There’s nothing like utilizing the tools in front of us to create art. Look around you. Art is everywhere if you want to find it. For example, who says you need a fancy printing press and machinery to create your own t-shirt designs?
Berlin-based art-collective Raubdruckerin (which means “pirate printer”) uses manhole covers, vents and other public utilities to make unique patterns on clothes and accessories. Not only do they see the common and often overlooked beauty in our surroundings, they also preserve them in unique designs.
And as you can see, the result is surprisingly eye-catching. They work on location, applying ink directly to whatever template they like the look of. Their creations then sell through their online shop. You can find designs from various cities including Amsterdam, Lisbon and Paris. Because most of it is printed directly on the object in a public, there is a performance element to the Pirate Printers products.
The real work of the street art pirates is to reveal the neglected designs of the city. Most of us walk by the little exhibits on show for us everyday and we often not notice. The Pirate Printers show the diversity and creativity that goes into designing a simple manhole cover and that deserves to be celebrated.
Unlike graffiti art, this medium celebrates the designs of the cities for everyone to see and enjoy. Tell us, have you seen the hidden designs in your city? Share them on social media or in the comments below.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.