60’s Revival, Manhattan Office Stripe Mural

We were hired to create a modernist office mural for an investment banker on State Street in Manhattan.   The client wanted to liven up the employee lounge area.  His ultimate goal was to offer a place for relaxation but also to casually discuss projects.  The finished product was well received by employees as a “non-corporate” look.

We decided on a fun mural on a prominent curved wall in the space  (27’ x 8’)– bright and playful, but also conservative, since they are bankers, after all.

I’ve seen a trend for the 60’s revival in today’s office space — no surprise as “Mad Men” still holds the attention of viewers.

I looked through my library.  Two designers immediately caught my attention:  Alexander Girard (fantastic collection of striped fabric patterns used for commercial spaces and airlines) and Saul bass (graphic designer who illustrated for movies and corporate logos).  From my research, came idea for colored bands.

I enlisted my son, Roman – who is studying graphic design.  I gave him the assignment of working on color combinations using illustrator and Pantone colors. Once we had an overall palette of colors, we spent many hours working with different separations, rhythm of colors, and the degree of slant.  I didn’t want it to look like a bar code.

We started mixing almost 100 colors even though it was only 67 that we needed.  We made a strike of each tonality – constantly moving them around.  Once I was happy with the rhythm, we taped down the colored “matchsticks” in place.

Final maquette.

Then, the color mixing commenced.  How do mix all of these colors?  I use latex paint and tint further using GOLDEN Matte Fluid Acrylics.  Love those color shots – Pin me!!!

The process starts by making the marks

Calculations I made of each stripe as they varied in width and needed to fit within a 27’ space – including the slant!

Snapping lines with Roman (added flair, for style).  Don’t try this move, kids.

Taped off alternate stripes

Basing out the first coat – some stripes needed up to 4 coats!

Lunchtime view


Lots of dirty brushes on this job

Two fingers of bourbon and a Lucky Strike, anyone?








  1. James Herbst says

    Pierre and son
    Thank you for sharing your project…I am starting to switch to proceed after decades of working in solvent materials. I have so much to learn about the proceed line, at age 64, and do not want to always trust my intuition. Which blue tape did you use for the parameter demarcations? Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Beautiful! Love this concept.

    Your process reminds me of a color theory homework assignment I had back in college. We used coloraid, color paper cut into matchsticks, created 4 different sets of color combinations. One in grayscale.

  3. Loved hearing the whole process and seeing you work with your son!!!! Very interesting!

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