Compiled by Living Proof Magazine (www.livingproofmag.com) and The Infamous Mag (www.theinfamousmag.com) with help from CRE8 and BOND.
Philly handstyles are a tradition. The encrypted typography found on the streets of Brotherly Love read like folklore, traveling from generation to generation and telling the story of a city that, over the years, bred this entirely localized craft into a world-recognized form — basically, there’s a certain style that can be found only in Philly.
These top to bottom scrawlings detail a font family that varies from neighborhood to neighborhood and even street corner to street corner. That’s not to say everybody in Philly contributes to to the style dubbed the “wicked.” Years of practice, years of writing over and over and over again make it easy to spot the true style — the one that separates the Philly handstyle from the rest of the pack.
The origins trace all the way back to the godfather of graffiti — Cornbread. A simple writing of his name ignited the idea of rep in Philly. The evolution has seen many writers come and go, but the style continues to evolve thanks to the old heads teaching the young to pen their name in the angry, archaic, helter-skelter, wicked style that matches the attitude of the city more than any other style of graffiti in any city in the world.
The following list, which is in no particular order, documents the varieties of Philly handstyles. If you were left out, sorry! The massive amount of wickeds and handstyle tradition in this city make it difficult to pick just 25. We humbly present: The 25 Greatest Philly Graffiti Writers.