How to Fix Tattoo Lettering – Detailed Guide

To most people, the lettering on a tattoo looks really easy. The truth is it takes skill and patience to do tattoo lettering. Even with experience, skill, and all the right things in place, there is a possibility that the lettering on a tattoo might not turn out as the artist intended.

What do you do if something is misspelled, or a letter just does not look right once the ink is done?

Lettering Corrections

There is a good possibility that an error can be corrected, but there is also a good possibility that an error will need to be covered up because it is not easy to correct.

What can Usually be Fixed?

Fix Tattoo Lettering

Blowouts are common complications that are usually fixable. A blowout can happen if the artist applies too much pressure while working. The ink spreads and leaves an unintended mark.

If your artist sees a blowout quickly, they can take action to prevent further spreading or irreparable damage. If you see a blowout happening while getting a tattoo, make sure you draw your artist’s attention to it.

Simple Fonts with No Embellishments

If the lettering has been made in simple fonts that have no embellishments there is a chance that a skilled artist can add swirls and loops to the letters to create something beautiful.

What Lettering is Usually not Fixable?

Illegible lettering is simply not going to be correctable. The only thing your tattoo artist could possibly do is cover the illegible letters by adding different design details but they cannot correct the letters and make them readable.

Lettering is often illegible if the artist creates lines that are too thick. The thick lines can make it hard to discern the outline of the letters.

Too many swirls and embellishments on a letter may leave you with something you simply cannot identify as a letter. Swirls and embellishments can make a word or letter more unique but remember to keep them simple and do not go overboard with them.

Font Appearance

If the font that you have chosen for your lettering turns out to not look as good as you thought it would there is a good chance that there is nothing the artist can do about that. Before you choose a font, you should look at pictures of that font used on other tattoo designs. If the artist has fake skin with something written in that font you will get a better idea of what it will look like on your skin.

Incorrect Spacing

If the letters on your tattoo are not properly sized and spaced you can bet that the result will not be good. Your tattoo artist cannot increase the amount of space between letters after they are made.

The best way to avoid this problem is to carefully inspect the design transfer before the artist starts to put the ink on the design. 

Incorrect spacing will require a cover-up design to be created. The new design can incorporate the original work and fill in spaces or when the letters are too close together the cover-up can tie the letters together.,

Avoiding Bad Lettering and Errors

Avoiding Bad Lettering and Errors

The only real fix for bad lettering and tattoo errors is for you to get a tattoo that is not likely to have any of those issues. There are things you can do that make you feel more comfortable and reduce the possibility of mistakes.

  • Only use an experienced tattoo artist that has a solid reputation in your town or area.
  • Go see the artist prior to the day you are going to get the tattoo. Sit down with them and detail what design you want, what lettering will be included, the cost, and other incidentals.
  • Make sure you write down any names or words you want the artist to put on your tattoo so there is no discrepancy in spelling.
  • Ask the artist to show you examples of their work. Most artists have books filled with pictures of tattoo designs they have created. Many artists have pieces of fake skin they have tattooed so you can see how different designs and fonts look when they are put on real skin.
  • Check the transfer after it is put on your skin to make sure that everything looks right., Check for spacing, misspelled words, letter shape, and font formation. It is easier to get rid of a transfer and put a new one on than it is to correct ink that is already in the skin.
  • Watch the artist’s work. Keep an eye out for blowouts, crooked lines you do not like, or anything that you do not approve of.
  • If the artist makes a mistake ask them what they can do to correct it. Be polite and stay calm. 

Final Thoughts

A tattoo is a work of art, and every artist will make a mistake or have something go wrong every now and again. The artist who is truly professional will be able to tell you what they would do about a mistake and will be able to spot a mistake before it gets too big or unfixable.

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