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  • Writer's pictureJoe Riley

The Best Tattoos - Placement

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

Hi friends, I've decided it's time to put together a series of blog posts. Each post will be dedicated to a specific element that can make the difference between a good tattoo and a great tattoo. There is so much underlying thought that goes into designing the best tattoo and I'm going to break down some of those elements.

For the first post of this series I'm going to discuss tattoo placement. The correct placement of a tattoo design can make or break the final outcome of the tattoo. If a tattoo is placed incorrectly, it doesn't matter how good it is done, it will never look right. On the other hand, proper placement can enhance the tattoo.

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This neo traditional rose tattoo was placed on the clients chest. If you look at the top of the design it angles nicely with his collar bone. Due to the rather square shape of this design it was a good fit for his chest. If this same design were to be place on a forearm or a calf, it would not have the right fit and would wrap around in an awkward way.

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We chose the inner bicep area for this alligator skull tattoo. Because the design is horizontally aligned, we found this to be the best spot for a tattoo like this one. Also, when the client goes to show off this tattoo, the way in which he lifts his arm to angle it puts the tattoo in its correct proportion.

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We placed this candle tattoo on the client's forearm. Because this design is slim and has a vertical orientation, it was a perfect fit for her lower arm. It is placed on the backside of the forearm underneath the elbow area. This spot typically has more of a curve to it and can warp or distort certain tattoos. However, since the bulk of the top of the tattoo is background color that makes the flame glow, there were no important details that would be lost by placing the tattoo here.

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The placement for this zombie portrait tattoo is on the side of her calf. The placement was very important for this piece as you can see how the design is bigger towards the top and becomes more slender towards the bottom. Another important aspect of the placement is the fact that this is tattoo is a realistic portrait tattoo. The side of the calf provides a flat surface which is very important for any type of realism or portrait tattoo. Areas of the body that have to much movement or drastic curvature can distort a tattoo done in this style.

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Here's another color portrait tattoo. This time the placement chosen for this tattoo was the inner bicep. This area also provides a flat surface needed to correctly pull off a portrait tattoo. Portraits work on many areas of the body and this is another example of how placement comes into effect.

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This sunflower tattoo has a symmetrical design aspect to it. Designs with symmetry typically fit best when they are placed somewhere centered on the body. The placement of this tattoo is between the shoulder blades centered below the clients neck. Smaller tattoos like these have multiple options for placement.
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Here is another tattoo design that is symmetrical. This biomechanical tattoo is centered directly across his chest. The symmetry of this design may also work across a back, but outside of that, would not have the same effect anywhere else on the body.

These are just a few examples of how the placement of a tattoo can affect the outcome. We always take placement into consideration before designing your tattoo. We are a full custom tattoo shop and we design every tattoo to be one of a kind and unique to you and your body. For more information on how to set up a free consultation for your next tattoo, click the link above.

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