Nike Electrifies Their Brand With Rosco Paint

I recently received an email from a gentleman named Thad Gessel at Derse, a marketing agency that handles the retail design and displays of Nike Stores across the United States. The email informed me that they use a mixture of our #5782 Fluorescent Yellow and a little bit of our #5783 Fluorescent Green paint to “nail Nike’s Volt color in Nike retail stores. It matches really well and gives the pop that makes Nike Volt cool.” We reached out to Mr. Gessel, and he shared his process for achieving Nike’s Volt color for a recent display inside the brand new Nike Store - SoHo in Manhattan.


Nike Volt is a collection of neon yellow-green shoes, apparel and accessories that empower their customers to make a bold color statement. Nike Stores across the country have been bringing that same bold color statement into elements of their retail designs. Achieving that bright and bold color with off-the-shelf paint, however, is a challenge. “Nike’s Volt paint is listed as PMS 381c,” Gessel explains, “but unless you add a fluorescent component to the paint, it always ends up looking like a plain yellow or green, never the “electric” volt color you see in their popular apparel.”

rosco_nike_paintingv2Painters putting Thad Gessel's Nike Volt paint technique to work inside the new Nike Store - SoHo

There are two key components to achieving the bright, neon Nike Volt hue – the proper base-coat and a recipe of Rosco Fluorescent Paints. First, they establish a base coat color by priming their surface with a bright yellow green latex paint – basically the closest match they can get to PMS 381c color, without any fluorescence. This technique is employed because this installation is expected to last up to five years and fluorescent paints tend to fade over time because they are translucent. By painting the base coat a close opaque match it keeps the visibility of this fading to a minimum.


According to Thad Gessel, here is the Derse team's magic fluorescent paint-formula for achieving the desired  “pop" of the Nike Volt color: one-part #5783 Fluorescent Green + four-parts #5782 Fluorescent Yellow, which is added to five-parts of the original latex paint used for the base coat.


Gessel explained that they have used this technique previously in other Nike Stores, but always for painted stencil work. The new 5-story store in SoHo was a bigger project, however, because now they needed to cover several large I-beams throughout the space. Gessel’s 50/50 mix of latex & Rosco Fluorescent Paint allowed the paint to cover all of the various surfaces of the I-beams in the store smoothly and evenly in just two coats. They finished off the project by adding a clear-satin top coat to give it some sheen and make it easier to clean.


Thanks to Thad Gessel at Derse for giving us a look at this project and for sharing his formula for creating Nike’s bold color statement. The next time you’re in Manhattan, stop in at the new Nike Store in Soho to see for yourself how Rosco’s Fluorescent Paint adds the necessary electric pop to the Nike Volt-colored i-Beams inside.




Jenny Knott November 18, 2016 Questions?

About Jenny Knott

Scenic Paint & Coating Product Manager: A graduate from the University of Missouri, Kansas City with an MFA in Design and Technology, Jenny has been a freelance scenic artist for over 30 years – working for regional theatres including Missouri Rep (now KC Rep), Arena Stage, the Guthrie and Goodspeed Opera House as well as union scene shops. Jenny is a member of United Scenic Artists 829 as well as a past member of USITT’s Board of Directors. Jenny continues to paint, which keeps her current with emerging scenic artists and helps her discover new ways of approaching paint challenges. “Bring on the goop and let’s get creative.”