Graffiti History Timeline Info graphic

Graffiti History Timeline Info graphic

How about a little bit of graffiti history? This information could be a little bit boring for you but if you want to be a good graffiti artist, it is important to know some of the graffiti history and how it has evolved over the passing years.

Let’s start from the very beginning. It is not a mystery that previous civilizations (we are talking about 200,000 years ago) took advantage of their surroundings. In this case, the only available surface to translate ideas were the cave wall. This was a smart way to embed important events on these civilizations. In these early stages, the only objects available to print ideas were sharp rock.

Graffiti history

Between 1927 and 1949, modern man evolves and immediately start making elements to improve and facilitate people’s life. In this case, in 1927 engineer Erik Rotheim, patents the first aerosol spray can but it wasn’t until 1949 that, Edward Seymor had the great idea of using the engineering behind the spray can and though of putting pain in it. Pretty straight forward.

Continuing with graffiti history, In the early 60’s, controversial people such as CORNBREAD and COOL EARL started writing on the city walls to attract peoples’ attention or a specific person. This trend starts to spread to New York and other interesting writers begin to tag their aliases with their street number such as JULIO 204, CAY161 and TAKI 183. TOP CAT 126 moves to Philadelphia and inspires locals.

In 1971 to 1972, artist start adding important components to the graffiti such as dots, clouds and stars. Tags start to spread like a virus. Writers decided to go one step ahead and use the subway trains as a canvas. It was not long after that they had to jump onto building roofs as they were an easy target for the police when tagging trains. Their ideas started to be more noticeable and unique in the general public and the media.

Graffiti history

Graffiti history is very complex in terms of what events really mark the industry and what event were never brought to light. Contemporary artist are now evolving and are seeing the outside world as a way to express, to a discordant society, the reality of the world and how we can change it.

Now, its time to learn how to draw graffiti letters here.


To learn a bit more about graffiti history, check out the World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists.

Graffiti Words: all you need to know is here

Graffiti Words: all you need to know is here

The necessary graffiti words, lingo, jargon or slang terms you need to know, excluding everything that will make you sound straight out of a 1980s break dancing video.

graffiti words

  • All City: when a writer is known and their work is visible throughout the entire city.
  • Action: a European term for a graffiti mission.
  • Back Jump: when a train is stationery for a few minutes at some point during its daily service and possible to paint.
  • Bomb/Bombing: the act of painting illegal graffiti in the streets.
  • Biting: to directly copy another writer’s style and letters.
  • Blackbook: a graffiti writer’s sketchbook.
  • Buff: to clean or remove graffiti.
  • Burner: a really good graffiti piece.
  • Cap: the nozzle on spray-paint, different caps give different thickness of line, there’s lots of different caps out there, the two main categories are fats and skinnys. (Cap can also mean the same as going-over)
  • Clean Train: an American term for passenger trains.

How To Not Be A Graffiti Toy

How To Not Be A Graffiti Toy

Graffiti Toy (click here to check the graffiti terminology) is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the graffiti world. Here’s how to speed up the painful process of being a graffiti beginner (or a graffiti toy), so pay attention to these 13 points.

how not to be a graffiti toy

1. Do more

Paint more, sketch more, try harder. The more time you spend actually doing graffiti, the faster you’ll loss the graffiti toy . Remember, practice makes a master.

2. Keep it nice and simple

Don’t walk before you can run. As tempting as it might be, avoid drawing over-complex wild-style pieces with loads of connections. Get the basics locked down and your simple letters and hand-styles looking really nice. Knowing your history will help this a lot.

3. Ignore other people’s opinions

You are going to get some negative critics. Take it on board if it’s constructive advice from a friend, if it’s just an insult, ignore it. People who are worried about what others think never accomplish anything because they are too scared to break the mold.

4. Don’t look the part

Graffiti isn’t about wearing a five-panel hat, North Face jacket, vintage Polo Sport and New Balance 420s.

5. Keep your circle tight

Have some mystery about yourself, don’t go telling every writer in your city and all over the internet what you write. Keep it between you and your friends, those memories you gain are what you’ll appreciate in years to come.

6. Courage

Be adventurous, explore your city, no one ever found glory by painting the same spot every weekend. Push yourself to your limits right from day one.

7. Don’t paint over other people

Find your own spots, lie low, don’t go causing problems for yourself early on.

8. A bad workman blames his tools

It’s not because you’ve got the wrong German Mark II Skinny Cap. A good writer can paint something burning with two colors of cheap hardware store paint and stock caps.

9. Don’t be a graffiti geek

We all love painting and when you start out extra enthusiasm is natural, but don’t be the guy who rocks a t-shirt with his favorite writer’s throw-up on it and does online sketch battles/sticker swaps.

10. Avoid stickers like the plague

Stick with spray paint for the first few years, use a Pilot marker now and then. With no credibility already earned, stickers will make you look like you lack courage and ambition.

11. Don’t call people a graffiti toy

The longer you write the more you learn. The only people who use the word graffiti toy are other toys. Even if you’re just starting out and someone calls you a toy whose graffiti looks the business to you, chances are it looks the business because you don’t fully understand why it’s so bad.

Graffiti Toy is a word used by the insecure and jealous. Graffiti writers who are content in their own accomplishments and have been writing for a long time, have no interest in insulting graffiti writers below their standard or having an opinion on their graffiti. It’s the equivalent of laughing at an ant because it can’t read.

12. Leave the house

Put the internet down, the more time you spend thinking about graffiti and looking at what others are doing, the less time you are having your own mega LOLs.

13. Being a graffiti toy is fun

Whether you’ve got 2 months or 20 years experience, graffiti is the most fun you can have with a can of paint, so don’t worry and enjoy being a graffiti toy.

Do you know someone who might be a graffiti toy who could do with some kind words of advice? Tell them to stop painting bad paint pen canvases in their bedroom and share this post with them.

Keep spreading you knowledge and learn the basics of how to draw graffiti letters for beginners here.


World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists

World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists

We are very aware that there are so many great graffiti artist around the wold. However, we believe these are the World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists. Whether they’ve reached the top as a result of their artistic ability, sheer quantity or a knack for self-promotion. If graffiti is a fame game, these guys are winning.

 20. Boris from Bulgaria

World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists - Boris   World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists - Boris

World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists - Boris

He might not be a king of style, but Boris has a lot of fun painting and makes sure you know it. With his impressive abilities in social media marketing, product development and a complete disregard for his own privacy he has found recent fame and is arguably becoming the king of the internet. Check out The Grifters for more on the antics of him and his friends.

19. Utah & Ether

World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists - Utah

World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists - Utah

This duo were an active part of the US subway painting renaissance in the early to mid-2000s, and have since traveled to many different corners of the world. They were arrested on returning home after a trip through Europe in 2009 and their story caught the attention of the national media who described them as “the ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ of graffiti”. You can see their blog here.

18. Egs

egs 2

egs 3

With a graffiti career that’s spanned three decades and several continents, Egs has had a major influence on the European graffiti scene and inspired many younger writers. Originally from Helsinki, Egs was one of the earliest members of the graffiti InterRail movement, where writers would travel across borders to explore new cities and make new friends with their shared interest in painting trains and walls. His unusual, ever-developing style and his ability to make connections worldwide has made a lasting impression on the scene.

17. Katsu

World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists - Katsu

World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists - Katsu World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists - Katsu

Katsu has adapted his graffiti for the digital age, reproducing his iconic skull tag in a variety of different ways. He has developed his own mobile app, pioneered remote control graffiti drones and doctored photos and videos of him vandalizing Picasso’s ‘Girl Before a Mirror’, the White House and the Great Wall of China. Katsu’s work has outwardly criticized the way the internet is developing for profit at the cost of the privacy and freedom of the general public.

16. Taps & Moses

World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists - Taps & Moses

World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists - Taps & Moses

World’s Top 20 Most Famous Graffiti Artists - Taps & Moses

Another graffiti duo, the pair have been well known throughout Europe during their careers due to their original concepts. They rose to global fame with the release of their book International Top Sprayer, which tells the story of their mission to paint 1000 panels in 1000 days. These two have managed to achieve quality and quantity in their train painting, a rare feat by today’s standards.

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Why You Shouldn’t Paint Graffiti

Why You Shouldn’t Paint Graffiti

Like the warning label on a packet of cigarettes this article will tell you why you shouldn’t make your mark on society. 

1. Career Prospects


Career Prospects Graffiti


Graffiti takes a massive amount of determination and time. If you focus all that energy on something else you might find yourself on the Forbes rich list or getting a Nobel Peace Prize. From skipping school to staying up late chances are you’ll get to a point where you realize this amazing talent doesn’t earn you squat and your future possibilities are limited. If you really can’t resist take up street art instead and you’ll be rolling in cash.


2. Romance

graffiti romance


Sure, when your a teenager girls will think your dangerous and cool, let’s face it your way more interesting than the guy who spends his life playing football or trying to do a kick flip. Just wait until your a full grown adult, that cute hobby is now an immature cry for help and she’ll drop you for a doctor or a street artist. Girls who paint graffiti have a few extra years of guys thinking it’s hot.


3. Arrest


Arrest Graffiti



If you commit enough crimes you will get arrested, no question about it, this isn’t down to your ability to evade the law it’s just a matter of odds. If you continue to break the law after you get arrested you will get arrested again. Most writers have rap sheets longer than their arm. This sucks for things like insurance or if your thinking about going on holiday; countries don’t like crooks and visa restrictions are getting tighter and tighter, so no inter-rail or breath-taking mountain scenery for you.


4. Jail


graffiti in jail


Get arrested enough times, or for an act of vandalism that’s deemed worthy enough, and you’re looking at jail. There are lots of writers out there who have been to jail for graffiti, whether they found the experience a living nightmare or pretty bearable they’ll all agree that it’s a complete waste of time, you can never get that back.


5. Health


graffiti workout



See all that paint on the wall? Half of it is in your lungs, it also gets absorbed through your skin and your eyes; and it’s not very good for your nervous system, kidneys or your brain.


I would trade it all back for perfect health, every drop of fame, every drop of glory, every magazine I was ever in, every movie I was ever in, I would give it all back in a heartbeat and have my health.”

-Iz the Wiz (RIP)


6. Death


Death Graffiti


Graffiti is dangerous, you take stupid risks to get to the best spots. There’s hundreds of ways you can make that terminal mistake, such as getting hit by a train, electrocuted by a live rail or falling to your death. The funniest, kindest and wisest guy I’ve ever had the pleasure of calling a friend would still be here today if he never painted.


7. Painting on something that does not belong to you to boost your own ego just shows what a self-absorbed narcissistic maniac you really are


ego graffiti


If you think that taking all these is unsafe then stay indoors and play video games instead.