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If your tattoo involves text, a motto, or a name, for instance, you’ll need a tattoo font that you’ll still love in twenty-five years. Having “Meat is Murder” written on your body in Comic Sans may seem hilarious now, but that joke will wear thin quickly.
And so, choosing a tattoo font is one of the most challenging decisions you’ll make. There are plenty of options, but some work better than others.
How to Choose a Tattoo Font
When it comes to tattoos, it’s crucial to opt for something that can be drawn freehand. Blackletter and scripts work well because their curves disguise minor imperfections; a geometric sans can be tough to reproduce on a curved surface (like your arm), and to make matters worse, tattoos heal and age with some variety.
To choose a tattoo font, consider the following:
Tattoo design: First and foremost, consider the text you plan to have. Choosing a font with a beautiful lowercase g is useless if you have the name “Jessica” tattooed. Choose a font based on the letters that are part of the design.
Tattoo position: The next thing to consider is where on your body the tattoo will be placed. If it’s somewhere like your hands where the skin gets worn or somewhere that will age, like your belly, fine lines will likely get lost over time. Tattoos fade, so if you choose something with fine lines, expect some illegibility or touch-up sessions.
Tattoo orientation: It’s not just a question of where on your body, but how on your body. If you’re getting something written down your arm, do you want it to still be legible at 90 degrees when your arm is by your side?
Tattoo size: The next consideration is size. Remember, your tattoo artist will have to reproduce the design freehand with a tattoo gun. Even in the hands of an experienced tattoo artist, unforgiving designs can go wrong. Micro tattoos are trendy and look amazing, but they work best with simple, bold fonts.
Tattoo treatment: Will the letters be outlined, colored, shadowed, or otherwise highlighted by the rest of the design? Does your chosen font lend itself to the lettering style you want?
If you’re not sure, ask your tattoo artist! A reputable tattoo artist will know what will work, what will heal well, and age well. They also know their skillset. Many tattoo artists specialize in lettering and will be able to create something custom based on the font you have chosen.
25 Original Tattoo Font Ideas
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Louise is a staff writer for WebdesignerDepot. She lives in Colorado, is a mom to two dogs, and when she’s not writing she likes hiking and volunteering.
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