Monday, November 23, 2009

What do the different DESIGN SIZES on mean? Can I change the size for the actual tattoo?

The smaller designs we sell on are generally 1 - 3 inches, and the larger tattoo designs are generally 7 - 10 inches. In general (and this is not a perfect science), designs on are "sized" at the smallest size they could be applied as a tattoo on skin.

Skin is a "living canvas" and has its own properties as a "medium" for art. There are general "rules" in tattooing (do's and don'ts) for how to apply a tattoo on the skin for it to look good and STAY looking good over time. One of these rules applies to how "tight" a tattoo can be and still "hold up over time".

On skin, ink fades and ink spreads. How well the tattooist applies the ink can definitely effect these things, but following the "rules" also greatly effects the results. If a design is applied to the skin that is too "tight" (too much "ink information" in too small a place, the end result will be an abstract "ink blob" on the skin.

For example in the "medium" sized tattoo design to the right (the rose with the cross), if this tattoo design is applied on the skin at a much smaller size than it is here, then the black lines in the leaves will run together and the leaves will look like black ink blobs (black dominates all other colors and shades). So the general rule here is that if you try to put too much detail into a design that is too small to support the detail, the tattoo will not hold up well over time.

In general, tattoo designs can be "scaled up" (made larger) with no problem. However, to make the tattoo design smaller on the skin than it is as we sell them, most likely the tattooist will need to alter the design (stencils) to leave out some of the detail. So yes, larger designs CAN be made smaller, but this takes some extra work by the tattooist (and of course depends on the skill level of the tattooist to do this job well).

Also, some of the larger designs sold on actually SHOULD be made larger than the size they print at. The largest actual size of designs we sell is 10 inches by 7 inches. This is to accommodate standard printers that only print this large (so you can print your own tattoo design from home). For example, the "large" tattoo design to the right (of the dragon with the transparent tribal over it) really has too much detail in it to be done at this actual size. But we sized this design to be able to print on your printer. Any tattooist should be able to "scale" the design by changing the size of the stencils using a copy machine.