Image: Yanko Design
A lot of people groan when the concept of graffiti comes up, the word "vandalism" lurking unsaid. It is true that many mono- or bichromatic tags are little better than dog piss in the hierarchy of artistic endeavors, and people who graffiti political slogans should have the courage to put it on a sign and stand behind it. But in many major cities, Berlin is a premier example, graffiti goes well beyond the ugly and degrading -- and has earned the title "street art". Many street artists have even gone entrepreneurial, contracting with building owners to add some life to the paint job.
Thought-inspiring works of art result. And many waste paint cans to boot. Wouldn't it be great if there was a refillable spray paint can? And wouldn't it be great if you could fill it like an inkjet printer and program it to mix any color you want? In any brightness or hue? Is there a catch?Well, if you don't want to re-invent the wheel, you may be asking yourself 'why not just use an airbrush system?'. But the Color Dial Spray system can answer that hook: it offers a dial-up color wheel that will automatically blend four cartridges of color to produce any desired color, based on the CMYK system. That does sound like a good thing, especially for the color-impaired street artist (?).
But there is some bigger catches that the design presentation does not seem to address. First question: what does this system use as a propellant? Short of a tiring air-pump system, the only push-button propellants available are worse for the environment than recyclable spray cans.
Second question: how will this system deliver and enable refills? If the business types in charge of the inkjet printer model get ahold of the concept, we will see a super-cool Color Dial Spray gadget for sale cheap with refill cartridges at costs no street artist could afford. And lots of disposable cartridge waste. Argh. Re-inventing the world requires fighting so much inertia.
But that is just the point: better product design can re-invent the way we do things today. And with young designers inspired to address questions like spray paint can waste, how can we go wrong? This one may need more thought, but it is thought-inspiring. As the street-art on the Tacheles in Berlin says: "HOW LONG IS NOW?"
Now is forever.
More on Street Art:
Refillable CMYK Spraycans
Garbage Art: Plastic Bags Come to Life
One Street Artist's Living, Melting, Ice Sculptures
Papergirl: Free Art Delivered To You - By Bicycle
Homeless Polar Bear Spotted in Washington DC - UPDATE: Causes Bomb Scare