Methods of Graffiti Creation

There are many different ways to create graffiti on the streets.  Here are some of the different methods of graffiti creation:

  1. Tagging: This is the simplest style of graffiti because it is only the graffiti writer’s name in a single color.  A writer’s tag is basically their signature.  If a writer is associated with a crew they’ll sometimes put the crew’s name or symbol into their tag as well.  They are usually done very quickly in any space and with any kind of tool (spray paint, sticker, pen, etc).


  2. Throw-up: This is a quick piece that still identifies the writer but is a little more complex.  Instead of using one color, the throw-up uses two, generally with one color as the outline and the other as the fill in.  The typical writing style for a throw-up is bubble but it can be done in other ‘fonts’.

    throw up

  3. Stencil: This method allows writers to put up more complicated pieces in a short amount of time.  The stencils are cut ahead of time and then a writer can simply place the stencil on the wall and spray on their colors.  The popular graffiti writer Banksy is one of the writers who made this style popular.


  4. Stickers aka Slaps: The most popular sticker is the “Hi, my name is…” stickers which most writers use to quickly tag areas.  However, many writers will print intricate stickers that they can stick up all over their city.  Some believe this to be the lazy man’s way of tagging but stickers can be very interesting and fun.


  5. Masterpiece: This is a graffiti painting.  This is a very complex painting using multiple colors.  As one can imagine, they are hard to do illegally because of the amount of time they require so anyone who can manage to pull one off illegally gets a lot of street credit.  However, most masterpieces are commissioned or have permissions.


  6. Heaven: This is a piece that appears in a very hard to reach location (like a billboard or rough.


  7. Bombing: This is a style of writing that is done on moving targets (usually subways or buses).  The aim of bombing is to get as many paintings on a moving target as possible.  Quantity of paintings is valued over quality.


  8. Scratching: This is another form of tagging but is usually done by literally scratching one’s name into something.  This is usually done on the windows of public transportation but it can be done anywhere.  Even scrapping one’s name into a desk during class is considered scratching.


  9. Top-to-Bottom: This is when a writer covers the entire face of a subway car or bus (or even a wall).  

    top to botto m

  10. Window Down: This is when a writer covers a building or subway car under the windows.

    window down

  11. Whole Car: This is when a graffiti writer covers an entire subway or train car.  

    whole car


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