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The Graphic Art of Tattoo Lettering

A Visual Guide to Contemporary Styles and Designs

B.J. Betts, Nick Schonberger


The ultimate sketch-to-skin manual: a visually rich resource of the key styles and schools in contemporary tattoo lettering, by one of the world's top tattoo artists

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The Graphic Art of Tattoo Lettering is a visually led, comprehensive guide to designing and realizing hand-drawn letterforms in the most widely used contemporary tattoo styles. Each chapter constitutes an accessible overview to these key tattoo styles, including an account of the history, complexities and relevant sub-styles, interviews spotlighting leading practitioners, galleries of exemplary artists’ work, sketches, sketchbooks, finished designs and detailed how-to-design guides to allow readers to truly understand each style.

More than a step-by-step, technical handbook for professional and practising tattoo artists, The Graphic Art of Tattoo Lettering is also an informative introduction to both understanding tattoo styles, their history and context, and learning from them to inform other graphic arts. Touching on the role of lettering in tattooing, as well as considering the components of typographic tattoos, it offers an insight into how tattoo art intersects with other areas of design practice, including sign-making, furniture painting and scrimshaw.

Combining great book design with the inimitable expertise of a master tattoo artist, The Graphic Art of Tattoo Lettering is the ultimate guide for all with an interest or involvement in tattoo art, typography and calligraphy, and graphic design.

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC

Size: 20.9 x 16.4 cm

Extent: 272 pp

Illustrations: 350

Publication date: 26 September 2019

ISBN: 9780500241530

Contents List

Foreword • Traditional • West Coast • Fancy Script • Calligraphic • New School

About the Author

B.J. Betts is one of the most influential tattoo artists working today. Based in Delaware, USA, he has published a number of industry-standard guidebooks on tattoo lettering.

Nick Schonberger is a writer, blogger and critic on fashion, culture and music. He lives in New York.

List of Contributors

Chris Law