WTF?! FTW graffiti returns to Echo Park billboard

Late last month billboard company CBS Outdoor finally got around to painting over a giant gang tag that had appeared on the back of a Glendale Boulevard sign for about two years.  But that FTW graffiti – which stood for “Fuck the World,” the name adopted by a gang along the Echo Park and Silver Lake border – didn’t stay away for long. As the top photo, taken on Sunday, shows, FTW is back,  but this time the chunky block letters (bottom photo) of the old tag have been rendered in a cursive script (check out those serifs).

CBS Outdoor painted out the tagging after The Eastsider reported that LAPD Senior Lead Officer Al Polehonki had requested the clean up about 18 months ago without success. How long CBS Outdoor will notice the new tagging this time is anyone’s guess.


  1. Yea I mean that is a prime location for a graff crew to have. If it gets buffed they will return. I did the same when I was a kid before I grew out of it. This is no surprise.

  2. Somehow it is OK for a company like CBS outdoor to hijack the public space for messages telling me that I’m not cool unless I buy their product, drive their car, obey their message… Some kids inspired by the deluge of messages in our environment decide to take that same space and the world stops in it’s tracks. Remove the inspiration (billboards) and you will see graffiti disappear. How do we know? Go where public advertising is strictly regulated and you will see that incidents of graffiti are also down.

  3. FTW is not a gang, it’s a graffiti crew. Hey at least it looks a little cleaner this time around. I you live in Echo Park you should expect to see some graff around your neighborhood. This isn’t The Westsider 😉

  4. I agree with LA scumbag, WTFDTFFTW and tk. leave it or take down the whole thing, it’s blocking the view.

  5. No, you SHOULDN’T expect to see graffiti around Echo Park–corporate, gang-related, tagging-crew related or otherwise.
    That’s like saying, “Oh, hey…the world is full of unhappiness. Well, I guess there’s nothing I can do about it.”
    When, in reality, there is.

  6. I thought it stood for “For The Win,” the handle of a crew of Twittering social networking-addicted taggers.

  7. I want to know why the one who put up the graffiti didn’t put it on the front of the sign instead. He could have helped the neighborhood that way.

    Next time, do it on the front of the sign!

  8. I don’t see any difference between these little tagger boys and those nippy lap dogs that pee on everything to mark their territory. Stop acting like animals and grow up.

    Yeah the billboard is ugly and intrusive, but it doesn’t validate crime.

  9. Am I the only one that kinda likes it? I mean, the person took the effort to make it pretty stylish with the serifs and all. It’s not just some quicky spray paint job that looks like s**t, it actually has good design. Sometimes I’d rather see some artistic graffiti than another billboard advertising an awful movie or more beer. And it’s the BACK of the billboard, which otherwise would just be a big black box.

  10. Can’t we make the owners of the billboard take responsibility for cleaning it up?

  11. How do they paint such an elaborate design, which obviously takes time to do, without anyone seeing them and getting caught?

  12. Yes, there should be a law that says if the Billboard owner can’t keep it clean of graffiti, the billboard will be removed. If it means no more billboards, so be it.

  13. i will gladly paint the billbord again and this time wait 4 my prey 2 show up”

  14. I too rather like it. The serifs are elegant, fanciful but not overblown. However, I must make a correction. As a longtime resident of Echo Park I’m familiar with FTW. It is indeed a tagging crew and not a gang. It is in fact an emo tagging crew. The letters mean Feel the Weight. They do not mean Fairies, Tattles and Weenies. That is what their detractors call them, and is not fair. They’re actually not bad kids.

  15. “Go where public advertising is strictly regulated and you will see that incidents of graffiti are also down.”

    Let’s see some evidence. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing. I’ve just never heard this before, and I’d like to read more about it.

  16. Awesome.

    It doesn’t look any worse than whatever is on the front of that billboard.

  17. I noticed this coming off the 2 over the weekend. I smiled and said “Good”.

  18. I’m confused FTW didn’t pay CBS to have that on the billboard so they had it up for free what kind of business is CBS running over there FTW should probably put lights on it so we could see it at night (go dodgers)

  19. Strongly prefer the billboard with the tagging.
    (CBS should pay them to show how hip they are.)
    The serifs are awesome.
    Good for them.

  20. Ah Caramba!

  21. I don’t generally like graffiti, but the one with the serifs is jaunty and stylish. It’s got life.

  22. FTW also is a Motorcycle thing ,that goes back to the 70’s it means FOREVER TWO WHEELS..Someone is also screenning this on tee’s geared towards the new HD crowd.

  23. i like it. seriously, it’s nice work. maybe it should be on the other side of the billboard.

  24. people who get self-righteous about graffiti are really annoying.

  25. i think it would be awesome if kids who were caught doing graffiti that had artistic merit were punished by being sent to art school.

  26. looks good, just wish it were centered ; >

  27. Lol I agree some of these fellas deserve the credit how about CBS put up lights on art like this instead of stupid other ads they want u to spend that pocket money on… Oh & THE FTW are not a gang you guys should give them a little more credit.. 😉 see ya’ll echo park neighbors around do what you’ll got to do….
    Lady mee*

  28. Im so used to tagging/crew throw ups around Echo Park I really dont mind seeing this in fact I really like it.

  29. I guess if it was banksy it would be ok and auctioned off for $. Tagging is tagging, expresion of ones self for the public to see, what a travesty. At least they have not sold out. Like a bunch of so called taggers/artists i know.
    Get over it It is just a billboard.

  30. Farting Tough and Wet

    I’m pretty sure it stands for “Feeling Tiny Weenies.” I heard they all have little wangs. Supposedly, when they need to piss, they have to feel around their undies to find their little pee pees.

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