What Type of Markers Do Graffiti Artists Use?

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Graffiti artists either buy or make their own specialty markers for tagging. An "artist" will never just use a sharpie or cheap marker for his or her work. Markers differ from spray paint cans in that they must be pressed directly against a surface (nothing is sprayed). Graffiti artists use markers for more detailed works, or for quick and silent tagging.

Paint Markers

  • Paint markers are the most commonly used types of graffiti marker. They use paint, which is typically a more permanent, stronger medium than ink. Some popular brands of paint markers are Krink, Markwell, Molotow, and On The Run. They usually cost at least five dollars for one paint marker.

Ink Markers

  • Ink markers are similar to paint markers in price and style, but they can have even finer tips, allowing for greater attention to details. They can be just as thick as paint markers too. The only downside is that they might not be as potent as paint markers.

Empty Markers

  • Of course, empty markers must be filled with paint or ink before they can be used for graffiti. But empty markers is actually just the name for reusable markers, unlike the paint and ink markers above that can only be used one time. Empty markers are usually a little less expensive than paint markers, but they require more work (e.g., they must be reloaded). But empty markers are the best choice for graffiti artists who want to live a little bit greener.

Homemade Markers

  • For the crafty graffiti artist, the most satisfying markers are those that were made at home. The most commonly seen homemade graffiti markers use empty shoe polish bottles as applicators, with either ink or paint refills sold by art companies (usually cost between 10 and 20 dollars) or some artists mix regular paint or ink with paint thinner and pour it into the empty shoe polish bottle.

Industrial Markers

  • Industrial markers are not sold as official "graffiti markers," but are intended for other purposes first. But since they are such strong markers, many graffiti artists use them for tagging. Industrial markers use both paint and ink, depending on the style. They are waterproof, and usually range in price between two and ten dollars.

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