Graffiti Vs. Mural

The world of street art is not as simple as it may seem at first glance. There are multiple styles of outdoor, public art, and street art that can be made and interpreted in various ways. People often get confused between two common types of outdoor art, murals, and graffiti

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People observe art and appreciate it in their way; however, they are not always aware of the different terms used to describe a particular piece or style of art. Many assume murals and graffiti are indistinguishable, but in reality, they are two unique art forms, each with a rich history and culture. 

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Read on to learn more about the specifics of street art and the differences and similarities between graffiti and murals.

What Is Graffiti?

Graffiti is a creation of art that portrays people’s emotions, artistic expression, or politics in backdrops, characters, or creative words. Graffiti is a common type of street art that is mainly done on public walls on city streets – typically without any prior permission. Graffiti is commonly done as an act of rebellion, marking territory, making a statement, or raising awareness. 

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Graffiti is much older than many people realize. Modern graffiti as we know it now grew in popularity in the 1970s in urban America. However, the term “graffiti” originally referenced ancient inscriptions. You can still find ancient words or figure drawings on the walls of famous ancient sepulchers, public buildings, and ruins such as the Catacombs of Rome or at the ruins of Pompeii.

Graffiti, particularly the tagging style of graffiti, involves the usage of letters. The use of the word “graffiti” has evolved over the centuries to refer to both text or graphics applied to surfaces. 

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Sometimes, these can be simple; they are made creatively using the bubble letter format or other additional stylization. There are several sub-genres of graffiti, such as a “throw up” a type of tagging where one color is used to fill the letter, while other colors produce backgrounds and characters. A persistent color scheme can help to enhance the letters that are drawn. 

These bubble tag letters are usually designed and painted with spray cans, markers, paint rollers, and fire extinguishers. If you go for figurative or intricate Graffiti, you can combine it with images and icons. 

Graffiti vs. Tagging

For a long time, the term Graffiti has been synonymous with vandalism. As Graffiti grew in popularity it has become more broadly accepted and appreciated. Many graffiti artists like Alec Monopoly are now household names. However, there are still many layers of graffiti culture, and some graffiti styles and artworks are more widely appreciated and understood than others.


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