Graffiti Letters - Styles

Graffiti letters and styles have remained in existence since ancient times, but have evolved to adopt changing trends, cultures and styles. Take a look at some of the most popular styles of graffiti letters that exist in the modern day, here.
Graffiti as an art form has always been intriguing yet charming. It's rugged nature portrays the thought process of various expressive individuals. Unfortunately, most of these individuals are considered law-breakers, as doing graffiti on public property without consent is considered as an act of vandalism. While some people use it as an outlet for their creativity, others use this form of street art to spread a message. In modern times, graffiti has been related to the pop culture that includes hip hop and b-boying. Furthermore, it is used by 'gangs' to claim their territory and demarcate a space that they have carved out or simply possessed for themselves. In order to eliminate the criminal aspect yet maintain this art style, graffiti letters and styles have been incorporated into artworks on canvas to create meaningful or graphic representations. There are numerous graffiti letters' styles that have existed since ancient times, that have evolved with changing cultures and styles. Some of the most popular ones have been mentioned here.

Styles of Graffiti Letters

Though controversial, the beauty of graffiti cannot be ignored. With all the graphics and styles, this art form is here to stay, regardless of whether it is legal or not. Take a look at some of the popular graffiti letters and styles.
  1. Tags: Graffiti was popularized by this style, and is the oldest style in this form of art. A tag is simply the signature of the graffiti artist in a fancy manner. Yet it is simple, basic and personal, that utilizes flourishes and what are popularly known as curlicues. These were traditionally spray painted and the first such tag, that became popular was one seen in New York City that read TAKI 183.
  2. Scratchiti/Scribe: As the name suggests, this style of graffiti writing refers to etching a tag into the graffiti art, with the use a knife, a key, or even a drill. It is one of the most difficult to remove styles of graffiti writing. Now, scratchiti has been modified to the use of block-lettered tags, to allow for artists to mark their zone, and is also common among novices in this field of art.
  3. Calligraffiti: You guessed it right. A combination between calligraphy and graffiti, calligraffiti has emerged as one of the most artistic graffiti lettering styles.
  4. Throw Up: The throw up is another older graffiti letter style that is quick to do. Here, big letters with a thick outline, painted in contrasting colors.
  5. Piece: Piece is one of the more advanced styles of graffiti letters, and is used commonly as a short form for masterpiece. This style is used for a large canvas and contains several 3D effects that take this art form to a whole new level. Several other shapes such as arrows along with a whole palette of colors are a part of this style, and can be mastered only over a long span of time with some perseverance and patience.
  6. Bubble/Outline: The bubble is another one of those graffiti letter styles that can be finished quickly. Used in older times to spread a message, they are letters spray painted in an outline, while the insides are left hollow. Beginners can learn graffiti by starting off with this style, and then move on to the more advanced patterns.
  7. Blockbuster: Large alphabets that are spaced evenly define this style of graffiti street art. They are easily legible and, for some added effect, are sometimes tilted either left or right, or away or toward each other. This style can be enhanced in a variety of ways and serve as an outlet of the creativity of the artist.
  8. Insides: Considered as the art form of vandals, this style of graffiti art was used in the insides of public property such as trams and trains as a place for personal expression. It is not really a letter style, as any form may have been used for this purpose.
  9. Wildstyle: This style of graffiti letters is perhaps one of the most complex styles as it contains not only letters, but different objects that are woven into the font for the purpose of graphic art. These usually do not carry a message, but are just used as an outlet of creative expression in the form of art. This style is hardly legible, since it is meant to be more graphic than meaningful.
  10. Paintbrush: This style is created in a deliberate manner to make the graffiti letters look like a splatter on the wall. The edges of the letters are rough, and even showcase paint drips from the edges to look authentic.
Though graffiti is a form of personal and creative expression, and is sometimes used to spread a helpful message, defacing public property without consent is an offense that is not regarded lightly. You could rather incorporate these graffiti letters and styles into your artwork on a larger canvas, and get the best of both worlds. Furthermore, after learning these styles you will be able to come up with some unique and exquisite masterpieces.
By Puja Lalwani
Last Updated: 9/26/2011
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