Outlawing graffiti only increases its cult appeal

I think it was the recently deceased French philosopher Jean Baudrillard who once said he found graffiti depressing because all the writer can find to say is their name. Having said that, I’m sure I am not the only Design Week reader who flirted with ‘graf’ in their youth (although, growing up in rural Lincolnshire with a distinct lack of trains to ‘tag’, most of my pieces were found on my maths textbooks).

The drive to reduce the use of graffiti in marketing is playing into the hands of the artists. What self-respecting underground movement wants to be seen as the accepted face of edgy street advertising? Most taggers would welcome a boycott.

Perhaps the anti-graffiti association should rethink its philosophy. ‘Acceptance of graffiti on shoes suggests Adidas likes to see graffiti’ shows a level of reasoning reminiscent of the witch scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: ‘If she weighs the same as a duck… then she’s made of wood?’

Tom Newman, Wordsmith, Still Waters Run Deep, London E1

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