Graffiti (Italian; singular graffito) is a collective term for thematically and creatively different visible elements, for example pictures, lettering or signs, which are created using various techniques on surfaces or by altering them in private and public spaces. The graffiti are mostly produced under pseudonyms and illegally. Creators of graffiti, especially when they use spray cans, are often called sprayers.
The acceptance and definition of graffiti varies. If unauthorised graffiti is mostly seen as a form of vandalism in the public perception, especially in the Western world, it is also recognised as a form of art by others. However, the two are not mutually exclusive.
Public institutions take multi-layered measures to prevent the illegal application of graffiti. Many municipalities release special areas.
Graffiti (both singular and plural; the singular graffito is rarely used except in archaeology) is writing or drawing on a wall or other surface that is usually unauthorised and publicly visible. Graffiti ranges from simple lettering to elaborate murals and has been known since ancient times, with examples from ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
Graffiti has become a growing urban "problem" in many cities in the developed world, spreading from the New York underground in the early 1970s to the rest of the United States, Europe and other regions of the world.