Graffiti Tag Letter Styles - Tag Drawing Lessons # 2
Different Styles of Tag Letters
Click on image below to enlarge and
print a free handout of this lesson
Square Tag Alphabet
Curvy and Angular -  New York Style
Square - Los Angeles Style
Tall and Skinny - Philadelphia Style
East coast tag style is sometimes called Broadway Elegant. The curvy, angular letters of this style are really
gorgeous. West coast style is known as Cholo Style. Cholo is a precisely drawn letter style, influenced by Old
English Black Letters.

Now it's your turn to try your hand at tagging. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to draw a graffiti
tag with square, Cholo style letters.
Distinctive styles of tag lettering are found in different regions of the country. East coast taggers draw letters that are angular
and curvy. West coast taggers draw letters that are square, sometimes with diamond shaped bottoms. Philadelphia taggers
draw letters that are very tall and have unusually shaped bottoms. They are called Wickets (or Wickeds) and are the most
complex style of tag letters to draw. These are not hard-and-fast rules, just general style preferences.

The style in which a graffiti writer draws his or her tag is known as
handstyle. Great handstyle is what a graffiti writer strives
for. It is a skill you can develop with practice and patience. Christian Acker's excellent book "Flip The Script" is a great resource
where you can find different examples of tag letter styles by region along with tags drawn by many writers from around the
country that demonstrate great handstyles.   

Below we have illustrated a few of the most common tag letter styles. Notice that each letter style is drawn freehand, as
discussed in
Tag Drawing Lesson #1. Our book "Why Write When You Can Tag" has a great collection of East coast tags that
you can study for style ideas and inspiration. Some of them are pictured on the main book page
here. You'll need to scroll
down that page a little to see them.  
Copy the square tag alphabet below on a sheet of copy paper or drawing paper. You can use any writing tool
that you like: a crayon, a magic marker, a pencil or a pen. Draw it 2 or 3 times. Then draw your own name
using square tag letters. Next, put quotation marks on all four corners. Redraw it at least 10 times for
practice.This is your new tag.
EXERCISE
Why Write
When You Can
Tag!
Here are some other great books
on graffiti tagging you might like to
check out. Just search for them on
the Internet if you want to find out
more:

Book of Tags  
November 28, 2005
by DROPDROP agency

Tag Town: The Evolution of New
York Graffiti Writing
  
June 15, 2007
by Martha Cooper (Photographer),
Tobias Barenthin Lindblad
© Graffiti Diplomacy 2009- 2018
All Rights Reserved
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