Process Makes Perfect
Mixing Our First Co-Branded Paint with Ronan Specialty Paints
Life is a process. In fact, it’s a lot of processes.
Crawl, walk, run.
Wake, work, play, rest.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Kick-off, concept, design, refine, v1, v2, v3, v405, v608.
When your life is walldogging, your process becomes paint. Studying, mixing, creating, brushing, spreading paint. It’s the method behind creative madness. The guiding light in a prism of possibilities. The formula for success.
We meditate on this process, which is why it was an honor to work with Ronan Paints, a leader in specialty paints since 1889, to develop new colors and a co-branded label for their best-selling line of Bulletin Enamel.
We’ve shown love to Ronan before (remember this visit to their Wonka-esque warehouse?). That’s because we’ve relied on their paints since we started this thing we call Colossal back in ‘04. Over the years, we’ve worked together to improve painter tools and resources, promote our trade, and support each other’s work.
Last year, our collab culminated with a co-branded line. Ronan’s expert team mixed pigments while designers at Colossal Studios took the label through many rounds of development, from first sketch to final format. The result is a product that’s just as beautiful as it is durable. Ronan Paints x Colossal Media Outdoor Bulletin Enamel meets the strictest requirements of discriminating artists worldwide and sets the standard for quality, long-lasting hand-painted signs and murals (hoo-rah).
Matt Panuska, Vice President of Ronan Paints, got his hands dirty with us every step of the way, leading the charge at the Newburgh, NY Ronan HQ and serving as our go-to contact for all things paint. Recently, we talked about this rainbow road of hand-painted high jinks—where it’s taken us and where we’re going next.
How has Ronan evolved over the years to better serve painters? Any innovations you are especially proud of?
Matt Panuska: We’re always listening for feedback, looking for ways to improve our coatings and make them work better for the folks who use them. Ronan has developed a nice range of water-based coatings that have become quite popular. We have a couple of new projects in the works that we’re really excited about. Some of those will be especially appealing to hand paint shops doing large-format advertising.
How did Ronan come to learn about Colossal Media?
MP: That’s a funny story. About a week after acquiring Ronan Paints (in 2018), I got a phone call from the guy who was at that time responsible for keeping Colossal’s paint shelves stocked. He started the conversation saying “We use more Ronan than anyone else. I heard you just bought the company. When do you want to come visit?” So we made the trip down to the shop, met with a handful of folks and had some really great conversations. We walked away from that first encounter having learned a lot about hand-painted advertising and all the work that goes into producing a mural. We also left with valuable feedback about our Outdoor Bulletin Enamels, which resulted in some important conversations back at our lab. We immediately went to work tweaking a few different color formulas. Just a few weeks later, Colossal reached out to say some of the paints on the newest shipment were noticeably brighter and bolder. So thanks to early input from the team at Colossal, we were able to start delivering product improvements very quickly.
Ronan is known for consistency and quality—and doing things its own way. Why this partnership with us on your most popular line of paint?
MP: Both brands are deeply invested in this idea of hand-painted signage, advertising and murals. Ronan is the go-to paint brand for that type of work, so we teamed up with Colossal – arguably the most-recognized firm in the business – to further drive the “Always Handpaint” message and encourage more people to pick up a brush. We were already working together on some different projects and toying around with a few potential new product ideas. This collaboration was a natural extension of that.
We’ve watched a resurgence in hand-painted advertising in recent years and wanted to be a part of it, because we expect this renewed interest will continue to grow.
– Matt Pansuka
Hand paint is sometimes called a “dying trade.” What do you and the folks at Ronan have to say about that?
MP: I think the fact that we bought Ronan Paints tells you everything. We’ve watched a resurgence in hand-painted advertising in recent years and wanted to be a part of it, because we expect this renewed interest will continue to grow. There’s a lot of really talented shops out there, both big and small, working hard day after day to promote their craft. The more attention they get for their work blending art and advertising, the more brands will take notice – and that means more new opportunities will open up for these businesses that make their living from hand paint.
What’s next for Ronan?
MP: We’re really excited to get to collaborate with the talented folks at Colossal. We’re working on some new things that we hope will appeal to walldogs everywhere, making life easier and helping them produce even better pieces.