Think Before You Ink

by Sarah Macdougall on August 19, 2013

tattoos at your wedding

Self-expression has become increasingly important during the last several years (read: forever), and for a lot of people, there’s no better way to show something that’s a part of you than to… well. Make it literally A PART of you. That’s right, baby. Tattoos.

I’m a big proponent of tattoos under certain circumstances. Here are the requirements I have set for myself:

1. Make it mean something to you.

Example: I have an interrobang on my wrist (an exclamation point and a question mark combined into one typographical symbol). I love typography, and I love this symbol, and to me it means to question life, get excited, and occasionally, do both of those at the same time. When I’m feeling less thoughtful about it, I hold it up as a silent exclamation of “wtf” but that’s another story. It’s on my right wrist because I’m right handed, and that’s the wrist I use to design with. If it doesn’t mean something to you, it might not be the best thing to get it placed on your body permanently.

2. Make it subtle.

This doesn’t go for everyone. I think some people can pull off a full sleeve very very well. I don’t think I’m one of those people. I don’t mind people seeing my tattoos occasionally, but I like that I can cover them up if I need to. Plus, if I cover them up and THEN people find out about them, I go from a quiet, demure goody-two-shoes to someone unexpectedly hardcore. It’s fun to surprise people.

3. Make it so it won’t look bad when I’m old and wrinkly.

This pretty much speaks for itself. I briefly considered getting a unicorn on my lower back, accompanied by a rainbow lined with lyrics from Aretha Franklin’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” but I realized that when I’m 80, I might regret it.

So what should you think about if considering a couple tattoo?

Personally, I would avoid names. Obviously, everyone wants things to stay blissful and happy but none of us are clairvoyant. I would also avoid IDENTICAL tattoos. Typically I’ve found that most females, when considering a couple tattoo, want something a little daintier than their guy does. A friend and her husband recently got matching anchors and they look awesome! But they look awesome because they each personalized it to fit their own aesthetic. My friend’s is a tiny anchor on her foot, and her husband’s is a larger, more detailed one on his bicep. So they GO, but they don’t MATCH. If I got a couple tattoo, it would probably be an ampersand. Again, because I love typography, but also to show that one party is incomplete without the other (aww).

These are all just things I take into account when considering additional tattoos, but the most important thing is to make sure it’s the right thing for you.

– Sarah at SMACPaper

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