The history of the underground art movement known by many names, most commonly termed graffiti begins in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the mid to late '60s and is rooted in the desire for writers and activists to make a bold statement and to mark territory. The 'writers' (the graffiti artists) who are credited with the first conscious, often violent signs of activism, were named CORNBREAD and COOL EARL. They wrote their names all over the city gaining attention from the community and local press. It is unclear whether this concept made its way to New York City via deliberate efforts or if was a spontaneous occurrence. Whatever the reason, the subways and trains of NYC soon were the pallet for graffiti artists to leave their mark on the landscape.
After a while there were so many people writing so much that writers needed a new way to gain fame. The first way was to make your tag unique. Many script and calligraphic styles were developed. Writers enhanced their tags with flourishes, stars and other designs. Some designs were strictly for visual appeal while others had meaning. For instance, crowns were used by writers who proclaimed themselves king
The next development was scale. Writers started to render their tags in larger scale. The standard nozzle width of a spray paint can is narrow so these larger tags while drawing more attention than a standard tag, did not have much visual weight. Writers began to increase the thickness of the letters and would also outline them with an additional color. Writers discovered that caps from other aerosol products could provide a larger width of spray.
I found these awesome examples on Rt 5, on my way home from school. In this last image, I used the sun just to the right of the car to my advantage. Rather than avoid the shot altogether, I've been trying to capture "sun spots" which, in some cases, are bold and clear. My new lens tends to catch sun spots much more than my old. I'm not sure why; however, in this case I didn't mind.