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Travel Palette: Graffiti Alley – Toronto, Canada

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Design to Five is back. Back and ready for a new chapter.

I am excited to introduce my new content series: Travel Palettes. Monthly, I will be taking inspiration from places I have visited to create a design palette. I find traveling to be inspiring and it allows you to expand your horizons. Immersing yourself in a different place exposes you to new colors, texture, patterns, and energy. Come on the journey with me to see how travel inspires me and how that inspiration can translate to influence other aspects of my life. 

 This month features a palette inspired by a mural in Graffiti Alley in Toronto, Canada


Graffiti Alley in Toronto 

Graffiti Alley in Queen West Neighborhood of Toronto, Canada

The Graffiti Alley is situated in the Queen West Neighborhood of Toronto and spans about a half-mile. Street art has become more embraced in the city over the past several years. In 2012, a new program, StreetARTornto was created for incorporating and celebrating street art in the city.  Walking around the streets of Toronto, one can see how they have embraced street art into their landscape!

Interested in seeing other street art in this city? Check out this interactive map


The colors of this palette are directly pulled from the colors of the graffiti art. The sourced colors are then matched with a Pantone color. Below are the exact locations of the color inspiration and their Pantone match. 






The colors from the graffiti graphic are translated into selected materials. Chosen materials are inspired by the fiery colors of the textured painted brick paired with playful purples. The Graffiti Alley inspired palette showcases an urban edge and an unexpected blend of colors. 

Let’s dive into each material used. More information on each material is provided in the links below. 

RED: Glazed Brick

The glazed brick is directly inspired by the red-painted brick of the graffiti. This glazed red brick from Arto Brick creates a bold, urban statement.



Glazed Brick – Arto Brick- Apple Valley Red


GRAY: Concrete-look tile

Urban and concrete create the ultimate pairing. The concrete-look tile is inspired by the concrete ground of the alley. This concrete-look texture from Atlas Concorde’s Boost collection provides interest without being too overbearing. The concrete helps tie in the urban feel. 

Atlas Concorde-Boost- Grey



This patterned upholstery ties in colors of the featured graffiti. The yellows, reds, purples, and oranges create a geometric interpretation of interacting graffiti colors. The Crystal pattern from ArcCom anchors the palette and ties all the respective colors together. 

ArcCom- Crystal-Plum



Vinyl upholstery picks up the vibrant purple and creates some play within the purple hues. Designtex’s Faux Sure provides that vibrant energy and ties in the lighter tone in the palette. 

Designtex- Faux Sure- Violet


The deeper purple upholstery is a blend of the red and violet tone established in the palette. Desingtex Hint’s Berry picks up red thread and violet threads, creating purple upholstery that ties it in together the warmer and cooler tones of the spectrum.

Desigintex- Hint-Berry



 The graffiti artwork contains a gold liquid-like accent. This upholstery shifts more towards the greener- tone, but it picks up the color that is showcased in the patterned upholstery. This simple upholstery provides a subtle textured staple and helps to complete the palette. This greener undertone also ties into the shrubs at the bottom. Even though this scene is surrounded by rough and hard surfaces, nature finds a way through. I personally enjoy the juxtaposition of the built and constructed elements with nature and patina.

Douglass Fabrics- Adams-Pickle


Stay tuned next month for another travel-inspired palette!

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Design to five is a blog enhancing the link between culture, travel, and design. The blog showcases products from local, sustainable, business from around the world, and travel-related content to encourage affordable, conscious, and educational adventures for design lovers.

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