At Hyde Definition we recognised a problem with most current Western camouflage patterns: They are designed for a woodland environment, and average too dark to be effective outside this terrain.
We noted that this terrain is easiest to conceal oneself in, due to the preponderance of cover, and that infantrymen would need their personal camouflage to be effective in more open ground, or at roadsides, since this is their common operating environment when manoeuvering or patrolling. We decided to design for these harder hiding places, not for wooded or urban areas, as we reasoned that this would be where a good camouflage pattern could be most useful.
In addition we wanted our new pattern to be better than the bulk of camouflage designs, and set ourselves a list of high standards to reach:
- conceal more effectively at those distances that conventional camouflage works best at
- conceal at a longer distance than most other camouflage
- conceal at a shorter distance than most other camouflage
- conceal in a broader range of environmental backgrounds than most other camouflage
We feel that we have succeeded in our remit with our signature PenCott™ pattern.
Penrose and Cott differed radically in their approach toward camouflage. On the one hand, Penrose, as an artist, used his training and intuition to produce camouflage schemes through a process of trial and error. With his thorough grasp of cubist and surrealist principles, he sought to trick the eye of the beholder with contrasting colours and tones, and organic, disruptive shapes, thus converting the object from a recognizable shape into an unidentifiable form. The zoologist and camouflage expert Cott, however, felt that art had little or no relevance to what was essentially a scientific, analytical process. By drawing on examples of camouflage in nature, a camoufleur could produce an effective scheme without any need for artistic training.