NYC RULES | Graphic design book about NYC underground cultures


NYC Rules!

NYC Rules! is a graphic design book about New York City’s underground cultures.

art direction cover printing


In 2001 I’ve co-founded the studio Structure with Delarocca.
Structure was an antagonist creative team. A year after we started our collaboration, we produced NYC Rules!
NYC Rules was a unique graphic design book. Our goal was to visually translate the underground cultures of New York City.
When we arrived in NYC we already had some contacts. We called the guys from the Antipop Consortium and other hip-hop artists. They connected us to their friends.
But we needed more. To meet and interviewed other interesting people, we developed a sneaky technique. We would just go to their offices, knocked on the door and pretend that we were journalists for a French hip-hop magazine. We gained access to record labels, skateboard brands and many other underground icons.

graphic design book NYC Rules!


This book was an amazing amount of work.
Together with my friend Delarocca we did the layout and the art direction. We also wrote, illustrated and translated all the content. Eventually we found the money to publish it.
We were only 20 years old and I am still proud of the result.
With three different stock of paper and three Pantone inks on the cover, we tried to push the limits of Graphic Design publications.
By many aspects this book was a space of experimentation and we received a lot of of good reviews. The 3000 copies were sold out ages ago.

nyc ambulance

About NYC Rules

We happened to be in New York right after September 11 2011. However the book gives no place to lucrative sentimentalism. You will find no tired firemen, no star-spangled flag, and no policemen carrying the burden of mass-medias.
No victims, no blood, no tears, just the heroes of the alternative cultural worlds.
Be it in music, in the skateboard industry or in literary circles, NYC is the cradle of all fantasies. Capital of the Avant-Garde, metropolis of the underground, stronghold of Independence… What is it really? On our quest to meet the actors of a supposed parallel circuit, we wanted to find out if the stereotypes had an echo in the real world. Is the underground just a commercial strategy, part of the marketing technique of small record labels? Is there really a counter-culture in New York? Has the city still got a soul?
NYC Rules! provides no definitive answers. The book tries to find landmarks, dig for signs to help the reader understand this uncommon city.

New York City underground cultures

Zero tolerance

Fot the promo material of the book, we printed stickers with the writing “zero tolerance”.
Our inspiration was Rudolph Giuliani, the famous mayor who created the law named Zero tolerance. The book was self-published when Rudolph was still at the head of the city.
The mayor was hitting hard on crime in New york and with pretty good results. On the bad side, many people were sued for minor offenses.
It was hard to be an artist when this guy was the mayor.

printing process

    NAME: NYC Rules.
    POSITION: Art director, publisher.
    CONTENT: NYC, underground cultures, street art, hip-hop, art.
    YEAR: 2002.
    PUBLISHER: Structure.
  • Do you like this book? You will enjoy the art direction I did for Acclaim magazine.

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