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Tattoo Styles: Geometric Tattoos

“Geometric” is a broad term referring to any tattoo whose design is structured around basic mathematical shapes and/or equations

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This tattoo style uses geometric shapes and lines to create the desired tattoo, heavily relying on basic geometric rules. The complexity of geometric tattoos can range from minimal (e.g. a flat-planed, single square) to intricate (e.g. a multi-dimensional sleeve of fractals). Geometric tattoo stencils will often need to be manipulated to accommodate the body’s topography. What we perceive as a straight line or a perfect circle on skin may often be a curved line or an oval, respectively. Skilled technicians will calculate how to construct the illusion of a perfect shape on an imperfect, 3D, living and breathing medium.

Symmetry is very common in geometric tattoos. A successful symmetrical piece will maintain balance by perfectly mirroring design elements across a hinge point (vertex), center point (point of concurrency), or imaginary line (dimensional plane). Asymmetry is an option, too, provided the laws of physics still apply. A successful asymmetrical tattoo will mix unrelated elements, still balancing the overall weight of the design across the aforementioned points and planes.

It’s of course also an option to discard all mathematical rules when designing a geometric tattoo. The results may appear unintentional or chaotic, but if the tattooer or customer wants that outcome, there’s no reason to exclude it from the realm of possibility.

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