How Can I Design My Own Name Tattoo

Own name tattoo

If you are looking to create a unique name tattoo, it can be challenging to know where to start. There is a lot to consider! Spend some time researching designs and learning how to design your new name tattoo.

1. Consider Placement and Size

Whether it's your own name, a family name or the name of a loved one, begin by determining where you want to place your name tattoo. This will help you in the design process because it can narrow down how small, large, bold or intricate the design will be. It also gets you thinking about how visible the tattoo will be. Do you want people to see it every day, or is this a personal tattoo for you only?

For example, in a larger area like down the forearm, you might choose a bolder design that will stand out. However, on a smaller area like an ankle or collar bone, you might choose a flowy design that follows the area.

2. Look for Inspiration

Name tattoo on arm

Now that you know where you're going to put it, the next step is finding the design you want. It might seem like a name tattoo would be easy. However, it's actually just like designing any other tattoo; start with research. Check out the different types of designs for names online, as well as ready-made flash to spark ideas.


Using a font or typeface to etch the name on the skin is simple, yet timeless. It is both bold and beautiful in its simplicity, and a route that many tattoo enthusiasts take. Depending on your own unique style, there are several different lettering types you can consider, but a few common ones include:

  • Script: This lettering style is very flowy and curvy, similar to handwriting or calligraphy. It works well in small spaces or around curves of the body, like wrists and ankles.
  • Celtic: This is a bold lettering style that mimics medieval lettering. Old English is a common Celtic style used in tattooing. These are bold designs that work great in larger areas like the back, chest, forearm, etc.
  • Graffiti: This is typically a bold, colorful lettering style that mimics graffiti art. There are several different graffiti styles that can work well on large and small areas.

Hidden Name

It's possible to hide the letters of a name inside a larger tattoo with a lot going on. For example, you can work a name into a tribal arm band or into the wings of a butterfly. Flowers, leaves, trees and other nature scenes are also the perfect backdrops for "hiding" a name.

The Meaning Of

Close up of coat of arms tattoo

Does the name you are considering for your tattoo have a meaning that can be literally translated? Some names like "Samara" (elm-tree seed) or "Lee" (a body of water) can be used to inspire a pictorial tattoo. If the name you are considering for a tattoo has a meaning that can become something different, it can be the perfect way of adding a name that's known only to you.

Coat of Arms

Family tattoos can often be incorporated in a coat of arms, allowing you to honor your ancestors or family heritage along with your family name.

Banner Tattoos

Are you getting this name for a loved one or in memory of someone? The classic banner with a name inscribed on it can be stretched below or across another tattoo to create a more intricate design. Inscribing a name inside a banner is a great way to honor your loved one.


There are a number of ways to use symbols in a name tattoo. Some names translate easily into runes or single characters that are easy to transcribe on the skin. Alternatively, you can design your own tattoo by taking letters from other alphabets, such as Cyrillic, and using them to replace the letters of the name. The result is a name tattoo that isn't easily read, but full of interest and personalization.

3. Create Your Design

Name and anchor tattoo

So, you've got the name you want, you know where you want to put it, and you have an idea of what you want it to look like. Now comes the fun part - designing it!

There are a few ways that you can go about designing your name tattoo.

  1. Contact an artist and work with them to draw up a piece.
  2. Go 'old school' and create a rough sketch using a pencil and paper.
  3. Use free online tattoo creators to design and print your piece.

Find the Right Tools

If you chose the third option, the internet offers a plethora of free online tools that you can use to create a name tattoo. These can range from simple lettering generators with twenty different typefaces to free drawing software that lets you create your name design from the ground up. Just to give you an idea of the types of applications out there, take a look at some of the most common ones.


These tattoo generators have easy to use interfaces that allow you to type in your text, as well as choose your color and typeface. Most offer a single one color design, but some will allow you to modify the design to add outlines, shadows, and multiple colors. Examples include:

  • Tattoo Lettering: This easy to use name tattoo generator lets you type in your name, choose your font style and size, as well as the color you want the tattoo to be.
  • Ink Generator Online Tattoo Builder: This tattoo creator from allows you to modify colors, size and style of the fonts, as well as view what it might look like on a white or black background. You can also see placement on the back and download your image.
  • Online Tattoo Name Creator: This generator will allow you to type your name and modify font size and style. It also has features that allow you to explore name ideas and name searches.

Name Designer

Name with other art tattoo

The online tools in this list allow you to go beyond simple lettering tattoos. They allow you to create tattoos that utilize images and artwork, as well as text effects and gradients. Additionally, these generators would work well for symbols, coat of arms, and banner tattoos.

  • Tat Gen Free Tattoo Creator: This app allows you to choose your font, add shadow, background, and even images to your name tattoo. You can view the work as it's created in an easy to use interface.
  • Tattoo Font Generator: In addition to allowing you to choose your font, size and color, this generator allows you to pick a background color and images. You can also modify the direction of the text for horizontal or vertical.

Freehand Tools

If you are looking to create a hidden name tattoo or possibly an intricate name design, these tools can really help you create a design from scratch. They allow you to upload and manipulate images or even freehand your own drawing. These applications even offer you short tutorials to help you get the most from their tools.

  • Photopea: This online app is very similar to Adobe Photoshop and allows you to fully modify your design. In addition to choosing fonts, you have the ability to freehand draw your tattoo. This would work well for full color name designs with incorporated images.
  • Vectr: Very similar to Adobe Illustrator, this free online application allows you to use a pen to create precise points and angles in your tattoo, while creating a totally unique design. This application would work great for creating bold tribal name designs and thick bold lettering.

Unique Tattoo for a Unique Person

Keeping all of these thoughts in mind as you design your name tattoo can help you choose the placement of your design, type of art and create your piece. By simply asking yourself what is important to you in designing your own name tattoo, in terms of content and style, you are starting on the road to something more unique than a simple, stenciled name. You're creating a tattoo as unique as the name being honored.

How Can I Design My Own Name Tattoo