Tattoo Font Styles

Written by jen wilson
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Tattoo Font Styles
There are many font choices when it comes to tattoos. (tattoo image by Carlos-bcn from

Choosing the right font to make your tattoo a work of art is no easy task with the seemingly limitless options available. The fonts people choose for their tattoos quite often are a reflection of the words or names being written. Fonts are also sometimes used to symbolise a person’s past and cultural connections.

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The fonts found on word processing software like Microsoft Word are common for tattoos. Samples of these fonts are easily found by tattoo artists and are good for a variety of tattooed words. Serif and sans serif fonts are available as mono-spaced (each letter taking up the same space as the others) or proportional (spacious or curvy letters get more room than letters like “i”). Old English is probably the most used typeface font and is great for initials and short words, but often becomes difficult to read on longer words.


The most popular fonts used for tattoos are handwritten styles, partly because skin is not as suited to straight lines as it is for curved ones. Cursive is loved for signature-style names as well as for lines of poetry. Child's handwriting is frequently seen on parents, aunts and uncles. Calligraphy has many uses as well and is a diverse font choice due to the different pen shapes a tattoo artist can apply to a sketch before inking it onto your skin.


Brush and spray-paint inspired fonts can be used much like the brush and spray-can that inspired them. Brush-based fonts are a nice touch to Zen-driven body art. Spray-paint fonts can range from simple freehand styles to graffiti-inspired bubble letters. Spray fonts usually work best with vibrant colours.

Foreign Language Fonts

Foreign language fonts can be used to express ideas and concepts that don’t look as good when written in English. Hebrew, Arabic, Tribal and Kanji are some of the frequently seen foreign language fonts.

Imitation Fonts

Imitation fonts are fonts that are based on foreign language characters, plants, architecture, objects, people or animals. They can be used just like other tattoo fonts. These fonts are loved by many body art enthusiasts for how well they can portray an artistic concept. For example, some words look good with elegant or sexy bodies bending to form letters while others are fitting with roses, grapevines, or musical instruments creating the type.

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