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Writing – Urban Calligraphy and Beyond


September, 2004
Publisher: gestalten
Author: Markus Mai
Editor: R. Klanten
Design: Matthias Hübner
208 pages, 24 x 28 cm
ISBN: 978-3-89955-062-7, Buy it here

»So, in 1988, the odd train got bombed in both the southern and northern parts of West Berlin, but not more than a handful over all. By the end of 1988, all districts in West Berlin had been tagged.«

Writing - Urban Calligraphy and Beyond is a cross-section of the formal expression of graffiti.
The book is structured didactically: the general and personal development of a design vocabulary of writing are successively shown in the chapters Tag/Throw Up and Letter/Word, which enables the reader to draw comparisons. The following chapter Analogy deals in a visual way with the background of forms and shapes and their relatives in urban space. The chapters 2D-3D and Object display the current developments towards sculptural works, still highly rooted in the formal expression of writing. Those chapters are the core of the book and provide insight in future developments. The last two chapters Graphics & Urban Art Activism mainly show links to and overlapping with design and art in public space.
It seems that Writing really met the zeitgeist: Within the next years several hard and soft cover editions were printed and sold. Today the book is out of print and has become a collector´s item for quite a few people.