Typographic Tattoos??

Primary tabs

109 posts / 0 new
Last post
Kyle Hildebrant's picture
Offline
Joined: 7 Jan 2003 - 11:00am
Typographic Tattoos??
0

So how about it? A subject that I find myself currently debating. That is the fact that I am designing a tattoo (for myself), and trying to decide what face I want to use. So far mantinia is winning. I am having some latin text tattooed across both of my forearms.

Anyone have typographic tattoos? or Photos?

hildebrant.

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
0

It's not like you'd have to get a tramp stamp, Hrant ;)
Seriously, I think fashion should really be irrelevant both ways.

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
0

Awesome stuff. Congrats.
Actually some of those words are at least close to existing ones; "dolor" means "pain" – which I'd say fits a tattoo quite nicely.  :->

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
0

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
0
Eric Doctor's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Jan 2008 - 3:27pm
0

Well, yeah, the words have meaning individually, but as a complete phrase it doesn't really make sense.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Dude, it's actual Latin text.

hhp

Will Powers's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Jun 2005 - 10:32pm
0

One of our authors just got his first book's ISBN tattoed on an arm. I set it for him in one of the OCR faces and he took that to the parlor. I have not yet seen it. Too cold here now: we all have our sleeves rolled down. Maybe in Spring I'll see it.

powers

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
0

Track

Zara Evens's picture
Offline
Joined: 5 Sep 2003 - 11:00am
0

The original passage began: Neque porro quisquam est qui do lorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit

Translation: "Neither is there anyone who loves grief itself since it is grief and thus wants to obtain it"

There is more thorough explanation of the translation on wikipedia.

Katherine Allen's picture
Offline
Joined: 28 Dec 2007 - 11:00am
0

I'm looking at different typefaces to do mine in and have settled on a slab serif of some sort and am leaning towards archer. The problem being that I don't own archer.

I'm hoping this isn't outside my boundaries to ask if there is anyone on here that would be willing to type out the phrase I want, outline it and send it to be in illustrator so I can lay it out the way I want it.

(don't shoot me if this is wrong of me to ask but I only have the best of intentions and wouldn't even begin to know how to any sort of duplication as I'm just a lowly graphic designer with no type design experience)

Satya Rajpurohit's picture
Joined: 27 Jul 2006 - 3:31pm
0

Eric Doctor's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Jan 2008 - 3:27pm
0

I understand that it's taken from a passage in Cicero, but that doesn't mean that it makes any sort of sense. You gave me a translation of the entire passage, not of just that phrase. The phrase begins in the middle of a sentence, in the middle of a word (I'm not a Latin scholar, but I think that "em" is a suffix on "dolor"), and a conjunction is deleted. It's not a complete thought. It's like saying that "monds always reminded him fate of unrequited" makes sense because it's taken from a real passage of text (from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez).

As far as I can tell, the actual translation of "dolorem ipsum..." is "pain itself it is pain"; never mind eliminating the "do". Tell me that "lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" by itself makes any sense.

Mica Wickersham Thomas's picture
Joined: 5 Aug 2003 - 11:00am
0

My hairdresser liked the fleurons I used on my wedding invitation. She has it on her arm now:

Zara Evens's picture
Offline
Joined: 5 Sep 2003 - 11:00am
0

Yes, and I understand what it was that I posted. I was simply providing some context.

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
0
beth olson's picture
Offline
Joined: 5 Sep 2010 - 5:41pm
0

I realize this is a SUPER old post but hopefully the info here will be useful for others too.

My number one suggestion would be to talk with your artist. (or better yet, several artists to see who has the best understanding of type-centric pieces) Take several printed examples of the type you're considering and explain to them what it is about each typeface that you especially like. This way they can tell you how it's not really going to be possible to keep the integrity of the very fine lines in Bodini at 12pt but that perhaps going larger or with a similar, slightly heftier face will give a similar outcome.

Trust a good artist. They want you to be happy!

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
0

Choosing your tattoo artist is serious business that wants to be seriously considered and researched. There are a lot of hacks out there, but a few artists who truly deserve the name.

Btw, this sad "create" tattoo looks like the ink is too deep in the skin, causing extra bleeding, apart from being crooked to begin with …

What you said about kerning is certainly true. I have a very abstract tattoo, actually in the same spot as on this image (inside of left wrist), which is basically a line of dots in varying sizes. One dot is quite a bit too far on the left, which used to bug me a lot (now it's just 'the way it is'); the tattooist had it even further out of line first, & when I complained, she protestingly got a ruler, measured it, & then looked at me and said, "Why do you see this? Nobody sees this! It was like HALF A MILLIMETER off!" I'm not going there again.

The Helvetica tat looks really nicely done, though. I mean, it IS Helvetica. :)

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Nah, in the purest state the Artist only cares about self-expession.
(Fortunately for everybody the pure Artist does not exist.)

hhp

Eric Doctor's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Jan 2008 - 3:27pm
0

Ah, okay. Glad we're in agreement then. (?)

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
0

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
0
paul d hunt's picture
Offline
Joined: 5 May 2005 - 8:44pm
0

you should see all of Dan Rhatigan's tattoos, they're pretty awesome.

caro h.'s picture
Offline
Joined: 30 May 2008 - 5:39pm
0

her's is quite quirky and adorable, although I would prefer it horizontal across the arm if it weren't flexed.

Andrew's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Jan 2007 - 10:28am
0

Great blog deciphering "asian" tattoos.

http://hanzismatter.blogspot.com/

Daniel Gardiner Morris's picture
Joined: 19 Jan 2010 - 2:20pm
0

Jessica Hische has a couple of good ones. I don't want to grab her photos, but you can go here and see for yourself. Note the wrist too.
http://jessicahische.com/overshares/her-contact-information

Micah Currier, the guy that runs the type casting machines at The Dale Guild, threatened to get a full page of the Kelmscott Chaucer on his back. Thankfully he hasn't followed through.

Other Mica- Is that a Bruce Rogers arrangement?

My friend Joseph at Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn does very nice script work. This is on my old buddy Beau's neck-- his mum's name. See JK5 on the site.
http://savedtattoo.com/

Oh, and stay tuned for a new version of Ina's book.

Dan

Foo Bar Lipsum's picture
Offline
Joined: 6 Feb 2010 - 11:39pm
0

@satya

I really hope that head tag had a start, and the body tag has an end. It'd suck to get branded with invalid markup.

Sindre Bremnes's picture
Offline
Joined: 11 Nov 2008 - 9:32am
0

I still haven't regretted not having been tattooed. Probably the result of growing up in a small port town, and thereby from early childhood on associating tattoos with unemployed, drunken old sailors.

Eric Doctor's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Jan 2008 - 3:27pm
0

To all of the naysayers out there: it is possible to be satisfied with a type-related tattoo; you just have to go to someone who knows what he's doing.

It looks even better than I had hoped for:

Simon 'Sye' Robertson's picture
Joined: 21 Jul 2005 - 12:42pm
0

cool!

Beau W's picture
Offline
Joined: 11 Nov 2008 - 9:57pm
0

Russell McGorman's picture
Joined: 25 May 2006 - 10:01am
0

OK, inner curmudgeon showing through, but as nice as the the designs may be, to me, getting a tattoo is like tagging the Mona Lisa with a spray bomb.

Trevor Baum's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Dec 2010 - 8:57am
0

I know Jessica Hische has been mentioned, but here's a pictures of her tattoo:

nikki villagomez's picture
Joined: 4 Mar 2011 - 7:36am
0

this is me. i NEVER thought i'd get a tattoo but now that i have mine i can't imagine not having it. it's def. not a rock star one like some of you have but i love it and it's perfect for me. it's a 100pt bell gothic comma. yeah it's a bit imperfect but what it represents for me is what matters. now, as far as perfection goes, i named my kid after a font. shazam.

discussed's picture
Offline
Joined: 11 Sep 2007 - 5:43pm
0

I'm thinking about getting one myself. Can anyone recommend a tattoo artist who does really good typographic work? I'm in the Denver area, but willing to travel to get this done right.

Also, there's a great book by Ina Saltz called, "Body Type" that is all about typographic tattoos, in case anyone is interested.

Russell McGorman's picture
Joined: 25 May 2006 - 10:01am
0

-=®=-

James Arboghast's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Sep 2005 - 1:09pm
0

It’s a fact that 40% of a tattoo parlour’s business is covering up another tattoo artist’s mistake. Those odds are just too high for me.

Me too. Where did you get that figure of 40 percent? I'm turned off by the idea of altering my body in this way. What's inside counts for infinitely more. Anyway it's more fun doing shadow puppetry letters on the wall on a cold rainy evening with the help of a rusty old kerosene lamp ;^)

j a m e s

Russell McGorman's picture
Joined: 25 May 2006 - 10:01am
0

ackk.

A person who would get a tattoo, would probably also grafiti the Venus de Milo.

:o)

-=®=-

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
0

Not a tattoo, but still somewhat interesting.

http://www.ignant.de/2009/05/15/skinographie/

James Arboghast's picture
Offline
Joined: 20 Sep 2005 - 1:09pm
0

Heh!

Yep, it all seems barbaric and a brutal way to treat a body.

j a m e s

Jennie Wojtulewicz's picture
Joined: 21 Feb 2010 - 7:28pm
0

I have to admit, I admire all of you who managed to find a typeface you could permanently use on your body. I would have such a fear that I would find one I liked, and then a month later see a font I had never seen before and wish I could do it over. I'm not sure if it is the fact that my font tastes just change too much, or perhaps the industry evolves too quickly.

For the longest time I have wanted to get my hometown scripted on the top of my foot. I am a native of Arizona, and there are literally like 7 of us left here. The problem? I can't decide on a font.

Simon 'Sye' Robertson's picture
Joined: 21 Jul 2005 - 12:42pm
0

so... mr hildebrant - did you get it done?

i have most of my right sleeve done, pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/armorath/sets/72157608087662106/

i don't have any type tattoos per se, but i do have some words, which i simply asked the tattooist to write, and i was happy with his style of writing.

i have thought about getting some proper type tatts, but i kinda like the idea that the letters on my body are designed just for my body...

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Could you lighten those brackets a bit?

hhp

Jennifer Dahl's picture
Offline
Joined: 12 Sep 2005 - 10:58am
0

@Christopher.
Ewww.
Creepy but cool. I have to look again.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Tattoos are now way too fashionable for me to get one.

hhp

Jonathan Selig's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Mar 2006 - 8:57am
0

JK5 had done some amazing work. I've admired it for years.

_'s picture
_
Offline
Joined: 18 Dec 2008 - 9:32am
0

Impulsiveness strikes again.

Original blog post...
http://www.glennsorrentino.com/articles/view/36

Eric Doctor's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Jan 2008 - 3:27pm
0

That's why I picked a Garamond for mine (specifically Garamond Premier Pro). I figure that if I'm going to have a typeface on my body for the rest of my life, it shouldn't be one that's going to go out of style any time soon. So why not use one that's 500 years old?

Although in retrospect I should have used the regular weight instead of the semibold. I thought the regular wouldn't have been hearty enough to hold up, but the bleeding of the tattoo causes it to thicken out a bit. So I guess I should have used the regular weight of the caption cut. But retrospection does not equal regret. I probably would have more regretted not getting a tattoo because I was agonizing over the font.

Allie Smith's picture
Offline
Joined: 13 Jun 2010 - 5:51pm
0

Here's mine:

it's Sherlock Holmes' profile, done in the letters of his name.

Tom Hodgins's picture
Offline
Joined: 10 Mar 2008 - 9:36pm
0

I know a lot of people that went to my college who had type tattoos, and they are collectively the reason I doubt I'd ever consider getting one.

Can anybody guess what typeface this one's in?

The answer is: it was originally Garamond, but it sure isn't anymore.

I figured, although I'm not terribly anxious to go out and get a tattoo (I'm way too over-cautious and afraid I'd regret it at some point) I could not get a tattoo from anybody who had less typography sensitivity than me.

If I got a tattoo with type, and there was a shape or kerning issue, it honestly would bother me literally every time I saw it. I figured if I were ever to get a tattoo, because of my high standards I'd want to go to the best tattoo artist I could find, and I imagine it would be very very expensive and require me to travel some distance to get there.

For my conscience's sake, do you know your artist has decent typographic sensitivity, enough to accurately reproduce your chosen piece? It's a fact that 40% of a tattoo parlour's business is covering up another tattoo artist's mistake. Those odds are just too high for me.

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
0

From another thread. Just putting it in here to keep them all in one place.