Typografriday: Calligraffiti

We’ve mentioned Niels “Shoe” Meulman before, but in case you hadn’t looked closer at his Calligraffiti pieces, I wanted to show a few more. I’m not generally even a big fan of graffiti (and nazis and ed hardy have both seriously threatened my love for fraktur) but his hybrid of a loose blackletter and the drips and attitude of grafitti is inspired and beautiful.

shoe_shoe

shoe_destroyed

shoe_diffrent

shoe_spitting

Oh and he makes fancy big silk Unruly scarves too, with lovely color combinations and hidden subversive texts (e.g. “Society Fools,” shown on the model). I’m tempted to buy one but maybe just because it comes with a signed copy of his book.

unruly_societyfoolshot

unruly_2scarves
Although he is fierce at defending his turf, Shoe isn’t the only writer at this intersection. I’ve recently discovered Luca Barcellona, whose lettering work is fantastic, and all the better when he mixes it up with spraypaint on a wall. Here’s a flickr set full of crossover work with his “Rebel Ink” crew.

rebel_wall1

rebel_wall2 copy

Oh and, happy typografriday!

TypograFriday: Fraktur, Part 3

Because you demanded it: the third and final section of me talking about blackletter incessantly! I hereby promise a moratorium until at least January! In this section, finally, 10 great contemporary experimental hybrids that incorporate elements from this traditional calligraphic form with roman shapes to awesome effect.

factory
fakir
blackhaus
aeronaut
adhesivenrseven
bastard
keks
metalista
gothicgothic
brea

Credits and commentary after the jump.
Continue reading TypograFriday: Fraktur, Part 3

TypograFriday: Fraktur, part 2

Last typografriday I shared with you my obsession for blackletter type; this week I promised I’d give you some context. Not that long ago, I was someone, much like most of you, who associated blackletter’s heavy strokes and barbed finials with Nazis, gangs, metal bands, rap and newspaper mastheads. How did I get from from there to here? I’ll share some of my path. But after the jump.

frakt_monamor

Continue reading TypograFriday: Fraktur, part 2

TypograFriday: Fraktur, Part One

So, I’ve been obsessed with blackletter type for years, and putting off blogging about it for who knows how many TypograFridays. Before I start in on, “what exactly is fraktur/blackletter”— that’ll be part two! — I thought I’d show you a few of the projects I have used it on recently as a means of showing how obsessed I’ve become (click here if you can’t wait until next week to find out a little more history).

frakt_dbofrakt_dbo2

It started when, for a book arts class in 2007, I made a short book about blackletter, sort of a rambling discursive monologue about its contemporary use and non-use: blaming the Third Reich for why Gutenberg’s beautiful type has now been reduced to being used only for certificates and death metal, setting some of On the Road in it, analyzing its form (“arrows pointing heavenward and to the ground at once. Its dark strokes are heavy but because of its stilletto heels it still manages to float,” &c.), discussing contemporary attempts at revival, recounting my nervousness that I’ll land on an FBI watchlist when I looked for the verboten Nazi fraktur/roman hybrid ‘jackbook grotesques’ online, and so forth.

frakt_purpcardfrakt_redcard
This year, I’ve hand-drawn blackletter for three projects: it’s apparently my new favorite thing. Most recently, our newest Christmas card uses hand-drawn blackletter that fuses heavy metal pointiness and spurs with classic fraktur shapes and interweaves it with a black scroll studded with lettering for something which leans slightly more toward dangerous than traditional. It may be my favorite card yet; we’re really happy with this one.

Continue reading TypograFriday: Fraktur, Part One

TypograFriday: BKLYN type

Brooklyn_newcastle
brooklyn_greenpoint
brooklyn_haitian
brooklyn_momashow

1. Negative space typography remaining on the facade of an old fabric warehouse.

2. Fabulous awning-side metal letters on a Hotel in the Besties’ neighborhood – note that not only does Greenpoint turn around its curve, but Square actually tilts up a bit to fit as well.

3. Handpainted sign for a Haitian Baptist church with both blackletter and sans serif lettering. I love the mix of careful, studied shapes and disregard for details: the wild line weights and spacing letter to letter in “New,” the awkward sans “S.”

4. Subway poster for Mira Schendel show at the MOMA. We saw this poster on our final day in NY, but didn’t end up seeing the show. The poster made us pretty excited though (this is totally in the vein of some of our faves: Martin Venezky and Simon Evans).

We saw a lot of beautiful typography walking around New York, and it made us want to snap more photos around more often, because it’s really just a matter of paying attention: we have urban type this good in San Francisco too after all!