An Interview The Molotow Team About Their Amazing Brand
Two of Molotows very unique acrylic pens were featured in July's Discovery Box alongside this interview which subscribers found in their Painting Guide. We've now released it onto our blog for everyone to enjoy 🙂
Andy: How did the founder of MOLOTOW.TM get into manufacturing paints? What is his/her background?
Molotow: The founder of MOLOTOW.TM (Jürgen Feuerstein) was the son of Wilhelm Feuerstein who ran a paint shop (family business) in Lahr (Black Forest). Jürgen got an education in the same field in Backnang, where he learned a lot about surfaces and coatings. When he came back to Lahr, he took over his father’s business after his death and further developed it. At the start, he expanded the product range with car accessories.
As a result, he got in touch with car tuners – a target group that was strongly connected to the Hip Hop scene that came from the USA to Germany back in the 80s. As the Hip Hop scene has some elements in common with tuning, such as Breakdance, DJ’ing, Graffiti etc, he quickly got in touch with graffiti artists. After a short time, he realized there was no spray can that was well suited for graffiti purposes. This was the spark that ignited the idea of a graffiti-optimized spray can, and was the beginning of a new era!
Andy: Can you tell us a little about the history of MOLOTOW.TM? What has the journey been like to get here?
Molotow: After the idea of a graffiti optimized spray can came to Jürgen, he was looking for people to help him put his idea into practice. Therefore, he spent a lot of time finding a suitable producer that was open to this new business idea. After some time, he found a producer in Germany that was able and open-minded enough to go into production. Together with the producer and some graffiti artists, Jürgen developed and improved the technique and performance of a spray can until it was working well for graffiti applications. This has a lot to do with adjustments he made in valve technology and the mixture of gas and paint in a can.
He also developed the first chrome spray can with no mixing balls inside, which was a milestone for the underground dogs who were into train writing! During this time, he created the perfect graffiti spray can that, even today, remains the reference spray can when speaking about street art, urban art, graffiti and painting murals (which all need to last as long as possible, because they are exposed to the sun). The name of the spray can was: MOLOTOW.TM PREMIUM.
Andy: What is the process for designing a new paint product?
Molotow: The idea of a new product comes from different triggers: sometimes it’s a trend showing up in the art market or similar, and sometimes the artists communicate their needs or problems when speaking about application tools. These are all circumstances that may result in a new idea and then, in a new product. The most important thing is to be close to the artist, and give them a friendly ear for their needs!
After there is a certain idea, MOLOTOW.TM opens a new project within the company. There are several people included in this process: product developers, the marketing and graphic department, the purchasers and also the distribution team. The creation of a new product takes many stages before getting it to something tangible. When the product development (technology) of a product is clear, the marketing and graphic teams work on the strategy, positioning and design of the product. Sometimes hundreds of scribbles are made before the look of the product is clear! As this may also concern spray paint, there are safety regulations and signs that must be included on the label. When the product exists in pictures, all this data is provided to the producer and the manufacturing process begins. The first product then undergoes quality control in terms of quality, performance and design, and sometimes corrections are made before the final production.
Andy: Andy: How do you choose which colours to include in a paint range?
Molotow: The colors chosen for a spray paint range depend on the needs of a market (end customers). In doing so, it is important to have a feeling for the users and their requirements. There are also empirical values and basic colors that are always requested by customers.
However, there’s more steps to this than just defining the color range. The producer provides the colors as a sample before the manufacturing process starts. Especially when speaking of pigmentation, opacity and brilliance, MOLOTOW.TM is very fastidious and critical. Sometimes it takes 93 formulas until ‘a red’ is ‘a good red’!
Andy: Andy: Can you tell us about your ONE4ALL.TM markers?
Molotow: ONE4ALL.TM (our bestseller!) is an acrylic paint system that consists of markers with different bodies and tips, and a corresponding spray can. Both product groups can be combined, which allows a wet-in-wet application. As a result, the ONE4ALL.TM system is perfect for mixed media applications. However, this is not the main unique selling proposition that makes this system so successful and popular. More important is the sustainability that stands behind this product concept: ONE4ALL.TM pump markers are built to refill. This means, no new marker is needed when running out of ink. Refill bottles in different sizes are available, which reduces the plastic waste. In addition: the tips of the markers can be exchanged and there are many empty markers that are suitable for mixing your own color range. This is why we speak of a ‘system’ rather than only of markers.
Andy: Can you tell us about your LIQUID CHROME.TM?
Molotow: LIQUID CHROME.TM is our latest innovation and also a bestseller. It’s the only real(!) chrome on the market that works inside a marker. There are many metallic effect markers but none of them have a mirror effect like chrome paint has. There are also many chrome paints for the industry, but no chrome paint inside marker tools. This is why LIQUID CHROME.TM is unique and the only chrome marker available. The product is Made in Germany too, just like our ONE4ALL.TM markers!
Molotow acrylic pens in the July 2019 Discovery Box
We picked a One4All Charcoal and Silver pen, as well as their incredible Liquid Chrome marker!