Wildstyle is a complicated and intricate form of graffiti. Due to its complexity, it is often very hard to read by people who are not familiar with it. Usually, this form of graffiti incorporates interwoven and overlapping letters and shapes. It may include arrows, spikes, and other decorative elements depending on the technique used. The numerous layers and shapes make this style extremely difficult to produce homogeneously, which is why developing an original style in this field is seen as one of the greatest artistic challenges to a graffiti writer. Wildstyle pieces are also known as "burners", meaning "hot" as fire. Wildstyles are seen as one of the most complicated and difficult tags and are often used to get an artist's work seen (rather than to put a political message or any other kind of message across).
Wildstyles commonly include a set of arrows, curves and letters which have been so transformed as to be rendered arcane to the eyes of non-graffiti artists. It has also been common practice to incorporate 3D elements into the pieces. Letter structures are therefore rendered to add depth of visual perception of the work. Many artists have different elements to add to their wildstyle that gain that writer a good deal of respect within the graffiti scene, especially if one creates his or her own style and stays original and creative. Veteran artists tend to go for more complicated forms of wildstyle in which the types are hard to read but broad in creativity. Getting one's style mastered is key to achieving this success.
The term "wildstyle" was popularized by the Wild Style graffiti crew formed by Tracy 168 of the Bronx. Complex and elaborate graffiti writing previously was called numerous terms such as "mechanical letters." The stylistic approach advanced at the same time Wild Style crew grew large and spread throughout New York City. So many members executed the complex style that eventually the crew's name was associated with the complex style.