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page 2-3 <--there - here page 4-5 Introduction page page 6-7Opening Screen page 8-9History Lessionpage 10-11Cherell Avery interviewpage 12-13Same but different page 14-15Quotepage 15-16Timelinepage 18Roman Empire, Travel from the eastpage 19Gothic, Ups and downspage 20-21Photo linespage 22-23Risk Interviewpage 24-25Psychology ink test page 26-27TheosOne interviewpage 28-29Graffitipage 30-31Roman & Medieval graffiti - Monikers & Kilroy Was Herepage 32-33Gang graffitipage 34-35Modern graffiti page 36-37What is calligraffitipage 38-39Shoepage 40-41Sources

Petter Bratland 2013Visual communication research project


Calligraffiti - no dictionary results No results found for calligraffiti: D i d y o u m e a n

C a l l i g r a p h i s t

graffiti [ g r u h - f e e - t e e ] 1. p l u r a l o f g r a f f i to. 2. ( used with a plural verb ) markings, as initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building or public restroom, or the like: These graffiti are evidence of the neighborhood's decline. 3. ( used with a singular verb ) such markings as a whole or as constituting a particular group: Not much graffiti appears around here these days. Origin: 185055; < Italian, plural of graffito incised inscription or design, derivative with -ito -ite2 of graffiare to scratch, perhaps influenced by presumed Latin *graphre to write; both probably derivative of Latin graphium stylus < Greek grapheon; cf. graphic, grapho-, graft1 Related forms graffitist, noun U s a g e n o t e In formal speech and writing graffiti takes a plural verb. In less formal contexts it is sometimes considered a mass noun and is used with a singular verb. The singular graffito is found mostly in archaeological and other technical writing.

calligraphy [ k u h - l i g - r u h - f e e ] noun 1. fancy penmanship, especially highly decorative handwriting, as with a great many flourishes: She appreciated the calligraphy of the 18th century. 2. handwriting; penmanship. 3. the art of writing beautifull y: He st u d i e d c a l l ig ra p hy when he was a young man. 4. a script, usually cursive, alt h o ug h s o m et i m e s a ng u l a r, produced chiefly by brush, especially Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic writing of high aesthetic value. 5. Fine Arts. line or a group of lines either derived from or resembling letter forms and characterized by qualities usually associated with cursive writing, especially that produced with a brush or pen.

Origin: 160515; < Greek kalligrapha beautiful writing. 1610s, from Gk. kaligraphia, from kallos "beauty" + graphein "to write" (see graph). Related: Calligraphic. The usual comb. form in Gk. was kalli- "beautiful, fine, happy, favorable;" kalo- was a later, rarer alternative form.

The calligraffiti Project

This project is about Calligraffiti. A product of two wide apart cultures. From an urban arform bred out of peoples urge to get noticed and dicovered, to an ancient artform, delveloped and respected trough 4000 years
The two arforms in them selves are hard to explain in one word, there are som many aspects about them both that should or not should be considered in risk of confusing or to get dee in a long and heavy history lession, or for that matter, a book. There are so many books written on both subjects, each focusing on just small or wide parts trying to explain the history, the ideas and philosophy, or how to perform them. So to get the whole understanding for them both you would have to study it for several years, and in the end you would probably have more loose ends on your questions than what you originally started up with. This is what I at least have discovered, getting new questiones, answers and understanding. In the beginning my main research questions was to understand the main development of graffiti into calligraffiti. Why or how writers of this urban artform, enviorments and cultures got inspired of this respected and importaint arform wide apart from the wallwrintings in an backalley or on your local train. I also wanted to research and understand calligraphy, its origin, development, who have used it, how it have been used. The journey from the East to the west, and maybe see the connection to the graffiti writers this way. Troughout my research several new and interesting facts have occurred and i have been led away my roughly planned path several times, although these sidesteps took time i have found very interesting information that have not only helped me highlight my research questions, but also helped me create and support new claims about this subject. I wont go too deep into eighter the world of calligraphy or graffiti, but hopefully give an easy understandig of how these artforms occured, developed, and merged to people outside this new and expressive artform.



history lession
History Lession noiss History Lession noi History Lession

lettering origins...

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In anchient China about 4000 years ago. Gia Gu Wen, or Jia Gu Wen, are the earliest kinds of Chinese characters been discovered. These where written on bones and

personality. The study of calligraphy is a long prosess. There where little space for self expressionism, and you should copy other masters strokes and styles. When
Liang losoTravfrom man east pire PhiThe emphy Rothe Hu art el

turtle shells. It is not a fully mature language, but many of the pictograms used in this language are precursors to the later modern Chinese written language. The prime minister of the Qin Dynasty in 221206 BC promoted a unified form of writing based on old inscriptions from previous states before China was one, such as the bonewritings, but also several other languages and scripts. Calligraphy works from the Qin Dynasty are higly evaluated by calligraphers troughout history.

writing, it is said that many calligraphers would forget worries and themselves, only focusing their thoughts of their art. This state of mind are compared to Qigong, witch is said to improve a persons temper and improve their well being.

Liang Hu
From the Han Dynasty there is a story about Liang Hu, a calligrapher, who used to go to the resturant, didnt bring any money but got paid by the visitors to watch him write on the wall. It is hard to find much information about Liang, but the info i have found spread between different pages and books is also about a Liang Hu, whitch was a highly regarded calligrapher in the imperial court, here he had a importaint adminstrative post. Later he was appointed a major for an army.

The art
It was under the Han Dynasty Calligraphy became an arform, and was equally valuated as the art of painting. There where many highly regarded calligraphy works from this time, but the artists where humble and did not care about fame and recognition. The most importaint was the art in itself and not the artists. As they reached a very high level of art these works and thougths became the example and standards for later great calligraphers.

Calligraphy was regarded as the most abstract and sublime art in the Chinese culture, and it was said to be the most revealing of ones

cherrel a v e r y

sendt from my iphone

Dear Petter
I was pleased to hear that you are interested in researching calligraphy. I worked with a graffiti artist some years back on a youth project where we taught our different skills to participants who then created work for exhibition. Some combined the calligraphy with the freer styles and stencilling, others chose to use the edged pens in an expressive way . It was a great success and I enjoyed trying out spray cans and stencils myself. Our main aim was to help the kids to be able to express themselves visually, which they did. Yes, I imagine that the fashion for urban style calligraphy may engage young people to look at historical letter forms and copy them. I was aware of the artist you mentioned . One of the benefits of this is an increased awareness of proportions, weights and aesthetic appreciation by young people which may feed into visuals of the future. Maybe also the understanding that results cannot be achieved instantly is a good lesson .

There are similarities between graffiti and calligraphy as you say - the development of styles - but also the way the learnt movements of the writing arm/ hand leads to the creation of new and exciting letter shapes through constant practise and speed. I taught a young graffiti artist and admired his penmanship and ability to manipulate the pen he was far better with these skills than many if my advanced students ! I dont condone public defacement of property by graffiti artists but do appreciate their art form. As a professional calligrapher I have had extensive training ( it took a long time ) so have a huge repertoire of skills to turn to for either formal work or more expressive lettering art. Whatever I undertake - even free work - is done with the highest standards of craftsmanship . This is the main difference. Graffiti artists dont have the skills to be formal calligraphers but many trained calligraphers would be able turn their hand to graffiti if they wanted to I suggest you research the work of brody neunschwander ( Bruges), Denis brown (Ireland) , thomas ingmire ( usa)and Katherina Pieper ( Germany ) to see expressive lettering artists/ calligraphers who have had years of formal training like myself. I h o p e B e s t

I was pleased to hear that you are interested in researching calligraphy. I worked with a graffiti artist some years back on a youth project where we taught our different skills to participants who the Some combined the calligraphy with the freer styles and stencilling, others chose to use the edged pens in an expressive way . It spray cans and stencils myself. Our main aim was to help the kids to be able to express themselves visually, which they did. Yes, I imagine that the fashion for urban style calligraphy may engage young people to look at historical letter forms and cop One of the benefits of this is an increased awareness of proportions, weights and aesthetic appreciation by young people which the understanding that results cannot be achieved instantly is a good lesson . There are similarities between graffiti and calligraphy as you say - the development of styles - but also the way the learnt move creation of new and exciting letter shapes through constant practise and speed. I taught a young graffiti artist and admired his .he was far better with these skills than many if my advanced students ! I dont condone public defacement of property by graffiti artists but do appreciate their art form. As a professional calligraph


t h i s w i s

h e l p s . h e s


same but different

In 1983, his family moved to Los Angeles, and 16-year-old RISK enrolled at University High School on the citys west side. RISK made the high school his personal canvas, tagging his name everywhere during the day and returning at night to do pieces. He turned some of his buddies onto graffiti and started a crew, Prime Crime Artists, with them. In 1985, RISK was painting in mid-city when RIVAL approached him and asked if he wanted to start a crew. Just like that, West Coast Artists (WCA) was born. One night, RISK and fellow writers RIVAL and MINER were sitting on an overpass above the Pasadena Freeway just north of downtown L.A. when RISK decided to hit one of the signs hanging over the freeway. To get to the sign, he had to shimmy across a piece of wood supported by two cables. His friends, scared for his life, begged him to come back to the overpass. RISK didnt listen, and managed to get his name up.

T-Kid 170 is probably the last writer in the lineage of the TDS, TFP, and IND's stylemasters. He learned from such masters as Tracy 168 and Padre Dos in the 1970s and started evolving into his own style in the '80s. His ability to draw helped him immensely when he started competing with European writers through the '90s. He continues to paint around the world.

DAIM, born in Lueneburg, Germany was soon drawn to the nearby metropolis of Hamburg by its tentacles deeply enrooted within the subculture scene. In 1989 he started his career as a free artist and a spray can virtuoso. Only one year later he was commissioned his first remittance work and in 1992 the change of aliases so important for a graffiti artist took place. The latter of course playing a major role within modern street calligraphy International art- as well as lecturing work soon led him amongst the midst of transnational artist groups such as GBF, SUK, FBI and FX. Within those brood cells of new styles and techniques DAIM developed a diversity of skills which enabled him to go beyond his roots. Concrete walls were more and more replaced by canvases while spray cans from a hip hop shop were now often amended by mouse clicks in Photoshop and Illustrator. Firstly, two dimensional pictures evolved into bafflingly three dimensional graphics with seemingly unlimited depths and perspective only to finally become sculptures leaving the confinement of flat surfaces entirely. daim-graffiti.html

At the tender age of 7, CAN2 had a driving need to artistically improve his desk at school as well as his school books with his own illustrations. In 1983, his first fledgling attempts at spraying took place in his hometown of Mainz. His inspiration from the very start originated in the Mecca of Graffiti, the Bronx. CAN2 represents the Bronx style of the early 80s in his view the only true graffiti style from the start. CAN2 sprays letters that have a dynamic impact. Most of this spraying is accomplished on walls. His distinctive characters have a diorama effect and are markedly alive. The difference between his characters and those of other sprayers are to be found in the shading and of course in his distinctive style.





Tracy 168

Cope 2


Bates began writing graffiti in his early teens and despite his tender age soon became one of the most prolific artists within Copenhagens budding hip-hop scene of the mid 1980-ties. Already in 1989 he was considered among the leading elite of European graffiti artists including names such as Loomit from Germany, Mode 2 and Bando from Paris, Delta and Shoe from Amsterdam. With the internationalization of the European graffiti of the early 1990ties the rumor of Bates stylistic elegance spread even further and he soon became of the most sought after artists for the big venues around the continent and overseas. In 1998 he was the second artist to be featured in On the Runs biographical series on international graffiti writers. In his graffiti art Bates combines a traditionalist New York feeling for style with an emphasis on a logic flow of letters, dynamic and swinging rhythms of bars and arrows with a European sense of technique, of sharp lines, with a graphic verve and an near flawless can control.

The Vietnam War was a negative time for America, and feeling the need to balance his life, TRACY 168 would begin his career and turn his talents into something positive. Using his drawing skills, unique sense of color, style and imagination, TRACY 168 would change whole, lifeless subway cars into vibrant, rolling rainbows. These detailed illustrations established scenery on entire cars as part of the graffiti culture. TRACY 168 would later describe this form of expression as Wild Style. As the creator of Wild Style, Wild Style is whatever you do in life done to the best of your ability. If youre not the best, then find your purpose, and be the best at whatever it is you do. This art form is what jazz is to music. A moment in time captured with the flair of the streets. REAL LIFE! It came from the hearts of the people-US. To the founder of the crews, WANTED and WILDSTYLE, the inspiration to many writers, and one of the architects of the Graffiti Movement, Thank you Tracy 168. aboutus/tracy-168/

Cope2 is an American artist of Puerto Rican decent. Born in 1968, New York City native Cope2s paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and auctions throughout the United States and abroad. He is a self-taught artist who is a celebrated figure for over 30 years in the graffiti art culture. One of New York Citys most legendary prolific graffiti artists, he began tagging his name in the South Bronx in 1978. He developed his style in the subways and streets of the Bronx creating graffiti productions throughout the 1980s and 1990s achieving international recognition for his distinctive style. In recent years Cope2 has been commissioned by Time Magazine, Converse and designed a full collection for Adidas. He has worked with Steiner Sports collaborating with the New York Yankees Derek Jeter producing graffiti on memorabilia. His work has even crossed into the virtual realm with appearances in video games such as Mark Eckos: Getting up and Rockstar Games: Grand Theft Auto IV. Today, you can catch Cope2 in the studio painting, bringing his raw energy into abstract masterpieces, intertwined with his trademark bubble letters and tags on canvases. He has also delved into curating successful group exhibitions. Cope2 crosses between art world, mainstream and street culture alike.

Born Andrew Witten, Zephyr began his art career in 1977, painting his Zephyr moniker on subway cars. He was part of the first wave of graffiti artists to make the transition to galleries, collectors, and commercial work. In 1982 he was part of the original group of artists to form the FUN Gallery in Greenwich Village, New York, which at the time also included such art icons as Futura 2000, Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. In 1983, his art was part of an exhibition that toured Japan which also included Fab Five Freddy, Dominique Philbert, Futura 2000, and Dondi White. That same year, Zephyr was hired by Director Charlie Ahearn to design and art direct the title sequence for the first hip-hop film, Wild Style, in which he was also featured. He is co-author of the 2001 biography Dondi White Style Master General: The Life of Graffiti Artist Dondi White and in 2005, he was included in the East Village USA show held at The New Museum. He has been featured in the films Style Wars, The Art of Storytelling, and Bomb It. designer/zephyr/

Dr. Rat (real name Ivar Vics) was a well known dutch graffiti-artist, and started to be an almost mythical figure when he died at the early age of 21 years old. His work can be considered as groundbreaking in the European graffitiscene, working in a provo- and punkcontext, focusing heavily on themes like mortality and pop-iconism. This is a registration of him painting in a alley next to the famous Kalverstraat, also known as the Pissteeg (Pissalley) made by piratetv-makers PKP TV. bates/entry/dr.-rat-amsterdam-1981/

Dr Rat





"Just as I dont like to limit myself to just New York graffiti letters, I also like to try different techniques. They are usually driven by the scale of the work. If I use a pen in a sketch book, the movements and shapes come from my hand. If I use a brush on a big piece of paper, its all in the wrist. And using a spray can on a wall or canvas is mostly done by my arm. Lately Ive been experimenting with brooms. They are basically big brushes and, just like a roller on a stick, I have to use my whole body. Its my hand/wrist/arm/body theory." -shoe-


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The earliest kinds of Chinese characters been discovered. These where written on bones and turtle shells. It is not a fully mature language, but many of the pictograms used in this language are precursors to the later modern Chinese written language. The Romans alphabet where developed and influenced by the Phoenicans who developed the first alphabeth about 1200 B.C... ...whitch in turn was developed by the Greeks in 850 B.C ...and then the Etruscans, who invaded Rome in the 7th century B.C. If you follow the path of the western parts of the Silk Road, it is easy to see the influencial geographical path of the alphabeth from east to west. The Arabic alphabet developed from the script used for Nabataean, a dialect of Aramaic. The earliest inscription that has been found that is identifiably Arabic is one in Sinai that dates from about A.D. 300. The inhabitants of Pompeii was eager writers, and several wall writings have been dicovered, commenting the daily life and particularly politicians, which carved their election slogans and promises on private persons houses. The Han Dynasty 202 BC - AD 220) An calligrapher, Liang Hu went to restaurant but didnt bring money. He wrote on the wall. People there liked to pay for him by watching his calligraphy. Uncial, in calligraphy: ancient majuscular book hand characterized by rounded strokes. It apparently originated in the 2nd century ad when the codex form of book developed along with the growing use of parchment and vellum as writing surfaces. Carolingian minuscule, in calligraphy, clear and manageable script that was established by the educational reforms of Charlemagne in the latter part of the 8th and early 9th centuries. These writings and carvings tells stories about the Black Death, prayers, pictures of ships, animals and figures. In general things that was importaint to people during this time Viking rune carvings are found all over Europe, in Istanbul are there found viking names and pictures of their ships. On the Orkney Islands they tell about a treasure, writing their names, and boasts how good their writing skills are?

Qin Dynasty

Graffiti is ispired by almost every other culture, people, writing styles - personal and artistic approach there is. And the artists often interpret and makes his or hers inspiration into their personal style

G ra f f i t i i s i s p i re d by a l m o st eve r y ot h e r c u l t u re , people, writing styles - . And the artists often interpret

and makes his or hers inspiration into their personal style

G h ot ic
sA Lo ng el es 30 19 0 -4 s on st Bo 40 19 s Ph ila de lp hi a 65 19

Modern Graffiti
Friday, 21 Jul, 1971


Out of the middle ages the Gothic scripts merged, a script type that reflects this times minds and architectual style. The gothic scripts is pointy, aggressive. They may be hard to read since many of the fonts are made to be space saving.

Los Angeles gang graffiti, or cholo writings. Inspired calligraphic letterings.

James J Kilroy worked at a big shipyard during the world war two where his job was to check if certan tasks where done by some workers before others took over the next step of the production. To check of the job he would take a grease crayon and write kilroy was here. As a former sign painter, Kilroy had a great handwriting.

Cornbread, starts writing his name on walls around Philadelphia

Taki 183 sees Julio 204 signatures around in his neighborhood and also starts writing his name along his routes as a deliveryboy, covering almost all of New York.

Roman empire

travel from the east

Travel from the east
Both the Qin and Han dynasty where big and wide spread over the whole east. So these dyansties have had a big influence and on all the areas of the anchient east in the development of the written language and calligraphy. Each country have over time developed their own styles and scripts that originates from these leading and great military powers regarding the art of writing wery high. The Han Dynasty reached from southern Japan, down the coast to the middle of Vietam, east to sentral Asia, but here they where stopped by other powerfull empires in the middle east. The Quin and Han dynasty probably influenced these areas too, but the calligraphy from here are more exspressionistic and artisticly performed depending on what documents it was used for. If you look at Arabic calligraphy there are 15 varieties of skripts used for different purposes. The first experiences of calligraphy west of these areas are most likley traveled second hand or through generations developed and influenced each other into what we now know as the Roman or Latin formed beween parallel lines and had the same hight, this style of writing came from the way they wrote, mostly carving or scratching the letters into wax tablets for the everyday use, since paper was expencive and hard to get hold of. The texts engraved into buildings, monumets and bridges, was mostly to honor the builder, emperors or other leaders in that time, and the inscriptions where often covered in bronze to improve and highlight the importance of the message or the leader it was about. Bronze became a presious material in the dark ages and these covered inscriptions where often stolen. The development of the calamus, a piece of reed with a split and flat end that absobed ink just as the split pens we use today, made it together with the quill, easier to develop more round shaped letters and improvement of the speed of writing.

Roman Empire

The Romans alphabet where developed and influenced by the Phoenicans who developed the first alphabeth about 1200 B.C, whitch in turn was developed by the Greeks in 850 B.C and then the Etruscans, who invaded Rome in the 7th century B.C. If you follow the path of the western parts of the Silk Road, it is easy to see the influencial geographical path of the alphabeth from east to west. The Roman Empire was big and stretched widly around the Mediterranean sea, down to egypt, up and around the black sea, northwest up to Germany. The northest was at the middle of Great Britain. The educational system where well developed, and education was higly regarded by the Romans. Since the widly stretched empire had such a big influence for several centuries the standard of writing and reading was passed to most parts of Europe, and later America


Romans use
The Inscriptional Capital was used both in stone carving, and brush written letters, these letters was


Out of the middle ages the Gothic scripts merged, a script type that reflects this times minds and architectual style. The gothic scripts is pointy, aggressive. They may be hard to read since many of the fonts are made to be space saving, and therefore ofthen called blackletter since the pages looks like a sea of ink. It is also called Old English. In the more humanistic parts of Europe such as Italy and Spain it was developed more cursive gothics such as the Btarde and Rotunda. Also from this time italics was developed, it was written with more speed, flow, and fewer pen lifts. The italics are descendants of humanistic scripts with endless variations. After the renaisance edged pens declined and was replased or superceded by copperplate, witch was done with a pointed quill and with a lot of ornaments.


All this time there where developed gothic scripts, and they played a major role in the northern parts of Europe. Even in Germany the gothic scripts lasted as a official script into the middle 20th century, this may be a reason many people may associate the agressive looking blackletters with the Nazis.

Ups and downs

The word of god in flourishing styles that added glory to the letters themselves, lost their fame in the midt 1500s where bibles and books where rolled out from the printing press, and took the place of the monks calligraphic skills. But together with the Renaissance the interest for the art of calligraphy flourished again. end of the 18th century, and made and oposition to all the mecanical and mass produced that came out of this time, and calligraphy got a new revival. Again. Today, dispite computers calligraphy is still alive, it is used all over the world, from logos and newspaper headings to wedding invitations, official documents of the White House or written by Queen Elizabeth official scribe. It is still regarded an art, but if you ask a persons common perseption about calligraphy nowdays they will probably mention it as a middle aged womans own style and the search of being noticed in the world of easy information it have become more importaint for people to get appreciation for their art, we have probably only seen the beginning of these new ages of modern hand letterings and calligraphy. search for a hobby. If you look for good calligraphy there are a lot of great artists nowdays too, many countries have their own scholar and levels of how trained you are. Since calligraphy is not in the most common use nowdays, there are many of the calligraphers that turn their focus into fine art, and mix their scribing skills with a more expressionistic approach. Because of this there are probably more styles and expressions there has ever been in the calligraphic world. And the latest years focus individuality, finding your As the industrial revolution came along with its business and round tipped pens, it was not importaint to think about how you wrote, but how you dealt with your business. Others could take care of the writing, and it lost its intelectual values it had troughout the centuries. But William Morris came along with the arts and crafts movement at the





Can you shortly tell your
story and background, both personally and your approach into writing, like what or who influenced you to start up with it in the first place. Was it the fame, culture and/or opportunities? I was actually writing without knowing I was writing. I wrote surf and drew waves and sayings like wipe out or aloha etc. then a kid from New York showed me NYC subways and I was like WOW! thats what I dio but with spray paint. I went and stole a few cans of spray paint, came back to school that evening and did a piece. I was hooked instantly, the adrenalin rush and impact of creating huge pieces...

R i s k , R i s k & S h e p a r d F e a r l e y

In a career spanning 27 years, RISK has impacted the evolution of graffiti as an art form in Los Angeles and worldwide.

Who/what is your inspiration nowdays? They change constantly, most recently guys like the Los Angeles Fine Art Squad, and 70s chicano artists like eloy torrez, etc Do you think the acceptance of new and different styles in the graffiti culture have had any influence on the breeding and evolution of street and public art. No I think the breeding and evolution of street and public art is simply the immediate gratification age it was just a quicker easier way to get up. a stencil, and or wheat pasting are all forms of getting up but way easier and or quick (obviously some exceptions)

Why do you think the graffiti movements writers got so inspired and adopted calligraphy styles?
Appreciation for letters as an art form,

When do you think calligraphy becomes calligraffiti

I guess its when someone has a basic knowledge and they apply both making a hybrid such as Calligraffiti...

As i see it the classical calligraphy and Graffiti lifestyles are wide apart from each other, but there are similarities such as the interest for scripts and their personal development of this. Do you think the graffiti culture have helped to open and bred, interests to art and culture to persons who in the first place dintt have the best condtitions for it?
200% if I understand the question right.... I believe graffiti is the last hand to medium to surface art form, after that came digital where people create via machines, programs, filters etc. graffiti bred the last generation of modern day artisans are juvenating arts a s a whole for younger generations

Do you think the graffiti cultures many calligraphic styles have helped to open up the interest for calligraphy to a younger target audience?
Yes, when people are interested in things they tend to research, as the old jazz players said, you cant know where its at until you know where it came from

I had an interview with an British (a classical and professional trained calligrapher), which claimed that a trained calligrapher would easier adopt and develop graffiti style signatures than an established graffiti artist would copy and make calligrahy styles. What do you think of this statement/ do you have any assuptions answering?
I feel it would be completely opposite, because graffiti is unique to the individual where as calligraphy fonts are set and documented as fonts, making it easier to repeat study and learn.



INTERVIEWSINTERVIEW FOR SPANISH BLOG THE HIDDEN PEOPLEYou just got back from China, what did you do there?During the Beijing Design week, Converse hosted a project called Off Canvas. They invited me and five other (typo)graphic artists to create art in the streets of Beijing. I did three experimental pieces located in two hutongs. A hutong is the Chinese equivalent of a favela minus the crime. One was on a flat roof (visible from another higher roof) where I did my Calligraffiti with a 120 cm w power of the flippable letter combination un was the binding theme for all paintings. Theres a great video registration by Swedish film maker Petter Eldin online:, events, projects, shows, running your own gallery and publishing a book you sure are one busy artist Is there any one thing that gives you more satisfaction? Which one and why?I actually think of myself as being lazy. I never set an alarm in the morning. I watch TV a lot and often get dru expecting great things of my solo show in San Francisco which opens March 24th at 941 Geary gallery. the last thing you wrote/painted/created?Most people value works of art that took a really long time to make. I think its the other way around. If something beautiful is created in a few seconds, it adds to the value. A big part of making a piece is done in my mind and sketchbook. Ideas for pieces can come to me when watching TV, taking a nap, in the shower or when drun my life. I figured that I had enough life experience to focus on a specific thing, to experiment the hell out of it and to totally own it. Its as if everything before 2007, at age 40, was practice and now Im executing my mission. To kickstart this mission, it was useful to name it Calligraffiti because it is self explanatory. It is also the name of the book that was published in 2010. I feel that Im distancing myself from the term Calligraffiti now, though. I dont want it to become a brand. Complicated enough?What makes a good c more about your Unruly gallery, when did you start and how do you pick and choose your artists?Its tiny space in a small but notorious neighborhood in Amsterdam. In the 80s it was all squats and junkies, the cops didnt even go there. Now its still far form being upscale but it feels right to have the gallery there. The owners, my dear friends in Ibiza let me use it as a studio/gallery. After a while I had the idea of showing work by my contemporaries besides mine. This year weve hosted five exhibitions: a group show car pull into the station (especially your own) but after its gone, we end up looking at a photograph. Unique pieces are so much more powerful than prints.Where does you own art belong and why?I think my art belongs with people who appreciate it. And when those people explain their connection with it, thats priceless.What would you say are the highlights of your career? Why? My life has really just been a continuous flow so far. Even my years as a graphic designer and art director came and went naturally. Winn event but had no real plan behind it. Financially I went out on a limb, and it was heart warming to see that so many supported my art and jumped to the opportunity to finally own a real Shoe, ahah.Is there anything you would have done differently?If I had my time againI would do it all the sameAnd not change a single thingEven when I was to blameFor the heartache and the painThat I caused throughout my yearsHow I loved to be your manThrough the laughter and the tears(Mick Jones, Big Audio Dynamite)Being part is, that to create a piece, within my self-set boundaries can be fucking hard. Especially now that I understand that every truth comes with an untruth. My future work will be about just that.If you were president for a day, what would you do?Ban helmet laws and legalize drugs. Let people decide whether they think safety belts, smoking or snorting coke are good ideas. If this results in an increase of deaths, it could even help against overpopulation. Governments are taking away our freedom and its interfering with natural was stenciling the logos of The Cure and The Jam on my jacket to impress the girls in my class without having to talk to them. You know what I mean? If youre a shy kid, you need to find alternative ways to manifest yourself. The kids on the dance floor, the kids telling jokes might be popular, but subtle fashion statements and introvert doodling might attract more interesting people. Anyway Whilst cutting the cardboard with a scalpel, I realized that it was really important to get the details right. The details make the diff growing up in Amsterdam in the Eighties it was quite common to pick a name and write it wherever you went. I did a strange drawing of a shoe. Because nobody could see what it was supposed to be, I wrote shoe next to it. After a while I dropped the drawing, the letters remained and Shoe became my name. In the years following I wrote it so much and with such passion that I became world famous in Amsterdam. But I always saw my graffiti-fame as a step towards other fields of expertise. I went from graffiti artist to wanted to exchange ideas about typefaces and kerning. But after a while I realized that designers talking about design ang giving awards to other designers is narcissistic and totally uninteresting. Master Beeke called it koekenbakkers voor koekenbakkers. I found that the same goes for the advertising and Im now discovering that its similar in the art world. But now that I have my own special realm Im always prepared to travel and paint with an audience present.Which is your biggest source of inspiration?Television progra is -obviously- the size. The size dictates what part of your body has to do the work. When I do Calligraffiti it is either with a pen (hand), brush (wrist), spray can (arm) or broom (the whole body).Your work constantly reveals the utilization of new tools to design typography such as sprayers, window cleaners and swabs, what have you been experimenting with lately?In China you can see elderly people in the street doing various activities. Some dance, some exercise or do tai chi. Some do calligraphy with a brush on a s strong attraction for us, is it going to lose its importance because of digitalness?There is room in this world for both paint and pixels.We feel it in our fingers, we feel it in our toes, lettering is all around us what has happened? Is it going to come back with even more strength?When I was a teenager I wanted to live in a world like in the movie Blade Runner. The chaos and the information overload was like a dream to me. Now that Ive been to Las Vegas, Tokyo and Guangzhou Im getting used to it. But I always retu LETTERCULT.COM BY BRIAN JARAMILLO, MARCH 2011A teenager enters an Amsterdam bookstore, circa 1981. Hes shy, doesnt talk to anyone, doesnt dare make eye contact. Hes always looking down. At his shoes. He grabs a stool to reach the upper shelves. He pulls down some books, and sits quietly for hours, turning pages, absorbing the images. Whats strange, to the clerk, is the booksthis kid is reading books on typography. Japanese logos. Vintage type. This was Niels Meulman at age 14. voice to the kid who didnt say much. Gave him a direction. And the skills to launch an identity.To pass the time during long Amsterdam summers, teenagers would go out at night in crews and tag walls with various logos or symbols. His symbol was a shoe, but to make sure people understood, he wrote the word out. SHOE.Drawing on his love of letters, and New York City graffiti, Shoe crafted the name in a variety of lettering styles, tagging his identity wherever his spraycan could take him. SHOE bombed the fuck o in the military, he considers himself lucky to meet Anthon Beeke, a respected Dutch graphic designer. Beeke gave Shoe an opportunity to apprentice, and Shoe learned from a master.It was a classic master/pupil education, Shoe says. I was introduced to all the mechanical aspects of design.The quick rundown of what happened next: Shoe started his own agency, Caulfield & Tensing, BBDO Worldwide bought Caulfield & Tensing, and kept Shoe on board to direct its international advertising efforts. Shoe starte life. And LETTERS have guided him from chapter to chapter. Which brings us to 2010.In 2010, Shoes book Calligraffiti was published, and Shoe supported it with a 22-city tour. This was the coronation of Shoe as the guy at the top of his game, the guy with an unparalleled ability to make lettersno matter the medium or the method. The stuff he was passionate about at age 12 had taken him all over the world and brought him back home, full circle.The tour was a success. Shoe stopped in cities such as L.A., Boston events in 2010 wouldnt have happened without the efforts of Adele Renault and Adam Eeuwens.4. I am the catcher in a baseball team at the Amsterdam Pirates.5. I just did two projects in New York: a T-shirt design for the New Museum and a poster project for the Type Directors Club.INTERVIEW FOR DESIGN.NL BY DAVID SOKOL, DECEMBER 2010Niels Shoe Meulmans design version of a midlife crisis started in 2007, during a month-long visit to New York and staring down his 40th birthday.At the t rarily), and emerged two months later with a solo exhibition introducingCalligraffiti to adoring audiences.Meulman has largely worked by and for himself ever since, in more recent years from his Amsterdam home overlooking Looiersgracht. He reflects on Calligraffiti as a mash-up of all his previous phases as an artist. Meulman sprayed his first Shoe tag at age 13 and within a few years he, like Haze, had risen to celebrity status in the graffiti world; 16-year-old Meulman began learning calligraphy; in the 1990s he was running zontality to his work, if only to prevent drips. In fact, he explains that choice of medium informs application technique, which then informs the final product. The difference in letterforms is physically defined: With a pen you use your hand and with a brush you use your wrist. Of course Im very used to doing bigger stuff with a spray can, in which you use your whole arm. And recently Ive been experimenting with big brooms on the pavement. The shapes have the same starting point but the physical aspect really defines a mural for the weeklong event feting its move from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Ive found that these kinds of opportunities are all about coincidences, Meulman says.Another series of coincidences inspired the subject of the San Francisco installation. Since seeing them in Los Angeles, Adele Renault, a graphic designer at the Amsterdam-based design studio Dog and Pony and Meulmans girlfriend of two years, had been drawing pelicans almost obsessively. Its a pretty weird bird, but she was really into it, Meulm Dutch literature, and it is attributed to a monk testing a pen. The first time I heard the text, I was really touched, Meulman recalls, adding, I figure the oldest Dutch line of text also is the oldest example of Dutch design, because the moment you write something its already designed. The references to nesting perfectly suited the location of the mural, too: Supernatural, a new San Francisco gallery selling European furnishings and locally made artwork.Like the previous work at Throw-Ups, Meulman executed the San Fra is a kind of barometer for the graffiti movement, which itself is experiencing a second wave of popularity. This time around its older and wiser, more aware of its history and more dedicated to a holistic legacy.INTERVIEW FOR MY MODERN MET BLOG, NOVEMBER 2010By mixing beautiful and traditional calligraphy with the rawness and grittiness of graffiti, Niels Meulman gives a whole new way of appreciating both art forms. Meulman, also known as Shoe, is an artist, designer and art director who was born in parking at the age of eleven and did my first calligraphic sketches at sixteen with an older friend of mine who was working at an ad agency. A year later, I also got a few classes of calligraphy in art school but that didnt last because I dropped out and started my first company. After that, I did all kinds of jobs in design, media and advertising.Until 2007. I was forty years old and decided to be an artist. It was only natural that I would go back to my early loves; graffiti and calligraphy. And I just didnt want to choose. Its like Y am a very logical person and I therefore understand that the inexplicable can only be approached intuitively. To me, that is what art is.Which is your favorite piece and why?Shoe: This I can not answer, its like if you would ask me which is your favorite child. I dont have any children but I suspect that I couldnt answer that either. Then again, if you are forced to choose, you know deep down what your choice would be. A friend of mine once asked me to write down my 10 favorite movies. You can only do that withou cess?Shoe: In 2007, I organized the first Calligraffiti exhibition. In Amsterdam. This got a lot of international attention and I got a call from MTV Networks. They knew about my years in advertising and offered me a job as Creative Director for all their channels (MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and TMF). Even though I had just decided to be a full time artist, I tried to combine the two. But I really didnt fit in the corporate world anymore with all its meetings and internal politics, so I didnt last. What I did pick up exciting times. First there was the internet bubble that exploded, than we had the banking system that collapsed and now I feel that post modernist bullshit artists and their elitist galleries and museums are being taken at face value. And there are so many great artists with roots in the urban asphalt emerging at the moment, its not even funny!Are there any tips youd give to aspiring artists?Shoe: Make sure that other people dont value your work more than you do.INTERVIEW WITH JUICE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2010W commercial artists and besides the typical graffiti jobs we also did stuff like lettering for billboards and I did my first logo designs. The company stopped in 1988 because I had to do my military service. Can you believe they trained me as a dentist assistant? Ahah!Youve went through various stages in your career as a businessman. Which were the best moments and why?When I look back its funny to see that I switched from independent to employed about four times. First in graffiti, then in graphic design and later in adv amazed by the result of my own piece. Hopefully now that Im working alone I can have those moments a the same time. Ah!If youd have to give an advice to young Graffitiwriters whod like to step into the design-world, what would that be?At first, do everything, every project you can get your hands on. Flyers, posters, letterheads, whatever. And then, when you feel you are ready: specialize. And dont talk too much. Listen and observe.What can a Designer learn from Graffiti Art and what can a Graffitiwriter learn compared with the Japanese character calligraphy and a masterpiece is more like the initials that medieval monks would draw with gold in books. Ive had this realization from the beginning and maybe thats why I feel so comfortable with this Calligraffiti thing.Whats the difference between a letter and a picture?A few years ago I did a lecture and workshop at UCLA, California. My first statement was: A word is an image. I think a letter in itself is nothing. Its about words. The sequence of the letters and the meaning o usually something wrong with the shapes.It is said that Calligraphy has a meditative aspect. Have you made that experience?For sure! Im no new age freak and Ive never meditated, but when I attack the white paper with the black ink I have to be in a perfect mood. Which isnt that often. I cant do a Calligraffiti piece while doing 3 chats and a near deadline when the phones ringing, no no! And I cant be too drunk either. What Ive learned is that I must wait until the circumstances are right. Like a cat that waits at the spent two months in a huge space -an old postal warehouse in Amsterdam- with all kinds of inks and types of paper. Those ones came out the best. I also like Indian ink because of its intensity and glow. I also like to work on a small scale with a calligraphy pen with metallic tip. It all has to with the size of the work. Ive categorized my four main techniques like this: Hand (pen/Indian ink), Wrist (brush/marker ink), Arm (spraycan/wall), Body (broom/street). I demonstrated all these in a video made by the masterly blog w graffiti writers like Ego, Dr. Air and Walking Joint were more of the hooligan type. In 1983 we started to see New York style bombing and then the movement really took off.How were you introduced to graffiti and why did you choose to practice this art?In school half the people of my class were writing their nick names on the toilet walls and in the streets. And Ive always had a strange obsession with letters. So, it was kind of obvious, really.Which old school writers did you meet in New York, Paris and London?I had Munich and Paris.Could you please tell us about your Calligraffiti style?Calligraffiti is my way of translating the art of the street to the interior of museums, galleries and apartments. The older I get the more Im drawn to simplicity and directness. The kind of directness youll find in graffiti and especially tagging. I have always been fascinated by Eastern and Arabic calligraphy and I took these aspects together with my experience in design and communication and merged them into a personal style. Calligraffiti.Are you run like this (below), I will keep exploring it.<< Hi Niels. Thanks a lot for the lectures at TypoBerlin this year. You really got me inspired me to start doing calligraphy for serious. I have attached another N for your collection on - Toke Nielsen>>or<< Hello, first off I would like to mention the art work is incredible. The whole concept and notion of the art: amazing. Im looking forward to purchasing a copy of the book, its great to see how a book on the artwork of Shoe is published. Question: what i artist, Ill ask you the same questions as anyone else Who are you? Where are you from? And What are you doing?Ahah.. yes, Im known by some, but a total unknown to many others. I was born in 1967 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. My father was a film maker and my mother a law teacher (later: unemployed and judge). Growing up in Amsterdam in the 80s was really great. Freedom ruled and culturally there was the unlikely combination of British anarchy and American consumerism. Since then I have applied m it was something many kids at school were doing. Later, when we realized that they were doing it on trains in New York it really became a world. In the following years I became part of other worlds like graphic design and later, advertising. Now Im focussing on the art world, even though I dont really belong to any of those scenes. Whenever I start focussing on another world I try not to look back too much. So for me there is really no point in starting again with bombing the streets and getting up. I can never get to some interesting results besides my art. And yes, there are of course many other artists that are influenced by calligraphy and graffiti. Eric Haze, Jose Parla, Retna, The Boghe, to name a few. Even before I made a name for myself as a graffiti writer I was interested in all forms of typography and calligraphy. Maybe this quote from the book Spraycan Art by long-time friend Bando explains it well: The first day someone invented a letter. And the first day someone made an effort to make a letter look good. Thats when it st Whenever I see an old postcard, an Arabic book, some 17th century tile decoration or the Book of Kells, it can influence me in a way that I try a new variation in my handwriting. Its constantly evolving. Like an organism, really.In the past you created pieces (please correct or complement me) outside by the use of paint rollers, ink tanks, and spray-cans, or painted beautiful handwritings by brush for inside. Whats the ultimate tool for a calligraffiti artist? Are their any plans for the near future New projects, new shows, n stick, I have to use my whole body. Its my hand/wrist/arm/body theory. Together with a befriended film maker (who also directed the ink-tank video) were talking about an experiment using one of those cleaning cars with the big rotating brushes. So maybe after body we can add car. Ahah! Soon on WITH STREETWEAR TODAY, MARCH 2010Lets have a look at a time called back in the days. You already tagged walls in the late the Seventies. At that time Ive seen that punk g graffiti in galleries and museums my biggest influence was Dondi. He really was a kind of a mentor when I first started to do New York styles.. Sadly they are both dead.Did you ever got busted or were your shoes always faster?Oh man, I got caught so many times. I used to be proud of the fact that I had seen almost all (20+) Amsterdams police stations on the inside. Back then, they would make you spend a night in jail and sometimes youd get a fine. My shoes were actually pretty fast (I used to play baseball) but bombers like Sign, Lino and Tabu. But I remember Chintz and Loomit for sure.So what about the Crime Time Kings how come that you have been involved in this first international crew?Basically it was like this in the early eighties: In Amsterdam you had us, the United Street Artists. In London The Chrome Angelz and in Paris the Bomb Squad 2. Bando united us all in Crime Time.How did you start turning it into biz? And tell us for sure first about Happy Family.In the eighties Amsterdam walls were pretty badly bo where we would tell shop-owners and housing projects that we could paint their walls for money or we fuck everything up with tags. Plus if the USA painted the wall, nobody would fuck with it. Also around that time we did some paintings for the infamous chain of coffee shops called the Happy Family (and the Bulldog). The owners were some of the toughest criminals around, moving huge amounts of dope all over the world. We would go for a drive with one guy in his BMW. Then he would point at spots, saying: taught me the graphic design trade. After 3 years of working very closely with this diverse autodidact from Amsterdam (like me) I started my second business: Caulfield & Tensing. We had many employees and pioneered in design, websites and advertising. We sold the place, including ourselves to BBDO in 1999. There I worked as an art director for 2,5 years, creating campaigns for huge accounts. My third company, Unruly, tried to do marketing, but on my terms. That worked for a while but when my business part Genever. Did you learned it in a professional way? When did you named the term Calligraffiti. Did you planed it than as a concept?When I moved away from the commercial world I went to New York for a while. Together with Eric Haze I started experimenting with inks and brushes. The idea of Japanese calligraphy really appealed to me. One word on a piece of paper. Very direct. An ode to (letter) forms. Meanwhile I also kept doing words (logos) for reproduction. To me those two are within the same realm. A issues ago is this your work too?The Unruly scarves are a side project. Im not a fashion designer but like fashion, so silk scarves seemed like a nice product to create. I art directed all the Unruly photo shoots. They are done by befriended photographers that I met during my advertising years.When I opened your new book yesterday the first thing I noticed was the missing space type on page 11. Haha. Dear reader: Forget that. Its really a fucking good book. Okay, I know a lot of your works, but often it was setting a qu the index in the back shows a bit more of what the hell Im talking about. Adam Eeuwens and I spend two weeks creating a rough outline. He than went back to Los Angeles to write the essay and I started designing the book and writing the index. I know Adam has been a good friend since the nineties when he was still living in Amsterdam. Weve done numerous publication projects together.Your last words in the book are save the planet kill yourself. Now you get the chance to give us some more positive last w blends ancient calligraphy with worldwide graffiti styleIn the 1970s and 1980s, Amsterdam had its own graffiti movement before the New York variety had fully arrived. Anarchists, squatters, punk rock, Ska and names like Dr. Rat, Ego, Dr. Crack, Weed-Freak and Survivor were all over town. The 12-year-old Neils Meulman loved it, took on the pseudonym Shoe, and began to write graffiti in a Gothic font, just like Dr. Rat, one of the pioneers of the Amsterdam graffiti scene.To a Californian, Gothic lettering in graffiti is calligraphy entered the mix, and at age 18, Shoe started a lettering company. Then, at 20, I learned the graphic design trade from the master, Anthon Beeke. Then I started a design agency, sold it and became senior art director at BBDO and later creative director for MTV. Now, that was all very nice but in 2006 it was time for me to use all that experience and go back to the source; my real passion. In early 2007, Shoe went to New York for a month, hanging out with his old friend Eric Haze, whom he had met in th al handstyles with a metropolitan attitude.INTERVIEW WITH RICH MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2008From bold, quick throw ups and tags to the slow and delicate proces of creating the Rich emblem. Has Shoe finally softened?Emblem, I like that. Its too complex to be a logo, isnt it? Anyway. Yes, I have become more soft. Let me share my theory about softness: All are born soft. When you grow up, you become curious and start asking questions. The more questions you ask, the tougher you become. Youth is fo grasp the idea that it isnt only me and my silly brain thats doing the creating. There are many unnamable things that influence the process. Some call this intuition, or worse, oneness. I know what youre thinking Hes not gone soft, hes gone completely bonkers! Well, check this out (off the record): When I work on a calligraphic piece -like the Rich graphic- theres this continuous question: how do I so swiftly decide which curves are good and which need tweaking? This then triggers the notion that my goal is to unc a window-down whole-tram by LOral and one by Shoe. Multinationals think and operate in the exact same, primitive way that a fifteen year old angry (careless) young man does. An organization of 100.00 people has the same structure as a person. You know; board of directors on the top floor telling the others what to do, etc. But I dont see any CEO that realizes he really doesnt decide shit and subsequently transforms into a smooth sailing (still careless) artist with a zen-like focus Whatever, I created a situatio is a terrible question.What if Rich asked you to join them as an art director?Do you think that before the word carpenter was invented, the guys profession was called arranger/attacher of dried tree pieces? Maybe. My point is that I havent been able to find a word to describe what I do. And that sucks. The best I can do is: typographic design / creative direction. Maybe its time to choose art over power and the creative direction has to go. Exemplary is my time at MTV Networks as Creative Director. All aspects card? Spelled as one word.What can we expect from you next?Unexpect the expected.INTERVIEW WITH DANIELLE ARETS FOR SALONE DEL MOBILE 2006Niels Meulman, 38, is a man of few words. You wont hear him saying designers have an important social duty to fulfil. Meulman, who puts out his work under the simple name of Shoe, gets his pleasure out of making beautiful things. What kind? Well-crafted letters, for instance, that instantly appeal.He gave himself the name Shoe as a street artist. changed business partners several times since then. Meulman just wants to do something new from time to time.And thus it happened that while working as a senior art director at the Netherlands biggest advertising agency, he became an adbuster someone who defaces advertisements, subtly changing the pictures or letters so that the original message takes on a whole new meaning. Adbusts are a fun game, Meulman says. But Im not against advertising. On the contrary, I embrace its visual violence and try to distill He learned the trade from the famous Dutch graphic designer Anthon Beeke. When I got out of the army, I had made up my mind to go look for a real job, he says. But I knew one thing for sure: I didnt want to go back to the classroom. I strongly believed in the master-apprentice idea. Beeke, who I called up one day to ask for work, didnt take much persuading. Hed learned the trade that way himself. Under Beekes auspices, Shoe developed from a talented graffiti artist into a skilled designer and typographer.A out great, but I wonder if it really got the kids much further. Kids who are really determined to become designers will make it with or without a project like this. And you cant force talent.Media icon Marshall McLuhans famous slogan The medium is the message is tattooed on Meulmans arm. Its just a cool saying, he says. But his work is clearly at odds with the idea. Whatever the medium Shoe turns his hand to the street, a poster, new media his message remains the same: making good, communicative lette painting trains alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, on down to his works shown in New Yorks Museum of Modern Arts, he is one of the originators who has, and still influences many worldwide. We got in touch with Rammellzee for some brief questions about Shoe.When and where did you cross paths with the artist known as Shoe?Yaki Kornblit Gallery Late 1983 with Baz, whos father I used to play chess with.What set his graffiti style apart from so many other talented artists?Absolutely none He was a bombe haha)?It was great to hit the wall with him Specially cause it was a Museum. You should ask this same question to Shoe about Dondi. I dont crack jokes on Shoe Hes too solid of a man!BANDOBando discovered Hip Hop and graffiti culture early in New York, got inspired by legends like Futura 2000 and brought these fresh artforms back to France. In turn, he influenced a whole generation of writers and crews in Europe and worldwide with his indisputable talent and style. He was also the instigator of many wo What set his graffiti style apart from so many other talented artists?Letter style, no bullshit decoration like so many others, but simple to the point style, like Seen & Dondi for example.Are you familiar with his current calligraphy-style work?Yes, somewhat.Any personal comments or amusing anecdotes about Shoe?I have to think about that one.ADAM EEUWENSAdam Eeuwens is a close friend of Shoe and co-author of the excellent Dutch design book False Flat which documents illustrations, product design, old and you cross paths with the artist known as Shoe?The first time I crossed paths with Shoe must have been around 1984. I was in a crowded Saturday afternoon tram in Amsterdam, and this group of kids my age jumped on and began bombing the tram floor to ceiling with fat black markers. One of them stood out by finding the craziest spots to apply some mad skill. He was also the most infuriating and soon several aboard were shouting and threatening violence. This kid just stared them down and got out the last possible m spray can in my life, after Niels and PJ read the story they bestowed on me the honorary title of writer, with the tag Flux. To date, this is still one of the greatest honors I have received (along with my friend Jorge from Tijuana calling me an honorary mujado, or wetback, after I got deported from the US once).What set his graffiti style apart from so many other talented artists?His deep love of the letter, maybe? The enormous skill that makes the letters flow that one beat more natural? His capacity to continuously produce a great pleasures and privileges of my life. It was never work, it was play, with no qualm that it was often way past midnight. And I always felt that combining my talents and skills with his resulted in an equation where 1 plus 1 makes 3. We made beautiful things with a sense of mission, convinced we were making an important contribution to the wellbeing of our generation and society; never did we demand less of ourselves and each other. Some of the work we did together is certainly for me some of the best I ever did an his travels and various surroundings he developed his very own unique style of lettering and characters, which he is probably most well known for. And not only does his work look good: Mode 2 analyzes and utilizes his artistic expression to comment on society, communicates through culture and inspires people. We caught up with this Chrome Angel for some words about Shoe.When and where did you cross paths with the artist known as Shoe?We met at the end of July 85, on the river banks of Paris, where he president and ran the chapter from that city.What set his graffiti style apart from so many other talented artists?I think the fact that he was mentored by Dondi gave him as good a starting point as any would wish or die for, and Shoe himself had really sound instinctive knowledge of how to make letters look good; hence the perfect balance of letters in his short and unforgettable name, for instance This grasp of what impacts best graphically made him stand out from the rest, but I also think that the rich and diverse graffit as he had been a bit more away from the scene. Recently I saw his work with scarves, which is probably just the tip of the iceberg, as to what hes been doing in that directionAny personal comments or amusing anecdotes about Shoe?At the after-party of the Backjumps Live Issue2, he must have told us he was leaving about four times, but after each and every departure, he would come bouncing through the crowds fifteen to twenty minutes later, as if he was just getting into the party; a bit kind of Groundhog Day! immersive environments of impossible landscapes that envelop the viewer in image and sound. In 2004 she invited Shoe for a series of lectures and workshops at UCLA. We got in touch with her for some words on Shoe.When and where did you cross paths with the artist known as Shoe?I fell in love with Adam Eeuwens in November 1995 in Amsterdam. Adam came to visit me in Los Angeles (my home), and he arrived with Shoe. That was the first time I met Shoe. Late that night, we all strolled down muscle b cation and play, and as such, his graffiti style emanates a formal rigour and elegance, an almost violent vitality through the complexity of its value, contrast and colour, and a graceful flow that makes the work seem to appear easyan effortless beauty. But what makes his work so unique is his brilliant play of word and imagesomething he truly masters.Are you familiar with his current calligraphy-style work?Very much so, and love it. It is this relationship between word and image that has for long captivated Niels Shoe M the three-day workshop, we assigned a wall for the students graffiti. Amongst 30 students and professors, without anyone noticing, suddenly there was Shoes tag all over the mural. He came like a ghost, acted so quickly and gracefully, and stunned an already impressed group of students and professors. He became a myth in our department, and you still hear students talk about him.Mndez was born and raised in Mxico City and received her BFA (1984) in Communication Design and her MFA (1996) in Media Public Enemy, EPMD, LL Cool J, and the Beastie Boys. Haze founded his own clothing line in 1993, which remains recognized worldwide as one of the original brands that helped create the blueprint for streetwear as we know it today. Over the last 10 years, Haze has also produced a diverse range of client work and collaborations with industry leaders such as Nike, Casio, Honda, and Apple. Recently relocated to back to NY after over a decade based in LA, Haze now directs his company out of their new Brookl 90s, both for work and personal reasons, and we grew to become family and the best of friends over the yearsWhat set his graffiti style apart from so many other talented artists?Even though we are from different backgrounds and somewhat different generations, one of the things Shoe and I always shared was a sort of parallel experience of being graffiti artists who branched out into graphic arts as both designers and art directors of our own companies Like myself, while Nielss work and aesthetic is rooted in his gr who can really take things to the next levelAre you familiar with his current calligraphy-style work?Very much Its always been part of what he does, and I think we recently rediscovered some of this new flow together while he was staying with me in NY last season I had just set up a extra part of my studio to get a lot more wild and sloppy in and we went out and bought a lot of different brushes, inks, paper, paint and materials to experiment with together since we only had a few days left, I let Niels use most o


wide floor sweeper and white paint, the type thats unavailable in Europe because of its toxic components. I had done some street painting with a broom before, but the size made this one truly next level. Another piece, on a brick wall, consisted of my repetitive brush strokes that can be read as unununun, culminating in the word uncompromising, a casual reference to the strict Chinese regime that rejected another plan which involved me painting a 70 meter chimney. The third was called ununderstand. The revers unk. Maybe thats why I havent started a family like most people. Or is it vice versa? Anyway, I like my life how it is. Traveling, exhibiting and letting my art evolve is quite fulfilling. Im working on a new book that focusses more on painting whereas the book Calligraffiti was more about my graphic design work. I run the gallery and its online webshop with my significant other, Adele Renault. Im looking forward to the Calligraffiti tour were doing in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore beginning of 2012 and al nk (see first question). So, in a way Im constantly working on numerous pieces. The last piece I finished is a poem written by Rutger Hauer for an underground magazine done by creatives that used to work at Wieden+kennedy. I never knew he wrote poetry and I picked one that I liked. your webpage you give the simple answer to what Calligraffiti is, can I get the complicated one here?Ill try, though I usually aim for simplicity. Calligraffiti is the result of me looking for purpose calligraffiti?Directness in the whole, finesse in the details. An even balance between seeing and reading, word and image. I like it when letters, writing and language itself becomes an image or an abstraction. On the other hand, basic shapes and splats can become language. This is what my painting is about. But this also counts for my design work, for example in the piece Less is More. When you read it it says the opposite of what you see. m with over 30 artists, Quik, Paul Du Bois-Reymond, Vincent van de Waal and Petro. Most of the work shows a personal, unique way of translating urban iconography to sellable art. Im fascinated by the richness that appears when artists go from street to gallery. Its an ongoing theme in my own work too. do you prefer to see art? In galleries or in the street?It might sound lame but I prefer to see a piece in a gallery or museum. Of course, nothing beats seeing a painted who ning awards, getting that great job and doing that huge one-man show These things might make me look successful but its the personal achievements that really count. Anyway, Ill name three highlight moments that pop into my head:- In my twenties I realized that being the best in the world at something would be possible if I actually invent that something.- When working for ad agency BBDO, I was asked to create a campaign for a brand of laxatives. I decided to quit.- The first Calligraffiti exhibition in 2007 was a hu t of the old-school crew, are you mainly approached on commission, or do you seek out fun projects to do? What do you prefer?I get asked for a wide variety of commissions and projects and my initial reaction is often to go for it, but last year I decided my focus should be on painting. So no more ad typography, packaging, birth cards, tattoos, etc. It was fun and paid the bills but I find those things distracting these days.Do you ever get tired of re-inventing yourself?You get what you settle for. (Thelma & Louise). The thi selection. Also, people shouldnt expect the government to take care of everything.Then again, less developed countries could maybe use some more regulation, for example on child labour or nuclear safety. See what I mean? With truth comes untruth. Shoe for Unpresident.INTERVIEW WITH MINI DADA MAGAZINE, ARGENTINA, NOVEMBER 2011While neighborhood kids were playing with toy cars, you were exploring the art of lettering. Where did this impulse come from?The first lettering project I d ference. Around the same time (1980) I noticed that shop signs sometimes had mistakes in them. One of the wrongly placed letters that I kept seeing was the uppercase serif N. It would sometimes be placed upside down. In a way this awareness got me into art and design and a few years ago I started photographing them. Check out and youll see what I mean.How did Project Calligraffiti come to life? Which is the history of your nickname, how did you earn it and become a legend?As a k o sign painter to graphic designer to art director to creative director. And in 2007 I quit it all and decided to be an artist (again). I named my art form Calligraffiti and its been evolving ever since.Last year we saw you in typography events such as Typo Berlin. What is your relationship with the design community like?In the years that I worked as an assistant to graphic designer Anthon Beeke and after, when I ran my own studio Caulfield & Tensing, I really felt part of this Dutch (and global) design community. At first I rea ams about nature and science.Do you have a favorite super hero? Who are your referents, people you look up to and admire?Elektra (Dare Devils girlfriend). Especially in Elektra Assassin by Frank Miller and Bill SienkiewiczThere is somehow a new tendency for designers to draw more legible graffitis, how do yourself feel in this street art field? What are you able to find there that you cant find in a sheet of a paper?Designers drawing graffiti? Not sure what you mean, but the difference between a sheet of paper and a w stick and water. Inspired by that, I started writing on the street. The actual street, with brooms. And when I went to China for a project for Converse I decided to do a flat roof with an airport sweeper, 120 cm wide. It worked out nicely, if I say so myself. Of course, people are thinking what is next, but I think there is a limit to this because it is important to feel that the brush is an organic extension of the body and when I start using sweeper cars or snow ploughs it would be too mechanic. Would be fun though.Ink holds urn to Amsterdam in the overly-designed Netherlands. Im raised in a country where everything is designed, its even in my genes. But thats why I also look for generic, organic, filth and destruction. Thats the paradox of graffiti: Create and destroy at the same time.Which is your favorite cartoon?Bugs Bunny.What would you say to the boy that is opening a spray can?Get a fat cap. If only someone had told me in 1979.Three essential objects you cant do without.My brain, my heart and my right hand.INTERVIEW FO Yes, they thought (I was) a bit strange, he recalls now.And when the clerk wasnt looking, hed pocket some Letraset transfer sheets, and see what he could create at home. He was totally in love with Excoffons Antique Olive Nord and Compact, but also Optima and Avant Garde, to name a few. By age 16, he could draw entire alphabets out of the Letraset and Mecanorma catalogs by heart. This passion for letters might have seemed strange for a fourteen-year-old but the letters had purposethey ultimately gave out of Amsterdam, to use the parlance of the time. He was fast becoming the pioneer of a movement.He also set out to meet some of the big names in the game: Rammellzee, Eric Haze, Quik, Keith Haring, and Dondi. He bombed other cities, and formed the Crime Time Kings crew with Bando (Paris) and Mode2 (London). By age 18, he was known worldwide in the graffiti community. Niels Shoe Meulman was a street legend.But getting up wasnt going to get him anywhere as an adult. He knew that. After a st ed his own agency, Unruly. MTV hired Shoe to as Creative Director of all its brands. In 2007, while Shoe was visiting New York, he spent time with Haze, whom he had first met as a teenager. It was then that Shoe developed Calligraffiti, a fusion of calligraphy and graffiti. He showed his Calligraffiti at a solo exhibition in Amsterdam to much praise.Along the way he has re-invented himself, time and time again. Re-inventing yourself can be a force in itself, he says. The feeling that YOU are at the wheel of your ow n, and Berlin. He smoked, drank, and made a ton of letters, met a bunch of new people, and re-connected with names from the past. He also sold thousands of books and Calligraffiti chiseled markers.2010 was the year of Calligraffiti! and Shoe is our 2010 Letter Person of the Year.FIVE THINGS PEOPLE DONT KNOW ABOUT YOU1. I am a member of an Amsterdam terrorist group called SKG (Stads Kunst Guerrilla).2. I still dont understand why people cant accept that there is no such thing as god.3. All t time the Amsterdam-born, -raised, and -based art director and artist had been heading up a small yet successful ad agency called Unruly; that February Meulman stayed with artist Eric Haze and began wondering what it would be like to pursue a career without clients. Riffing off artwork Haze had begun in his Williamsburg studio, the friends devised a technique marrying graffiti and calligraphy. Meulman returned to Amsterdam, took a cavernous space in a former Post CS building (the same that housed the Stedelijk temp g his own design studio Caulfield & Tensing; Meulman later worked for the mega-ad agency BBDO. His interest in letterforms has been unwavering.Calligraffiti projects start as almost any professional gig, with doodling. After a few sketches, I know how the words relate to each otherthe descender of a g touching a capital F or something like that, he explains. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes it takes 10 times.Initially Meulman transformed rendering into reality using marker refill, a runny variety of ink that lent ho s how it looks in the end. So many factors influence the final result; my personal will is only 10 percent of itthat sounds kind of Zen-like.Openness to possibility also landed Meulman one of his most recent commissions, installed during San Francisco Dutch Design Week. His solo exhibition Throw-Ups, which opened at the Los Angeles gallery Project Space on October 21, put Meulman on the radar of The Consulate General of the Netherlands in California. The consulate then invited him to conceive and execu man says. Then I was on the plane to San Francisco, not knowing what to write, and I put Dutch design and the birds together, and then I knew.??Meulman knew to use a medievel phrase that had been relayed to him once by Dingeman Kuilman, the former Premsela director whom he had befriended while both were working in the studio of famous graphic designer Anthon Beeke. It roughly translates to, All birds have started making nests, everyone except me and you, what are we waiting for? It is the oldest piece ancisco Dutch Design Week mural in acrylics and in color, a contrast to his predominantly black-and-white, inky body of work. Renault also painted pelicans by his side, which is only the sixth time shes served as co-author. His choice of text also represents a change: Once, I felt the need to do a lot of pieces that said coke & booze. With the work Ive been doing lately, maybe being unruly isnt that important anymore. As I get older, my next goal is to get wiser, and to share those insights. Meulmans take on Calligraf n Amsterdam and whos worked at international ad agencies like BBDO and television networks like MTV (where he was their creative director for a short period of time).We were able to get in touch with Shoe to ask him about Calligraffiti. Read that interview below, after seeing some of his incredibly intriguing work.Youve coined the term Calligraffiti. When did you start merging graffiti with calligraphy? What has been the response?Shoe: I got into both at a fairly young age. I started writing SHOE in the schools bicyc Yankees catcher Yogi Berra once said: If you come to a fork in the road, take it.Do most of your works have deeper, social meanings?Shoe: My works are usually sparked by personal observations. Something that I see, hear or read in my direct surroundings, and then connect to the really big things like nature, the human condition and all the stuff that we dont understand. This line from Hagakure explains it very well: Matters of great concern should be treated lightly. Matters of small concern should be treated seriously ut really thinking. It is like the difference between looking and seeing. And it reminds me of that line from The Matrix: You didnt come here to make the choice. Youve already made it. Youre here to try to understand why you made it.Anyway, when I read/heard the question, the first piece that came to mind was Unanswered Question from the recent Throw-Ups exhibition in LA. Thats probably also why I priced it higher than the others, at $7,000.How has working for MTV helped or changed your creative pr p in the advertising and media business is how to spot a good idea. Everybody is looking for ideas with directness but that also have mileage. That goes for design, art, advertising, architecture, even politics and science.Who are some other graffiti artists that you admire?Shoe: Dondi White 1961-1998, Rammellzee 1960-2010, Dr. Rat 1960-1981, Keith Haring 1958-1990. Its ironic that the artist from Amsterdam is the only one I never got to know.Where do you think the street art/graffiti movement is headed?Shoe: These a When and how did you start your first own business?When I dropped out of school at 17 I tried graphic art school for a year. This is where I met Angel who would later become a good friend and partner in crime. I didnt finish that school because together with Joker I was doing graffiti jobs and they kept getting bigger. Also, we were doing jobs for local coffee shops like Happy Family. Who needs an education when you have cash, right? Anyway, in 1986 I started my first company called 3D Design. We called ourselv vertising. I always made more money when I was employed but I did my best work as an independent entrepreneur. But during the jobs I had, I also learned a lot about techniques and about the system, how to get things done. All these different periods had their moments supremes. To win a pitch for a really big client is great and obviously a bigger deal when its your own company. It was great to write a bill for 40.000 euri for a logo design (Talpa) but nothing beats the moment when I paint a wall or Calligraffiti and I n from the World of Design?Most laws of graphic design and graffiti are universal laws. Balance, continuity, those kinds of things. In a way nature is our only reference. And on a more instrumental note: Graffiti artists have to let go of the idea that every space has to be filled and graphic designers should have more fun and do drugs.What do Graffiti and Calligraphy have in common?What dont they have in common? Graffiti is basically modern calligraphy. Well, with a different (illegal) medium that is. Maybe a tag can b of the word can create a picture. For graffiti writers this goes without saying. In my book I drop a line about it: A word is a tight unit of matching characters, ready to be dropped behind enemy lines. To me a word and the way its written can be a poem or a story.Do you consider your works as texts or pictures?I try to find the fine line between the two. My words are pictures but if I use too many words, they become text.How important is the readability of your works?Not really, but when it becomes unreadable there mouses hole. Peace of mind and a certain optimistic feeling are required. I tried to do some pieces when I wasnt feeling right and I ended up with a garbage bag full of torn up paper and inky hands. But when the circumstances are just right I can get in a some kind of trance a do many good pieces in one session.Describe your Calligraffiti-technique(s)My favorite is black Edding ink or On The Run ink on polypropene film, which is some kind of half transparent plastic sheet. When I did my first Calligraffiti show in 2007 will your next steps in the Graffiti/Calligraffiti/Art-World will look like? I go with the flow. Slow and low that is the tempo.INTERVIEW FOR PARIS TONKAR, JULY 2010When did you first start to bombing? And Calligraffiti ?My frist shoe tags are dated 1979. The real bombing started in 1983. The Calligraffiti style was first shown in 2007.Who are the first writers in The Netherlands ? And when did they start bombing?The first writers in Amsterdam were of the Punk variety. In the early Eighti d met a few writers from New York that did paintings and had exhibitions in Amsterdam. I especially connected with Dondi, Quik, Rammellzee and we started exchanging artistic ideas and drinking skills. Soon after I met Bando and Mode 2 in Paris.Which writers from your generation have you painted with in the Eighties?Delta, Angel, Rhyme, Quik, Dondi, Jonone, Colt, Bando, Mode2 and many many moreHave you painted any subways?I pioneered in the 80s by painting subway cars in Amsterdam, Copenhage nning after a shadow like many creators?Well, I dont feel like my shadow is chasing me, so maybe its running from me. And Im closing in on that sucker, with a little help from my art. But seriously, I am -like everyone else- looking to get some basic things out of life, like attention and intimacy. They saddest thing I can imagine is an unsuccessful artist. In a Peruvian jail.What is your artistic desire now?The realm I have created for myself with Calligraffiti is so big that I can evolve and expand endlessly. So, as long as I get ema is your thought on other artists interested in learning the technique of Calligraffiti? Understanding that this has been created by Shoe, but its a lovely style of art. Once again, amazing work Ill be purchasing a copy soon. Rafael Mena-Cuesta>>and<<Hi. I just want to say that i admire your work. All your pieces are incredible and I went through your blog in one breath. - Oleg Uzunov >>INTERVIEW FOR URBAN ARTCORE, APRIL 2010Although you are an internationally known designer, art director, and graf my visual talent in various ways (graphic design, advertising, web design, calligraphy) Recently I felt I learned enough over the years to call myself an artist and named my art-form Calligraffiti.In the last weeks, you published your book Calligraffiti, which shows a mixture of graphic designs and tags you did under that label. How and when did you start writing your tags on walls? Are you still active on the streets?Graffiti was the first way that I expressed myself. Well, after Play-Doh and Lego. The streets were my first medium. B o the level I reached at the height of my graffiti days in the eighties, so theres really no point. Sure, I go out tagging sometimes, but its usually when Im drunk or high.From your book Ive learned that Calligraffiti, a combination of calligraphy and graffiti, is a real new art form. Please tell me about its characteristics and the ideas behind it. Could you explain the difference to normal tags? Are there any famous examples of artists, except from you, who create calligraffities?The term Calligraffiti isnt new. If you google it youll fin tarted. I mean, thats what its all about.For me its hard to comprehend how you develop new handwriting styles. Where do you take your ideas from and do you have any calligraphy idols?I have a few handwriting styles. And variations on them. And then there are the letters that are drawn, not written. They are usually based on handwriting styles but are designed as outlines. All in all there are so many styles that I use, but if you mean the one that I use mostly in my art since 2007, I can tell you that it is in constant flu new books? Whats about some action on the streets of Berlin?Just as I dont like to limit myself to just New York graffiti letters, I also like to try different techniques. They are usually driven by the scale of the work. If I use a pen in a sketch book, the movements and shapes come from my hand. If I use a brush on a big piece of paper, its all in the wrist. And using a spray can on a wall or canvas is mostly done by my arm. Lately Ive been experimenting with brooms. They are basically big brushes and, just like a roller on graffiti thing going on in Amsterdam. What have been your influences?Yes, the first Shoe tags are from 1979. Wed steal those small spray cans of fluorescent car paint and tag the old center of our city. Especially in 1980 with the squatting riots and the crowning of queen Beatrix, old Amsterdam was in complete anarchy. A wonderful environment for a kid growing up and doing graffiti. Before I had seen any subway graffiti from New York my biggest influence was Dr. Rat. After my first visit to New York in 1982 and notici I was just taking these ridiculous risks. When I look at some old pieces I sometimes wonder how I could have done those super dangerous spots.Did you recognized the German scene in that times, for example Chintz?Well, to be honest when we (Crime Time Kings) made some trips to Germany and other European countries we were mostly interested in each other. The interaction between, say, Bando, Angel, Joker, Cat22, Mode2, Colt, Delta, Gasp and me was the focus at that time. And I cant forget those CT ombed (Ego, Dr.Air, Mano, Trip, etc) but our crew appeared a lot in the media because we were doing it differently, bigger and more colorful. It was a real happy story for newspapers, magazines and tv. All the doom and no future made way to a more optimistic (read: opportunistic) state of mind. I was determined to become a designer and my cremate Joker was a real businessman about it. He always said he wanted to be a millionaire with a swimming pool before 25. Ahah! Anyway, we had this mob-type schem : There? Can we have one there? And we would say Sure. 500 guilders. That night on that spot it would say Happy Family. The dolphins costed extra. Ahah!Tell us more about your professional works. You worked e.g. for BBDO and MTV Europe. What is your experience in these fields?In a nutshell it went like this: The graffiti turned into a business but that ended when I was 20 because I had to join the military service. After 14 months of sabotaging the Dutch army I got a job as assistant to Anthon Beeke, wh tner decided to become a cop (really) I felt I was ready to become what I never dared to call myself: an artist.Nowadays your work can be seen in Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art? From street fame to museums, what is your basic attitude on this?Actually the work in those museums is more graphic design related. Dutch Design, you know. My Calligraffiti still needs to grow before it can really be picked up by the art world.You did commercial calligraphy work for e.g. Bo And for that realm to exist it needed a name. I really like naming things.Im a huge fan of that 1979 live action video of Dr. Rat. Did he invented this Calligraffiti style, or where would you say are the related roots?I think I had seen that great video in the eighties -I think its by Rogier van der Ploeg-, and I have a feeling that it stuck with me unconsciously. My first Shoe that wasnt a tag, had these gothic letters. That was in 1982What about Unruly why silk scarves? By the way I love the Scarfface pictures we had in our ma uestion mark to me. Now the books gives me the answers and the last pages were the most interesting for me. Whats your relationship to Adam Eeuwens, who wrote the introduction for the book?Ahah!. That missing space was one of the first things that I noticed too. Damn! Anyway, Im glad that the book succeeded in giving some background to the work. In my head everything has a natural place but that isnt always clear to the viewer. The one-liners and quotes on the spreads can sort of point you in a direction an words and some on your future plans?Well, what Im saying there is Stop making me feel guilty for living! But it was meant to be funny too, I am really a very optimistic person. A few weeks ago I stumbled onto this text: Everything is amazing and nobodys happy. That line has the same kind of power. Its deep and light at the same time. In the future I will try to keep uniting more opposites with more Calligraffiti.INTERVIEW WITH CALEB NEELON / AGAINST THE GRAIN, 2009European street art pioneer Sho s a gang thing, but as Shoe explains, that term Gothic doesnt really mean anything. You can also associate it with newspaper logos or even your We the People declaration. I think the Cholo association has to do with tattoo lettering. He did his first big Shoe piece in 1982, and hip-hop graffiti arrived in Europe barely before his paint had dried. Shoe would become one of the continents early pioneers, painting in the wildly influential Crime Time Kings crew with contemporaries Bando, Delta, and Mode 2.Form he early 1980s on a graffiti-infused New York vacation.I made the first Calligraffiti works in Hazes basement in Williamsburg, Shoe recalls. Calligraffiti is his combination of traditional calligraphy (Japanese ancient brush characters, Arabic pictorial scripts, illuminated mediaeval books or swirly quill writing) and the worldwide graffiti style perfected in New York City. The fairly new art of graffiti has very old roots, he explains, and I wanted to look further back into the history of writing. Thus resulting in Calligraffiti: traditio or practice, experiment, input. Creating as much chaos as you can handle. This I did and the softness got going. Now, having seen the seasons change fourty times, I feel it is time for output, time to consolidate. I even find myself using the word harmony now and then. But its all good, the wide vision of the angry (careless) young man has transformed into a smooth sailing (still careless) artist with a zen-like focus No, haha. Just kidding! But my point is, that although the creative process will always be a struggle, I no cover the secret of life. But I guess that is what every artist aims to do, right? No? Its just me? Whatever. Soft is good. Hey, I havent been in jail for over ten years. But thats not counting DUI arrests A shoe will never be a sandal Understand?!What do you enjoy most: assignments or autonomous work? Why?Good question. Again. They are practically the same. The only difference is that one type of job has a client called them where the other type of jobs client is me. There is no essential difference betwee on for myself where my work either fits a campaign for them or me.How important is recognition for you?Recognize me, respect me, love me, never forget me and say my name. Especially after Im dead.What do you think of graphic design in Dutch advertising?Read the weekly columns in Adformatie by Dolf Hell. Those should be published in deluxe format. Otherwise Im just happy that the Futura Extra Bold Condensed is back.What?s the main reason for you to get up every day and do the things you do?Now, th s of the diverse job went really well but after a few weeks I had commissioned myself and Paul (Machine) to spray-paint the buildings interior with extravagant looking words like campaignability and the logo isnt big enough. Pretty much the same thing happened in my time at FHV; all my campaigns were based on graphic word play. I coped with the numerous meetings, presentations and office crap, only because the execution would be so promising. If I join Rich as an art director can I have artdirector on my busine In one of my graffiti drawings there was a symbol that looked a lot like a shoe, he says. Although by now hes grown up from an obnoxious kid (I was one of those guys, everyone used to say, Whats going to become of him?) into a successful, congenial designer, hes kept the name Shoe. Its typical of his attitude that things that work well dont need to be changed. Yet that doesnt mean hes always consistent. Hes switched employers with great frequency, and he started his fifth company three years ago and h l out of it the elements that work. As an ad maker, I learned that simple messages still come across best. And if I give the message a nice design, I know it will appeal to people.Master and apprenticeThe biggest constant in his work is his passion for well-made letters. Whether hes designing an advertising poster or a skateboard, Meulman throws himself with total dedication into making a good typographical whole. Art nouveau-ish letters typify his style. Those naturally elegant shapes work best, he says. Theyre timeless A few years ago, Imagine IC, an Amsterdam foundation that concerns itself with the visual representation of immigrant identity and culture in the Netherlands, asked him to take on a number of young pupils from the Bijlmer in a sort of apprenticeship this time, he was the master. The project was intended to help underprivileged youths become designers, he says. The kids and I designed a coat of arms together for the Bijlmer, a problem neighbourhood in Amsterdam. It was definitely a cool idea, and the project turne ers. At the moment, the main point is good craftsmanship, he says. With his present agency, Unruly, Shoe is focusing on timeless works because following trends, he says, is totally out of style.MINI INTERVIEWS ABOUT SHOE BY LEE (PATTA) in 2007:RAMMELLZEERammellzee is an universal artist, expressing his theory of Gothic Futurism (which is shifting into a new phase which he calls Ikonoklast Panzerism) through many artforms such as aerosol, music and sculpting. From his appearance in Wildstyle, er artist. These styles started in NYC. He was told that. At a lecture I held in Amsterdam. He didnt like me telling that to an audience and most likely He wont like what Im saying now!Are you familiar with his current calligraphy-style work?Yes I am, but dont change the subject. Shoe is good at what he does and thats why I speak to him Shoe knows it. In my eyes Shoe is no Toy.Any personal comments or amusing anecdotes about Shoe? (Like the time you got busted for bombing the Stedelijk Museu orld renowned crews, among them the Bomb Squad 2, Crime Time Kings and The Chrome Angels, operating alongside other notorious pioneers like Mode2 and Delta. After dropping the cans he kept making noise by producing and releasing dirty raw funk records, many of them highly collectible today. We managed to track down this man of few words via email to do the Q&A about Shoe.When and where did you cross paths with the artist known as Shoe?The first time I met Shoe it was in Paris in 85, 86, I think new painting, graphic design and advertising from The Netherlands. Furthermore, Adam is a partner in Rebeca Mendez Design, responsible for design strategy, account handling, research and development, copywriting and creating concepts that lead to artistic solutions and pragmatic results. Adam possesses almost 20 years of media industry experience, half in the United States, half of them in Europe, with experience as journalist, editor, publisher, event developer, planner, copy writer and author.When and where d moment through the closing doors before being lynched. (something I have seen him repeat many times since, with lesser degree of success). That was Shoe, a friend next to me remarked, and I knew there and then that I would know this guy.Quite some years later in 1991 we met in person, somewhere in a subway underpass in De Bijlmer. I was writing a story on graffiti, following Cat22, and that afternoon met Gasp, Angel and Shoe for the first time. I wrote the story in my own magazine Flux. Though I never touched and amaze? His iron logic? The fact that when he puts pen to paper, brush to canvas, spray can to wall, he is happiest? Because there a very few like him?Are you familiar with his current calligraphy-style work?Yes. I think I was even in the same room when he started calling what he has always done calligraffiti.Any personal comments or amusing anecdotes about Shoe?As I turn 40 a few weeks after Shoe I trust I will be forgiven for being slightly sentimental and melodramatic here. Working with Niels has been one of t nd best fun I ever had, and formed the person I am today. There is now an ocean and a continent between us but throughout the years we have managed to stay in touch, even deepen our friendship in meaningful exchanges. The man is a treasure, not only to me, but to mankind. Seriously.MODE 2Talk about graffiti and youre bound to come across the name Mode 2. From worldwide walls to the pages in Spraycan Art, Mode 2 done made his mark in the aerosol artform and far beyond. Soaking up influences fro e had done some pieces with Jan and Jaz, and with Bando, Pride, Scribla, Zaki, and Eskimo. We were wondering who were these new dudes in town I think they were just on vacation He showed us some photos from Amsterdam, pretty impressive stuff with regards to the standards of then, so we clicked quite well from the get-goBando had created a new crew called Crime Time Kings earlier that summer, a fusion of Bomb Squad 2 from Paris and The Chrome Angelz from London. Shoe became Amsterda ti culture of Amsterdam, as well as a very good rapport between Bando and himself, also played its part in inspiring him, and helping him evolveAre you familiar with his current calligraphy-style work?Ive only been on and off acquainted up to date with what Shoes been doing on the calligraphy tip. I remember what he was doing with Sunday Violence back in the nineties, but my trips to Amsterdam were few and far between then. Its only by doing things more frequently with Delta that I started to run into Shoe aga !REBECA MENDEZRebeca Mndez is an artist living in Los Angeles working with various media to explore the forces of nature modulated through technology. Mndez travels to the edges of the world, from Patagonia, to Iceland and the Sahara desert, in pursuit of images of an ideal and sublime nature and her works continue to explore issues of media representation. Her photography studies the everyday, stillness and emptiness, as well as the isolation of the temporal in phenomena. Her video installations are inten beach, in Venice, California. But it was Shoe and I who, like ten-year-olds, were playing (and showing off to each other) all the muscle tricks we could do on the rings and monkey bars. The next days, we talked design (and showed off to each other) the design and typographic work that we so passionately make. I was (and still am) most impressed.What set his graffiti style apart from so many other talented artists?Niels is a perfectionist who understands that mastery is achieved through observation, experimentation, de Meulman, but specifically the calligram, which is the compression of image, text and information. In his work, Niels points to the gaps, ambiguities, and possibilities of language as well as challenges the hierarchy and relationship between reading and perceptionthe visual versus the verbal.Any personal comments or amusing anecdotes about Shoe?In spring 2004, I invited Shoe to give a lecture and workshop to our students at UCLA, Design | Media Arts. His workshops focus was on the Calligram. Towards the end a Art and Design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.ERIC HAZEBorn and raised in New York City, Eric Haze has been making his impact felt in the worlds of art, product and graphic design for over 30 years. After spending the 70s and early 80s on the front lines of the graffiti movement, Haze opened his design studio in 1986, becoming one of the first visual artists to define the look and graphic language of Hip Hop during its golden years. Some of his most classic works include designs f lyn headquarters. Haze will also be present at the Calligraffiti exhibition showcasing some of his latest works, which are also the graphic basis for parts of his upcoming fall 07 collection and serve as an organic preview of how these styles have been developed. Read on!When and where did you cross paths with the artist known as Shoe?I first met Niels in about 1987, when Revolt and I came to Holland to suprise Quik by showing up at an exhibition he was having in Haarlem I started coming to Amsterdam a lot in th raff styles and original letterforms, he also rings a greater versatility to it with different techniques and applications from his other commercial experiences. Niels also has a very conceptual mind, where he often uses wordplay and subtle copy writing as part of his style, which gives the work another dimension beyond just shape and form. Ultimately, in a design world increasingly dominated by the computer and technology, its the artists like Shoe who can flex both organic handstyles AND compliment it with other techniqu of the time to get is groove on (while I shot pics of him working for a piece I wrote about it on my blog). I believe these sessions sparked the new wave of drawings and freestyle typographic artwork for both of us, and this show reflects some of the different directions we have taken with the momentum we gained from it at the timeAny personal comments or amusing anecdotes about Shoe?Many really Besides Holland, New York and Los Angeles, we have travelled together to places like Copenhagen and Toky


Can you shortly tell your story and background, both personally and your approach into calligraphy/writing handstyles, like what or who influenced you to start up with it in the first place? I have noticed you master classical calligraphy, copperplate and different handscripts, and you also have and graffiti expressionistic approach to some of your works. Can you tell about your graffiti/ streetstyle letterings background, both artistically and personally?
For me as a person who grew up in Poland in the 90s where graffiti had the biggest influence on the look of the streets it was natural to get inspired by the spirit of spray culture. As I always was very interested in art in general, and I never felt any stereotype approach on visual art, what is wrong and right. I analized everything around me. I got interested in lettering at a very young age. My father is an architect so I was all the time going around his design things, like lettering stencils or letraset letterig sheets that you had to press hard against the paper to get them transfered. It was amazing! I also collected things like old bottles with beautifull etiquetts and I copied the lettering by hand. I even made my own copy of NECRONOMICON from the movie Evil Death - army of darkness haha... Later on I went to art highschool where I had lettering classes, and I was the only person in school that faild to pass the class and had to make extra designs... (I always had problems with teachers because I had my individual path and approach on things...) Next was Fine Arts Academy in Gdansk (industrial design and visual communication) where I had great teachers (history of art, heraldy, vexillology, graphic design and a lot more) It all had a great impact on what I do now...


What script style have been your main focus through the years.
I love all the types of hand lettering, but I think the gothic texture gives me the most pleasure to experiment with...

Who/what is your inspiration?

There are a lot of people from the present and the past who inspire me a lot. I also get inspired by tools... I think that old German masters like Rudolph Koch or German expressionist calligraphers from the 50s are a big inspiration material.

When do you think calligraphy becomes calligraffiti?

It all depends... Graffiti always had this particle of expression and calligraphy is an art of focus and precission. Mixing these two may be called calligraffiti as well as calligraphy expression. Very important is the context and tool used. Graffiti is based mostly in urban enviroment/ outside not exactly on a surface made for it, and calligraphy most of the time exists on paper, parchment or other materials used specificly for this purpose...

Why do you think the graffiti movements writers got so inspired and adopted calligraphy styles?
Calligraphy was a bit forgotten through the years and as graffiti is based mostly on letters I think it was natural to look back on the great heritage of our ancestors regarding lettering... Also the fascinating era of computer possibilities is getting boring and good old hand craft is getting its deserved attention back...

The more you see, the more you aestheticly feel

of visual beauty. The more you see, the more you aestheticly feel, you gain bigger sense of beauty and taste...

Do you think the graffiti cultures many calligraphic styles have Helped to open up the interest for calligraphy to a younger target audience?
Absolutley! Anything made with a bit of skill and by hand is very exciting!

What do you think motivates a person to start up making graffiti and visa versa calligraphy.
We all live in a culture of visual signs, letters and symbols. Some of us find beauty in it and want to be a part of it by creating it. Graffiti or calligraphy is not a common knowledge/skill (calligraphy was common once.. ehhh..) but what I think motivates a person to start is a need of being a part of the creative group or being a part of a subculture that he/she likes the most.

I had an interview with an British (a classical and professional trained calligrapher), whitch claimed that a trained calligrapher would easier adopt and develop graffiti style signatures than an established graffiti artist would copy and make calligrahy styles. What do you think of this statement/do you have any assuptions answering?
I think that waht we see today in the world of calligraffiti speaks for itself. If a skilled graffiti artist will take a specific calligraphy tool, sooner or later he will use it like a pro calligrapher and maybe even better because now he is mixing knowledge from graffiti and calligraphy what gives him more creative power. The same would happen in the other side. What I think is crucial here is being open minded! Learn, observe, practise, feel and respect the world around you!

As i see it the classical calligraphy and Graffiti lifestyles are wide apart from each other, but there are similarities such as the interest for scripts and their personal development of this. Do you think the graffiti culture have helped to open and bred, interests to art and culture to persons who in the first place dintt have the best condtitions for it?
If you see something that you really like and want to be a part of it, you search and dig everything about it, and since the worls of art has its paths that intersect so often it is just a matter of determination or luck to find and see the great world



Carvings, wrintings on walls, caves, monuments, viking ships, the great wall, trains, garages, and planes. Trough the times people have had the urge to write, even before any alphabets where invented people carved or painted their victory of a sucsessfull hunt on the walls of caves. Later when people developed writing equipment and new surfaces to write on, the syles, ideas, messages, and of course their reasons to do it changed. The name or meaning are from the original word; Graffato from Italy, means scratched and refers to designs and art pieces scratched into a surface. The word originates again from Greek; graphein, whitch simply means to write!

t h e

u r g e

t o

w r i t e


Writers bench at 149th Street Grand

In the year 79 A.D. the city of Pompeii was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius. The graffiti from this city have been revealed as some of the earliest wall writings. The inhabitants of Pompeii was eager writers, and several wall writings have been dicovered, commenting the daily life and particularly politicians, which carved their election slogans and promises on private persons houses. These last political carvings where probably made by professionals, and dates back to the last three hundred yars of the citys existece.

The ordenary peoples graffiti on walls in the streets was often about politicians such as many of the writings in Pompeii, but also about sexual achievements and their favourite gladiator and posters for fights and other happenings. The graffiti was often carved with what they had by hand, such as a stone or a knife. The graffiti could also tell what theatrical production was worth seeing, how much you had to pay for a prostitute or where different fan groups hung out in the city. One other city that reflects normal peoples history through graffiti is anchient Israel where people wrote about personal appeals to god, the future and dicussion of belief systems.

From the middle ages when most parts of Europe where populated, some people could write depending where they grew up. In England it was mosly the monks and priests that could write. Therefore, the graffiti in England from this time are found in churches and cathedrals. These writings and carvings tells stories about the Black Death, prayers, pictures of ships, animals and figures. In general things that was importaint to people during this time Viking rune carvings are found all over Europe, in Istanbul are there found viking names and pictures of their ships. On the Orkney Islands they tell about a treasure, writing their names, and boasts how good their writing skills are?


m o n i kers
m o n i k e r s

kilroy was here

Kilroy was here
based on the code system from the civil war. Hobos used used these codes to communicate with each other where to get shelter, safe travel routes, and meetingpoints. With the industrializing of america the hobos traveling around was reduced since there where jobs to get, but the railroadworkers had noticed their markings and kept on where the hobos left. With steel becomming more common the car inspectors used chalk and oil sticks to mark the cars with. Many of these workers naturally got creative and over time they where called boxcar artists. One of the most iconic artists was Bozo Texino, he came up in the Depression years, and many thought he was the work of a hobo. In 1957 there was a railroadworker drawing the monkier name Herby along with a man sleeping under a palm tree, he was one of the most iconic boxcar artists and inspired countless hobos and railroad workers, in an interview from the film Who is Bozo Texino he says; "Id have to spend all my time out on the yard, and i did work once in a while" Monkiers became accepted as an art form among the railroad workers, and many started up drawing realizing the potential of spreading their name and message. "It says something about the power of an image that the effort of a few obsessed individuals could create an icon that would last for eight decades" Bill Bill Daniels says in an interview in "the history of american graffiti" James J Kilroy worked at a big shipyard during the world war two where his job was to check if certan tasks where done by some workers before others took over the next step of the production. To check of the job he would take a grease crayon and write kilroy was here. As a former sign painter, Kilroy had a great handwriting. At the shipyard there where produced steel parts that was sendt all over the United States and around the world. Often to remote located locations where the war was raging. Many of the soldiers had already seen these monkiers before they went to the war. Since no one knew who had made these markings it was assumed to be common property. It was easy to replicate, and Kilroy Was Here became United States de facto tag, with everyone taking it up and writing it. It represented United States and became a moral boosters for the young men that fought in the war.

After the American civil war in the middle of the 18th century many soldiers where scattered all over the country. Many of them did not head home, but searched for a new life. With the new train system that provided free transport, homeless hobos could travel between the cities. In the end of the 19th century the first monkiers where carved into the wooden sides of the freight cars. Some of these messages was simple and some complicated and probably


Gang graffiti
Los Angeles have a long time of streetwriting that goes back to the 1930s when the Latino shoeshine boys marked the walls close to their spots with daubers. Many mexicans emigrated from Mexico during the 1800s to the promised land, and settled down in California and especially Los Angeles. These Latinos where segregated into the oldest and run-down parts of the city. The big problems for these peoples was job dicrimination and therefore poverty, and through The Los Angeles Times there where race dicrimintion of the Mexicans. It became a massive racial tension between the Latinos and whites. Especially many of the young american sailors of this time would follow the latinos into their neighborhood and attack them. To protect themselves the Latinos formed gangs based on whitch neighborhood they lived in. These Latino gangs was easly recognised on their styles, dressign codes, hair styles, taillor made suits and their cal, an american/spanish slang. To mark the end of their neighborhoods, they developed an own style of writing; Cholo, a style whitch is based on Old Englis, the typface that was to represent a formal document to the public. The gangs where presented in an layout with a headline stating the gang or street name, the body text with the members and a logo as the writers signature. Cholo bacame more than just graffiti, but a lifestyle with strict traditions handed down from generation to generation, keeping the style of cholo alive from the 40s and up to now. In the 1980s the black gangsters adapted the whole style, but choosing to use a more western serif type for their graffiti. Making a face and branding to the whole west coast style of hip hop and lifestyle through mass media and music!

Cholo writing

There are some modern graffiti writers intentionally taking up Cholo cultures writing and mixing it with their own individual style. One of the first artists taking up this, developing and making a own Cholo based graffiti style is Shaz Bojrqez.

Shaz Bojrqez.

This interview by gives an idea of the thoughts, inspiration behind Chazs interpretation of his modern cholo graffiti style.
Even though I had been doing graffiti since 69, that was when I decided to really prove it, and start making graffiti as art. I started out as a tagger. People were always saying Its not art, its trash! Yeah Im a writer. Im a tagger. Thats who I am, and Im proud of it, he proclaimed passionately. You gotta be who you are. You gotta tell the truth, because in the long run, thats all youre gonna have, and you have to build from that truth. I could only build from the foundations that I created. Chaz sees graffiti as communication between people for urban youth, in particular but he also views it as a thing of absolute beauty and strength. He wanted to prove this to the world, to create a painting to show the people around him, and indeed, the world, graffiti meant to him. Having witness first hand the early New York style, he realised that at that time it was an entirely East Coast style and entity, as, even then, there was form of isolation between the East Coast and West Coast. In order, however, to show people the beauty and strength in the way he expressed himself, he had to take a different tack. Through his many days and nights spent painting on the streets of L.A., Chaz finally bega to feel as though he had discovered his identity. As an individual who has always been a dreamer, he often saw things where other people didnt see them. He saw, quite early on, and before many others, that graffiti was important, that graffiti it was a language, and that it was a history to be celebrated. When we asked Chaz about how it felt, to know that what he had dreamed of back then, that the ubiquity and acceptance of graffiti in popular society is slowly beginning to permeate our cultures, that people all across the world now see his work and his place within that history, he, with all humility, put it down to luck. Little by little from his experiences he learnt what exactly what it was that he was not, and after heading to New York and spending time with Dondi White and Keith Haring, he could see that he was, most simply, Cholo. At this point in time, Chaz also began to fall in love with the ancient art of Calligraphy. It was his respect and appreciation of Asian artwork and illustration, as well as other traditional fonts, that involved intricate flowing letterforms which also lent themselves to developing his beautiful and unique script. I could see the influence of the letters, I could see the image and the letter shapes actually bouncing off each other. I could describe what it was doing to the birds, and the wings looked like the letters, he expressed, I started to see combinations, started to see images that calligraphy was all about imagery. He also spoke to old time Cholos in LA, men who had seen the passing of years and who held the traditions of their people in their hearts. He asked why they had chosen Old English as their style, why it was so ubiquitous in their communication, and they had remarked that it was because Old English was made from the most prestigious of letters, its on your birth certificate, on your death certificate, its used for your graduation and that it was this, and familiarly enough, the influence of growing up reading comic books, that led to the creation of the old Cholo style. As this quest for identity began to form a cohesion around him, Chaz began to ruminate on the almost imperceptible disappearance of the old Cholo-style writing from around the LA neighbourhoods, and the beauty of the Gothic and Old English fonts amongst the Chicano culture. It was then, when he began to reflect his own inward discoveries outwards to the world via both writing upon the walls as well as his work in the galleries, that he evolved his unique interpretation of a letterform; one that he felt best represented his people. When he first took his paintings to Chicano galleries in East L.A, Chaz remembers the general dismissal of his work. At the time, the resounding response was that that Chicano was all about family, religion, border issues, immigration, suppression and that his bad boy art and reinterpretations and evolution of the letters of his culture would undermine the subjects that were deemed most important. Finally, tells us, and thankfully, he was embraced by other artists who saw his work as new and invigorating, and met such luminaries as Robert Williams and Ed Big Daddy Roth, who both helped Chaz to put on his very first show. His work was displayed alongside tattoo tribal artists, artists who worked on surfboards, cartoonists and hot rodders and it was through that show, and many more in future years, that he discovered that that the differences between their various cultures and styles had begun to fade away. We all showed together, and we discovered that we all had the same lines. We had the same stroke the West Coast stroke.



New york:
In the summer of 1969 in New York a 16 yearold kid named Demetrius saw his first graffiti writings in his neighborhood, a signature by Julio and his street number; Julio 204. He soon got himself a marker and started up writing Taki183. The summer before there had been an election between Nixon and McGovern, and there where hanging election posters and stickers after them everywhere. Taki wonders how they can get away with all of their markings everywhere, so why shouldnt he do the same! As a delivery boy he traveled around the city writing his name on the neighborhood walls, in the subway cars and even midtown Manhattan. He was not trying to claim or announce anything, he just wrote his name where everyone could see it. This made the New York Times make a case on him; in July 21, 1971, with the headline "Taki 183spawns pen pals". This is seen as the official arrival of the modern graffiti amongst writers and media all over the world! With the message sendt and his cover blown, Taki 183 decides to quit. Modern graffiti had now made its entrance, hundreds of young teenagers where running around trying to get famous. There where so many tags around the city of New York that no one really stood out anymore. More colours where used, thicker lines where made with different caps and markers, and the youth found out that the easyest way to be seen was to go big and colourful with your own style.

The forfather of modern graffiti; Darryl Alexander McCray began writing when going to a reform school in 1965. While he was here he missed the food from the south, where his family originatet from and he went into the kitchen asking them to make cornbread. The cook got fed up of his nagging about cornbread and threw him out of the kitchen and said "keep this cornbread out of my kitchen!" When his peers heard this they started teasing Darryl and calling him cornbread. He took the name and wrote it on the back of his shirt, making the name for himself, and it was no longer a tease! There where gangs writing on the schools walls for recognition, Darryl also wanted recognition so he started up writing his new nickname. Not only there but everywhere, and the more people talked about it, the more he did it. The unknown reform school boy started to build a reputation, and gradually from just using markers he also started to use spray paint. After finishing school cornbread kept on writing all over the city, several others saw his name and wanted the same attention and fame he had. At this time there where occuring social clubs in Philadelphia, almost like fraternities, where young girls and boys met after school and their spare time.

Many of the writers was asked to join these clubs because of their names where well known, in turn the writers wanted to join since the clubs where made up of the neighbourhoods coolest kids. Cornbread joined one of these crews where there already was other writers and the first graffiti crew was formed. These crews made it easyer to get their names and reputation up since their individual names grew with the crews fame and glory among other crews and social clubs. In the beginning Cornbread and his affiliates wrote with their own basic handwriting, but as there where more writers comming up, they had to develop their writing style to stand out of the crowd. There where added swirls, feets, piece signs and crowns to their signatures to get a fluorishing style. The early graffitiwriters in Philadelphia where not gang members, but got influenced, and ofthen imitated the stylized gang writings.

New York

influe nces
The educational systems in these years got affected by the Soviet/American space race, cuts where done in the schools sports and arts sevices, and the other programs like math and sience got increased foundings. The yout of New York found other ways, and created their own competitive art program, based on quantity and original styles, shaping the typography of their names to reflect their individuality. The youth. The kids of the early years looked to kid reference material to get inspired, toys, comic books, album covers and other writers. Simultaneously creating a culture where copying each others styles where shameful, something that still is a big thing in the graffiti culture all over the world. Writers found out that the subway cars with two blocs wide cavases traveling around the city made them get attention from everyone, and culture of subway graffiti was born. It is easy to understand the facination of a early teenager when they saw huge subway cars rolling past them with endless colors together with their favourite comic figures, many of them probably thought they could do this too and probably give others the same facination they did.

Another factor must have been the mystery behind the artist, who could do something like that, what is this new ting and how can i be a part of it, at least this is what i thought when i saw my firs graffit... Later on many of the artist got hired by companies to decorate their buildings, spraying in music videos, and the cultural respect increased when the new urban art where taken in to galleries, opening a new world for both the artist and the viewers. Soon graffiti became one of the four elements of a whole new culture: hip hop. And together with djing, rap, and braking it took over the world in a few years. There where many youths outside the common social groups that now had a new flashy way of lifestyle, which did not include football, tennis or other "common" hobbies and recreations. In 1984, the book Subway Art and the movie Style Wars came out, representing graffiti and hip hop, sweeping over the entire world, showing how this

I n d i v i d u a l
Much of the early years graffiti can reflect the social and economical state of the city and the artists growing up in it, the New York transport system did not have enough money to remove the graffiti and much of the scribbles stayed on the subway cars for years. Some of the boroughs where isolated by the highway that where build pass them and these areas where left isolated and turned into slums and wastelands. The educational system, the politicians prioritizing money in the wrong way made the inhabitants upset and opposed the system through less thoughtful scribbled slogans and riots. In the later years things became less or more thougt out by the writers regarding styles and performance, some artists fell off and others kept on developing and letting themselves explore and research new forms of art in search of new fresh styles.


s t y l e s

"...when people are interested in things they tend to research, as the old jazz players said, you cant know where its at until you know where it came from"

"I wrote surf and drew waves and sayings like wipe out or aloha etc. then a kid from New York showed me NYC subways and I was like WOW! thats what I do but with spray paint. I went and stole a few cans of spray paint, came back to school that evening and did a piece. I was hooked instantly, the adrenalin rush and impact of creating huge pieces..."

new package of cultural and visual expressions should be done! Since this was the first glimps of hip hop that came out, they sat many of the standards and rules to the artists emerging out of this times new sub culture. New york became the graffiti capital of the world, and many artist would pilgrimage there to document and learn how things was done, and maby see one of the legends. When they came back home they would bee the coolest kids in school. In the early years of graffiti there where few or no magazines or books with graffiti, so New York really sat the standard, but the development, and the search of individual styles became more and more importaint for the graffiti artists. This factor together with the consistent rule of not copying each other, and that graffiti have along with hip hop never been a race dividing thing, been open to people of all ethnicities, cultural groups across boarders and societies, have probably helped to open up and breed several new artists and styles than any other culture have done!

-RiskThis development of more intelectual and thoughtfull graffiti have helped to bred and develope the already underlaying competitive nature of these artists, that again have developed new forms, new styles and approaches to the graffiti art. "...The more you see, the more you aestheticly feel, you gain bigger sense of beauty and taste..."

-Theos oneWhere does the urge for attention and competition come from? Is it bigger now than before, or does the artists settle with who they are, and their product over time? What have happened the last 2000 years? From the time where the calligraphy artists did not even sign their works, to the modern society where the writers intentions are to get their name up, to be seen?


The younger writers still copy the styles of the elders and trying to achieve the perfect lines. The development of scripts and styles are not up to kings, popes, priests munks, or any kind of educated scribes anymore. The equipments and methods have developed, the letters are easyer to draw, they are bigger, and more colorfull than ever, it can be done everywhere by everyone.


What is calligraffiti?
Why does graffiti artists tend to mix their style and lawless art with calligraphys rules and ideologies? Are they looking for guidlines to calm down the hustle and bustle in the search for their style. Is it a natural (?) exloration of a underground fenomenons artist trying to represent himself/herselves culture in the best way they mean. Is it a personal interpretation of two? Three? worlds of art that have met each other? When are graffit becomming calligraphy and calligraphy graffiti? How far from these two can you go again befor it all is just a persons, expressionistic piese of art? The answer are in each writers motivation for doing their thing, something we all are looking for, following our values in life and belonging to something. "My father is an architect so I was all the time going around his design things, like lettering stencils or letraset letterig sheets that you had to press hard against the paper to get them transfered. It was amazing! such a strong culture as the Cholo and the development of graffiti. Just as Cornbread got inspired by the gang graffiti on the east coast, the inspiration from the west coasts Cholo culture have inspired and influenced the styles of graffit there. "...there is an eerie stylistic similatiry between Brooklyn an Philadelphia tagging styles of the warly 1970s . to the point where some early Brooklyn writing, such as the Vanguards- seems to have more calligraphic flourishes in common with Philadelphia than the bronx..."

what is calligraffiti?

-The history of American Graffiti-

-Theos OneModern graffiti are an urban art, the rules are vague, they are made up by simple prinsiples and as long they are made by a writers values with an attitude the world of graffiti worthy, it seems that most styles and approaches are accepted. The meaning and intentions of graffiti may have changed over the years, but the origin of the word can relate to every intentions and reasons that have led people to write on walls up trough the ages. Can you call Liang Hu from anchien China a calligraffiti writer? He certainly did not do it with a modern graffiti writers mind and intension, but his reputation and skills served him respect and money from his viewers. Are the Cholo writers calligraphy inspired graffiti calligraffiti? They did, and still does it with and attitude in an urban enviorment modern graffiti worthy! It is easy to draw paralells between

This shows that the calligaphic styles where early adopted by the writers, it does not say where they got their inspiration from. Phase 2 introduced design details, intentionally painted drips, and the idea and shape of multicoloured letterings in 1973. Designs that have been used and inspired writers then and now. Just as early new scripts and styles by respected writers, scribes and artists through the history have sat the standards of their arts, these early writers showed their descendants how they did and how to do it. The documentation of calligraphic inspired graffiti have no right or wrong answer, it is not well documented who made the first calligraphic signature, or where their inspiration came from. The easiest way to explain it is each individual writers search of a way of style in their graffiti markings that made their writings stand out. If you got a cool style you where respected. "I guess its when someone has a basic knowledge and they apply both, making a hybrid such as Calligraffiti..."

-RiskCalligraffiti is a branch of, and have the roots and rules of modern graffitis philosophies. An art where everyting is legit...



e r d a m , 1 9 8 4 1 9 85 . 3D Design, 1985 1987, artner in graphic studio. Studio Anthon Beeke, Amerdam, 1989 1992 , asstant graphic designer. Studio Lidewij Edelkoort, aris, 1990, graphdesign and production. Act Up Fight Back, 1990, mural Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Muilmen Dont Cry, 1992, exbition with Dingeman Kuilan at Megazin, Amsterdam. Caulfield & Tensing I, 92 1993, partner in a p h i c d e s i g n s t u d i o. Post G ra f f i t i , 1 9 93 , oup exhibition at Galry Total Art, Amsterdam. Top Billin, 1994, own r clothing label. Sunday Violence, 1994, exbition of silkscreens at mart Gallery, Amsterdam. Blvd. magazine, 1995, pho & illustration editor. Caulfield & Tensing II, 95 1999, partner in a p h i c d e s i g n s t u d i o. Wave m a ga z i n e, 1 9 96 1 9 9 7, a r t d i r e c t o r. Art Directors Club Neth lands, 1997, jury memer (graphic design). Lecture series, 1998, art schools Den Haag, Utrecht, Pasadena. Streetwise, 1998, unsthal, Rotterdam. Dutch Design Dead, 1998, o-author of publication. Do Normal, 1998, Dutch esign in San Francisco useum of Modern Art. Holland International, 1998, ACE Gallery, Hollywood. World Expo, 1998, Lisbon. Art Directors Club Netherlands, 99, jury member (typography). Design Academy, Eindhoven, 99, graphic design teacher. Mooi Maar Goed, 1999, Stdelijk Museum, Amsterdam. FHV/BBDO, Amsterdam, 99 2001, senior art director. G - s h o c k , 1 9 9 9, p r o j ct with Eric Haze, Tokyo. Art Directors Club Eu pe, 1999, jury member raphic design/new media). Body Logo, 2002, exhibi on with Danille Kwaaitaal Montevideo, Amsterdam. Unruly, 2002 2004, parter in agency for creative diction and brand strategy. Umbro Internation, 2003, fashion design n d m a r ket i ng st rateg y. Link Magazine, 2003, re-stylg and creative direction. UCLA Design|Media Arts, 004, lecture and workshop. Rietveld Academie (Design Lab, raphic Design), 2004, teacher. Academie voor Bouwkunst, msterdam, 2006, teacher. Behind the Scene #01, 006, group exhibition at alone del Mobile, Milan. Roam is my home, 2006, o u p ex h i b i t i o n C e n aal Museum Utrecht . shoe&parra&delta&machine, 006, group exhibition at Pahuis De Zwijger, Amsterdam. Unruly Accessories, 2007, ar tner in scar f brand. Art Directors Club, New o r k , 2 0 07, j u r y m e m er (graphic design). Loud Graphix, 2007, group xhibition at 103, Berlin. Calligraffiti, 2007, solo x h i b i t i o n a t Po s t B G enue, Amsterdam. MTV Networks Benelux, 2007 008, Head of Creative & Design. Nosmo King, 2007, solo exhibion at De Duivel, Amsterdam. Shoe for Heineken, 008, streetwear collecon for Heineken The City. Different Strokes, 008, solo exhibition at u s h Ho u r, A m ste rd a m . Some Type of Wonderful, 009, group exhibition hostd by Lifelounge, Melbourne. Where On Earth Have You een?, 2009, group exhition at Bright, Frankfurt. Le Miroir Vivant, 2009, olo exhibition at Tenue e Nmes, Amsterdam. Le Tag, 2009, group exhibion at Le Grand Palais, Paris. Salon de lAmiti, 2009, group hibition at Arti, Amsterdam. Urban in Ibiza, 2009, group xhibition at Atzaro, Ibiza. Imagining Mozambique, 009, group exhibition at axalot gallery, Amsterdam. Amsterdams Right Brainers onvention, 2009, exhibition Chelsea Market, New York. Salamatina Group h o w, 2 0 0 9, S a l a m a t i a Gallery, Manhasset NY. magining Mozambique, 2009, oup exhibition at Mass Maret gallery space, New York. TEDxBrussels, 2009, speaker at uropean Parliament, Brussels. Flying Eyeball, 2009, group xhibition, Mayfair, London Millon & Cornette de Saint yr, auction, 2009, Paris. Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 009, exhibition and auction. Calligraffiti, one man show, 2010, ommon Ground Gallery, Berlin. Calligraffiti, one man show, 010, Arty Farty gallery, Cologne. C o n r e t e P l a yg r o u n d , oup show, 2010, Essen. TYPOBerlin international Degn Conference 2010, exhibition, cture and performance, Berlin STROKE.02 Urban Art air, solo exhibition, Munich. Dew Tour 2010, exhibition nd performance at Sony nov8 Park, Boston MA. Letters of Indepenence, 010, solo exhibition at Salamina gallery, Manhasset NY.

"Calligraffiti is a combination of calligraphy and graffiti. Calligraphy is about the art of writing and can have many forms. Whether it be Japanese ancient brush characters, Arabic pictorial scripts, illuminated mediaeval books or swirly quill writing all calligraphy. Calligraffiti: traditional handwriting with a metropolitan attitude."

-Shoes simple answer on calligraffiti-


"Yes, the first Shoe tags are from 1979. Wed steal those small spray cans of fluorescent car paint and tag the old center of our city. Especially in 1980 with the squatting riots and the crowning of queen Beatrix, old Amsterdam was in complete anarchy. A wonderful environment for a kid growing up and doing graffiti. Before I had seen any subway graffiti from New York my biggest influence was Dr. Rat. After my first visit to New York in 1982 and noticing graffiti in galleries and museums my biggest influence was Dondi. He really was a kind of a mentor when I first started to do New York styles.. Sadly they are both dead."

-INTERVIEW WITH STREETWEAR TODAY, MARCH 2010how to get the right flow and the use of ink or paint. Where the calligraphy artists stribe for perfection in safe enviorments, the graffiti artists are excused of the often random expressionistic versions of their works, made in the dark. Shoe embraces and uses his understanding of these two extremes to make his art. Starting up graphic design firms, joining businesses, working as an art director and in MTV, interviews in Emigr and spreads in

Niels Shoe Meulman

Is probably the most iconic writer that have mixed graffiti with calligraphy the last 30 years. He have studyed, written and understood the art of calligraphy from the start of his graffit career. Niels is one of the few graffiti artists that master and understands the art of both these worlds, he have learned the principles of calligraphy, the traditions, the strict rules of conducting the right lines,

Esquire, getting up as a part of the early European graffiti movement and Painting with the most influencal artists from all over the world are just a few things Shoe have been part of that have shaped his approach to his art and visual language. In 2007 he left the industry and starts focusing being an artist and developing his calligraffiti works. He launches a solo exhibition the same year where his calligraffiti works are shown. From then his style and works have been a factor and a part of putting a face to the gradually own artform Calligraffiti...


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Cherell Avery interview TXT: Petter B PHOTO: media/website/versions/ uploads/people_page_ portraits/cherryl_avery_artist_ in_residence_290_overlay290. jpg. content/articles/c/cherrellavery/ http://cherrellavery. dsc03932.jpg

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Same but different TXT: http://www.12ozprophet. com/bates/entry/dr.-ratamsterdam-1981/ designer/zephyr/ http://www.theoriginators. com/aboutus/tracy-168/ bates/ http://www.visualkontakt. com/p/daim-graffiti.html biography/ http:// PHOTO: Petter B

EBchecked/topic/96555/ Carolingian-minuscule EBchecked/topic/96555/ Carolingian-minuscule PHOTO AND ILLUSTRATION: Petter B and http://www. origin/GiaGuWen1.jpg community/uploads12/14624/ phoenician_alphabet/ http:// museum/lists/16477-Greek. jpg http://ianwhiteman.files. http://static. thumb/c/c4/AndalusQuran. JPG/300px-AndalusQuran. JPG http://www.livescience. com/26164-pompeii-wallgraffiti-social-networks.html http://www.chinesechinese. net/images/Picture_005. jpg typography/images/ manuscript/cathach_lg.jpg facsimiles/UBB%20MS%20 1549,%207a%201.jpg http:// article-2274401/Archaeologistsfascinating-quest-deciphermedieval-graffiti-scrawledcathedral-walls.html http:// handle/2374.KENY/7062/Bible_ Ege44_Verso.jpg?sequence=3 images/extrabilder/2445_8_ pb_CW_008.jpg http://farm8. staticflickr.

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TXT: Petter B PHOTO: Petter B

Roman Empire, Travel from the east

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TheosOne interview TXT: Petter B PHOTO: http://2.bp.blogspot. com/-3HnVPx-saQQ/ ULt4nKUmmaI/ AAAAAAAAGKM/KGmLU4i3jI/s1600/taggg+copym. jpeg

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TXT: Petter B PHOTO: Petter B

Gothic, Ups and downs

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Photo lines PHOTO: Petter B

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Graffiti TXT: Petter B PHOTO:


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Introduction page TXT: http://dictionary.reference. com PHOTO: lzb5bfZwOQ1qfd1rto1_500.jpg

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Risk Interview TXT: Petter B PHOTO: jpg wp-content/uploads/risksmash.jpg http://vivalafoodies. com/wp-content/ uploads/2011/06/PICT0021. jpg

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Roman & Medieval graffiti Monikers & Kilroy Was Here TXT: Petter B PHOTO: http://www.therailroadpolice. com/hobos/Hobo_1933_in_box car_door.jpg http://farm6.stati cflickrcom/5299/5544338522_ 89f5c40284_o.jpg http://farm 3714_4d9d787a1d_o.jpg

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TXT: Petter B PHOTO: Petter B

Opening Screen

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Quote TXT: Urban Artcore PHOTO: Petter B

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Psychology ink test TXT: interviews PHOTO: Petter B

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History Lession TXT: Petter B PHOTO: http://www.eliteauction. com/catalogues/091612/ images/569_1.jpg http://www. GiaGuWen1.jpg


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Gang graffiti

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Timeline TXT: Petter B and http://www. topic/614047/uncial http://

TXT: Petter B PHOTO: Petter B & http://image. miscellaneous/ute-withappeal/39928213/el-camino. jpg http://latinofilmfund.

org/blog/wp-content/ uploads/2011/04/IMG_3304. jpg http://latinofilmfund. org/blog/wp-content/ uploads/2011/04/IMG_3291. jpg images/extrabilder/2445_8_ pb_CW_008.jpg http://4. AAAAAAAAB94/koaVilfgFog/ s1600/

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Modern graffiti TXT: Petter B PHOTO: http://ohmygodthatsamazing. style-wars-original.jpg http://content.answcdn. com/main/content/img/ getty/3/1/2696331.jpg http:// thankgodisurf.files.wordpress. com/2011/01/boomboxregular. jpg

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What is calligraffiti TXT: Petter B PHOTO: ntent/uploads/2013/03/el-se ed-.jpg http://2.bp.blogspot. com/-zMuejZMv32A/UECfzL Wnu_I/AAAAAAAAFGo/9j_3 LsGoZk8/s1600/244003_18523 2554863034_6878917_o.jpg AAAAAAAAAOo/1DqH O1ajcNE/s1600/IMG_3566. JPG /tagged/calligraffiti?before=1348580756 behind-the-scenes-niels-shoemeulman-x-canlove-adele-renault/ jpg?w=1024&h=508 http://3b APHIGNI/ThYequAAllI/ AAAAAAAAALY/dQ4PlU09v xU/s1600/loremipsumteo.jpg /art/wp-content/uploads /Cartonero-6-Indian-ink-oncardboard-21-x-29-cm-80-E uros.jpg /photos/39694554@N03/55 50860652 /9151/photos_text_twocol_r_r ight.jpg?1361648533 com/photos/greg_papagrigoriou/7460114102/sizes/l/in/pho tostream/ http://whatyouwr 2012/06/copy-of-roftumsbf20

12-388.jpg wp-content/uploads/2012/02/ Artillery_NeilsShowMeulman_ Interview_02.jpg http://graffut 76338cc742_b.jpg abcnt.files. http://cherrellavery.files.w 932.jpg mages/sniper-oner-handstyles -by-sniper-one-graffiti-tagsand-tagging-what-is-graffiti-img -35371-jpg-graffiti-tags-andtagging.jpg Abdullah-khan_ ullah-khan.jpg http://www.crav ail02.jpeg?__SQUARESPACE_ CACHEVERSION=132018988 5757 /6009/5940982051_3a9c656 203_b.jpg 1.bp.blogspot. com/--tV8Qlr0Fic/T77ZUZa 7_FI/AAAAAAAAQGQ/swoEa UNNgcI/s1600/elseed_ capetown_streetartnews-1. jpeg tagged /calligraffiti?before=1348580756 A1One_2. AAAAAAAAM5o/IXfeD6QizcM/s1600/ger3+a1one. jpg http://farm7.staticflickr. com/6179/6236954350_782c8 61206.jpg www.fatcap.comgraffiti109341-stereoflow-grave s-purworejo.html www.fatcap. com-article-typography.html ent/uploads/2013/01/68333 21542_9396135ea9_b.jpg www. r_017.jpg graffiti/64912-zeyes-vancouve r.html post/24887700169/calligraphi -ca-dope-shit-pilot-parallelpen-6-0 http://www.calligraffit 2.jpg uploads/2012/06/greg2.jpg s3ima individual_files/original_216054_Q6_L_5G5UrJxzMBUBR6Yvi2ik.jpg www.offtoseetheelephant. com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/214.jpg tumblr_m5o8u7QX7S1rwmmmlo1_1280 photos/luca-beanone-barcellona/6962838042/sizes/l/ in/photostream/ http://4. AAAAAAAAZDM/4aBdoG5HiLA/s1600/streetartnews_meulman_nuart-1.JPG wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ bigbabyjesus1.jpg http:// wp-content/uploads/2012/06/ nsm10.jpeg Tef10MduS5I/AAAAAAAAAIg/-z_efjbrqyI/s1600/taggg%2Bcopym.jpg tumblr_mgiekdRY1y1rwmmmlo1_1280 aishart. img_9118.jpg fbab6697d2_o.jpg http://3.bp.blogspot. com/-2EWHE01mKHs/UCFXuT0RgpI/AAAAAAAAAW0/ hgSt0KD1mYk/s1600/ theosone_lsv+%285%29. jpg http://myriamjcpreston.files.wordpress. com/2012/10/dscn8245-001. jpg?w=1024&h=1022 http://

http://behance.vo.llnwd. net/profiles16/845695/projects/5285751/49cf8082dd99b2463f915bb917697abf.jpg http://cronachemaceratesi.

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Shoe TXT: Petter B PHOTO & ILLUSTRATIONS: Shoe & http://www.street-art. nl/wp-content/uploads/2012/ 10/Shoe_portrait_%C2%A9 Philip-White.jpg http://static. loads/2012/10/Shoe-Netherla nds-1.jpg http://www.tumblr. com/tagged/calligraffiti?befor e=1348580756 http://www.tu calligraffiti?before=134858075 6 /_sPwHOkZPYDA/TK1Rnf5u nXI/AAAAAAAAATg/vZ_vf0S Tgqk/s1600/different-strokes -300x220.jpg http://www. nalden_ wotw02.jpg http://www.callig t/uploads/2010/12/bigbabyjes us1.jpg html Calligraphers Companion. Mary Nobler & Janet Mehigan Scribble & Script, the rise and fall of handwriting. Kitty Burns Florey Calligraffiti, the graphic art of Niels Shoe Meulman Niels Shoe Meulman, Adam Eeuwens & John Langdon The history of American Graffiti. Roger Gastman & Caleb Neelon