famous's picture

Hey, does anyone have or know where i can get a cool graffiti font. i am using it to make a signature. if someone has one previously made, or knows where to get one it would be greatly appreciated

pattyfab's picture

If all you need to make is a signature, why not hand draw it. You could then customize the letters and how they fit together and it would better simulate real graffiti.

However, in case you don't want to do that, why not try



Google: graffiti fonts. There are many more sites than the three I linked to above. You'll also find stuff at myfonts:

Stephen Coles's picture

There's not a single graffiti font on the market that will make you look authentic.

Dav's picture

a ) Lettering, of course

b ) If hand drawn, custom 'Lettering' is not an option, you may like some of those 'fancy' OpenType ( Alternates, Ligatures, Things like that ) based graffiti lettering types, like 'Owned' or 'Funboy', by Ray Larabie


karmachameleon's picture

That is not possible to do with a font. Only a graffiti artist can make something look and feel like a tag. (And maybe a verry skilled copycat. ;))
Dnevnik eklektika

SF's picture

pss. look for my new graffiti font tutorial in the next Computer Arts magazine.

Wes W's picture

yes, unfortunately there are no real authentic graff fonts online. In the near future, a foundry called HandSelecta will be releasing some standardized legitimate fonts created by well established practitioners. the current sites and free fonts out there are not very authentic. Most take too many different elements form too many differnt regional styles and mix them into one disfunctional alphabet.

I hear Stephen Coles knows a graff writer that creates authentic graff logos if the job is legit and is not trying to exploit or downplay the artform.

I strongly discourage attempting to mimic graff from looking is like trying to learn hand lettering from looking at Zapfino.

SF: I've seen your mag before and your brushes are pretty cool. Thanks for keepin the zine free for the public.

SF's picture

Thanks Wes!

karmachameleon's picture

I apologize, what I meant to say is: "I haven't seen any authentic graffiti fonts that could be used for something". The real problem I see here is that as soon as graphic designers think "graffiti" they think mid 80's or pure american graffiti style. This is a harsh generalization, I know, but sadly it is so in most cases.

I on the other hand in my writing have always aiming for that euro look. For example look at graffiti from eastern europe, Czech, Slovakian (these guys are crazy), even France. Of course Berlin is another story altogether, although influenced heavilly with Czech styles it is beautiful in it's own rigid simplicity and sometimes nihilistic creative freedom. (Note: I am talking mostly about the street and train scene here. Guys like SCAR, DSF crew, MrX, and of course SEKT).

I find american styles too boring and repetative (NY scene especially), this is more my thing.

Wheeew, I have written a ffff essay... :)
Dnevnik eklektika

Wes W's picture

Karma: You brought up a very interesting topic. Not only do handstyles (tags) have regional differences, but also internationally. The same goes for throw-ups (bubbly constructed letters) and Style writin (wildstyle).

For years, Europe had a totally different aesthetic to their hands. As an American, it seemed like Europeans have more asymmetrical compositions. In America, the beginners are usually the ones experimenting with asymmetrical forms, then eventually find a consistancy in their tag. Early on, I felt as if the ideas on balance and composition that Americans preserved were lost in translation when it spread to Europe. I'm not tryin to downplay the whole continent, actually I feel that the experimentation done in Europe brought forth loads of techniques which spread worldwide, and I've always been inspired by their color schemes.

Although a majority of European signature forms are not very accepted by American graff writers, I personally like to see the work being done there. The one writer in particular that I enjoy seeing is "Bean."

Maybe your boredom is driven by the lack of knowledge with American hands? Where I'm from, there is a greater attention to the execution. We hold our markers consistently so that the letters are even and fit within the style family. We pay close attention to the amount of negative spacing within each individual letter. People here are very specific with tight letterspacing, creating a darker "color" of the total composition... drawing the eye towards the signature. American graffiti styles have been refined for decades, and are continuing to pull from outside sources. For example, in LA, writers are integrating Blackletter and existing shapes into a hybrid style. Every city has a different aesthetic, and with each new king comes new trends in forms.

I’ve always wondered why there is a big difference between the tastes of graff writers in different countries. Maybe its driven by language and pronunciation of words? We should start a new thread to discuss this. Soon we might even get Brazilian writers in here saying the same for their styles.

...Getting back on topic. if you want REAL graffiti lettering, find a real writer who’s been out there for a few years. Having a "field tested" style will assure your authenticity in the culture you are designing for. (sorry for the babble)

SF's picture


You both have valid points.
I like both the american and euro forms of graffiti...really all forms of graffiti.

But for me it comes down to a distinct style/form of graffiti letters that i prefer.
The throw up or bubble letters... this can be seen in both euro or american graffiti.
This is a important aspect, it's sorta like the serif and san serif. (another topic)

karmachameleon's picture

"For years, Europe had a totally different aesthetic to their hands. As an American, it seemed like Europeans have more asymmetrical compositions."

This is true 100%.

"Where I’m from, there is a greater attention to the execution."

This is also correct, but what I consider execution is the can control and both line and filling techniques, and on the other hand you have the styles that are soooo different (USA vs. EUROPE). The reason I said I find USA styles boring is because writers tend to "find the golden combination" and make as if it is written in stone, they get so repeatative and obsessive over it that it looses all it's fun, and that is where I think it gets it's rivalry moment. In europe we don't have rivalry and "biting hate", just because I think european writers leave a lot to experiment and viewers interpretation. Then again, everything came from USA and there is no disputing that.

One has to have respect for the originators of the game, and has to study the original styles in order to bring something fresh to the table. It's the same as anywhere else. Know your roots, know why you are doing it, give respect and get it back.

Dnevnik eklektika

Wes W's picture

"Its like anything else, different regions have there own style. just like speech accents."

Yes I understand this, but I'd like to search for the deeper reason. For example, San Francisco has a tradition of bus hopper style. Forms flow consistently and utilize curves for speed. Elements like hills posed interesting time constraints with the possibility of sloppy execution. Each letter is connected at the cap versus the baseline because you are usually writing on windows, above seated passengers.

"Like colors, euro style are have more colors, They have had more color paint options. And another huge issue is your physical surroundings."

I cut out my comment regarding this earlier cause it was becoming an essay. I think a strange factor is the existence of paint made specifically for the aerosol artist. I'm not sure exactly when these hit Europe, but these brands have been very popular here lately. With various tips (spray nozzles) and air pressures at your disposal, a wide range of line weights, fades, narrowing effects and even chisel-esque styles could be achieved. There must have been writers giving input when it came to developing these tools, which benefited specific styles.

"they get so repetitive and obsessive over it that it looses all it’s fun,"

I definitely understand where you are coming from, yet I think in this case the joy level of marking surfaces depends on the person. People fall into their comfort zones, being able to create similar forms of (wild)style to get recognition. Out here, some people love the quantity just as much as we love the quality.

c_acker's picture

Regarding Bushop Style: I recently learned in an interview with a writer from Seattle who spent some time in SF (and haven't yet confirmed from native SF writers) that The BUSHOP style was originated by Latin-American writers who by practice would ride bicycles around SF. One guy would jump out into traffic stopping a bus while several would tag the exterrior of the bus in a quick and dramatic attack, utilizing a very fast and fluid one liner style of script, then escape on their bikes. Confirmation or disputing stories would be appreciated. is now officially live (but beta) and will be providing fonts for retail sale based upon the handstyles of graffiti writing collaborators. For those who know the names we're dropping... Our first stable of fonts are by JOKER, MENE, MESH, MESK, and SABE, and we are in the process of working on future fonts with CEASR, CLARK, ESPO, FREEDOM, GIANT, RUST, STAB, SPARK, SP ONE, and TEST.

We are dedicating ourselves to learning about the geographic developments of style, specifically tagging, not yet pieces or throwups as tagging relates more closely to calligraphy and hence to type design (I know this is debatable amongst some of you typophiles).

We are a NYC based opeartion and while we are mostly working with American artists at the moment, we are certainly aware of the developments in this artform happening on the international scene and if there is an indigenous style to the graffiti from where you are from please let us know. We are doing our best to write each chapter of the story representing all indigenous styles and developments as it has never been done before.

Kyle Talbott's picture

Old fart writer here.

Thanks Wes for the tip off. HANDSELECTA is rumoured to be live. SFaustina creates beautiful work—all dirty and nasty, like climbing onto filthy dumpsters over bums to get to the perfect rooftop. SF, I love Bloodwars. I've got all your brushes and free fonts. Please don't stop.

SF, congratulations on the Computer Arts article. I look fwd to reading it. I haven't picked up the publication in years but your article is the perfect reason to pick it up again. BTW, did you tell the readers that they should rack all their supplies, spend years on the streets getting in and out of trouble, do their homework like KRS, and then sit back to digest it all before trying to create graffiti-inspired fonts?

OK, I'll say it... just for the hate of it. Euro handstyles are wack. Phet was cool, Shoe as well. Mode2 cleared the house with scripts and the human form (heck... letters as well). Earl's scripts are nice, very American. O'clock managed to rock a few trains in NYC that ran, well, at least I saw them...

OK, now that I've got your attention, let me clarify.

I'm from DC. The styles there are not superlative as well. The writers I worked with worked very hard on developing a distinctive style. That took time. Did we succeed? I dunno. There are still some records of our attempts. The rest are buffed, dissed, lost or in some other state... at best the records are kept and the original inspiration is passed on for new kids to explore.

Historically and globally, the creatives that stand out have one of the three elements: good mentorship, hard research, or serious drive. You can't get better without any of them and it's best if you have a combo of two, or all three. Usually, one precipitates the others and draws the remaining elements towards itself.

So what...

Well, getting back to throwing rocks accross the pond. Boy George above is spot on. It's not that beneficial to hate on Europe or the States. The working conditions are completely different, the histories are different. It doesn't stop there. The audiences are different with different responses (there used to be less tension in europe towards graff). The modes of graff are different as well. Most kids who write in the States aren't slapping up stickers as their main mode of getting up. The streets are too key'd up for that. Americans on a whole are more angry–so I'll make a leap and say that there's more aggressive bombing here in the States.

Europe, much like DC and other cities (SF included) didn't have the history, communal knowledge and mentorship like Philly and NYC so we were left behind during the first decade of graffiti. It took a lot of dedicated writers both overseas and in the 2nd and 3rd wave cities (in the USA) to understand the foundations of graffiti: letterforms, quick footing, big mouths and technique.

So what? Why all the talk on Typophile?

Graffiti inspired fonts are an experiment. They are a hope and vision that has yet to be fully achieved. I believe that HANDSELECTA is doing a very good job persuing that hope. Check it out. It may help the dialogue.

BTW, this is not shameless self promotion. Christian Acker is the heavy hitter behind HS. I'm just the cheerleader and co-founder emmeritus.

And Wes, when is the magazine coming out?

SF's picture


SF's picture


c_acker's picture

SFaustina, thank you for your kind words. I'll be in touch.

As requested, here are some links to my handstyle photo collection:

And here are some samples of Handselecta's first releases:

Kyle Talbott's picture

Hey SF, I'm not recommending that one break the law either, remember—I said I was the old fart—I'm just being honest about the climate that comes with graffiti.

Wes W's picture

Said it before and I'll say it again...The Joker font is Very slick.

"And Wes, when is the magazine coming out?"

I'm working on an article discussing graffiti and type for Font Magazine, soon to be released. We've covered our bases getting information from IGT (phase2), Freedom, Stan 153, Crayone, Mare 139, Rime, Handselecta, and even Christian Schwartz. Ian Lynam, a very talented designer, typographer, and writer (in more ways than one) is putting his finishing touch on the essay.

Online teaser coming soon!

SF's picture

Kyle...haha. no i understand. its a basic rule of graffiti. like rule no. 2.

acker that mexicali font is really nice. ya give me a email we can talk.

wes. that sounds great please post that teaser. FONTSHOP!
I cought a tag on there door ( a long time back ) sorry. :)
Ian Lynam has some great work.


Kyle Talbott's picture

Wes- I'm just busting your chops. Christian and I are looking fwd to it. Rime, Phase 2, ahhh some of my favorites. Please tell Ian that I am patiently waiting for the release of Cooper Black Swash.:)

SF- Thanks for linking up the phone wallpapers. I've found a link for Vulcan. Glad to hear that he's still in the game. I'm very curious to see what he's doing as he was a major influence in my art.

Wes W's picture

No worries. The tags always pile up on our doorway. Mostly stickers and toy hands. However I did catch a new Amaze next door from late last year.

I'll definately keep you posted on the teaser info.

Rime's stuff is real interesting...we also covered his "new" project.

hows that for a teaser of a teaser?

Kyle Talbott's picture

I am pleased to be teased.

ilynam's picture


SF's picture

heres peak at KEPTONE.
this font is completed but not released yet.


Wes W's picture

hmmm...maybe some regulation and metrics work will help

Kept kil.kyt???

SF's picture

We are savage

Wes W's picture

regulating certain glyphs will create a cohesive alphabet. For example the "e" you use was probably taken from the end of a this case I'm thinkin "one." since the "e" is at the end of this word, it wouldn't work the same as if it were in the middle of a word.

Kerning would help like in the "P-T" combo.

SF's picture


Wes W's picture

SF, do u have a scan of that article? I missed it while it was on the stands.

Although the Font Magazine article switch directions and focused more on the new trend of street art, here is a link to the online extras I did on Graffiti (lettering):

The Exchange


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