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Graffiti: Graffiti Styles: Style Timeline

Graffiti Styles: Style Timeline
Pre 1970-

1964 Donated cars run with top to bottom advertisements run on the 7 line in NYC.

1965-1970 The start of the linear writer -  Philadelphia CORNBREAD and COOL EARL -  Philadelphia style tall skinny letters, one color tags but large. Pens used were varied but primarily 'Niji' brand Markers with a width of 50 mm, spray paint not widely available yet.
1966 First use of the arrow as element in the tag by COOL EARL, Philadelphia.

1967 First mention of graffiti in the New York Times Feb. 17 1967.

1968-1970 First generation NY writers. Beginning of the 'single hit'.


First use of pictogram instead of letter, STAYHIGH 149.

LEE 163RD first writer to design his tag , first writer to add tag to outside of railway car.

"Philadelphia, graffiti Capital of the World," New York Times July 25, 1971, 31:3 and Time magazine Mar. 13 1972 44. This article estimated that Philadelphia might have as many as 10 000 more or less habitual graffitists.

First Outlined tag credited to SUPERKOOL 223 and EVIL EDDY page 263 Subway graffiti.

CLIFF 159 was also accredited with first outline piece and first masterpiece.

Recognition of Taki 183, New York TImes article on Taki 183. Taki clearly acknowledges Julio 204 as having come before him, "Interview with Taki 183".

STAYHIGH 149 first top to bottom piece.

1971 -  First use of 'CLOUD' around tag SUPERKOOL 223, this design element was taken from the speech bubbles found in comics. This car was also the first end to end piece.

First use of Crown emblem in tag by BABY FACE 86.

Use of Uni-wide markers and spray paint at 300mm. Spray paint was not used on insides until was done at stationary yards and lay-ups rather than for motion tagging.

1972 Crossing Out begins.

1972 SUPERKOOL 223 first masterpiece.

PHASE 2 invents bubble letters (car 7828), window down whole car, cut up letters, arrows, loops, extension bars, faces as letters, clouds, drips deliberately painted.

Development of Broadway Elegant style by TOPCAT 126 from Philadelphia. TOPCAT moved to NYC in the early 70's.

1972- First top to bottom- Phase 2 credits SUPERKOOL 223, TRACY 168 and BLADE credit LIL' HAWK but no photographic evidence available. Earliest record is SIR late of summer of 1972.

1972 December 7 -  First graffiti art exhibition at the City College New York City.

The High period 1972-1974

1973- HONDO 1 invents the candy cane letter style

1973 SUPERKOOL 223 does first inside of letters with polka dot decoration.

1973- April 1st. First use of graffiti art as performance. Twyla Tharp's ballet "Deuce Coupe" uses graffiti backdrop produced by Hugo Martinez (coordinator), MIKE 171, PHASE 2, SNAKE 1, RICH II, STITCH 1, COCO144, SJK 171, RAY B 954, JEC*, STAY HIGH 149, SODA 1, C.A.T. 87, RICAN 619, RIFF 170, CHARMIN 65, LEE 163D, HENRY 161 and BAMA 1 each performed in a group of 6 painting a huge backdrop right on stage. Event performed at the New York City Center.
1973- March 26 Launch of the Taki 183 awards from the New York magazine. First recipents were STAYHIGH149 and HONDO 1. (New Yrok magazine March 26, 1973, v.6, n.13, pages 32-39.)

1973 September 4 show by United Graffiti Artists at Razor Gallery, 464 West Broadway, Soho NYC.

1973-4 RIFF FIRST WRITER TO DO TWO COLOR PIECES, puzzle designs, cracked letters, and marshmellow letters (PHASE 2, interviewed by Stephen Hagler, "First PHASE" East Village Eye, NY Nov.12, 1982, 11)


1974 August creation of Nation of Graffiti Artists studio.

1974 Tracy 168 coins the term 'Wildstyle'.

1974 LOVE 1 produced the first wraparound piece. A piece which went over the vertical picture plane of the railway car onto the roof of the train.

1974 BLADE 1 claims to invent 'tumble letters' pg 450 Subway Graffiti. Tumble letters is a style where the letters rotate individually.

1975 October first use of side of train as illusionistic pictorial space by BLADE 1, the 'BOOBA' HALLOWEEN "GHOST" CAR.

1976 First ten car whole car by Caine 1- "The Freedom Train"

1977 The Fabulous Five Whole Train. The painting of wholecars on ten consecutive cars.
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