Lochlan

Tattoo Fonts, Tattoo Lettering & Tattoo Script

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A word, words, a phrase, phrases and all sorts of other tattoo variations and tattoo designs have revolved around this for a long time but it is extremely popular right now. So lets talk and show tattoo pictures of tattoo fonts and tattoo lettering to help this current trend be a better one than those of the past:

1) What's your favorite tattoo lettering or fonts to use and why?

2) Which tattoo lettering or fonts have you noticed look the best years down the line?

3) What is the smallest someone should get lettering or fonts without it looking terrible and a waste of money years even months later becoming a tattoo mistake?

4) Which tattoo locations for fonts or lettering hold the best? The worst?

5) ?????

Any other useful info you have I think would be appreciated as well as pictures. Thanks in advance.....

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Favorite lettering style by far is script. West coast, fine line style. And for longevity, it'd be the same. I have friends (and including myself) that have script from artists such as Freddy Corbin, Jack Rudy, Tony Edwards, and a few other west coast originators that I personally feels looks better the older it gets. As for smallest, dunno. One word....Grillo. Locations = collar rockers and arms, worst being areas that have become celebrity cool such as the inside of the fingers. And yes, I think script is an art form within the artform. It has the ability (in my eyes) to show a tattooers true talents. If your linework is iffy, it'll show up in the first curve you pull. But thats just my two cents.:)

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I back everything you just said. Script is an art form in itself.

I just draw script outta my head, and flourish it the best I can. I love doin it. Of course, sometimes, when you've done 15 names in 2 or 3 days, you're done with it for a while.

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i often get bored and start doodling lettering or script. can anyone suggest a great resource for finding examples? i know that sounds like a dumb question, but remember i'm a collector, not an artist, and because of this i don't know who to ask or where to look for this type of thing.

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i have always been a huge fan of lettering. even before tattooing. ive always noticed the lettering in cool old signs and window season displays.

once i started tattooing, first time i saw some dave gibson lettering and some jack rudy letting i was FLOORED!

you guys remember the old National tattoo convention posters that jack would design? each poster had like 9 different styles of lettering in them. all of them amazing.

that being said, if you want to be good at lettering, study the shit out of it! i notice it and space draw it all the time. for some reason, i always see good lettering at the movie theater. like right before the movie starts when words come up telling you about no smoking and popcorn and shit like that. when you cant think of anything to draw, draw letters. and i dont mean write letters, i mean DRAW letters. there is a difference.

i could go on and on with this subject.

ms rad, if you want good lettering, look for sign painters manuals. also, look at other peoples letters. see what you like and learn how to do it. and then add your own spin on it.

tattooers here in milwaukee HATE doing lettering. ill do it all day long. word

edit..... favorite style of lettering for tattoos..... SCRIPT AND PIKE STYLE LETTERS. done correctly, they will always look classy and timeless

worst style of letters for tattoos...GRAFFITI. ugh. just ugh

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them lettering book are a "stepping stone" to what can be done. the truth is, if you trace the letters directly out of the book, it totally shows. there is nothing like hand drawn letters.

even when i do OE letters, ill tape tracing paper over the original style and then redraw my version of them directly on top. hand drawn letters have much more soul in them than any traced letters will ever have.

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julio....yes!!! exactly, its so obvious when people (a lot of them, too) trace shit right from boog and bj. it looks horrible. script is an artform in iyself and needs to be studied, and referenced continously. i'm lucky to work next to nick, i'm trying everyday to work on my lettering!

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i have always been a huge fan of lettering. even before tattooing. ive always noticed the lettering in cool old signs and window season displays.

once i started tattooing, first time i saw some dave gibson lettering and some jack rudy letting i was FLOORED!

you guys remember the old National tattoo convention posters that jack would design? each poster had like 9 different styles of lettering in them. all of them amazing.

that being said, if you want to be good at lettering, study the shit out of it! i notice it and space draw it all the time. for some reason, i always see good lettering at the movie theater. like right before the movie starts when words come up telling you about no smoking and popcorn and shit like that. when you cant think of anything to draw, draw letters. and i dont mean write letters, i mean DRAW letters. there is a difference.

i could go on and on with this subject.

ms rad, if you want good lettering, look for sign painters manuals. also, look at other peoples letters. see what you like and learn how to do it. and then add your own spin on it.

tattooers here in milwaukee HATE doing lettering. ill do it all day long. word

edit..... favorite style of lettering for tattoos..... SCRIPT AND PIKE STYLE LETTERS. done correctly, they will always look classy and timeless

worst style of letters for tattoos...GRAFFITI. ugh. just ugh

thanks Julio. i mainly just do it for fun since i'm not a tattoo artist. i'll see if i can find some sign painting manuals. that hadn't even occurred to me.

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I was just watching the rough Josh Arment video interview yesterday by Cody Miller and I think he has some really good points on lettering and script. Maybe they will fuel more to this conversation once we post them.

I love lettering and have for many many years so thought I would include a picture of my collar with script lettering done by Freddy Corbin many years ago at Temple Tattoo around when it first opened. The brief story goes like this: Freddy grabs a red marker and makes some freehand lines on my collarbone for what I'm guessing a straight-line ruler (which isn't very straight from broken bones) but makes it look straight. Then just starts writing away on my collar with the pen like a piece of paper and I shit you not less than a minute later tells me to go check it out.

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Agreed with Julio and Mario. Those two books/flash have spawned the easily readable script. You can spot tracing of that a mile away. Script is an artform within itself. From all those i mentioned in a prior post to many more accomplished artists. Drawing your own lettering, whether on tracing paper/directly on the skin, shows tenfold. Good and bad. I have script from Tim Hendricks and am soon getting script from Jack Rudy. But i love the stuff and plan on getting more. Some guys get small bangers from artists the like, I get script.

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I love lettering! Especially well done script. I try and practice everyday. I believe that script can tell a lot about someone's tattoos. I agree with Julio and Mario. Traced, or even photoshopped script lacks soul. If you keep doing it that way, you will never learn.

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Had the pleasure of working with letter master Dave Gibson for a short time. It was awesome seeing him lay out names. It was also awesome to see that even he got frustrated sometimes laying stuff out.

Cool old dude to talk to. ALWAYS has stories to tell

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Keet at Southern Star in Atlanta.....awesomeness. Single needle.....Tony Edwards from AZ. Jack....enough said. Everyday. Lettering is an artform. I draw it all the time. The whole process/mechanics of it. HAs to be learned/taught. I got some knowledge from tattooers, graffitti guys, and most importantly an old school sign "painter." The formula is so simple to me know. But the quest to reach it was HARD. And Mario, you guys do some super nice lettering up there btw.

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So I have been noticing more recently a lot of people running a wide line of color through the center of their banners over the letters. I feel it doesn't add much for my eye or stimuli but am really seeing a lot of it and am curious.........educate me?

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Color in the center of letters....If the lettering is on point, color makes it look not so good (my opinion.) Kind of like messing up an unbroken item. Simplicity and linework.

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i often get bored and start doodling lettering or script. can anyone suggest a great resource for finding examples? i know that sounds like a dumb question, but remember i'm a collector, not an artist, and because of this i don't know who to ask or where to look for this type of thing.

Funny, I'm the same way. I actually have a BJ Betts (3) and Boog book I got kinda just for fun. It has seemed to prove true that they're good for basics and tips/tricks, but when left to your own devices you'll usually find your own way. At my work I drew some script on concrete over a doorway (which was later painted over!) with no reference that came out halfway decent. Fun to do that kinda stuff though I'm well aware I don't have the chops to get near a machine hahaa.

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I do a ton of lettering. If I could I would do it all day long or at least draw it for everyone at the shop. I just find that I have a formula that I like to use and it's been successful for me for te most part. The key is just practice it over and over. I have all the books that have come out and I'll reference them if I get stuck on a letter but other than that I just practice. Before I get to work inbetween tattoos after tattoos when I'm on the phone whenever.

I went and got some lettering from Mark Mahoney a dozen years ago and he showed me some cool tricks that I still use.

Like Julio I'm always looking at old signs and lookingat sign painters books. Hand lettering to

me is such a lost art. Rollo told me that good lettering can save a mediocre tattoo am bad lettering can ruin and amazing tattoo.

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And jack Rudy is white?!!!

I can honestly say I was bugged out the first time I heard jack rudys voice. I truly expected some cholo type shit to come out. Instead it was just the voice of some white dude named jack.

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Back when I first started, my mentors told me, "You better get cozy with lettering real quick because we're tired of it". Names and stuff like that. Not only did I get cozy with it...I really really enjoy doing script. Am I guilty of the hackish tracing shit? Sadly, yes I am. But at some point...and I can't even tell you how long it's been...I stopped that mess. And I'm much better for it. And it's just too much fun for me to draw it over and over if I have to for me to just cheapen it with tracing. I really don't care how long it takes me to get it looking it's best. It's enjoyable to me. I'm at the point now, though, where i know i need to take it up a notch and start to make changes in my script. Just some fresh elements in there. And that's one of the things that makes me feel like I'll never get tired of it...there's always the possibility of "new" and "different" with script. And I've totally drawn tons of script for other guys at the shop that I didn't tattoo, haha. Just enjoyed doing it. Cheers, guys.

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