ReturnWe Were There - II: From the precarity of early aerosols to the first Montana color chart
“Anyone with a Dutch import spray can had an advantage. I would stretch it out to use on a dozen pieces since they were impossible to steal and very expensive.”
The violet and magenta tones that Motip packaged in the Netherlands at the end of the 80s were highly sought after. In Barcelona Spray Color by Tecnova, Felton and sometimes Novelty was used in the early 90s, although the latter were more difficult to find. Import ranges such as Motip or Dupli were scarce. Writers had to create their own color palette by combining what these three national brands offered, discarding ineffective colors and looking for interesting combinations. It was a difficult task, as they weren’t always available in hardware or art stores, and it was virtually impossible to find the full range of colors manufactured by the brands.
GOING ONE BETTER THAN THE OTHER BRANDS
When Game Over Shop was opened in 1993, a deal was reached: in exchange for the support offered by Jordi Rubio from Felton in the form of stock and resources for the store, they would help Jordi to improve the product, starting by improving its range of colors. For inspiration, Jordi brought a "professional" catalog of industrial colors called an "RAL color chart”, which featured numerical codes next to each tone.
It wasn’t difficult to choose a dozen new and complementary colors since the paint available at the time was limited to no more than 25 or 30 shades. There were no intermediate colors, such as those derived from turquoise, powerful pinks or magentas.
THE ORIGIN OF THE CLASSIC COLORS: THE FIRST 90
With a list of 12 new colors, Felton added what quickly became popular as the “RAL Range” to its chart. For months after, pieces in and around Barcelona used Erika Violet, Purple Violet, Signal Violet, Turquoise Blue, Caribbean Blue and Luminous Green for the first time.
“There was a clear demand for more colors from the new graffiti market.”
After a year of a working relationship between the writers, Game Over Shop and the brands they carried, the ideal moment had arrived to produce the first color chart by Montana Colors, as the difficulties Jordi found with Felton propelled him to start a brand from scratch. It was the first time that paint would be made specifically for graffiti writers, boasting a large range of colors to support this progressive concept.
The 90 colors that Montana introduced in its first few months of existence left behind an outdated operating pattern that local brands employed, who were reluctant to expand their color ranges and unwilling to improve the quality of certain colors that were useless to a new generation of aerosol artists.
ShareNovember 12, 2020