Small tattoos are the gateway drug to the world of tattoo artistry. Whether it’s your first piece of ink or a baby step to a full sleeve, a small tattoo can be a killer way to commit to ink. Small tattoos carry an infinite amount of meaning, especially for a first tat. Getting inked up in words is obviously a popular thing to do. But what exactly is the best way to tattoo those little letters? There are a million and one types of fonts you could go with — and with the sensory overload hurricane that is Pinterest, it’s daunting to narrow it down.
I chatted with some tattoo artists who offered me up their expertise. The consensus? Well, your typical “font” might not be the best go-to afterall. Here’s why.
“Many people use script or classic tattoo fonts,” says Lalo Yunda, of Lalo Tattoos in New York. “But the computer ones are boring. They have no character.” So, yeah, they work, but they aren’t super original. Instead of your typical font, Yunda recommends getting words in something a little more personalized.
“The best font ever is the person’s handwriting — the client’s handwriting,” he said. “If you just want a little personal statement, your own handwriting is good.”
It’s the ultimate mark of originality: No two handwritings look alike. Does it get more personalized than that?
Julie Bolene, a tattoo artist at American Electric in Los Angeles, also recommends the handwritten route.
“Handwritten and cursive are what I always try to encourage people toward,” she said. "Standard fonts just don’t provide tasteful tattoos — especially because those computer-created fonts are hard to replicate precisely by a human."
“The eye immediately goes to the flaw,” she said. “Anything with even lettering starts to look strange once your skin ages or sags.”
When the tattoo is healing , the ink bleeds outside of the lines. So if the font lines are too close together, they might wear into each other and […]