Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart

December 15, 2021
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December 15, 2021
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Please don’t tell our moms, but we love tattoos here at Vectornator. And today, we’re going to tell you all about lettering tattoo designs.

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Tattoo lettering fonts can give your tattoo designs that hand-drawn look that is so popular lately. Creative fonts can also give a tattoo a contemporary or retro look, depending on which one you pick.

This article will reveal the history of lettering tattoos, the best fonts to use, and how to create one using Vectornator

Fun Fact - Did you know that you can create original tattoos using Vectornator? We’ll talk more about this later.

No matter your personal style or the types of tattoos you prefer, lettering tattoos are sure to fit your aesthetic. And we’ve got tons of ideas and design tips for you to check out. 

The Art of Tattooing

Tattooing is an ancient art form that's been around longer than you might think. Archaeological evidence suggests that prehistoric cave dwellers were not only painting on cave walls—they were also permanently inking their bodies. 

Despite being practiced around the globe for centuries, tattooing sometimes gets a bad rap. Decades of controversy meant that many tattoo artists struggled to get the credit they deserve. However, tattooing is quickly becoming a respected art form in many parts of the world. Talented tattoo artists like Indiana-based Kat Von D have been going mainstream and garnering a lot of attention.

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We’re glad to see that these talented artists have finally been getting the credit they deserve for creating permanent works of art on skin. Now that tattoos are less taboo and even welcome in most workplaces, the common consensus around tattoos has shifted.

There are many influential tattoo artists you’ve probably heard of, such as Sailor Jerry and Samuel F. O’Reilly. But if you’re looking for some modern influential tattoo artists to follow on Instagram for inspiration, check out Curt Montgomery, Mira Mariah, and Reese Hilburn

Tattoos are one way that people can express their personal style, and depending on the tattoo placement, tattoos can be hidden or visible. 

Tattoo placement is a critical element of tattoo design and tattoo artists’ work. And it also plays a significant role in how painful a tattoo is. 

Here’s a visual representation of how painful tattoos are depending on where you get them on your body. 

Despite the pain, many people aren't scared to get tattoos. The popularity of tattoo art has only increased over time.

In fact, over 36% of people have tattoos.

Let’s take a look into the history of tattoos and where they originated. 

The History of Lettering Tattoos

Lettering tattoos have a long and illustrious history and are one of the earliest forms of artistic expression. 

Tattooing is an ancient art that was incorporated into many ceremonies and important milestones. Tattoo art transcended cultures and physical locations, and evidence of its impact has been found worldwide.

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Tattoo art was so popular for thousands of years that it became a vital part of many ancient communities' rituals. Evidence of lettering tattoos has been found in ancient Egypt, India, China, Mesoamerica, and more. 

The fact that tattoo art was found in so many ancient cultures, such as Asian culture, Arabic cultures, and more, is a sign that tattoo art is not a passing trend. Tattoos are still used in modern times to express our inner feelings or even just a way to make ourselves stand out among others. 

You might have heard your parents or grandparents warn that you won't get a "real job" if you're tattooed. However, many employers are embracing body art and have recently changed their policy on forbidding tattoos. Previously, the only place that tattoo sleeves or facial tattoos were truly at home was in a tattoo shop, but that is quickly changing. 

Lettering tattoos are one of the most classic tattoo designs, and quote tattoo designs are still popular today. 

Let’s talk about some of the best fonts you can incorporate into your designs. 

Best Tattoo Fonts

While we don’t believe there's such a thing as a “bad” font, some fonts work better than others for tattoo designs.

Contemporary tattoo lettering is an art form that is really taking off, and it ties in quite nicely with all the information we’ve been posting about lately such as, hand lettering, lettering styles, and digital lettering. Check out those articles for more information about fonts and lettering styles.

So, let’s talk about some of our favorite fonts that you can use for your tattoo lettering projects. 

Gothic Font 

Gothic lettering tattoos are a bold tattoo style that we love. This is incredibly similar to the classic blackletter tattoo font or Old English font

Blackwork tattoo style is trendy right now, and we love the strong impact it makes. This artistic tattoo uses a creative glitch style to modernize the traditional font. 

Script Font 

Script and calligraphy style tattoo fonts are incredibly popular in tattoo lettering designs. This style is also known as scroll tattoos.

Graffiti Font

Graffiti lettering tattoo style is a modern and contemporary style that we don’t see enough of. It’s so unique and creative that we think it’ll be making a big impact in the upcoming years. 

Sans Serif Font

Sans serif fonts are simple and easy to read, which makes this style perfect for those who really want a lettering tattoo that's easily legible. 

You can make this font more interesting by adding a bounce lettering style or by adding more or less kerning.

Serif Font

Just like sans serif fonts, serif fonts are also easy to read, but they have a sophisticated flair to them.

Now that we know about some fonts to look out for, let’s look at some inspiring tattoo lettering designs.

Examples of Tattoo Lettering

Whether you’re new to tattoo art or you’re just looking for some inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Here are some tattoo artists’ designs that we love. 

Cursive lettering tattoos are a classic tattoo style that is delicate and sophisticated.

Script style tattoo fonts can be challenging to read, but this design leans into that and makes this piece more artistic and subtle.  

This is a fantastic tattoo with a creative placement. We love the bounce lettering look that gives this tattoo a youthful look.

Finger tattoos are notoriously painful, so props to this person for braving it.

We love this fun tattoo style, gothic lettering is always a bold choice, but we are here for it. This bold tattoo piece is easily legible and has a unique, traditional look. 

Plus, we love the idea of getting a tattoo in Latin. We’re saving this pin for later. 

This white ink lettering tattoo is a subtle and delicate choice for a tattoo. It's hardly visible, but the beautiful tattoo script font is still legible. 

The white ink lettering tattoo style is one of our favorite tattoo styles that has become popular recently. We love the idea of combining this style with the style of classic handwritten scroll tattoos.

Now that you’re inspired and informed about tattoo lettering, let’s talk about how to create lettering tattoos with Vectornator. 

How to Design a Lettering Tattoo With Vectornator 

Vectornator is a tattoo artist's best friend. It’s easy to create original tattoo designs yourself in our free software. 

Lettering is a great way to add some personality to your work. Here's our easy video tutorial on how to draw quotes.

With Vectornator, designing your own tattoo stencil or any other personal projects is simple. Our design software is built for beginners and is entirely free.  

Here’s how you can use Vectornator to create your own lettering tattoo design: 

  • Create your design: You can pick from many types of fonts, colors, and text sizes to make a creative tattoo design in Vectornator. Use our Pen tool to create some sketches for a hand drawn look, or use our Text tool to create a design with our preinstalled fonts.
  • Finalize the design: Get feedback from your customer or friends and then try out our Auto Trace and Gesture Controls to make your final tweaks and edits. 
  • Create your stencil: If you’re using Vectornator, it's easy to save and print your digital files. Then, use either a ​​Themofax to print your design onto a stencil if you’re in a tattoo shop or trace it yourself onto tracing paper. 
  • Place your stencil: You'll want to consider tattoo placement. Body placement is crucial for tattoos. Luckily, stencils can be wiped off and moved around if the spot isn’t right the first time.
  • Tattoo your design: This is the big moment. It’s finally time to tattoo your design or take it to a professional tattoo artist.  

It’s that simple! Now you have no excuses. It’s time to get started.

And, no matter how you prefer to design your tattoos, we’re here for you. You can turn your hand-drawn designs into vector art with our Auto Trace technology. 

Or, you can create designs in another software like Procreate or Illustrator and easily import them into Vectornator

If you post any creative projects, especially tattoos inspired by this piece, tag us on socials. We can't wait to see the creative tattoos you design!

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