When Christian P.Acker is not working as art director for the skateboarding brand Zoo-York, he spends his time working on Handselecta, a font foundry and preservation project documenting graffiti as a form of contemporary calligraphy and transforming handwritten scripts into digital typefaces. A few years ago, based on his research he decided to released an art history book of American graffiti. This book called : Flip the Script.
Flip the Script is a huge book for designers and writters that want to go deep into the american handstyles study.The first part of the book is about the historical context (how it all started), the migration of styles in the US and some initiation to the lettering and tools you need to practice on.
Afterwards, Achker presents the handstyles in 8 different geographical parts: LA and Southwest, Chicago and Midwest, Phily, NYC, Mid Atlantic, Boston & New England, and SF & Norhtwest. In each part ,you will learn about the stylers that influence their area: About 100 writers present their alphabets and comment it in order to learned more about their practicing or style influences.
Each regions have their influences and history. Flip the Script presents them in details like the Old English typography for LA or the so called Philadelphia Gangster prints (called by the New-Yorker Broadway elegant) and the influence of the gang in the 60′s for Philadelphia. The book also let us know about the Chicago Compliments Cards used by the old-school gangs to present their mobs (there were like a competition over the best design between crew members or rivals), the arsenal of elements around a tag (like crowns, arrows or four corner quotes) or the evolution of the tags of some writers like SPone, Keo or Mes.
If I know about many of the writers in LA, NYC or some of the Bay Area and Philadelphia presented in this book, I honestly don’t know most of the writers of many cities like Seattle or Chicago. And it’s good to learn about cities that are not so often on the highlights in the US books.
A real investigation book that I can only suggest to all the peoples that are interest in study of styles and handstyles. 224 pages of quality tagging with many good names on it like: Grey, Pose, Mike Giant, Smoker, Faust, Sabe, Skuff, Seyce, Agua…
The book is published by Gingko Press (Stay High 149, Saber: Mad Society, Broken Windows: NYC) and is available on their website here. (Thanks Dirk)
224 pages, Hardcover, 7” x 9” (178 x 229 mm)
100s of 2-color illustrations, English