What you didn’t know about Graffiti

POSTED BY Terry Carney ON February 19, 2021


Most people, when they think of graffiti, see it as an eyesore that needs to be cleaned up by a specialist graffiti removal firm. In some areas, it’s so common you probably think it’s part of the landscape!

While graffiti is often illegal and unwelcome, it does have a rich history that has many cultural, social, and political roots.

Here are 12 facts about graffiti that might make you look at it in a different way!

Graffiti dates back to ancient times

The first instances of graffiti can be traced back to carvings found in Ephesus in Greece. The word graffiti itself is derived from the Greek ‘graphein’ which translates as ‘to write’.

Modern graffiti style can be traced back to 1960s America

Philadelphia is the birthplace of the modern form of graffiti. It was originally used to make political, counter-cultural statements or mark the area for a specific gang. The earliest known graffiti artist of this era was Darryl McCray, who also went by the name Cornbread.

Graffiti artists have their own unique signatures

As graffiti is usually carried out illegally, ‘writers’ want to remain anonymous yet still let people know who is responsible for the work. They have their own unique ‘tag’ that identifies them.

There are 200 legal graffiti walls in the UK

In an attempt to deter people from doing illegal graffiti, many local authorities have installed graffiti walls that people can use without fear of legal action.

Graffiti can be worth a lot of money

The world’s most famous graffiti is done by Bristol-based Banksy. His signature style is political activism and social commentary. His creations have sold for millions of pounds at auction. Having a Banksy on your property can raise the value of it many times over.

The world’s longest graffiti scroll is in the UAE

In 2014, the world record for the longest graffiti scroll was created in Dubai. It is 2245.4m long.

The UK spends over £1 billion on graffiti removal every year

Graffiti needs specialist stone cleaning or window cleaning to be removed from surfaces. It is often the local authority’s responsibility to arrange for graffiti to be removed. When it appears on private property, it is the property owner’s responsibility to have it removed. Both usually require a professional graffiti removal service provider.

Hard to reach graffiti spots are called the ‘heaven spot’

Some graffiti artists pride themselves on tagging hard to reach spots on bridges or buildings. This is known as the ‘heaven spot’ because it is high up and potentially very dangerous, meaning the final stop could be heaven for the artist.

There is a difference between graffiti and street art

Street artists want their work to be appreciated and understood by others. This is less of a concern with graffiti artists who use their work to communicate with other writers.

There’s a graffiti hierarchy

Those who are inexperienced in graffiti are known as ‘toys’. Experienced writers are revered as ‘kings’ and ‘queens’.

There’s secret graffiti

Some graffiti is created with a specialist product called ‘NeverWet’ which can only be seen when it rains.

It was used to embarrass Air Force pilots

The US Air Force had a longstanding tradition. If a pilot didn’t land on the correct carrier, it would be covered in graffiti before being sent back to the correct one.

Graffiti removal with Token Cleaning

If you’re looking for specialist graffiti removal you should first make sure that it isn’t a Banksy, and then give us a call! We are experts in removing graffiti and restoring your property. Our team uses the latest equipment and techniques in brick and stone cleaning, drain cleaning, steam cleaning and window cleaning as well. With many happy commercial and domestic customers throughout London and the South East, our reputation is well earned.

Get in touch with us today to talk through your needs. Why not Chat to us online, call us on 01279 422752 or send a message to office@tokencleaning.com. Further information about our full service range can be found on our website.

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