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Broken Straights (font)

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  • Broken Straights
  • Auckland Straights is a style of lettering widely used by graffiti artists throughout New Zealand. While many regions have their own recognizable flavours of graffiti, a style as dominant and regimented as this is a peculiar phenomenon. This handstyle originated in Los Angeles and arrived here in the late 1980's where local calligraphers have been evolving it since.

    Countless variations on the style have emerged with different writers adjusting it's proportions, glyphs and formatting to better express themselves.
    'Broken Straights' is one of these variations.
  •  Auckland Straights:

    The curved stems developed as a natural result of an arm swung loosely from the shoulder and in some ways expressed a nonchalance in the writer, despite what could be stressful circumstances. Avoiding the use of clear horizontal/vertical lines (90º) prevented characters from being obscured by mortar cracks on brick walls which could both collect the paint (causing dripping) and impair legibility via colour.
  • Glyph Paths:

    As the font is written, as opposed to being drawn, I felt it imperative to find a single path through each glyph as a starting point. The curved tails on AOTEAROA were an experiment.

  • Font Weight:

    As a writer reaches above his head his aerosol can tilts away from 90º causing a, now fashionable, fattening of the stroke.
    I tried to weight my font in a similar manner.

    Observing this effect closely can, over time, enable you to ascertain an artists height and his handedness. 
  • Final Characters:

    The font after assembling in FontLab. My influence can be seen in the downplayed tails/spurs (Im old school like that), in my accentuating the mean line wherever possible and in my addition of drunk Bs and Rs.
  • I've recently picked the project up again and am in the process of adding in numerals and punctuation. As you rarely see graffiti which utilizes these, doing so while remaining true to the style on which the font is based is proving an interesting challenge.

  • eeets aliiiiiive!