(Originally published on Huffington Post)

DC GraffitiGraffiti draws a remarkable counterpart to marketing and advertising. Memorable street campaigns take the same creativity, consistency, branding and visibility needed to make marketing work.

Street artists are marketers gone rogue (also a popular theme of the year) – developing and executing creative concepts, many with a specific and often populist tone. Like it or not, the closer you look, the more of a message there is to see in the details of graffiti.

Four Mile Run Bridge 2

Practice Wall 4

Four Mile Run Bridge

Practice Wall 2

Practice Wall 3

DC represented big in 2009, and themes in our graffiti and street art reflected important, meaningful local issues: problems of homelessness, DC’s non-state status, and few (but expanding) outlets for public art. Check out a full photo set of the year in DC graffiti on Flickr.

These are the freshest names and stand out styles in DC graffiti:

Names Up Everywhere:

JAKE

JAKE1 JAKE2

CHE

CHE1 CHE2 CHE+JAKE+Chinatown

MOE

MOE1 MOE2

REZIST

PEAR

PEAR1 PEAR2

AERA

AERA1 AERA2

DECOY

DECOY1 DECOY2

Click here to see a Flickr photo set of the year in DC graffiti.

Top Creative in DC Graffiti:

MOEBomb: CHE. (Next: MOE). A close call but easy to pick. MOE may have more tags up, but CHE is mighty close – with bigger fill-ins and better, riskier, more visible spots. MOE tagged Adams Morgan’s mural on DC’s non-state status – an ironic, shady move to deface a message the rest of DC’s graffiti seems to be all about. Watching CHE and MOE get up this year was like watching the good guy vs. the bad guy – and here, the good guy wins.

CHE

51*Stencil: Park. (Next: 51). Stencil images hit the streets of DC to illuminate two big issues in DC: homelessness and political representation. Amidst the toughest economic time in decades, DC slashed funding to social services that help the homeless. Next, the 51 stencil hit corners and street boxes with a simple, clear, concise message: make DC the 51st state – no matter how our vote tips the political scales.

ParkMyHome

 

CROOKSomething missing? Leave a comment and links to pics of your favorite DC graffiti!

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