I think that what Handselecta is doing is really amazing. No one else is doing what they’re doing and its crazy to get to see a lot of the writing in action.
From the website:
Our intent is to intelligently extend the art form of graffiti into the world of typography and graphic design. We come to the project by documenting handstyles while developing typefaces alongside some of the most talented practitioners in the culture today.
Just as calligraphy was the inspiration for type designers of generations past, today’s urban glyphs are the inspiration for a new typography of tomorrow. There are no existing well-designed Graffiti typefaces. Not yet. Graffiti does not lend itself well to fonts if the font designer is not truly familiar with the art form of graffiti and vice versa. For many designs the problem lies in the lack of understanding of just how disciplined good graffiti writers are at their craft. Surely there is an appropriate place for freestyle forms and expressive renditions, just like there is room for expressive freestyle forms in calligraphy. But these forms that prove to be so beautiful when done by hand prove to be the very nuisance that faults a font. Thus type designers of the past when working from a calligraphic inspiration understood it as such, an inspiration. The work of Nicholas Jensen or Claude Garamond does not lose its touch of humanity when it regulates the letterforms. On the contrary it makes these letterforms more legible and harmonious when the font is set in lines of text.
Since The mid-fifteenth century, when Guttenberg first developed the process of printing with movable type, the art of typography has undergone incredible changes. These changes were and continue to be mostly driven by changes in the cultural aesthetic. Shifts and changes in philosophies and artistic aesthetics are visible in the evolution of letterforms and subtleties of design.