Although it may seem simple, tattoo lettering is a tough skill to master. Since not every tattoo artist has managed to get this skill right yet, there are unfortunately many lettering tattoos that have turned out badly that now need correction – so, can you fix tattoo lettering?
Some tattoo lettering can be fixed or corrected depending on the tattoo. If you have a tattoo that allows for more ink to be added or has space to adjust the style, a skilled artist may be able to fix your lettering for you – however, many tattoo lettering errors cannot be corrected.
Since some tattoos with poorly done lettering can be corrected by a skilled tattoo artist, let us have a closer look at what tattoo lettering can be fixed, and how it can be fixed, and what lettering cannot be fixed and why.
Can You Fix Tattoo Lettering?
Each tattoo situation is entirely unique when it comes to fixing a tattoo that was messed up by the tattoo artist. There is no standard, and you will need to have your tattoo assessed by the artist to see if you will be able to fix it.
Fortunately, there is a chance that you will be able to fix your tattoo if the error was not a large one.
If your artist did make a fairly big mistake with your tattoo, though, you might not be able to fix it at all.
Let us look at lettering mistakes that you can fix and lettering mistakes that you cannot fix.
Blowouts In A Tattoo
Usually, if a tattoo artist has accidentally caused a blowout in an area of your lettering tattoo, they will be able to fix it with relatively no sign that the blowout even occurred.
A blowout in a tattoo is where the tattoo artists have pushed too hard, and the ink spreads out under the skin; however, it does not spread far, so if the artist realizes quickly enough what they have done, they should be able to prevent any more blowouts, as well as possibly fix the blowout that did already take place.
Misspelling In A Tattoo
There may be some instances where a tattoo that has a spelling mistake in it may be able to be corrected.
Depending on the style of font and the spacing between the lettering, if there was a letter missing from a word, for example, if the word “through” was meant to be tattooed, and instead of the word “though” was tattooed, there may be room to add the missing “r” in at a later point.
Or if the last letter of the tattoo was left out, you would usually be able to add it in afterward without any complications or noticeable differences in the letters whatsoever.
Where correcting the spelling of a tattoo gets complicated is when you have a tattoo in a font that is hard to make any adjustments to, for example, a small font where the letters are all close to each other. If there is a letter missed out on this, there is no room to adjust your tattoo.
The only things that it may be possible to fix in a situation like this are issues where the “o” should have been an “a,” and the artist can simply add a line to the back of the “o,” other than this, there is usually very little that can be done.
Font Consistency In A Tattoo
The consistency of the font of your tattoo is essential. If the font is not consistent, your tattoo could come out looking like a toddler who is learning how to write their name was in charge of your tattoo.
Each letter has to consistently have the same styling and shape as the letter before and after it, or your tattoo will not look right.
The consistency of the font in your tattoo may be corrected, depending on the style of the font. If you have gotten a banner lettering tattoo across your chest, chances are you will not be able to correct any mistakes made in it.
Suppose you have gotten a simple font, though. In that case, a skilled tattoo artist should be able to add swirls or lines onto each letter afterward, bringing them together to look more cohesive as a tattoo.
These are just some examples of tattoo lettering mistakes that may be able to be corrected – there are other mistakes that may be able to be corrected and many mistakes that you will not be able to correct at all.
Can You Fix The Lettering Of An Illegible Tattoo?
Usually, if a tattoo’s lettering is illegible, there is no way of fixing it. The reason there is usually not a way of correcting this type of lettering mistake is that the way you will generally correct a tattoo’s lettering is by adding specific elements to the tattoo to try to improve or clarify what it says.
This is usually not something that will work with an illegible tattoo, as the tattoo is usually illegible because it already has too much added on it.
For example, a tattoo may be illegible if its lines are too thick, making it hard to identify each letter. You would not be able to add anything to the lettering of this tattoo to make it more legible, as adding more onto the letters would usually make them even more challenging to read.
The same goes for if you have a font where there are too many swirls on each letter, and you can not decipher what each letter is. Adding anything more to a tattoo like this may just make it even more difficult to understand.
There is no set in stone yes or no answer to this, though, as you may have a very skilled tattoo artist who is able to turn an illegible tattoo into a beautiful and perfectly clear tattoo.
What Can I Do If My Tattoo Lettering Was Done Wrong?
There are a few options that you can choose from when it comes to how to correct your tattoo lettering. None of these options is a one size fits all type of answer, though, so it would come down to you and your artist and what you agree is the best course of action.
You may choose to cover up the tattoo lettering with an entirely new tattoo and disregard the lettering tattoo entirely. If you feel that the lettering tattoo is too poorly done, and you do not want the tattoo anymore, you can opt to simply have the whole tattoo covered up.
Cover-Up And Redo
If you still really want your lettering tattoo but are not happy with the way that it has turned out, you do also have the option of covering up your lettering tattoo with a whole new tattoo and having the lettering tattoo redone correctly on a different part of your body.
This way, you can still get the original tattoo that you wanted, but have it done right and looking how you want it instead of having to compromise.
Laser Tattoo Removal
If you are entirely over the whole tattoo, and you do not want to keep adding to it by having it covered up, there is always the option of having your tattoo removed through laser tattoo removal.
This is not everyone’s go-to choice, but if this is what brings you the most peace in your decision-making process, then it is what is best for your situation.
Some lettering mistakes in your tattoo will be able to be corrected, depending on the skill of the artist you are working with and the extent of the error in your lettering tattoo.
There are many ways that a tattoo artist can help you fix your tattoo to make it what it should have been if your tattoo font, style, and letter spacing allows for it. However, at the end of it all, you may need to start over again.
Whether this means that you choose to cover the tattoo up, redo the tattoo somewhere else, get it removed entirely or something else altogether, always talk it through with your tattoo artist and be sure to only do what you feel comfortable with – whatever that may look like.
Some of my favourite designs, tattoo books and aftercare products, selected for you
Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.
Deasign and tattoo ideas
For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my Clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):
- Great Book of Tattoo Designs, Revised Edition: More than 500 Body Art Designs (Fox Chapel Publishing) Fantasy, Celtic, Floral, Wildlife, and Symbol Designs for the Skin by Lora Irish,
- The Big Book of Small Tattoos – Vol.1: 400 small original tattoos for women and men by Roberto Gemori,
- Tiny Tattoos: Over 1,000 Small Inspirational Artworks by Rebecca Vincent.
If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).
The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my Clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):
Looking for more info about tattoos? I might have them covered!
I have written almost 100 articles about tattooing – with details about each body part, problems that you might have with your tattoo, designs, styles, aftercare, and much more.
Have a look at the search option and see if you can find what you need here.
Tattoo lettering gallery