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Geek Chic: Geek Ink on the Rise

Gregory Malnar
Posted by Gregory Malnar Dec 15, 2012

With the rise of geek chic and its fashion influences, nerdy tattoos are not only appearing on the skin of dedicated nerds but are also beginning to cross over into the mainstream. Geek-inspired designs are providing fresh material for those looking for new ideas for their next tattoo. A few simple words like “I <3 Helvetica” inked across the chest or a full-blown collage of the cast of Dr. Who covering the back can tell you a lot about a person. These geeky tattoos are now making their mark in a terrifically awesome way. Anything that has a dedicated following – science, computers, technology, sci-fi, comic books – is appearing in ink on the bodies of those who like keeping an eye on current trends while expressing themselves.

Tattoos inspired by physics equations or complex scientific diagrams are especially popular. World-changing ideas from the likes of Newton and Einstein are becoming a popular choice to immortalize in ink on the bodies of chemistry and physics lovers. While not a tattoo, but a brand, the picture here is an equation from Euler. There’s a wealth of material to turn to for inspiration: inventions, blueprints, formulae, symbols and elements can all work well in monochrome or color.
Of the one’s I’ve come across, one of my favorites was a tattoo of the chemical composition of Dopamine inked onto a girl’s thigh. Smart and fun.

Barcode tattoos have been around for several years, showing an early science-nerd influence in tattooing, but these are starting to fall off now. On the other hand, thumb and fingerprint tattoos are completely unique. The designs can be enlarged so that all the whorls in the print can be seen on a spectacular scale. (QR Codes are clearly replacing primitive barcode tattoos)

Favorite characters in movies and video games have often appeared in tattoos – it would be impossible to count all the Super Mario Bros. and Pacman tattoos out there. As a growing culture within a culture, these enthusiasts are showing their dedication and obsession by finding obscure gaming quotes (The Cake is a Lie) as their tattoo of choice or even choosing whole passages from significant works of literature to ink on their skin. Many of these nerdy tattoos take the form of inside jokes (Ctrl + Alt + Del on your ankle), and some will clearly only be understood by a very specific group of people ( < /head > < body > on the nape of the neck comes to mind, for all you programmers reading this).

Much less pun-oriented and group specific, anatomy-inspired tattoos celebrate the amazing elements of the human body, showing on the outside what’s going on inside. There’s scope here for incredibly detailed work, depending on what complex section of the body is being represented in ink. Designs showing muscles, veins and sections of the skeleton are often times mixed with computer circuitry themes and are one of the key geek chic trends crossing boundaries to appear in dedicated geek tattoos as well as on the bodies of non-nerd tattoo aficionados.

(All uses of the terms ‘geek’ and ‘nerd’ and their modifications made with the utmost respect and adoration)

thanks to Erin at Love Sick Ink for the yoda tat :

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