employed to limit the heat loss.
MEA felt that the van had worked well overall but the wrap itself, though eye catching, did not always translate as a home, or that it was not clear that the bright colours were meant to represent a thermal image. They therefore wanted us to design a new vehicle wrap for their van, which would again show the exterior of a house, in a similar layout, but photorealistic.
They wanted it to stay bright and eye-catching, but also use the clearer more literal image to highlight energy saving additions to the building, including: compost bins, electric car charging, bicycles and edible plants.
We approached the design by initially printing out the three side shapes of the van and roughly sketching out the various elements we wished to include. It was important to get all the relevant additions to feel convincing in their scale to one another and not place too low on the van so that they would not pass under eye height.
We then went about the task of selecting various high resolution photo images that we could then piece together in photoshop to make a brand new house. It was challenging to keep it eye-catching when working with realistic elements and so we used some fairly bold colour choices for the blinds. It was also important to work out the best way of covering any awkward joins on the vehicle.
Little touches such as the child’s bike, hanging baskets and sleepy cat on a window sill added to the lived in, homely feel we wanted the fake property to have.
MEA have fed back how much they love the new design and how well it works on the van. They are looking forward to taking it on the road and using it to inform more people about energy reduction and renewable energy solutions.
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