The tradition of tattooing is an old one, discovered to be over 5000 years old. Toronto-based tattoo artist German Shible works specifically in traditional flash tattoo designs from the mid 18th century that were popular with travelling sailors and men in the navy.
Vintage business cards from tattoo artists are somewhat of a collectors item amongst tattoo artists. Cards from notorious tattoo artists from the past are collected and sold in batches on ebay. The designs often make liberal use of a variety of fonts, some are hand drawn by artists and others are made with simple inexpensive clip art but they all feel nostalgic. Knowing the card could be a future collectors item, I wanted to pay tribute to the tradition. We used 3 core fonts on the card; Opposit a reverse weight san serif, GT America an Americana classic super family and finally Kuenstler Script, a font originally designed in 1902 which directly translates to “handwriting of artists”.
It’s one thing to create a contemporary spin on a vintage concept within the same medium. It’s another to take on the challenge of bringing traditional tattooing online. I used the same fonts and colours as on the card but opted to use a navy background on the site. The site serves three primary functions: it acts as a portfolio of German’s finished tattoo work, as an event calendar of upcoming guest spots at tattoo shops and conventions across Canada, and as a tool for collecting incoming leads and scheduling potential clients.