Category Archives: Graffiti

Graffiti Taxonomy on the Web

This is a really interesting and fun site to play around with. Look through tons of tags and compare letters. It shows each one as a black and white isolated tag with a letter highlighted in red, then as full color photos after you select it individually. It could be a great reference tool as well.


Sticker Phiends IV

StickerPhiends 4 -2011
On April 8, 2011 I worked the Sticker Phiends show at Cartel Coffee Lab in Tempe, AZ. It was a great show with some amazing work by street artists, graphic designers and graffiti writers. It made me feel a bit better about the Phoenix art scene, although it’s still no New York , of course. I guess like everything else here, it’s not that good things (art, food, etc.) don’t exist, it just takes a lot more effort to find them. But enough of my homesick ranting, I loved that the show was such a great fusion of street art, writing, and graphic design (and I got free stickers!). I stayed pretty busy all night and didn’t get to take any photos, but there are some good ones on the Sticker Phiends site

Handselecta and Graffiti typefaces

Joker Medium Swash typeface

Joker Medium Swash Caps B from Handselecta

Handselecta is a type foundry that turns graffiti handstyles into typefaces. The founders both have backgrounds in graffiti and are working with other writers to turn their work into typefaces. They seem to be some of the few people making quality graffiti typefaces, and taking the idea beyond novelty fonts. As they say on the “Thesis” page of the Handselecta website,

Our intent is to intelligently extend the art form of graffiti into the world of typography and graphic design…Just as calligraphy was the inspiration for type designers of generations past, today’s urban glyphs are the inspiration for a new typography of tomorrow.

I’m interested in what others from the type and graffiti communities have to say about past and present “graffiti fonts,” please post a comment if you have any thoughts.


Revs and Peak

Revs and Peak in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Revs Sculpture

Metal Sculpture by Revs

I’ve been a fan of Revs’ work for awhile. He started in the 80s and has been an influential figure in the graffiti world. From his roller letters and subway tunnel journal pieces to his graffiti sculptures, his work always stands out. Although I like the variety of styles and media he uses, I think his sculptures are some of his most interesting work. I really like the idea of sculptures as graffiti, as well as the way he has turned the letters of his name into 3D objects.

Faith 47’s Calligraffiti

Faith 47 "epitaph"

Faith 47 "epitaph"

Wow. I’m blown away by this artist, Faith 47. She’s a writer from South Africa and her work is incredible. I saw this video of her work on Alan Ket’s blog and then looked up her website. She does these amazing calligraphic pieces, as well as paintings and illustrations. I find all of her work pretty interesting, but it’s definitely the lettering that I’m really drawn to. It’s worth checking out for both writers and type fans.

Just Blazed City Art Supply and Gallery

I checked out this graffiti shop on McDowell Rd. in Phoenix on my trip. They had some great supplies and some really nice canvases. There’s also an alley in the back where writers can paint. It’s so great to see a store like this now, there wasn’t much like it when I lived I Phoenix (there was Wet Paint, which I still love). I was really impressed by what they had, and even more impressed by the work in the alley. Here’s a link to their website and some photos from the alley.

Alley Piece 1

Alley Piece 2

Alley Piece 3

AZ Graffiti post 2

McDowell alley piece

Graffiti from sunny Arizona

I finally got out to take some pictures around Phoenix. Seems like the scene out here is a lot more focused on tags than NYC, probably for a few different reasons. I did get a shot of a nice billboard piece/throwup though, and I’ve seen more nice legal pieces around recently. I also visited a graffiti store, which I will talk more about in another post. The picture above is from an alley behind it that’s filled with amazing pieces. It seems like the Arizona graffiti scene has really been improving since I moved to New York.

AZ Graffiti

I’m in Phoenix for the holidays, visiting family and hoping to get some pics of local graff. The stuff I see out here (mostly tags) is pretty different from New York graffiti. I never really thought much about the local style until I moved to NYC, but there’s definitely a big West Coast influence out here. There also seems to be a lot more to see around the city than when I lived here. Pictures coming soon.

Tools of the Trade: Drips (Post 1)

Continuing my series on the influence of tools on lettering in graffiti and typography, my first topic is drips. Drips in tags are a really interesting example of the influence of tools in graffiti. While drips are undesirable in pieces or tags done with aerosol, as they show a lack of skill and experience in the use of the paint, they are created on purpose in some marker tags. In this case, they are created by homemade or commercial markers with tips specifically made or altered to put out large amounts of ink. In addition to the popularity of the way drips make a tag look, they also signify (at least historically) that the writer has a large supply of ink.


NEA and AVONE's drippy tags.

As the drips are created by the random and unpredictable flow of ink on the surface, they are fully a product of the tool. The writer can only control the amount of flow and speed of writing, both of which affect the drip pattern. However, the final result is dependent on the interaction of tool and surface. Although drips do not affect the basic shape of the letterforms in the same way as a broad tipped marker does, they do create a very recognizable overall look that can only be created with certain tools and techniques.

NYC Gates

Ghost Gate

NYC wants to ban security gates that often serve as a canvas for graffiti.

It seems New York City has decided to phase out those metal roll-down security gates, that many stores use at night, by 2026. Apparently the main reason for this is because they attract graffiti. Here’s an article about the decision:
and one featuring some ideas on how to decorate the gates instead: