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We will never know who was responsible for the concept of the written word and Tattoo Letters Designs. Perhaps it began with the hieroglyphs of Egypt or the pictograms of China, but somewhere along the way using pictures to represent what was being said became too cumbersome.
Today nearly every culture employs characters – letters – that they use to represent speech. We use them in our books and our papers, on street signs and packaging. We string letters – sounds of speech – together to make words; words together to make sentences; sentences together to make stories.
The fact is we don’t actually see the letters anymore. Not as anything more than parts of potential words. In fact, we usually don’t even bother to write out letters ourselves anymore. We use keyboards and key prompts, so anxious to send out our words, our thoughts, that we don’t bother paying attention to the letters we are using. But in truth, each letter, each stroke, each curve is a work of art in and of itself, which is why they are very popular tattoo designs.
The ancient monks knew this. They spent hours, days, weeks, entire lifetimes bent over their copy books, using their education to copy out page after page of text, using their artistic talents to make each and every letter beautiful to look at. They knew.
Somehow they knew that it wasn’t just the words that were important, or the thoughts behind the words, or the things that the words represented. Somehow they knew that the focus they brought to the creation of each letter design lent energy, a wholeness to the entire letter and in fact to the entire word.
When you hold or open a book that has been handwritten the energy of the writer leaps off the page and insinuates itself into your mind like a living thing as does a brilliant piece of tattoo lettering
But then, with the invention of the printing press and its pages and pages of block letters, we somehow lost the art of the letter. The letter became not a thing of beauty in and of itself, but a piece of a whole, a cog in a wheel.
The importance of uniformity became so important in regards to mass selling of a product that all individuality was stripped away from the art of writing. The simpler the better. The simpler the type the faster we can crank out more documents, more books.
Thankfully, with the advent of the computer and the word processor it once again became possible to instil a bit of individuality, a bit of creativity into the design of the written word.
Now words could still be uniformly sized; letters uniformly spaced and still have a bit of flare and pizzazz, and these new letters; written by digital process and not by human hand make for top class tattoo letters designs.
Someone used a slashed line to represent a sound, a circle for the sound that followed it, and in an instant, writing was born and soon after that tattoo letters designs became the in thing with medieval body art enthusiasts.
The above tattoo letter style is “Greyhound”
This is an example of the “Pago” tattoo letters style.
These tattoo letters are Playbill, Mesquito, Youngsook