When imagining luminescent paint, people of a certain era, remember all the amazing psychedelic art they created while consuming magic mushrooms! While tapestries and VW buses have forever been memorialized, fluorescence has been around a bit longer.
The brothers of phosphorescence
Brothers from Berkeley, California, Joseph and Robert Switzer began their quest of luminescence in the 1930s through identifying naturally occurring fluorescent compounds with a black light. The brothers quickly started mixing the compounds in different mediums, such as shellac, thus, fluorescent paint was created! The simple mixture was used in their magic shows in both their props and costumes.
The brothers developed a knack for business and proposed their paint to companies to use for advertising purposes, and later partnered with Warner Brothers Pictures. Soon their paints would be seen in movie posters and displays across the country.
In the 1940s they continued to innovate the industry, and conceived fluorescent pigments that converted ultraviolet light to visible light making a color brighter than all daytime pigments!
The military made use of this invention in World War II when they used this pigment for many purposes:
Fabric panels - The fabric panels were used on ground troop uniforms in North Africa to prevent bombs being dropped on allies.
Aircrafts - Pilots had the paint used on aircrafts to prevent mid-air collisions, and the Navy used the blacklight fluorescent paints for a guided landing strip at night.
As the war wrapped up, these pigments were used for safety equipment including construction cones, safety vest, and street signs, as a result of their high daytime visibility.
Toy manufacturers also took advantage of this novel paint and began using it hula hoops and posters.
Psychedelics and beyond
This paint is best known for the psychedelic art of the hippie era as seen in musician’s album covers, such as Cream. San Francisco artists emerged on the forefront of psychedelic art and included Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson, and Bonnie MacLean.
Today, a new era of artists have come forth including Android Jones, Justin Guse, Alex Grey, and Amanda Sage. An artist specifically using fluorescent paint as a medium is Cristoforo Scorpiniti.
Companies such as GloNation arrived with industry-leading glow paint that can be combined in any liquid medium and used in graphic arts, plastics, packaging, coating and paints, safety and security, and textiles and apparel.
Craft your own project
Because of the versatility of UV paint and its ability to be mixed with virtually anything, you can apply it to almost everything! It’s wonderful in kids art projects such as:
Mapping constellations on the ceiling
Glow-in-the-dark bowling at home
Glow-in-the-dark t-shirts with Alice in Wonderland scenes
Adults can also get creative and craft illuminous garden stones, paintings, and even jewelry! If you’re entertaining, make glow-in-the-dark lawn games such as twister, tic-tac-toe, or beer pong!
GloNation makes amazing glow-in-the-dark products for all ages! Illuminate your creativity!
Try GloNation products today!