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Professional Tattoo Printing and The Rise of Tattoo Art.

When talking about art, where do tattoos fit in?

Tattoo printing is on the rise. On the Artsy website, Journalist Katie Mc Grath poses the question “When does a tattoo become art?” 

It is suggested within the article that “the answer is simple…if a person intends for their tattoos to be art, then they are.” (Chritian Petru Panaite).

As with all art, it is subjective, but for most, those who have a tattoo would (we are sure) see it as a very unique artform, always bespoke and normally with a story to tell. Unarguably, those who create them are indeed artists, and their art is unique. To that end, we are seeing more and more people getting tattoos, as they become increasingly accepted, and less of a taboo or restricted to a rebellious youth. 

Taking Tattoos from Skin to Printed Paper

At Rival Colour we are also seeing another shift around tattoo art; namely, requests from tattoo artists for their tattoo designs to be made into a more tangible art. Our skilful team at Rival can reproduce the designs very authentically – sensitively reflecting what the artists have lovingly created. 

How does this work? Today, the tattoo artist visits their printer of choice and goes through the following processes: 

  • Completes the colour match
  • Runs the test print
  • Tries out the reproduction on various stocks of paper

Once the tattoo artist is happy with the results, the tattoos can go to print. Additionally, Rival Colour keeps the original scan in the studio and can print on demand. 

Reprinting Tattoos

The ease of reprinting is of course a massive bonus; having designs saved with your printing company means they can then be reprinted again and again and, within a short space of time, to meet a deadline. 

If an artist has taken a few prints to a tattoo convention, and been overwhelmed with customers, he/she can easily call their printing company like Rival Colour and get a reprint very quickly, as it is all saved. It’s important for the printing company to build a relationship with the tattoo artist so the exact match can be reproduced, including; on which paper, what grammage etc. 

Rival recently printed a design on watercolour paper, 250 gram (gsm – grams per sq metre), which was a close match to what the artist actually painted the picture on. It was scanned in, reproduced digitally on screen, and retouched which made the colours come to life. This particular piece was then printed with five colours on watercolour paper. The final reproduction was more or less identical to the painting itself, and then sold as a replica.

The Rise of Tattoo Art and Printing

Tattoo art is getting bigger. Tattoo artists can use their transformed designs in a variety of ways, on a plethora of backdrops. Tattoo conventions are a popular place for the artist to show their artwork, but tattoo artists will also display their designs as prints in their tattoo studio for customers to buy. 

Tattoos are now increasingly being seen on sites such as Etsy, not just as prints but also as cards. The artwork can also be offered as an extra to accompany a tattoo – so the customer can have a high-quality print of their design to complete their story. 

The artists’ design reproductions are also crucial in advertising. As with all illustrators, a portfolio is an essential, so holding the artwork digitally here at Rival Colour means it can be easily used on artists’ websites and social media, and for marketing flyers etc. 

To learn more about tattoo printing, simply click on the button below and one of our experienced printing professionals will call you within 24 hours.