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THE BOSTON GR AFFITI GHOST HUNT


THE BOSTON GRAFFITI GHOST HUNT Guide and Process Book Chris Skinner Typography 3 MassArt 2013


CONTENT

7 Introduction

9 Mission Statement

11 Choosing the Type


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The Sticker

Conclusion

The Guide


INTRODUCTION

This is a book about a timeline made for the history of graffiti in Boston. The big issue with graffiti almost anywhere you go is when a nobody artists thinks he/ she can write wherever they want. This may be the case in various suburban areas, yet in almost any major city there is a history to the graffiti. Most people may not know that graffiti in Boston goes all the way back to 1983. We must recognize that much of the language was adopted from New York, yet when compared to Boston graffiti of the early 90’s one can see a visible difference. The crews that came out of Boston found their way within a greater community of crews across the east. Although the work which is noted is no longer present on the walls they were once painted on, the importance of the crews and their artwork should never be dismissed as irrelevant.

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from left alert and d-nite hit mission hill, “Wild-style� being practiced in 1983, The mark of an influential crew via BostonGraffitiGhosts.com


M I S S I O N S TAT E ME N T

The goal of this project is to educate locals, visitors and fellow writers the areas associated with the history of graffiti in Boston. Many are complaining about writers tagging over the works of legendary crews such as od. Although many influential artists in Boston were part of very tiny crews, tags are often judged by the opinion of many. This timeline explains the history of graffiti in Boston. Although with the nature of graffiti, none of these artworks are still enact because they were either painted over or their mediums were demolished. I felt in order to better understand the importance of these spots the pieces individually deserve a memorandum for the place in time they existed.

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For a while I thought the best font to use would be one I found from a free font site. I mean it kind of makes sense: to use open source typography. 10 

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CHOOSING THE TYPE

I began the search with a question: “How do I choose a typeface to represent that which commonly breaks typographic rules and readability?� In the world of Graffiti most of the content comes from being in the know. The viewer must be familiar with the names of tags, writers, and crews. Gesture and design is a greater concern over legibility.

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Akzidenz Grotesk captures the mood.

Yet these writers did not confine themselves to illegibility, for instance popeye had a typographical style that mimicked condensed slab–serif letterforms. So I had an idea for a typeface that may touch upon a popular style of graffiti that was a bit more legible. Clarendon has a bulginess in the bold style numbers that can really capture the language of Hip–Hop. It has an old–style residential feel that could help represent the writing that shows up on high school walls (or at least used to). Clarendon is an English typeface created by Robert Besley for Thorowgood and Co. in 1845. This font, despite my intentions, was often used for government posters in Germany and wanted signs in the Old West. The underling history fits really well with this subject matter.

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But then the body content may need a typeface that is similar but even more legible. This typeface needed to touch upon the medium of graffiti. These hot spots were connected with transportation in the area of Boston. I wanted a pairing typeface that mimicked interstate signs and subway stations. It also needed to speak for the time. Akzidenz-Grotesk is an earlier sans–serif released by the Berthold Type Foundry in 1896. Designed by Ferdinand Theinhardt under the name Royal Grotesk, the typeface had intentions for scientific publications. Although a typeface like Interface or Executive would have been more cohesive, I felt as though Akzidenz did that and took the form of a typeface that spoke to the time in which most of the Graffiti took place.


For a while I liked the idea of cement because it embodies a common medium while placing an invincible aspect to a subject which had a very small lifespan. (the actual installation does just that purely with its looks)

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The Sticker was then generated from keeping the spirit of thoughtful vandalism.

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THE STICKER

These stickers are located all around Boston. Each one either commemorates a specific piece of artwork or the place in which a new crew or movement was born. The format is used to emulate the usps 228 label sticker. These stickers were often used to spread a specific tag with great abundance and because they were free. Using the dimensional ratio, these stickers are a bit bigger while the layout is sort of a parody of the original. The original tag included on every sticker has a sort of ghost image.

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in order: react at Symphony dan plasma at Porter Square ala at Ruggles sr.1 at Cambridge tracy 168 at Coolidge Corner

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CONCLUSION

The world of graffiti is a dangerous one. It is the only form of art that can get you arrested or killed. These artists will often reach the spots which are furthest from reach just to preserve their mark. Unfortunatley this project takes the form of medium which is just as feeble as paint yet the familiarity is a strong suit. This project should be more respected in taking on a responsive form.

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a special thanks to Evan Peebles and Victoria Florio typefaces used: Clarendon: Robert Besley with Thorowgood and Co. 1845 Akzidenz Grotesk: Berthold Type Foundry in 1896 this book was written and designed by Chris Skinner Typography 3 w Katherine Hughes ŠMassArt 2013


THE GUIDE

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The next page is a foldout map which acts as a guide for this installation. These spots are only connected to the history of vandalism so trying to hunt these without this map may be kind of difficult.


The Boston Graffiti Ghost Hunt  

A process book made for an installation timeline. The timeline tells a brief story of early graffiti history within the Boston area.