Lettering Tattoos: A Complete Guide With 85 Images

Lettering Tattoos

Tattoos have held a significant meaning in our eyes for millennia. Once used as a symbol to mark criminals or to help improve health, tattoos are now a popular form of body art and self-expression. With a myriad of options available to you, the task of choosing what to get inked on your skin can seem daunting.

Living true to the adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” many individuals prefer to get powerful words and quotes inked on their skin to inspire themselves or as a reminder of a special moment.

If you’re someone who wants a personal and unique tattoo, then you can choose to get a word, phrase or quote inked on your skin. While most people like their tattoo to represent a symbol or a mythological beast, nothing is as unique as your favorite letters, inked in a font and style of your choice.

Let’s take a deeper look at lettering tattoos and how they can vary.

Popular lettering tattoos include:

  • Block letter tattoos
  • Handwriting tattoos
  • Tattoos in cursive fonts
  • Ambigram tattoos
  • Word tattoos with musical notes
  • Tattoos with religious script
  • Famous quotes in different languages

History of the Style

Tattooing has a rich and diverse history, with various cultures and societies assigning religious and even symbolic meaning to them. The earliest evidence of tattooing dates back to the pharaohs of Egypt with mummies being found with ink in their skin.

Although symbols and signs were more common to begin with, over time, people have slowly leaned towards getting words, quotes, dates or phrases inked on their skin to commemorate a special event or memory.

Tattoos that consist of letters have been popular for decades, since they can be completely personalized. Individuals prefer to get words or phrases that have had a great impact on their life or resonate with them. They can act as a constant reminder or a statement to the world.

Reasons to Get a Lettering Tattoo and Common Designs

There are various reasons why you would choose to get a word or a quote tattooed on your skin. Some of the main reasons people prefer to get lettering tattoos with text are the following:

  • To celebrate the birth of a child
  • To remember important dates or names
  • In memory of a loved one who passed away
  • To celebrate and remember personal achievement or anniversaries
  • To showcase your favorite motto, quote or lyrics

Due to the various fonts and designs available, your options when choosing a lettering tattoo are limitless. Not only can you personalize the text and the meaning it holds, but you can also pick and choose from hundreds of different fonts and colors.

An important thing to note while getting a lettering tattoo is to ensure that you double or even triple-check the spelling. You don’t want to walk out of the tattoo parlor only to have someone point out that your tattoo is misspelled. Be meticulous when choosing your desired font and checking the spelling. After all, you’re going to have the tattoo for the rest of your life.

Some of the most popular text tattoo designs include:

Block Letter Tattoos

If you want a tattoo that really stands out and is easy to read as well, block letters are the way to go. The symmetrical design and bold aspect of the tattoo make it visually appealing while also exuding a sense of power.

You could choose to get a simple phrase or quote that’s your maxim of life or opt for just a date or a name. With a variety of font options to choose from, you can customize this design to reflect your personality and style.

Handwriting Tattoos

Handwriting tattoos exude a completely personal touch that makes that tattoo unique by itself. You could get your favorite quote or word inked in the handwriting of the person you cherish the most.

If you’re getting a tattoo in memory of a loved one, you could choose to get their name or a date inked in their handwriting or your own.

Handwriting tattoos are incredibly personal and unique as you’ll be carrying with you not only the words you have inked but also the memories of the person whose handwriting you choose.

Tattoos in Cursive Fonts

If you’re someone who wants their ink to have a flow, cursive fonts are the perfect fit for you. You can pick and choose from various different fonts and get your ink in your favorite style. The cursive style (although sometimes hard to read) can give your tattoo a unique and eye-catching appearance, while also making sure the meaning is depicted.

You can select different colors that you feel will add more depth to your tattoo and make it stand out from the rest.

Ambigram Tattoos

Ambigram tattoos are an excellent lettering tattoo option that can work for everyone, with the words mirrored, flipped or inverted. The unique style and the legibility ensure that any tattoo in this style will stand out. 

However, it’s not easy to make an ambigram of any text. If you have a talented artist who can help make your lettering tattoo idea into an ambigram, then it’s definitely the right choice for you.

Keep in mind that the longer your text, the harder it would be for you to find an ambigram design. Since the text can be read upside down as well, your options for text choices are limited.

Text Tattoos With Musical Notes

If you want your tattoo to showcase the musical side of you while also conveying great meaning, this is a great option. You could get your text tattoo inked with clef notes or musical symbols around it to accentuate the meaning, or you could integrate musical notes into your pre-existing idea.

Tattoos With Religious Scripts

If you’re someone who believes in the power of faith and want your ink to represent the same, you could choose to get a religious script of verse that holds special meaning to you. You could get verses from your favorite religious book or opt for a long script inked on your body.

Depending on your preference, you may even choose to get a religious script inked next to a tattoo of a religious figure or symbol.

Famous Quotes in Different Languages

If you’re looking for something truly unique and one-of-a-kind, famous quotes in a different language may be your cup of tea. If a word, phrase or quote has resonated with you on a truly personal and spiritual level, you could choose to get it inked in any language of your choice (or the language of its origin).

Make sure you check thoroughly to ensure that the words you’re getting inked on your skin mean what you think they mean. After all, it would be heartbreaking to realize down the line that your tattoo (although it looks good) doesn’t say what you thought it did!

What Kind of Artist Should You Look For?

When you’re planning to get a lettering tattoo, it’s imperative that you do thorough research and take your time picking your design. Once you’re done deciding what you want inked on your skin, the next step is to find a reliable and talented tattoo artist with a proven track record of phenomenal work.

Not only should the artist you choose be creative and patient but also have a steady hand and excellent skills to ensure you get exquisite results. Lettering tattoos require your artist to be consistent and detail-oriented to ensure that your tattoo stands out from the rest. It’s always advisable to take a look at some of the previous work done by the artist you choose and double-check their hygiene standards.

When you’re searching for a tattoo artist, it’s always best to opt for someone who’s empathetic and will take time to understand your idea and help build on it. The artist must have a firm grasp of spacing, letter placement and design before beginning your tattoo to ensure exceptional results.

Tips for Picking a Suitable Design

Since lettering tattoos are incredibly personal and usually have a deep meaning, it’s best to try and get something that resonates with you to the core. It could be a word, a quote or lyrics from your favorite song; as long as it’s meaningful to you, it works.

Once you’ve decided on the text you want, take a look at the different fonts and colors you can choose. Before doing so, you have to ask yourself what you want the tattoo to represent. Do you want it to be easily legible and stand out, or would you prefer a well-designed cursive font tattoo that has a smooth flow? Depending on what you want your tattoo to say (not just the words), you can choose from a plethora of options.

Always keep in mind that the tattoo you choose to get will be on your skin for the rest of your life (unless you choose to remove it). So, it makes sense to spend some extra time deciding what you want rather than regretting a tattoo you’ve gotten inked in haste.

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