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One in five of all adults in the U.S. has at least one tattoo, as revealed in a 2012 Harris poll. And among those who are tattooed, typographic tattoos
are becoming more popular than ever. I have been documenting these tattoos for more than ten years, and many of my subjects are “creatives”—art directors,
type designers and graphic artists.
I’ve discovered tattoos of excerpted poetry and prose, classical literature and song lyrics, everything from Shakespeare and Homer to Vonnegut and e.e.
cummings. So much can be expressed typographically, whether in a phrase or a passage of text, one charged word, cryptic acronyms or a single, significant
letter—intimate messages etched in flesh.
To date, I have photographed and interviewed more than 700 individuals for my two volumes of Body Type, and I continue to
uncover beautiful, heartfelt messages adorning the skin, sometimes in the most surprising ways. The slideshow offers a sneak peek at some of my new images
for a forthcoming addition to the series. It’s a work in progress, but I hope you enjoy the stories behind the type.
It seems that just about everyone is using the word “font?” when they are referring to a typeface. “Fonts” and “typefaces” are different things. Graphic designers choose typefaces for their projects but use fonts to create the finished art.
Section: Inspiration -
This essay is part of "Centennial Voices," a series
initiated as part of AIGA's Centennial celebrations to spark
conversations about the past, present and future of design within the
design community and beyond.
Section: Inspiration -
communication design, identity design, personal essay
AIGA is nearly 100 years old. They say you can’t teach an old dog new
tricks, which might be true. Fortunately, AIGA is a 22,000 person
strong organization, not an aging canine. We’re changing our membership
structure, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Section: About AIGA -
Colored Pencils That Reveal Your Inner Qualities
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