Street Expressions

Cities have an urban reality that is often accented with street art. We call it graffiti, or street art, or tagging, or vandalism. It’s an artform rich with history and self-expression.

There is some I love – some I find huge inspiration with. I refer to this type as graffiti or street art. In 1998 we hired a street artist to do a piece in our first office. I learned a lot about the artform and how it is done. He told me about the planning, and sketching, and preparation involved with doing a large piece. It’s a similar process to what we, as designers, go through.

There’s the message. What is it that you are trying to convey? There’s the sketching phase. How do you portray this message? There’s the design phase. What will this look like? What are the constraints? Colors, outlines, highlights, medium, location. How quickly does this need to be done (designers call this a deadline)? Then it moves into production.

The end goal is the same. Get noticed. Make an impact. There are some street artist who have become so famous that the value of buildings that have their art has skyrocketed. You may be familiar with Banksy or Shepard Fairey or Facebook’s millionaire graffiti artist, David Choe.

So before you call Graffiti Blasters, think about the art. Does it add value to the neighborhood or uniqueness to the street? How can we collectively as citizens “raise the bar” for street art?

There is a cool site where you can create your own. Give it a shot >

by John on February 24, 2012