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Story of the camper van.

Updated: Jan 24, 2019

It all started few years back while shooting for a fashion campaign in Athens. The yellow camper van was the lead act of that shoot. No points for guessing that it has visually stayed with me ever since through my photography…which I realised after coming back from the shoot that I have some good images of the van shot for myself. And of course through the van props that I have been collecting on all my travels. It naturally lead me to travel as a theme, which has become one of my favourite lettering themes.

The van helped me to add an illustrative touch to travel quotations, which I definitely feel adds a refreshing touch to your hand lettering creations. That’s how I have been hooked on to it and don’t think it will be getting over anytime soon.

This theme has allowed me to explore new lettering styles. The van lends itself beautifully to the overall lettering composition, sometimes as lead & other times as a supporting element. Mostly hand lettered with pencil, pen, coloured sketch pens and also a few of them super imposed on my photos taken on locations in Athens.

Planning and composing elements for my shots has become a fun exercise in the creation of any given piece. Using only an iPhone & natural light to shoot is a challenge but it is definitely worth the time and effort.

The bug of hand lettering on iPad Pro finally bit me a few months ago, a new medium keeps you curious and lets you experiment. The 'Collect Adventures....' piece is created on iPad using the procreate app (later merging it with the image in photoshop). Whenever something creatively inspires you, please get deeper in to it and find your own way to express it. If it becomes your passion then it can be very fulfilling.


I highly recommend these cool travel inspiration accounts on instagram like @project.vanlife, @showusyourtype and @passionpassport.


Follow me on my journey as a letterer and traveller @see_mahimkar.


Thanks so much for dropping by! Here's a curation of all the van inspired lettering I have created till date.

Picture of Vinayak, Peenaz and me shot on set by John Athimaritis.

PS: After so many years, the original yellow camper van pictures still make me feel so connected with all my young & talented team members of L&K Saatchi & Saatchi, especially my brother Vinayak Upadhyay, the beautiful Peenaz Irani, rockstar photographer John Athimaritis and the awesome production duo of Rao Prasanna & Rashi Dutt.


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© Chandan Mahimkar, Mumbai, 2020.