What are the Common Characteristics of Graffiti Art?

Graffiti has become an art form, whether everyone can appreciate it or not. Some graffiti artists are the most talented artists that you will ever meet. The graffiti art form has a lot of its own styles and characteristics. Let’s have a look at some of the styles and terms.

Tag – A tag is how graffiti got started. It is the most basic form of graffiti and is basically the name of the artist. It is the most common type of graffiti art. The tag is usually made up of a nickname and a street number or other type of number. It can also be initials or even carry some hidden meaning.

Throw-up – This type of graffiti is more about speed than art. The artist will do a quick outline and fill-in with two or three colors only. Clearly, this style is used when time is of the essence. This is not the graffiti that you would necessarily call art.

Piece – A piece is a more elaborate design of the artist’s name. It can include stylized block or bubble letters and facial features or cartoon characters. More colors are used and this obviously takes a longer time than the more basic styles.

Blockbuster – The blockbuster style is often about blocking out a piece of wall to prevent other graffiti writers from painting the same wall. Large block letters are used with contrasting colors and you can find this style almost anywhere.

Wildstyle – This is a style that many people will recognize simply because they find it hard to read. This style was invented by a well-known artist who was one of the first graffiti artists in New York, Tracy 168. It is characterized by interlocking or overlapping letter, arrows, and connection points. If you are not familiar with the style, you will find it difficult to read.

When you drive by a graffiti wall, have a look and see if you can identify any of these styles. It truly is art and some of those pieces are done in the span of a few minutes.