Parallel Strokes

Parallel Strokes is a collection of interviews with nineteen contemporary typeface designers, graffiti writers, and lettering artists around the world. The book is introduced with a comprehensive essay charting the history of graffiti, its relation to type design, and how the two practices relate in the wider context of lettering.

Interviews within include conversations with pan-European type design collective Underware, Japanese type designer Akira Kobayashi, American graffiti writer and fine artist Barry McGee/Twist, German graffiti writers Daim and Seak, American lettering artist, graphic designer and design eductor Ed Fella, among others. Parallel Strokes is an enquiry into the history, context, and development of lettering today, both culturally approved and illicit.

Parallel Strokes spun out of my CalArts Graphic Design MFA thesis. I designed and self-published the book in 2008 after years of intermittently writing it and collecting visuals.

The book was released via my publishing imprint, Wordshape, in an edition of 1000 and sold out within a few months. The 240 page book was printed with a one-color interior on matte paper with a metallic 3-color UV gloss cover.

I also designed and released a number of promotional items for the book’s release. These included canvas tote bags in 2 color options, a blue/blue split-fountain screenprint and a magenta/Rubine Red split-fountain screenprint. I also designed a two-color 18″ by 24″ poster that featured the entire book laid out in thumbnail format. With a magnifying glass, one wasn’t required to buy the book- you could just squint and read the poster.

Though sold out, you can still see the Parallel Strokes website here.