Cap Matches Color: Two Decades of Digging Book Preview and Review

By - Friday, October 9th, 2015

History has been made and finally the Cap Matches Color: Two Decades of Digging publication has been released with a ton of fresh content to be read. 12ozProphet was able to score a review copy of the book over a month ago and since then, our eyes have been glued to this hardcover masterpiece. With over 600 images and 244 crispy matte pages total, you get go behind the project and see what went on with the collection process of vintage spray paint over the last twenty plus years. 

First off, this is the most impressive piece of literature in my fucking house. I’m serious. These guys seriously put in the work and made sure this project turned out perfect and without flaw. Perhaps not for the digging, but as far as the book is concerned, it’s pretty solid. The book is split up between eleven chapters all bringing pieces of history to the table between color theory, advertising, color charts, collections, technology and more. Early advertising shows off many poster and magazine images for a few brands such as Eproxy, Krylon, Derusto that show off each brands usage, colors, and unique marketing style which we all loved back in the early 60’s to early 80’s.

Some amazing reads come from artists reminiscing about using old spray paint from when they first started. Bates contributes a lot to the book in general, but in this section, Bates discusses back in the days of using Ultra Color, Quick and Motip paint back in 1987 from Sweden, then traveling to Amsterdam in ’88 to use Sparvar. Shit like that from each artist gives a real look at what brands they remember and what they grew up with. A few artists have images above their blurb so you can see what exactly was painted with the brands the artist discuss. It’s seriously all classic photos for just about seventeen pages straight. The CMC guys go into detail about their hunt the thrill of searching. They scour state-after-state for unexplored paint and hardware stores looking for vintage paint and any related items they can fill their car or truck with and stop at nothing to take up every space in their vehicle. Images of hardware storefronts shortly followed by images of the team with their hauls and what was left from these old businesses. Many places shown seem to be from mid-west America, where the country seems so desolate just like the movies. Their use of bartering netted them some serious hauls, such as palette wrapped vintage cans, racks, signage and more.

Color charts for many gloss paints and primers show a lot of variant colors most brands have yet to duplicate today and yet they’re incredibly kick-ass. From the shades of green by the Rust-oleum New Color Horizons line, to the many matte finish accent colors from Illinois Bronze, it makes nerds like me looking at vintage color charts wish we’d see a lot of colors make a return. A memorable interview shared in the book begins with Bill Bampton, the son of former Krylon President; James W. Bampton where he shares a bit about the life and sucess of his father who created such a gigantic brand. Bill goes into detail on the name behind Krylon, the story behind exporting to paint to Europe and what went in behind cap designs from that era. It’s truly an amazing read. 

The book ends with all current and modern spray paint brands and designs, such as Ironlak and Montana which shows off custom limited edition labels that have been released in the past and make them more about collecting, than using. 

Are you really pleased on how well the book turned out?
“We believe the quality, design, and production on Two Decades Of Digging speaks for itself. One of Cap Matches Color’s founders is a professional graphic designer and when faced with the challenge of producing our book steadfastly refused to settle for anything less than 100%. We all share that same work ethic, and between us it was 20 years of research, 5 years of planning and compiling, and then roughly 6 months of hard grind on the design work– putting in many hundreds of hours. Bates was a huge motivator in the process. He consistently pushed us with strong encouragement. We are forever grateful for his friendship and support.”
Now that this project is done, what else do you and the team have on your hands? What would you like your next project to be?
“We’re always getting into deep n’ nerdy discussions about graffiti and paint cultures; things that we observe or absorb and feel a strong desire to document. This year has been super busy for us with the long-awaited launch of Two Decades Of Digging, a recent second Get-Up State event, and our own vintage Jiffy & Wally spray caps. The Jiffy & Wally caps are functioning replicas of two famed 1970s fat caps repurposed from household products.  Our fans can now use 1970s classic fat caps on a wide variety of modern and vintage spray paint.  We’re currently planning book signing events and will announce the dates & locations for those soon. Otherwise we’re managing the weight of our current workload … but always dreaming big and envisioning the next large project… or another can-digging expedition.”


244 pages
ISBN-10: 0692431078
ISBN-13: 978-0-692-43107-8
Product dimensions: 11.3125” x 1.0625” x 8.75”
Interior paper: 100 lb matte coated paper
Cover paper: 100 lb glossy paper with Matte Lamination Spot UV cover and spine
Cover photography and images AP7Q5579 and AP7Q5585 shot by: Mr Yoshi – @yoshi2406

Cap Matches Color: Two Decades of Digging is available now over at the CMC website. T-shirts featuring handstyles by Menace and Bates as well as vintage style reproduction caps are also made available. The amount of passion these guys put in to preserve the range of relative topics surrounding vintage spray paint is nothing short of incredible and deserve to be shared worldwide. Slam this thing down on your coffee table and let your grandparents remember the golden years that this book offers.

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