Kinds and Styles of Graffiti

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Like every art, graffiti features its own styles and types.


Types of graffiti

  1. Tagging. One can safely say that this kind is the beginning of the graffiti history. But nowadays it is regarded only as its addition. Tag is a writer’s signature, his nickname written in one colour. It is an integral part of graffiti, put to all works.  
  2. Bombing. Usually it is painted on transport at a very rapid pace. Today bombers use for their purposes overland trains. Not quality but quantity of paintings, made in a very short time, is the aim of bombing.
  3. Writing — is graffiti inscriptions in its common sense, paintings of different styles made by writers on the walls of carriages. (вагонах).
  4. Scratching (scrabbing). Equally with tagging scratching is one of the graffiti additions. It is made on the windows in transport with a grindstone.


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  1. Throw up. It is the simplest graffiti style used by bombers for whom speed of implementation is more important than quality. Very often it is used by beginners. The home of this style is New-York. The style is characterized by the curved lines of letters painted out from inside with a certain colour. First colour is for contour, the second is for painting. Only two colours are chiefly used: black and white, or black and silver. The most important condition is the contrast of colours.
  2. Blockbusters. This style is also regards as a simple one. The home city of blockbusters style is Los-Angeles. Big and wide letters can be written only in one colour. There is an opinion that this style was used by street bands for demarcation of the affected areas. As a rule, graffiti is made by a team, where each person does his own job. In the end each participant put his tag to his picture (writer’s tag).
  3. Dynamic styles. There are included all the trends that were popular in 80-s of the XXth century in New-York. They were used in painting of railway carriages. That is why there is the strongly marked dynamics of forms which should be watched only in movement.
    • Wild Style — is a style of graffiti very difficult for reading. It is like the height of a writer’s craftsmanship. To make a wild style graffiti it is important not only to chose the contours in a right way but also to mix colours correctly.
    • Computer Roc Style. All letters are separate and look like different fragments turned at a certain angle. The style creates an effect of kaleidoscope.
    • Messiah Style. The letters seem to be written on separate sheets of paper imposed on each other. The style is somehow aggressive, and at the same time is rather gentle.
    • Military style. Different colours and letters (“loop”) are combined in a fantastic manner. It is a dynamic and emotional style.
    • Gentle dynamic style. It is connected with the previous one. But lines in spite of dynamics of the image become more gentle.
  4. Electical style — is the next after the wild style according to the level of complication. It is some kind of reflection of the writer’s craftsmanship. Painting graffiti of this style, one can create new directions.
  5. FX (Daim style, 3D)  — graffiti — three-dimensional letter images. Not every writer can paint in this style. It was created by Daim, the member of one of the most famous graffiti team FX Cru.
  6. Character. Caricatures and commixes. Here appears a frame with the personage’s speech, typical of all commixes. Writers, possessing artistic skills, prefer this style of graffiti.
  7. Bubble graffiti. All letters look like soap-bubbles, ready to burst. Two or three colours are used in this style. It is very popular among the beginners.

Throw up, Blockbusters и Bubble are the styles of graffiti for the newcomers, the aspiring writers. All other styles are practiced by more experienced graffitists. Sure, the diversity of graffiti styles is not limited to the above mentioned ones. Every graffiti crew practices its own, special, different technique. Even the genuine professional can sometimes use simple graffiti styles when bombing, for instance, or complex ones when, say, decorating the premises on commission.

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