15 Best Tattoo Fonts For Your Next Ink Session
So you’ve decided to get a tattoo. Or perhaps you’re still on the fence, shopping around for more ink-spiration. Wherever you are on this creative journey, one thing’s for sure: you’re in for an exciting ride.
Getting inked is a great way to express your individuality, and designing your dream tattoo can be one of your life’s most rewarding experiences. There is a whole universe of body art concepts out there, in styles as varied and distinctive as the eras of human history.
What’s more, tattoos are highly customizable. With the right skills and technology, any tattoo studio business today can design a piece you won’t see anywhere or on anyone else.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the typefaces most suitable for tattoo lettering. The hope is that after reading this short guide, you will have found the perfect type—be it a calligraphic font, a vintage-style tattoo font, or a traditional tattoo font—to create a tattoo design that’s 100% yours.
Why Typography Tattoo Fonts Are Popular These Days
As a form of self-expression, tattoos are typically inspired by significant quotes, song lyrics, dates, phrases, or names in a person’s life. And often, the simplest and most beautiful way to pay tribute to these names and letters is by immortalizing them on your skin.
Besides that, contemporary art and design ideas coupled with the proliferation of new font styles have popularized the ultra-modern trend of minimalist and micro tattoos. This tattoo style makes use of type (and sometimes images, too) with gentler lines, colors, and strokes to achieve a softer, more graceful appearance.
It’s notably more subtle than traditional body art—and more attuned to modern tastes and sensibilities—which is why it is favored by many of today’s clientele.
What are the common tattoo fonts used by artists?
In old-school tattoo designs, you’ll often see a lot of Blackletter typefaces—that is, fonts inspired by the dark and heavy calligraphies of medieval times. These gothic fonts are typically not stingy when it comes to flourishes like swashes and tails. They give the final look a classic, stylized quality that makes a big statement.
Maritime- or nautical-themed fonts also feature prominently in old tattoo styles. These draw inspiration from pre-World War II sailors, who would get tattoos to mark important milestones in their voyage, keep as a “souvenir” of their travels, or ward off bad luck at sea.
Meanwhile, fine cursive typefaces seem to be a popular choice for contemporary designs. It’s that or a simple, imperfect serif or sans serif. Both styles have a raw, analog quality that makes them look almost handwritten.
Coolest Fonts For Tattoos: Names to Quotes
Now let’s check out more tattoo font options for different tattoo styles. You can click the links under each typeface to learn more about its font features, which you can share with your artist to help you successfully achieve the look you want.
Best Tattoo Fonts For Names
1. Black Valentine
A vintage tattoo font, like a Blackletter typeface, would work well with name designs. For example, the accents on this bold, gothic font called Black Valentine are subtle enough to work with an image, but also ornate enough to make the letters stand out on their own.
2. Gloria Typeface
Alternatively, this Gloria typeface inspired by maritime tattoos is a good option if you like throwback styles but can’t relate with gothic lovers. It comes in three weights—bold, regular, and light—that each go perfectly with line art and graphics.
3. Karmila Script
If you prefer a more modern, minimalist look, you could go with a flowy cursive or a stylish serif. Consider the following tattoo font options: Karmila’s easy strokes make the letters look like they were lifted directly off a letter, giving them a personal touch.
4. NOIR et Blanc Stylish Serif
On the other hand, NOIR et BLANC’s delicate lines are ageless. It also comes with beautiful lowercase characters, giving you more stylistic options for your name art.
5. Mataö – Elegance Font Serif
You could also try modern vintage fonts, like Mataö. Creative Market’s font library is teeming with typefaces of this style, which are contemporary in treatment and execution, but packed with retro nuances for a look that’s graphic with a punch. What’s more, Mataö leaves a lot of room for design modifications as it comes with swashes and stylistic alternates for letters.
Best Font for Tattoo Lettering
For tattoo designs made up entirely of letters or words, big, bold display tattoo fonts are the way to go. Display fonts are typefaces intended for large executions, like titles, headings, and label designs, so they should work amazingly well for single word, -name or -letter tattoos.
6. Rozex – Bold Decorative Gothic Font
Creative Market has loads of eye-catching display fonts in a variety of styles. Of course, one can’t talk about bold type without mentioning ornate Blackletter fonts. When it comes to making a statement, they are a top-of-mind choice. Take Rozex, for example. This typeface’s accents and flourishes make each letter perfectly stand out on its own.
7. Madison Street – Graffiti Font
Graffiti makes a great tattoo font choice, too. Especially if you want something unapologetically loud and creative with a lot of street cred. For a street art-inspired tattoo, check out Madison Street.
If you prefer more understated styles, modern vintage fonts like PEARL can give your tattoo a cool, old-school flair while staying subdued and classic.
9. Prime – Modern Bold Sans Serif Font
Alternatively, you can go ultra-modern with a robust, almost-futuristic serif like Prime. The clean strokes of this tattoo font would look really solid on a typographical design, but its stenciled details will keep it from being boring or basic.
10. Mafelo SVG Font
There’s another contemporary tattoo style inspired by watercolors. You can easily achieve this effect with a font like Mafelo, which mimics paintbrush strokes. Have your tattoo done in a gradient, or splatter a few colorful inkblots in the background for a fresh, vibrant, and youthful look.
Best Tattoo Fonts for Quotes
On account of their length, it would be prudent for quote tattoos to be done in a simple, clean typeface, whether that’s a fine script or a delicate serif. This will ensure they are both readable and easy to look at.
In recent years, cursive writing has grown in popularity as a tattoo font option. A good cursive font can look elegant, feminine, and give your tattoo a personal touch because of its handwritten quality. Check out these script font examples.
11. Deja Vu Handwritten Ink Font
Deja Vu’s letters were literally designed to look like they were written with a pen. They look undoubtedly handmade and thus add a bit of warmth to your tattoo design.
Meanwhile, Shawte’s loose and flowy strokes look effortless and relaxed. We imagine this tattoo font looking so natural on the skin.
13. Old School Handwritten Script Font
For something more rough and raw, you can opt for a non-cursive, handwritten font. This Old School Handwritten Script is a great tattoo font option if you want to give your tattoo an innocent, child-like quality.
14. Moments | Typewriter Font
Serifs also make a great font option for long, multi-worded tattoos. They’re a good break from the sans serifs we see on our screens every day, and can freshen up any design. This typewriter font called Moments does just that.
That’s not to say sans serifs don’t make good tattoo fonts, though. You can always go with this font option if it suits your tattoo style and design. We would also advise you to look for more delicate sans serifs, or those with a touch of retro, to give your tattoo more personality and make it appear more natural. Unless that isn’t what you’re going for, of course.
15. Posture – Modern Sans Serif
Posture is a great sans serif option. It comes with sets of both uppercase and lowercase letters, so you can modify and refine your phrase or quote tattoo to your liking.
Get the best script tattoo fonts at Creative Market
There you have it, 15 of the best tattoo font options for your next ink sesh. But remember, you can customize and personalize your design any way you want, so don’t feel constrained by these suggestions. Go ahead and explore other tattoo fonts and styles until you find the one that speaks to you the most.
Creative Market is home to a wellspring of ideas and inspiration for your next tattoo. Sign up today and get access to thousands of typefaces, templates, and tools that can help you achieve the tattoo design of your dreams.