Express Yourself with Vinyl

A few automobiles such as the Beetle, Smart, and the old Citroen Duck  have a real personality and a distinctive image.  All of them appeal to individualists, but perhaps no automobile matches Mini Cooper when it come to the expression of individuality.

Mini makes it easy for you to get started, just flip through the catalog and pick your flag and stripes.  But why not really live your passion?  That’s what I asked myself when I considered all the cool racing stripes and flag decals.  Mini Cooper is one of the quintessential symbols of Britain, so of course the Union Jack symbols are especially appealing.  But for the Mini Cooper I think there’s an even better symbol.

Think back to the one period in living memory when England was the figurative center of the universe — the swinging 60s.  There’s no doubt that the Beatles were the genesis.  So it’s only fitting that after Elvis made the big pink Cadillac famous in the 50s, the Beatles, as was the case with their music, went their own rather British way in the 60s.

That’s right, all four of the Beatles owned Mini Coopers, here’s an excellent site with lots of photos and interesting facts about the Beatles and their Minis.

Music is one of my true passions, so I wanted my Clubman to have a musical theme.  The Beatles are my all time favorite rock group, so instead of a Union Jack on my side panels, it seemed perfect to put the cover of Sgt. Pepper, an album consistently rated as the greatest rock album of all time, on my own favorite car of all time.

Luckily I’m only a short drive away from Folio Design in Traunstein, Germany, founded in 1983 and a 2009 winner of the Trim Line Design Award for Outstanding Digital Design.

Their friendly and professional staff can help you realize your vision: from complete vinyl and carbon wraps to decals, side panels, and mirror covers.  Their work is top of the line quality and their prices are fair and reasonable.

The photo to the left is my original design wish.  Because the design is on a flat two dimensional photo, it ignores the curvature of the car’s body.  So the final design will look slightly different.  Also, when planning a design, don’t forget your blinker.  The photo below is the final design.

Also, there’s no reason to keep one side panel design forever, the price is so reasonable you could easier do a new design every year.

Above aligning the design

Blinker removed

This was a lot of fun, but at the end of the summer I decided to try some stripes — so the Beatles are no longer on my Mini.


In the photo above, notice the decal above the back wheel.  This was my first experience with Folio Design in 2010.  They helped me transform this Bo Diddley album cover from the 60s to this:

Check out the amazing detail work and how they eliminated the background.  I love this photo of Bo Diddley.  He’s famous among guitar players for his classic rhythm guitar that mirrors the sentence, “shave and a haircut, two bits.” He truly helped to shape rock music.  Check out this clip of Eric Clapton and Robbie Robertson doing a salute to Bo Diddley and playing his “Who Do You Love?”





Window Tinting

Of course the first job Folio Design did for me was tinting my windows.  In Germany there are restrictions about tinting the windshield and the front seat windows, but the real issue was the sunroof. The Clubman comes with a sliding sunscreen:

Despite the screen, we felt like we were being cooked, so our first order of business was getting our windows tinted.  The tint gives us sufficient protection so now we rarely use the screen.

Black windows look good on a dark car, but with our chrome roof I decided to use a tint you don’t see very often, it’s called Black Chrome. It’s difficult to photograph, but in the sun it does have somewhat of a chrome look.




If you want to express your own personal passion, take a short vacation sometime and visit the Chiemsee or Salzburg. Before you come, contact the folks at Folio Design. After you work out your design with them, then make an appointment, leave your car for a couple of hours and have lunch inside the beautiful market square in Traunstein while they apply your side panels. Of course, if you are too far away, I’m sure you have some great regional businesses where you live — but this is a beautiful spot for a vacation!


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