BEG, 2001 © Kuva: Tipa Tuominen

Graffiti glossary

3D: three-dimensional style; used for added effect on basic letters

black book: a graffiti artist’s sketchbook or portfolio

bombing: prolific tagging around the city

buffing: graffiti removal by chemicals, overpainting or other instruments

cannon: a spray paint can

crew: a group of graffiti artists that often work together

fill: the solid interior colour of letters on a piece or throw-up

gallery: convenient, secluded locations popular among graffiti writers

go over: to paint on top of another artist’s work

heaven spot: a piece painted in a hard-to-reach place such as a rooftop

outline: the outline put on the wall and then filled, or the final outline added around the piece to finish it

piece: a graffiti painting, short for masterpiece; to piece = to paint graffiti

shine: a small burst of light, like an asterisk or star, or a white dash positioned along the letter’s contour to resemble glare or reflection

spaghetti: squiggly style of spray painting

tag: the most basic form of graffiti, a writer’s stylized signature done with a marker or spray paint

throw-up: a quickly executed, simple graffiti consisting of outlines and fill

toy: a beginner or incompetent writer

whole-car: a piece covering a whole subway car or train carriage

window-down: a piece covering the area below the windows of a subway car

writer: graffiti painter

BEG, 2001 © Photo: Tipa Tuominen