Dan Duffy’s Art of Words

Donna Block
4 min readNov 25, 2019


Art of Words is the creation of Philadelphia word artist Dan Duffy. He recreates images of iconic places and moments in history by meticulously handwriting relevant words. Between skylines, sports, history and musicians-there’s a piece for everyone.

Duffy has previously worked with TED Talks, Footlocker, the University of Maryland, NBC Sports, the Philadelphia Flyers and more. Additionally, his work has been featured by ESPN, NY Daily News, USA Today, and the Today Show.

He began in the suburbs of Philadelphia under the name Philly Word Art, creating art of Philadelphia sports figures and landmarks and selling them at various flea markets and craft fairs.

Watch Duffy tell his story and describe how each piece is made.

There are now 5 holiday stores as they are in NYC for the first time this year at the Union Square Holiday Market. Fans can purchase them online (link below) and they make great holiday gifts.

When did you realize word art would be your career choice?

I wouldn’t necessarily say there was once defining moment….once I created one, people just started making suggestions for the next pieces and it grew from there!

What inspired you to create word art?

My girlfriend at the time was a big Phillies fan and they had just won the World Series in ‘08. I wanted to do something special and creative for her, so I wrote out every score from that season to create an image of Brad Lidge.

Can you share how you impressed your future wife with your art?


What is the process for creating a word art?

First I research the data (names/scores/song lyrics, etc.) and compile up to 10 different images. Using those as reference, I sketch out a new original image and just start writing out the words line by line.