When it comes to figuring out how to choose a tattoo design, there are a lot of things to think about! From the location of the tattoo to its size, style, and, of course, the artwork itself, there are a lot of decisions to make. We know how important these decisions can be, so we developed this guide to help you figure out how to choose a tattoo design.
The location of the tattoo can make a huge difference and when you’re figuring out how to choose a tattoo design that’s best for you, location can be a major factor. The key things to keep in mind are locations that won’t get a lot of sun, won’t stretch as much as you age (or if you get pregnant), and won’t constantly be rubbing against clothing. Your hands, for instance, often get a lot of sun exposure, and most people don’t think to put sunscreen on their hands, especially if they’re just outside for a few minutes. When it comes to your skin stretching, your abdomen can be one of the trickiest locations, especially if you get pregnant. Spots like your underarms, feet, and inner thighs also rub against clothing all day, so tattoos may fade faster. When it comes to the best locations, here are our top picks (pair with a picture of a BAS tattoo on each spot):
Outer thigh (but not the inside),
Back of the neck (just below the hairline)
Size of the Tattoo
This is one of the simpler decisions when it comes to how to choose a tattoo design, but it’s still incredibly important. Are you looking for something small that can be covered up easily or something bold and immediately visible? A larger tattoo can start conversations or share something important about you, while a smaller tattoo can be just as meaningful and be kept quite personal. If your job (or potential future jobs) might have an issue with a big, obvious tattoo, a smaller, easily concealed tattoo can be the best option. That said, more and more employers are becoming accepting of tattoos! We even knew a surgeon who, in a pre-op meeting, took off his lab coat and showed us his two full sleeves!
Style of the tattoo
As we outlined in our earlier blog post, there are a variety of tattoo styles that can play a major role when you’re wondering how to choose a tattoo design. In our modern world of tattooing, there are so many amazing styles to pick from to make the tattoo you’re dreaming of! Often times the same tattoo idea can be developed in multiple styles, so it’s helpful to know which one you’d prefer. There are also some important differences between the styles to keep in mind. For instance, the bold lines of an American traditional tattoo will be readable over time, while watercolor can look amazing, but will fade more quickly.
Once you have an idea in mind for your tattoo, there are two recommended ways to figure out the best style for that tattoo. First, if you have a tattoo artist that you love working with, you can ask them for their recommendation and ask them to show you a rendering of the design in their recommended style. Your tattoo artist might also have a specialty, so if you definitely want to them to do your tattoo, that can factor into your decision.
The other recommendation is to look at the Instagram page of your favorite tattoo artists and see if you can find a design or style that matches what you’re looking for. If you find a look that you really like, take it to your favorite tattoo artist and ask to see tattoos they’ve done in that style or get a recommendation for a tattoo artist that specializes in that style.
Here are some examples of each style so you have an idea in mind as you’re trying to figure out how to decide on a tattoo design!
The Art of the Tattoo
The art and content of the tattoo itself is obviously incredibly important. Everyone is unique and it’s impossible to say what is right for you. We recommend partnering with a trusted tattoo artist that you can communicate with as you discuss what you want your tattoo to be about. Whether your tattoo is intended to commemorate something important in your life or just because you love the design, it’s recommended to spend the time to get the art just right. If you want something quicker, you can always check out your favorite artist’s Instagram page and see what kind of tattoo flash they’re making. If you pick from that you’ll know exactly what art you’re getting!
We hope this guide helps you as you’re trying to figure out how to decide on a tattoo design! Our seven tattoo shops across the US are staffed with skilled and caring tattoo artists who specialize in every style! If you think you might want to learn about making tattoos yourself, check out our apprenticeships! We offer world-class training with guaranteed job offers!
We can’t wait to see what tattoo design you come up with! Make sure you tag us on social media when you post a picture of it!
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