Saturday, June 20, 2015

Creative Design Toolbox: PAINT!

Paint is often an underutilized creative tool, so here's a round-up of four interesting types of paint that you can incorporate into some of your next design projects:

Albedo 100 paint is a series of four different sprays that are essentially invisible in daylight, but become highly-reflective in low-light conditions.  The manufacturer has created formulations suitable for metals, textiles, concrete, wood, and even horses and pets!  (For example, here's a BBC report about reindeer herders in Finland coating the antlers of their reindeer with Albedo paint so they don't get hit by cars at night.)

Albedo paints could be just the thing for outdoor exhibit areas or low-light areas around planetariums or art installations, not to mention the possibilities around Halloween!  You can find out more by clicking over to the Albedo 100 website.

You may have encountered chalkboard paint before, but to me the real design opportunity lies not only in flat walls, but in dimensional (aka 3D) opportunities, like the car done up in chalkboard paint at the top of this post (the vehicle of one of our local public school art teachers!) or the play table below.

Imagine chalkboard-painted furniture in a Maker's Space or an Art Studio, or chalkboard-painted objects in a math or topology exhibition!

Chalkboard paint is available from Amazon, or from large hardware stores like Home Depot.  I think Krylon brand works the best, and it comes in different colors, as well as in brush-on or spray-on forms.

A wonderful introduction to the possibilities of "hydrophopic" (literally water-fearing, or water-resistant) paints are through the website or videos of Seattle-based artist Peregrine Church.  

Church has turned the rainy weather of Seattle to artistic advantage by creating "Rainworks" (sidewalk-based artworks that only appear when wet, due to the hydroscopic nature of the stencil-based designs he and his co-conspirators create.) 

Check out his Rainworks YouTube video below:

Hydrophobic paint comes in many formulations, but Rust-Oleum's "Never Wet" brand seems to be most accessible for consumers, either at Amazon or hardware or paint stores.   Hydrophobic paints seem like a great opportunity to enliven the sidewalks and walls around any sort of museum, gallery, or cultural venue.

Last, but not least, IdeaPaint  is a coating that transforms ordinary surfaces into dry-erase surfaces.  So imagine all the walls (or all the furniture!) of a room transformed into dry-erase surfaces that can capture drawings, notes, whatever!

IdeaPaint seems like a great opportunity to not only enliven cultural spaces, but corporate spaces as well.  Click on over to the IdeaPaint website for more creative inspiration (or to purchase IdeaPaint products.)

So get out those tarps, brushes, and rollers to start getting creative with PAINT!  Did we miss any of your favorite paint-related creative design tools?  Let us know about them in the "Comments" section below!

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