Parallel Strokes


Parallel Strokes is a collection of interviews with twenty-plus contemporary typeface designers, graffiti writers, and lettering artists around the world. The book is introduced with a comprehensive essay charting the history of graffiti, its relation to type design, and how the two practices relate in the wider context of lettering.

Interviews within include conversations with pan-European type design collecitve Underware, Japanese type designer Akira Kobayashi, American graffiti writer and fine artist Barry McGee/Twist, German graffiti writers Daim and Seak, American lettering artist, graphic designer and design eductor Ed Fella, among others. Parallel Strokes is an enquiry into the history, context, and development of lettering today, both culturally approved and illicit.

Take a look!


Softcover, 244 pages, printed in glorious Canada

us $25 including shipping worldwide!


However, Parallel Strokes is available at select bookshops in the U.S., Europe, Canada, and Japan:

Pure G
Buy Olympia
William Stout Architectural Books
Grasshut Corp
Reading Frenzy

Nijhof Lee

On Sundays
Books 246


View sample spreads from the book here.

“There’s Chocolate in my Peanut Butter”, an essay on the history and relationshio between graffiti & typography (read an excerpt here)

Interviews with

The result of a six years of research in the combined arts of lettering, graffiti, and typeface design, Parallel Strokes is a collection of interviews some of the best letterform creators in the world today.

Chaz Bojorquez talks about the origins of barrio graffiti in Los Angeles and the evolution of the craft. Fellow Angeleno, vernacular graphic designer Ed Fella, speaks about his history in lettering and how he earned the title “The King of Zing” in Detroit design and illustration circles. Famed Japanese type designer Akira Kobayashi discusses Roman and Japanese letterforms while showcasing a lifetime of type design work. European graffiti writers Daim, Seak, and Delta share their thoughts on dimensional graffiti lettering while American graffiti writer Mike Giant talks about vernacular lettering, typeface design, and the evolution of graffiti handstyles. Parallel Strokes is richly illustrated throughout, featuring copious previously unpublished work by the interviewed artists, as well as supplementary illustrations and photographs detailing contemporary and historical trends in graffiti and type design.

Download a sample pdf of select pages along with the excerpted introductory essay.

parallel strokes totebag

Buy 2 copies, get a Parallel Strokes totebag!

Canvas totebag screenprinted in a 2 color gradient.

US $50 including shipping worldwide!



cover for Parallel Strokes by Ian Lynam

Retail Info

ISBN: 978-0-615-18307-7
Language: English
Publisher: Wordshape
244 pages
Printed with soy inks on post-consumer papers


Ian Lynam

After cutting his teeth writing music reviews for weeklies in New York and a decade-plus span editing and self-publishing zines in California and Oregon, Ian Lynam jumped ship and opened a multi-disciplinary design studio in Tokyo, Japan. Previously, he had spent years working in print shops learning the intricacies of presswork and logged time as a designer and art director for some of the top design firms and advertising agencies in the U.S.

His writing has been published in Font Magazine, Art in America, PingMag, and Plazm. Lynam’s work has been featured in numerous graphic design books and magazines including Territory, Grafik, One Hundred at 360, and Ten Essential Typefaces for a Lifetime. He is the design editor and art director of the Japan-focused cultural journal Néojaponisme.

His studio focuses on pan-cultural identity design, motion graphics, editorial design, and apparel graphics. The studio client roster includes heavy hitters such as MTV, Nike, NEC, VH1, and the dubious honor of having designed for MC Hammer.

He is a graduate of Portland State University (B.S., Graphic Design) and California Institute of the Arts (M.F.A. Graphic Design).

Ian Lynam is available for interviews. Contact for coordination.