Funny how some people`s names seem to go with their jobs or interests, isn`t it? Camouflage is all about concealment and hiding, so I`m lucky I wasn`t born Dominic Bling or Dominic Gawdy! For those who want to do the math, I was born in Sheffield, England, during the “Summer of Love” (July 1967), while the hippies let it all hang out at Haight-Ashbury and The Beatles hung around the top of the charts with “All You Need is Love”.
I`ve been interested in camouflage ever since I was a boy, beginning with Action Man (a licensed UK-made version of GI Joe) and plastic model kits of tanks and planes: putting them in the garden and trying to make them become invisible. Then one Birthday my dad bought me a pair of binoculars and I went along to a nearby bird-reserve to see what I could spot. In a bird-hide there`s no problem watching the wildlife, once you get used to where to look, and what to look for, but in the open it`s a different story. Unfortunately most of the time I was seen by the birds long before I saw them, so I only got good at recognising their wing markings as they hoved away into the distance. I needed to beat the birds at their own game. I needed camo.
The first camouflage jacket I had as a boy was a short-sleeved safari shirt in Belgian Jigsaw pattern. It was much too dark for the scrub and grass of the bird-reserve, and I soon found fault with most other camo patterns available through army surplus shops at that time. I really started to look into camouflage deeply (some would say too deeply!) from that point. I learned a little more about personal concealment during a time in the Territorial Army, and also studied the influence of art and artists on the development of camouflage. For instance, did you know that Picasso claimed to have ‘invented’ disruptive patterned camouflage?
For years camo design remained just a hobby of mine, but by using a home computer and inkjet printer in addition to paints and dyes, I continued to develop my ideas and experiment with concealment principles. A rebate from the taxman gave me the means to transform my passion into a business, and Hyde Definition was born.
So now I get to design camo all day, and get paid for it. Perfect!
Hyde Definition’s first proprietory pattern, PenCott, is available on a range of clothing on sale now, as well as licence opportunities for other manufacturers. My company also undertakes commissions, and it’s not just personal concealment we do, either – see the wind turbine we camouflaged in 2008 here.