Tattoo Lettering – Lettering Tattoos, Ideas, Designs & Fonts

Lettering tattoos

Lettering tattoo

Tattoo lettering is often times essential as part of a piece of body art.  Sometimes the tattoo lettering itself is the tattoo.  Choosing the font you will use or the type of language character you add will make or break the tattoo.  Very popular for some time now is to use a motivational word that is meaningful to you for instance and translate it into another language such as Chinese.  Although many of us do not recognize this but for some people the world of body art is becoming just as globalized as every other part of the world.  Artistic styles from all over the world are being blended together in many art forms and body art is not an exception nor is tattoo lettering and fonts.  Below are some of the most popular requests.

Ideas for Tattoo Lettering

Tribal Tattoo Lettering – Tribal tattoo lettering is often just bold dark lettering when you request this information on your favorite search engine.  But true tribal tattoo lettering is awesome.  Typically it is seen in the Maori curvature style of tribal art. The use of the large curved shapes on the shoulder to spell out one word is a fabulous looking piece of body art.

Japanese Tattoo Lettering – Japanese tattoo lettering could actually mean two different things.  Either you are requesting to use Japanese characters or an Asian font style.  To translate your language to Japanese characters simply use an application from the web and translate the words to see what the characters will look like. In this example the phrase “I need Hope” was translated by Google’s word translator and this was the result; ?????????.  Keep in mind that these are usually tattooed in a vertical pattern, so placement can be an issue if you choose a long phrase.    If Asian fonts are what your are after, Chinese Takeaway is a great font for tattoo lettering for Asian quotes or sayings that you want lettered in English but desire an Asian “feel” to the lettering.  Here is an example of that font:  Your tattoo would appear in a font similar to this which is Called Chinese takeaway.

Different Fonts for Tattoo Lettering – Different fonts for tattoo lettering can be found by using your own word processing program or by looking for font add-ons via the internet. Some of these additional applications for whatever word processing program you use are free and some are not.  So shop around and see what’s out there.  In addition speak with your tattoo artist, they probably have all this on hand and it will save you some time and possibly money.  Using different fonts for tattoo lettering is becoming more and more popular.  It’s a great new way to blend global art forms in wording to add to your body art.  Some people only have lettering tattoos such as a full back with an entire saying.

Calligraphy Tattoo Lettering – Calligraphy tattoo lettering is a little touchy but a highly requested font.  The problem with any of the calligraphy family fonts is readability.  This font is from the calligraphy family.  This font is as well and you can see the difference in the ability to read your tattoo. So when shopping for calligraphy style fonts for your lettering tattoo keep in mind there are literally hundreds available in this family.  Chances are you will want viewers of your body art to be able to read your “story” or the word you’ve chosen.

Celtic Tattoo Lettering – Celtic tattoo lettering is actually taking an open style font and inking a Celtic lace pattern inside the letters.  The designs usually are created using all capital letters so you will need to keep it to one or two words for placement issues.   A font similar to this could be used:  This Font is called Yold Angelican.  This is simply an example of an open style font and in a larger size could be filled in with Celtic lace.  But actually this font itself would look great with Celtic style tribal art. It has that same feel to it from the same era. It’s a very good example of how you can make fonts work with existing or new body art.

Arabic Tattoo Lettering – Arabic tattoo lettering would be a lettering tattoo using Arabic writing.  Again you may use an application like the Google translator mentioned above or ask your tattoo artist for translation of your phrase, word or saying.  An example of what Arabic tattoo lettering looks like using a web application translator looks like this:  ?????? ?????? ?????  In this example the words, “My children give me hope, were translated.  This illustrates the style you might be looking for when asking this type of tattoo lettering. Keep in mind that not being a language expert, I do believe the translator produced my sample in Arabic moving right to left, not left to right as English writers are taught.

Chinese Tattoo Lettering – Chinese tattoo lettering would be similar to the description above for Japanese lettering.  You can either use an Asian style font or actual Chinese characters.  Let’s use the same phrase in the same translator and compare the difference.  Using the phrase, “I need Hope produced these results in traditional Chinese: ?????. However there is an additional option for simplified Chinese which produces these results: ?????. To the untrained eye, I do not see any difference, perhaps it is the words that were used.  As you can see you will need to play with this to come up with the desired results.

Tattoo Lettering Photos

Lettering tattoo

Lettering tattoo – “Know Thyself”


Coloring & Placement of Lettering Tattoo Designs

Coloring of tattoo lettering is usually inked in darker colors such as dark green, blue, and black for good visibility.  There are exceptions to this of course.  Some of the tattoo lettering we did not discuss such as graffiti style and cartoon style almost requires color.

Placement of tattoo lettering can be placed as part of existing body art, as a tattoo all of its own, in a word, a phrase, a verse or a saying.  Each of these requires a different amount of skin.  Lengthy sayings with the right font style are awesome on the back.  While a one word graffiti style lettering tattoo on the chest can be just as stunning. Let your imagination run wild.

Related Articles

11 Great Fonts for Lettering Tattoos

Memorial Tattoos – Ideas, Designs & Inspiration