Script Tattoo Meaning, Design & Ideas

The script tattoo is one of the most popular tattoos in the world. The beauty of this tattoo is in its simplicity. It’s also a great style because it is so versatile. Script tattoos vary from person to person. You can choose slogans, quotes, mottoes and names if you want.

The possibilities are truly endless. In addition to the content, you have to decide on the style of script you’d like. There are so many to choose from so not only do you have to take your time and decide on what you want, you need to find an artist who is able to do it right.

One thing you should know about script tattoos is that it is essentially their own art form. Just as some artists specialize in realism and others specialize in watercolor tattoos, some artists just have a knack for script tattoos. This means you really need to get out there and look around. For the most part, tattoo artists are talented enough to have a few basic styles of script in their back pockets.

On the other hand, it might be tougher for the artist to accommodate you if you are looking for something a little fancier. If the artist is being honest, they will let you know where their capabilities end when it comes to their script tattoos.

When it comes to getting your script tattoo, there are many ways you can go. We can look into the different styles of script and maybe give you some better ideas on a direction to go.

Formal Scripts

Formal scripts are mainly formed from 17th and 18th-century writers like George Snell, George Bickham and George Shelley. The script these men created was produced by a quill or the metal pen nib. Both of these methods are able to produce thinking and fine writing. The typefaces that were created from their writing style appeared in the late 18th and early 19th century.

These kinds of typefaces are used in formal situations. You’ll see this on invitations and documents of achievement like a diploma. There is nothing casual about this style of script.

Casual Script

Another kind of script is casual. Just like the name, this style of script is less formal. They say this style is created by an active hand. The width of the strokes can be thin or wide but they all look like they’ve been produced by a wet brush rather than a quill. You first started seeing this style of script in the early 20th century and with the beginning of photocomposition, you started seeing much more of this style. In the 1970s, this style of script was used in North America and Europe for advertising.


Calligraphy is another style of script. Essentially, it is a visual art. The design and execution of calligraphy are done with a tool with a broad tip or a brush. Claude Mediaville defined the practice of calligraphy as “the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner”.

Like the formal script, you tend to see calligraphy used in many formal settings. You’ll see this on wedding invitations, religious art, announcements, typography and font design, cut stone inscriptions, original hand-lettered logo design and memorial documents. You’ll also see calligraphy used in film and TV, birth and death certificates and other formal written works.

Now that we’ve talked about the different styles of script fonts, we can talk about the different ideas and designs people have used when getting a script tattoo. Much of this is determined by what is important to the person. Are they extremely religious? Are they big movie fans? Would like to look at their body for an inspirational quote once in a while? There are many ways you can use a script tattoo and below are some of the more popular ways we’ve found.

Inspirational Quote

We all go through life having moments where we’re not sure we can make it through the day. Sometimes we just need a few words to uplift us and help us get through that moment. Inspirational quotes are a great kind of script tattoo to get for this reason. We see a lot of the “just breathe” script tattoos.

This is a reminder that no matter what is going on in your life, just slow down and take a breath. It is a scientific fact that deep breathing can bring your heart rate down so getting a small reminder could be the difference between getting completely stressed out or just having a moment.

Another inspirational quote we’ve seen is “Only God can judge me”. I think that quote speaks for itself. Don’t worry about what other people think of you. None of them matter because there is only one being that can judge you. Whether or not you believe in God, it is a nice mantra to live by. We shouldn’t worry about what other people are doing and they shouldn’t worry about us.

Religious Quote

To segue into religious quotes seems to be the right thing to do. If you look around, you’ll see scripture tattoos on people. You’ll also see bible verses as well. These seem to be popular choices when it comes to a script tattoo. Matthew 19:26 is a verse that basically says, with God, all things are possible. This quote can be inspirational as well, but it gives you an idea of the type of script tattoos people get.

We could keep going on about the many ways people have gotten a script tattoo. The main point we want to make is that with all the tattoo shops and artists out there, it could be hard to narrow down who you want to work with. Make sure to ask the artist if they specialize in the script because many artists will say they can do but they may not understand the intricacies that come with doing script work.

Take a look and the photos of script tattoos below for some more ideas of what you might want to get. If you get through this post and are still unsure about the direction you want to go with your tattoo or are not sure of which shop to go to, please reach out to us. We’d love to help you get the tattoo you’ve been looking forward to.

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