123KLAN: Design, Graffiti and Progression

Since 123KLAN’s formation in 1992, the world of graffiti has significantly changed. The collective have since remained at the forefront of the movement, applying their street aesthetic to graphic design.

123KLAN was formed by husband wife duo Scien and Klor as graffiti group. As the demand for their work grew, so did their team and their expansion into more commercial based client projects. The team has now grown to include Dean, Sper, Skam, Meric, and Reso 1. Originally based in Lille, France, 123KLAN made the move to Montreal, Canada in 2007.

Their original passion, graffiti, remains an activity of the studio and something that inspires their work, as to them, “style is the message.” 123KLAN has also formed their own fashion label, BANDIT-1$M, which caries their aesthetic onto a selection of street wear.

123KLAN will share aspects of their story with attendees to OFFF Barcelona, an event proudly supported by fluoro. In the lead up to the festival, we give an insight into the progression of graffiti and the role that digital processes play in 123KLAN’s work.

(f) How have you seen the graffiti world develop and change over the last 30 years?

(123KLAN) Thirty years ago only two distinctive forms of graffiti existed. Graffiti writing – part of the hip hop culture – and stencils. Then, graffiti became a culture in itself, never to be discontinued. It has been divided into different single movements, from bombing to murals, to stencils to wheat paste to street art.

Each of these single movements have different artistic approaches and can’t be compared to each other or mixed in the same category. Only the medium is common.

So yes, it changed a lot over the last 30 years but what’s good about it, is the fact that none of these different forms of graffiti took over another. Each one never stopped to push the limits and all of them are full of talented artists. But we still love and put graffiti writing on top of the list.

(f) Tell us more about they way in which digital tools have inspired and progressed your work.

(123KLAN) It has totally inspired us from day one and still does today.

When we produced our first piece of graffiti on illustrator – to practice and master the different tools within the program – the aesthetic of vector made our piece look close to perfection. We were able to obtain a constant and clean straight stroke. It also gives our pieces a futuristic aesthetic too, once again due to the vector aesthetic.

Our process always begins from a hand made sketch, then it is cleaned up in illustrator and then reproduced again by hand on a canvas or a wall. The other advantage of vector is the fact that it can be applied onto almost everything that is printable. We’re so obsessed by the vector aesthetic, that even when we paint a canvas or when we produce a graffiti piece we try to make it look as crisp and clean as possible. It is also why we post some process pictures on our Instagram as we produce a new canvases, with most of people thinking it’s a print!

123KLAN will speak at OFF Barcelona 2014, which takes place from Thursday 15 – Saturday 17 May. This post forms part of fluoro’s coverage of OFFF.

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