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The evolution of Balcony Boys

Meet the Melbourne t-shirt label that began life as a meme page

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Balcony Boys began life as the tongue-in-cheek moniker for a crew of friends who gathered on the balcony of a student apartment in Brisbane to smoke darts and shoot the shit. As many worthwhile projects seem to, this moniker soon morphed into a meme page and the aesthetic of what would eventually become the Balcony Boys label took shape through content sourced from 4chan and Tumblr.

Their amalgamation of low-fi, nostalgic imagery with retro fonts and a bright, confronting colour palette has quickly amassed an avid following. Balcony Boys is the brainchild of a graphic designer and fine arts graduate who moonlights under the pseudonym Señor Balcony. According to Señor Balcony, the label is about ‘Spreading messages of togetherness, love and understanding through interesting graphics on clothing’.

The label’s DIY, ’90s style t-shirts have a distinctive look to them, as if they’ve been pulled directly from the low res screen of a Windows 98. Balcony Boys’ use of obscure, reappropriated imagery feels both familiar and alien and through the re-occurring exploration of themes like sexuality and spirituality, the label’s designs possess a philosophical depth that’s tinged with humour.

‘Mostly I just hope that people can feel some sort of connection with Balcony Boy’s graphics, regardless of how significant, and relate it back into their lives,’ explains Señor Balcony, revealing the wholesome intentions that lie behind his enigmatic façade. We chat with the man in question about his creative process and where the label is headed next.

Who is Balcony Boys?

Balcony Boys is a powerful international organisation led by Señor Balcony, an elusive man with fingers in all the pies.

How do you come up with your designs?

For the most part, the designs are fairly sporadic. There isn’t too much of a concept and I just try and follow intuition. It’s often when something is on my mind, that the workflow’s the smoothest. Perhaps it could be a phrase floating around in my head or some lyrics I was listening to that resonate with how I’m feeling. I might start by surfing deep into the web looking at memes and searching through blogs and databases for graphics that I think I could use. After that, it’s a case of manipulating everything using the software and experimenting with text and image quality effects. It’s not a particularly conscious process, it’s a bit like your brain is on weird auto-pilot mode. I think most people who make anything experience the same thing.

What design do you feel best encapsulates the ethos of the brand?

I don’t think there could ever be one design that encapsulates the ethos of the brand but, personally, it’s the ones that I know have a deeper story and meaning.

What does Balcony Boys sound like?

Balcony Boys sounds like two lost souls connecting on a higher spiritual plane of existence.

What’s up next?

More love, more graphics, more clothing, more products, pop-up stores, and hopefully a doof.

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