Letters and words are a classic category of tattoos drawings. It is probably also one of the most popular. Unfortunately, registrations are also the most likely body art works, due to the large number of possible errors in this category.
As a fan of inscriptions AND tattoos, I could see my content of hallucinatory and disastrous inscriptions on the skin of people. Size, color, style, placement … there is an infinite list of details that play a vital role in this type of impression. The simple fact that a sentence is "readable" or not can make it a success or a failure, that's why you have to be particularly careful if that's what you want to have on your skin for the rest of your days.
Do not make them too small
If there is one thing you need to know and keep in mind when it comes to tattoos is that, no matter the talent of the artist, the tattoo will always lose its sharpness and its accuracy over time. This is absolutely normal and you may not notice it for a long time, but your skin will age and you can not hope to keep the clean and precise appearance of the first days.
You may be tempted to print something small, especially if it is your first tattoo. The problem is that the inscriptions are made of intertwined lines that cross again and again. As these lines will eventually lose their sharpness and spread a little, the readability of the sentence may be severely affected.
If you choose a simple line for letters, make sure it is thick enough for them to remain legible. A good tattoo artist should be able to predict this effect and make the right technical decisions for you.
Do not underestimate readability
I have heard / heard some people (including tattoo artists specialized in inscriptions) state that readability is not always an absolute necessity. In some cases, it's true: you do not really need to be able to read each letter of a word to recognize it. However, I am not at all convinced by the theory of "aesthetics before readability". If you tattoo inscriptions, your work is as much about words as aesthetics and not paying particular attention to the readability of the work is like an excuse to justify laziness.
Anyway and whatever your opinion on the subject, you have to face the facts: if you have a word or phrase tattooed, you will probably want him / her to be readable.
There are many styles of writing and ornamentation that can make your tattoo difficult to read: ultra-decorated, blackletter or futuristic fonts with unfinished lines and symbols, letters that are too narrow or too broad , old discolored textures, etc. Remember that your skin is not a medium comparable to paper or computer screen: it does not allow the same degree of precision, it is not flat, it is not 100% white ( even if you have very clear skin) and it changes over time.
If you decide to use the blackletter font or any other type of heavily ornamented writing, s-v-p, do not make the fatal mistake of tattooing everything in uppercase. It is not only very unpleasant to see but also impossible to read without having eyes that cry.
Do not do in the "without contours"
Tattoos without contours are very attractive, given their delicate and photo-realistic rendering. However, if there is one basic rule I have learned from many tattoo artists over time, it is that the strong and structuring lines are the ones that last. Once again, the goal is that your writing tattoo remains legible even after years. Outline prints are not the best choice for this type of tattoos, because you will end up with an illegible, shapeless work that looks like water-based paint on the skin.
Hire an artist
I know there are trillions of beautiful and incredible types of writing on the internet. You can really create incredible tattoos of writing based on these patterns, but only if you know how to do it and where to look.
I saw innumerable tattoos of letters from which I could immediately say that the tattooed person had designed them himself, simply because of the lack of critical and creative look.
Yes, it's easy to fall in love with a full circle of curls and decorations, but you will not necessarily have the perspective necessary to make a creative decision that you will not regret a few months later. What artists have is a certain amount of talent and experience that will allow them to create works of art that you will love forever.
If you are not an artist specializing in letter tattoos, hire one. Usually, professional tattoo artists draw their own creations, so it's better to let them do the work. Be that as it may, do not belabour the price: remember that this tattoo will stay on your skin for the rest of your life.
Each style has its own meaning, do not forget it
It's easy to fall in love with a specific writing style or font just because they are beautiful. You must not forget, however, that especially with regard to tattoos, each style has its own connotations and that people associate a strong meaning with them.
For example, some variants of Gothic calligraphy or "handwriting" are associated with bands or prisons. This does not mean that you can not wear them if you wish, but you must be sure that you will be able to live with them …
Check grammar, spelling, and translation at least three times
I am always a little shocked when I see a typo on a tattoo. You have only one task: to make sure that the word you are going to write on your skin for the rest of your life is at least written correctly!
If you're not good at grammar or spelling, have someone check you know what you want to sign up for. Also check that the transcription was done correctly on the stencil of the artist (and NEVER let him tattoo letters without stencil). This stencil should be transferred to your skin just before the artist starts, so this is the perfect time for a final check. Make sure you do not let your friends laugh at you for decades.
If you have a word or phrase tattooed in a language you do not understand or do not know well, have your registration checked by someone who knows it. And I'm not talking about your cousin who started taking Japanese lessons last year, I'm referring to a real specialist, native or expert in this language, who will have the knowledge to give you a correct translation to 100 %. You can inquire for free on the internet (Reddit, etc.) or pay a professional translator.
Be extremely careful if you get a tattoo in a language that uses another alphabet. Your tattoo artist is not necessarily an expert in Hebrew or Tibetan and you probably do not want a choice of drawing to make part of the sentence ambiguous. Whoever tattoos the drawing, have it checked by a specialist before printing it.
Choose your location smartly
While simple words can be placed almost anywhere, this is not always the case for sentences. A sentence is usually long and thin, which has a good rendering on the arm, chest or back for example. However, trying to fit a whole sentence horizontally on the calf is probably not a good idea. Why? Because it's a narrow, curved surface, which means that the inscription will not be readable unless you're circling around. But maybe it's an effect you like, a sort of word bracelet … if that's the case, be ready anyway to hear a lot of: "wait, what's written? ".
Also remember that, as with any horizontal line, a long horizontal sentence on a vertical part of your body (eg from left to right on the belly) will create an optical illusion effect and make this area appear wider. . It's probably not what you want … so be aware of it.
Choose the right tattoo artist
And that goes for all the tattoos that you could have done: s-v-p, choose an artist specialized in the type of tattoo you want to be made. Yes, you can expect any experienced tattoo artist to be able to tattoo a butterfly without missing it, but as with any artist, great tattoo artists often specialize in a very specific field.
I'm amazed that people are rushing into the nearest tattoo studio, no matter what style they want, just because it's easier. Each tattoo style has its own rules and you can not expect someone who makes traditional Japanese tattoos all day long to be an expert in tattoos of phrases.
Yes, it's worth spending a little more money and traveling a little further to get your tattoo done by a specialist. Once again, it's your body: do not be stingy with your own skin.