How to find a graffiti tag name

Written by alana armstrong
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How to find a graffiti tag name
What's in a tag name? Your whole graffiti identity. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Choosing a graffiti tag name is probably the easiest thing for a graffiti artist to do, but it may not happen right away. Take your time choosing or creating a name, and designing your tag. It needs to be good enough to last. A graffiti artist who isn't committed to his tag name and changes it often may be labelled as a "toy" (beginner) and gain the stigma of being an ineffectual writer.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Think of any nicknames you've been given over the years. This is a good start, though some nicknames may need tweaking to really work.

  2. 2

    Study other tags. You can find plenty of inspiration on the street, in graffiti books and online. Make note of how the name affects the way the letters work together; the letters should appear married together as a single entity.

  3. 3

    Look through the dictionary for words with interesting sounds and letter combinations.

  4. 4

    Keep a list of possible names, but eliminate the ones that seem too common (other graffiti artists who use that tag) or don't fit your personality.

  5. 5

    Try out each of the tag names in different hand styles or letter forms.

  6. 6

    Adjust the word to become compatible with your hand style. For example: "S" could be changed to "Z" and "I" could be changed to "Y." You may also have luck reversing the letters in the name.

Tips and warnings

  • Practice tags first with a pencil, then a graffiti marker or "mop," and finally graduate to spray paint when you feel ready.
  • Do not use your first or last name for tags.
  • Do not tag property without the authorisation or consent of the property owner; it is illegal.

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