In recent years, graffiti has enjoyed as near to mainstream appreciation as something that transgressive can get. However, much of that praise has been geared at graffiti murals and imagery, while tagging has taken a back seat, bearing more of a resemblance to vandalism than art.
Tagging has been around in some form as long as people have written. What we know of tagging now, though, is largely dependent on the modern materials artists use (paint markers, spray paint), and through a sort of visual history, with people in different locations communicating to and learning from one another.
Typographer and designer Christian Acker goes a long way toward capturing that visual history and giving the artform its proper respect in his new catalogue of the various American tagging styles, Flip the Script: A Guidebook for Aspiring Vandals & Typographers. The book is set up as an overview of American tagging:... keep reading