Here is someone who manages to make even smeared ink look elegant! His name is Niels Shoe Meulman, and fortunately, he does far more than just blotches and smears. Meulman, a Dutch calligrapher, typographer and designer, has revolutionized the art of writing through calligraffiti, a fusion of calligraphy and graffiti, or as he describes it – “traditional handwriting with a metropolitan attitude.”
Meulman gained initial recognition as graffiti artist SHOE. In the 80s and 90s together with Bando from Paris and Mode2 from London, he formed the Crime Time Kings, a group which is credited with giving graffiti in Europe its own distinctive style.
Interestingly, Meulman is also one of the few street artists to make the transition from the street to high-end design. Today, his design and typographic works are included in the permanent collections of San Francisco MOMA and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. His ‘Unruly’ fashion label graces luxury silk scarves worn by fashionistas and Hip Hop heads alike.
Check out this book, Calligraffiti: The Graphic Art of Niels Shoe Meulman, which contains a large selection of typographic works by Meulman.
Watch a live-performance of Meulman at Typo 2010 in Berlin —