The Typewriter has been around (roughly) since the 1870s. Without it, life would still probably be running on wooden cartwheels. Information is the key to development and being able to create, re-create and distribute it at the fastest speed possible has led us to live in the modern, tech-savvy world we live in.
We kinda owe a lot of it to typewriters and if you’re an analog/mechanical gear nerd like me, you’re probably really into typewriters too. I’ve wanted to own one for the longest time, maybe someday in the near future, I’ll bring one home. Anywho! let’s talk tattoos and some typewriter history.
Meaning of Typewriter Tattoo Designs
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A typewriter tattoo could mean just about anything to its wearer. The wearer could be a writer, a thinker, or a construction worker. There really is no accurate way to deduce or arrive at the meaning of what a particular typewriter tattoo means to its wearer. We can only speculate.
Prototype of the Sholes and Glidden typewriter, the first commercially successful typewriter, and the first with a QWERTY keyboard (1873)
A typewriter is a mechanical or electro-mechanical machine for typing characters. Typically, a typewriter has an array of keys, and each one causes a different single character to be produced on paper by striking an inked ribbon selectively against the paper with a type element. At the end of the nineteenth century, the term ‘typewriter’ was also applied to a person who used such a device.
Although many modern typewriters have one of several similar designs, their invention was incremental, developed by numerous inventors working independently or in competition with each other over a series of decades.
A Mignon Model 4 index typewriter from 1924. An index typewriter uses a pointer or stylus to choose a letter from an index. The pointer is mechanically linked so that the letter chosen could then be printed, most often by the activation of a lever.
The Hansen Writing Ball was the first typewriter manufactured commercially (1870). So steampunk isn’t it!?
Ideas For Typewriter Tattoo Designs
Well, basically just your favorite model of the typewriter in any isometric view will do as a tattoo, but here are some groovy illustrations that might get your creative juices flowing (or dripping at least.)
A heavy illustration, heavy as in the colors are rather thick. There are roses in the background for some reason. and a ribbon is just sorta waving around. The whole thing looks a little silly. Don’t get this.
The monochrome idea, with Alpine hills in the background, some calmer heads have prevailed.
A completely disassembled typewriter, with all of its parts laid out neatly, you could use these elements to re-work into your design. A lot of raw material here. This is genuinely a good design idea for a typewriter tattoo.
Where Should You Get Typewriter Tattoo Designs
You could get them in the back of your skull, but that’s too painful and you’d have to stay bald all the time to make that statement continuously. Here are some more sensible ideas-
- Finger Spaces
- Shoulder Blades
- Behind the Ears
List of Typewriter Tattoo Designs & Meanings
- The Fore-arm Desktop Machine
A simple tattoo idea to start things off. An isometric three-quarter view of the machine. Kinda boring, honestly.
- The Pen and The Machine
Slightly more creative than the previous one, this tattoo has a big-ass fountain-pen head incorporated into the design. Sorta like a writer’s theme.
- The Steaming Typewriter
A simple illustration of a typewriter with steam coming out the paper-feed. reminds one of the coffee that authors and novelists must have drunk kettles upon kettles of whilst working on their projects. This tattoo is kinda cute. Me likey!
- A Determined Decision
The letters are all morphing or being sucked into the keys of the typewriter and resolute and grim affirmations are being printed on paper. A tattoo for the serious, determined types.
- The Surrealists’ Typewriter
A very abstract and inspired typewriter tattoo design. The best one on this list. The typewriter splits diagonally in half and modern, geometric art fills that space beautifully. The paintbrush is a nice touch and notices the play-button-like triangle in the top right section and the beeping dots as if, information is being processed, so many interpretations come to mind. Somehow this tattoo reminds me of the late 60s. I love the late 60s. I live for the late 60s in fact I have this strange yet sure feeling that I was alive and young in the late 60s.
- The Cutie
A simple, lines-only typewriter tattoo. Hard to argue with its simplicity of it. Somehow, the blank sheet coming out of it has a very calming presence.
- The Trippers’ Typewriter
I immediately think of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland and other psychedelic pop culture references when I see this tattoo. It does look trippy, with the tear-drop leaves and floating acorns. Really really cool. I like this one a lot and if you arrive at some conclusions about me from that, You’re right. Just remember! edibles and micro-dosing, if advice is what you seek.
- The Bird-Garden’s Typist
I know I hated on roses just a few minutes ago, but this one has softer colors and a dicky bird is sitting on it. Cute, still no story here though.
- The Typewriter Tattoo Equivalent of A ” Live, Love, Laugh” Poster
More roses! Great! The one on the left is good though, I like the black and gold theme and the feather is a way better choice than the rose.
- A Beautiful Machine
As far as simple typewriter designs go, this one is one of the better examples. The typewriter itself is beautiful, at least to me, this is all subjective of course but yeah, pretty pretty!
- The Cover-Up
It seems like this was going to be the witch’s mirror but then the wearer decided to get a typewriter instead. The typewriter is a Royal as in The Royal Typewriter Company.
- The Little Girl’s Galactic Typewriter
The typewriter here seems like a newer model, like something you’d probably see in the room of a pre-teen girl who likes to read. I love the caption too- “write.” Very inspirational and I’m going to do just that- write, that is.
- The Back-Shoulder Piece
Another typewriter! This time, a little bird sits on the reset stick and the edge of the paper is being chipped away mysteriously. A good idea for a back-shoulder tattoo.
- The Astro-Typewriter
I like this illustration, It reminds me of a pipe organ, a giant instrument they used to have in churches in the middle ages.
- Fractal Machine
This split illustration is straight-up grunge. Very gritty vibes.
- The Keys
A close-up of the keys and I don’t seem to mind the flowers here that much either. A cute tattoo.
- The Turquoise Machine
Teal is such a vintage color innit!? Looks perfect on a typewriter too. Don’t know what’s up with the stars though.
- A Celebrity’s Typewriter and Flora Tattoo
Neat little armpiece. I’ve forgotten who this is, but she’s got a nice tattoo.
- The Typewriter That is Going Away
A nice little back piece, what’s with the flowers though? Am I missing something here? Did everybody but me, get a memo!?
- The Corona
A typewriter by the Smith Corona company, the wearer must be a fan and I’ve gotta say it looks kinda nice. I dig.
- The Anti-Establishment Machine
‘hack’! a pretty powerful message here. I can almost feel the weight of the metal of this typewriter. The artist has done a great job doing this, The machine looks so realistic.
- The Silhouette
This guy decided to get a giant-ass typewriter on his left pectoral. I wonder what he was going through. Anywho! I dig the high contrast almost blacked-out silhouette-like typewriter he has chosen to be his chest piece.
- The Gratitude
They got everything right except the spelling on this one. Nothing I can say here that I haven’t already said before. It’s another typewriter tattoo.
- The Analog Buff’s Machine
A 35mm film reel, a typewriter on a shoulder. Rad!
- The Center Piece
This guy probably couldn’t go forward with his life without getting this tattoo. Boy, he’s gone for it, really done did it! A friggin’ typewriter chest-piece complete with roses (argh!), wings, and a singular eye. I saved the best for last. So unsure of myself right now.
So that’s that for typewriter tattoo designs and ideas, I had a blast researching and putting together this article for you. Hope you now have some idea of what you can get and what you should probably avoid. Stay creative!