Graffiti frequently gets a bad rep, but there is no doubt that sometimes it is truly an art. To the discerning eye, graffiti appears in two categories: vandalism and street art. Anyone can scratch obscenities and scribble love/hate notes on public property and call it a day. That’s vandalism. But it takes a true graffiti artist to create street art.
The main practice for graffiti artists is the art of tagging. This is where the artist leaves their trademark where people can see it. Often this tag is just a stylized signature of a name (a street name, alias, or title). And you can’t make a proper tag without practicing your style of alphabet letters.
Are you a self-styled graffiti artist still designing your tag? See if you can match these for inspiration.
Naturally, as an artist trying to get some individual recognition, it’s bad style to simply imitate someone else or copy a fancy font you downloaded online. Creating street rep or even just creating a believable tag will require work.
That’s where lists like these come in. We will provide you with as many examples as you need to spark some inspiration, and you can find many other such lists in our archives. Just search for “graffiti letters” and something is sure to hit you in the face and make you wish you came up with it.
Tagging is definitely an art, and like all artists, you need to study what has already been done before. Otherwise you stand no chance of making it in a turf war.
Some of These Are Not Graffiti Letters
You’re missing the point of graffiti. The great thing about graffiti letters is that they are very versatile. You find top street artists now moving away from the typical bloated ABCs and experimenting with their tags to stand out more.
You might find someone leaving a psychotic-elegant tag with sharp paint strokes (see Tagging tattoo Letters and Crazy Tagging Letters).
You might find someone using cut-and-paste alphabets made from stencils (see Tagging Alphabet Letter).
Maybe they’ve taken “stand out” to a whole other level with 2D and 3D pop-up effects (see Street Based’s Tagging Writing Letters and 3d Tagging Letters as examples).
Or maybe they’ve just started being more quirky with their style (see Tagging Bubble Letters).
The whole point is standing out, and there are no rules there. These are just example letters you can incorporate into your design. They aren’t take-it-or-leave-it options. Download what resources you can and see how you can mix and match then build it from there.
If you’re on this site, you’ve already started. Look through this collection, download what you like, and see if you can replicate the lettering on your own. If you’re new to the scene, you will have to design and practice your tag again and again. On paper. On a safe wall in a private place.
Check out Template.net’s archives for similar collections. Start with this, this, or this.
If you’re using these designs for an urban-spirited graphic project, you would definitely benefit from studying the different styles street artists are adopting. Take what you can get and run with it.