The Story of Wapuunicorn: the mascot of WordCamp Edinburgh 2017

I realise the title might need some clarification, so bear with me.

If you are ever involved in the WordPress community and/or attended a WordCamp, you might have come across many beloved Wapuu.

But instead of a Wapuu, we have a Wapuunicorn, a cross between a Wapuu and a unicorn, for WordCamp Edinburgh 2017.

Oh wait, have I made it more confusing?

My bad. Let’s try again.

What is WordCamp?

Image source: https://central.wordcamp.org/

WordCamp is an informal community-organised conference that covers everything to do with WordPress; from the technical side, to maintaining your site, to creating content, to making a difference…the world is your oyster when it comes to using WordPress as your platform for your site.

They are held all around the world…literally.

And they can also be held simultaneously around the world too.

Image source: https://central.wordcamp.org/schedule/

To put in context, I have helped to co-organise WordCamp Edinburgh 2017 on 22nd-23rd July 2017.

And during that same weekend, there were 4 other WordCamps happening in the same weekend: Boston, Arkansas, Ontario and Brisbane.

WordCamp is an opportunity for everyone who uses WordPress, regardless of whether they are technical or not, regardless of whether they are beginners or advanced, to learn from other experts, meet like-minded people and be part of an awesome community.

On top of that, it can also help to move you to the next level with your own WordPress site.

What is Wapuu?

You can read about the history of Wapuu here, but in short, Wapuu is the unofficial mascot of WordCamps.

The original design was put together by Japanese designers to help promote WordPress in Japan, and since then, WordCamps across the globe has customised it to suit their locations.

Image source: https://wapuu.jp/

So What is a Wapuunicon then?

During the last WordCamp Edinburgh in 2015, we had wee Jimmy…

But we had to retire Jimmy, who has served us very well in 2015, and hang up the kilt and bagpipes.

During the process of organising the design and theme of the site for the 2017 event, my team and I have got together to come up with ideas.

Out of nowhere, there came the idea of a unicorn.

And our reactions?

It totally made sense!

You can imagine the sounds approval across the room within the team.

You see, you might think that we are jumping on the trend of having a unicorn as our theme.

After all, who doesn’t love a unicorn.

But here is one thing that you may not know.

The national animal of Scotland is actually a unicorn.

Seriously!

So we knew that we have a lot of relevancy by creating a unicorn-themed event in Edinburgh, and that all begins with the beautifully-designed Wapuunicorn.

Designed by Ben Usher Smith, we all knew that we instantly had something special that everyone would love. And there were was a lot of thought into creating our mascot, which then became the focal point of the rest of our design.

And wherever we went, the Wapuunicorn was never far away from our mind.

Even in a cafe, we wanted to look at it.

Which brings us to our next topic; t-shirts.

When you visit many conferences, you will most likely see t-shirts available to pick up for free.

They can be provided by the sponsors or by the conference organisers.

WordCamp is no different. You are most likely to find t-shirts designed and printed by the organisers of the local WordCamps.

But we wanted to do something different with our own t-shirts.

We have a special Wapuu, or a Wapuunicorn and we knew we needed to have a high-quality t-shirt that lives up to that standard.

And we did.

When we did our research to find a local printer, we came across one called Interplanetary Print Syndicate which was based in a local art college

When visiting their premises, we were really impressed with what they do. Not only were we happy to support a local independent company, not least one that is based within a local college, but they have a unique process of hand-printing the t-shirts.

So every single t-shirt is literally unique as they are not mass produced by a machine.

Aren’t they beautiful?!

On top of that, the t-shirts are eco-friendly as they offer organic, climate neutral and recycled garments. The quality of the material and fitting is excellent. And they also provide options of printing for men, women and children’s sizes.

And the result? Well, see for yourself.

It was so popular that we had requests from non-attendees via social media and also asked by the attendees whether there were any extras.

We have deliberately decided to not have dates printed i.e. “WordCamp Edinburgh 2017", on it as we knew we wanted it to be timeless and you could wear it anytime.

Even on a night out.

Naturally, we also wanted Wapuunicorn stickers too. And man, were they popular too?!

I’m not one to have stickers on my Macbook Pro, until now. For the first time ever, I have a sticker and the Wapuunicorn sticker sits proudly on it.


The feedback of Wapuunicorn and the t-shirts from the community and the attendees was overwhelming and I have to thank everyone for their comments and enthusiasm.

It definitely made the experience even more worthwhile.

Right now, my mind is already switching to the next WordCamp.

But frankly, I’m not sure how we can create a better mascot for WordCamp Edinburgh in the future.

Hmm, that’s going to be a challenge…and I accept!

What do you think of the Wapuunicorn? Have you ever been to a WordCamp before? If not…why not?!

Leave a comment below.

This post also appeared here: https://iamahmedkhalifa.com/blog/wapuunicorn-story/