Personal Logo – Graffiti Style

Personal Logo – Graffiti Style
Public ArtArt Visual art is a type of language meant to be seen, just like music
is a type of language that is meant to be heard. Visual art communicates ideas
using symbols and/or words and can be meant for audiences of all sizes.
Creators of public art hope for large audiences; they want to reach many people.
What are some examples of public art? Is all public art purposeful?
Graffiti Art – Whether graffiti is art or
just nuisance vandalism is a hot debate in
many urban communities. The Internet is
a wealth of information on the history and
purpose of graffiti, as well as a visual
resource. (Visit for an
unbiased look at the history and function of
graffiti.) There are thousands of websites
dedicated to displaying the work created
by ‘graf artists’ all over the world. It is important to note that many sources
describe two different types of graffiti: gang graffiti and graffiti art. Gang graffiti is
intended to mark territories and is created quickly with little concern for artistic
elements. The purpose of graffiti art, on the other hand, is self-expression and
creativity. It is defined by highly stylized
(often indecipherable) letters, and colorful
patterns and designs.
AntiAnti-Graffiti - The negative side of
graffiti is that it is vandalism. Graffiti is
illegal when done without the property
owner’s consent. Many people believe that
graffiti affects the quality of life in a
neighborhood or community because it
encourages crime and a fear of crime. It
often involves trespassing and is very
expensive to remove or cover up. Some
cities have tried to reduce this vandalism by
designating public walls or spaces
specifically for graffiti artists. Unfortunately,
for some graffiti artists there is a thrill in
finding the more dangerous or unusual
illegal locations to “tag” or create a “piece.”
Handout created by S. Wagner-Marx
Tagging – A graffiti artist is known by his or her
nickname, or tag. Tags are similar to a computer
screen name and often reflect some aspect of the
artist’s interests or personality. In the early stages
of graffiti history, tagging was gang related and
used to mark gang boundaries. It evolved,
however, and graffiti (or aerosol) artists began
putting up their tag as often as possible to increase
their reputation.
Piecing – More elaborate forms of aerosol art are referred to as pieces.
(What might “piece” be short for?) A piece will usually involve more time
and is likely to include imagery with the creative lettering. A piece may
often have a message the artist is trying to get across.
As you look at examples of graffiti, what do you notice about the style of the
lettering and the images?
Handout created by S. Wagner-Marx
TypographyTypography The arrangement of type, or letters, is an
important part of graphic design. “A graphic artist
selects and arranges different elements –such as words,
images, symbols and colors- to convey a message.”
( Computer fonts are an example of
typography. What types of graphic art use typography in
their designs? Where do we find
them and what is their purpose?
What about this art grabs our
attention and makes us notice it?
Following are several resources on graffiti-style typography.
• and
• to see examples of computer generated
graffiti typography.
• to play around with a couple different graffiti
Project Planning
Logo Design – For this project you will be designing a Personal Logo. Your
logo should reflect you and your interests. It must include some form of
typography or creative lettering, and can include symbols and designs.
FIRST, think about important things you would like to represent, or share,
about yourself. Do you have particular interests that define who you are?
Are there specific shapes, colors, textures, or patterns that hint at your
Handout created by S. Wagner-Marx
1. Use the box below to brainstorm a few of your ideas. (Just list your ideas. Do
NOT worry about designing your logo yet!)
2. Using the above ideas, begin creating thumbnail sketches of possible logos.
How will your lettering resemble graffiti style typography? How will your logo
reflect strong design elements? Consider how you are using:
Your name or nickname (tag)
Balance (symmetry, asymmetry,
Shadows/3-D effects
Emphasis (what stands out)
Variety (differences)
Proportion (size)
Unity (goes together)
3. When you have a design that you feel strongly about, transfer your drawing
lightly to a large sheet of good drawing paper and color.
Handout created by S. Wagner-Marx