In recent years, tattoo-style typography has become a big influence on all areas of design – from graphic design and illustration to web and app design and beyond. As a result, there are now hundreds of tattoo typefaces available online for use in your projects, and many won't cost you a penny!
But how do you find free fonts in a tattoo style that rock – the diamonds among the rough? We've scoured the web to find you the top free tattoo fonts for designers.
01. This feline font has some lovely strokes but it might scratch
This calligraphic font from Maelle.K and Thomas Boucherie is gloriously scratchy and perfect for taking the edge off a too-serious script tattoo. It's free to use, but contact the designers if you have any commercial plans for it.
02. Tattoo Vieja Escuela 1
If Beavis and Butt-head got tattoos, it would be one of these
Swish, painstakingly-designed tattoo fonts are all well and good, but sometimes you want a tattoo that looks like it was done in prison with a contraband blade and a ballpoint pen. If so, step up for this awesome set of old-school ink from Woodcutter.
03. One of these would go nicely with a Global Hypercolor T-shirt
Want a bit of retro class? Get your 90s on with this collection of eye-catching tribal designs, featuring plenty of Celtic knots, stylised dragons, spirit insects and spiky abstract designs.
04. Sailor Scrawl
Celebrate a life on the ocean wave with this nautical font
Get that nautical look with this salty hand-drawn font from the Out of Step Font Company. Each letterform features a little diamond, and it's free for personal use. Keep an eye out for a new version; it's currently under redevelopment.
05. This Maori-inspired tattoo font is a joy to look upon
We love the bold strokes of this new decorative font from British studio Chequered Ink. Inspired by Maori tattoos, this fantastic tribal font is free for personal use, with a pay-what-you-want approach to using it publicly.
06. MOM tattoo font
MOM is inspired by old-school tattoo lettering
Inspired by old-school lettering, designer Rafa Miguel created tattoo font MOM. "I'm a big fan of American traditional tattoos, this is a just a tribute to the great artists that use this style," he comments on Behance. MOM is available for free for both personal and commercial use.
07. Add a touch of class with Reditum
The first of a number of stunning scripts in this list designed by talented fontsmith Måns Grebäck, Reditum is a calligraphic font that's guaranteed to add a touch of style to your designs. Free for personal use, it comes complete with a number of glyphs and standard ligatures.
FORMAT:OTF and TTF
08. Designers Vicky Mardian and Måns Grebäck collaborated on Lina Script
This slick tattoo-style script font has a cheeky touch of graffiti to it. Designed by Vicky Mardian and Måns Grebäck, a Packed with character, Angel Tears has a beautiful handmade feel
Angel Tears, by Billy Angel, boasts a gorgeous hand-drawn feel. With 128 characters – including upper case, lower case and punctuation – it'll add a distressed look to your designs.
10. You get a basic Latin caharcter map with Tribal Dragon
A playful upper-case tattoo font, Tribal Dragon was created by prolific font designer Jonathan Harris and is free for personal use.
Next page: 10 more free tattoo fonts...
11. You can use this tattoo font for both personal and commercial projects
Created by Dieter Steffmann, this tattoo font is licensed as freeware, which means that – unlike most on this list – it's available for both commercial and personal projects; no questions asked.
12. Download these brilliant designs for free
Crosses are a staple of tattoo design, and this dingbat font by Spanish designer Woodcutter brings together a range of brilliant designs that you can download for free.
13. BoltCutterDesign have created a number of free fonts
Designed by BoltCutterDesign, Precious Regular is a traditional, calligraphy inspired tattoo font that you can download today. The graphic design company have also created a wide range of free fonts, so be sure to check out their site.
14. Go for a different tattoo font with Pentagon
Pentagon is a less traditional free tattoo font offering but by no means is it dull. You can download Pentagon for free if it's for personal use – we think plenty of you'll have fun experimenting with this design.
15. Little Lord tattoo font
Enjoy another free font from designer Nick Curtis
Designer Spring showcases the illustrative elements of tattoos
This free tattoo font entitled Spring, combines the illustrative elements of tattoo designs with the traditional, calligraphy style typography that is often etched with ink.
17. Rose tattoo font
Rose-tattoo fonts for any personal work
Going with the more handwriting font style, Rose is free for any personal design work. Featuring only capital letters, this is one of those tattoo fonts that's perfect for headlines and eye-catching straps.
18. You can have these tattoo fonts filled or outlined
Consisting of both lower case and capital letters, VTKS Tattoo font is a mix of old and new style tattoo typography. As is often the case with downloads of no-cost tattoo fonts, the creators would appreciate donations and so if you do end up using it, we'd encourage you to do be generous!
19. Cute tattoo font
Go down the cute route with this one of our tattoo fonts
This cute font comes in capital letters that makes for a brilliant headline font. The subtle additions to each letter make this one of the more fun and playful tattoo fonts we've seen, and will provide plenty of typography experimentation.
20. A fancy approach for this example from our tattoo fonts list
Extra Ornamental No. 2 is a fancier approach to tattoo fonts, with its extra attention to detail, swoops and shading. As a 'busier' font design, it may only work in bigger scales.
Next page: 10 more free tattoo fonts...
21. True Love tattoo font
Davide Cariani's True Love design was inspired by old school tattoo typography
Blessed Day is free for personal use with commercial licenses available to purchase
Designer Billy Argel has some of the most popular tattoo-style fonts available to download online, Blessed Angel being one of them. The design is free for personal use only. The commercial version is revised, with additional glyphs, and can be purchased on Argel's website.
23. Original Gangsta is available as free download for personal projects only
Since we have quite a few elegant, soft script fonts in this list, we thought we'd add one that's a little more meaty. Original Gangsta is a design by Gilang Purnama Jaya of GP Typefoundry and is available free for personal, non-commercial use only.
24. Scriptina by Apostrophic Labs
This elegant script font is one of Apostrophic Labs' most popular designs, with a whopping 5.7milllion downloads to date. Free for personal use, the typeface includes a full set of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and a selection of special characters.
25. Champignon tattoo font
Incorporate Champignon into your tattoo for an elegant design
Are you looking to get a verse of a song or some words of wisdom into your tattoo? Then maybe this Champignon font would work in your design? Created by designer Claude Pelletier, the typeface is free for personal use, with donations to the author greatfully received.
26. Måns Grebäck has created these edgy script tattoo fonts-free for personal use
Designed by Måns Grebäck, this script-based addition to our tattoo fonts list includes 357 characters, and is freely available-though only for personal use. You can also buy the font for commercial use for $59 here. And don't forget to use the numbers for swashes (e.g. A1ngilla4 Tattoo8).
27. This font by Vicky Mardian is all up in your face Grand Theft Auto. We approve
As far as tattoo fonts go, they don't get much better than this. Designed by Vicky Mardian, this font evokes fond memories of LA drive-bys and botched drug runs. On the Xbox, of course. The above version is for perosnal use, with a commercial version avaialble here for $20.
28. This dingbat font is free for personal use, and features old school tats
If you're looking for a font-based collection of dingbat tattoo fonts, which can be used in personal projects, then True Man Tattoos is for you. Daggers through a skull? Sorted. Anchor? You bet. Horseshoe, shamrock, two dice and the number 13? You betcha!
29. Brother Tattoo font
Another creation from talented typeface designer Mans Greback.
Another typeface from Måns Grebäck, Brother Tattoo is another of his designs perfectly suited to quotes and sayings. This free demo version is available for personal use only and comes with a selection of glyphs, including letters, numbers and characters.
30. Christopher Means clearly enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
This movie-inspired font by Christopher Means is free for personal use, and was inspired by the poster for the US remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Next page: 17 more free tattoo fonts...
31. Tattoo Ink font
Type designer Ryan Splint created this Tattoo Ink font, which features scratch and angle fill effects
This Art Deco-style font was created by typography designer Ryan Splint. This particular font features lettering containing both a scratch fill and angle fill effect. And with nearly half a million downloads on Personalise your tattoo designs with this gorgeous script font Delinquente. Illustration © Måns Grebäck
Delinquent by type designer Måns Grebäck is a beautiful script font, perfectly suited to designs featuring quotes and sayings. Available free-of-charge for personal use only, the full font and commercial license can be purchased on Grebäck's website Mawns.
33. Incorporate this gorgeous typeface by Billy Argel into your tattoo designs
Font designer Billy Argel has developed a number of typefaces that would be suitable for text tattoos. But this 'Shit happens' design, with over half a million downloads, is by far his most popular on Dieter Steffman's Canterbury typeface is free for both commercial and non-commercial purposes
This old English-style font is one of many designs by Dieter Steffman. Created in 2003, the set includes both upper and lower case letters, special characters and numbers 0-9. This typeface is also free to use for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.
35. Personalise your tribal tattoo designs with this typeface by Apostrophic Lab
Tribal tattoos are still extremely popular, so if that's the design you're going for, check out this version of tribal type by Apostrophic Lab. The free font includes a full set of upper and lower case letters, numbers and a selection of special characters. It is also free for use in both commercial and non-commercial projects.
36. Choose between an open design (shown above) or black fill when incorporating this typeface into your designs
If it's a cartoon-feel you're after in your tattoo design then this typeface by Gaut Fonts is a great starting point. The download includes two sets, one open (as shown above) and the other with a black fill, both of which include uppercase letters, numbers and special characters. Free for non-commercial use only.
37. We wonder what the inspiration for this typeface was...?
This casual, handwritten typeface was designed by Xerographer fonts. We wonder if they created it after a heavy night out? The font set features a full set of upper and lower case letters, but no numbers. The download is free for non-commercial purposes.
38. Incorporate this delicate script font by Larry E. Yerkes into your tattoo design
This delicate script-style font was designed by Larry E. Yerkes of the Vigilante Typeface Corporation. Yerkes has created a number of typefaces and now has quite a collection in his Lupus Blight typeface offers a more delicate approach to tribal tattoo designs
We know this is the second tribal-inspired font on the list but this typeface offers a somewhat delicate take on what is normally quite a bold and heavy design. The lettering was created by Graham Meade, who has a number of other tattoo-inspired Design a gorgeous text tattoo with script-style font Ink in the Meat. Illustration © Billy Argel
Another from type designer Billy Argel, Ink in the Meat is one of his most popular downloads. The free version of this font is partial and doesn't contain any numbers. Ink in the Meat is free for personal use, with commercial licenses available at Argel's website.
41. Go for a retro-style design with Hustlers
This retro-style design was created by Gilang Purnama Jaya of the Decade Type Foundry. This free demo version includes both clean and rough styles, with more than 300+ glyphs, including various special characters.
42. Mardian is a great tattoo font for various styles
This gorgeous tattoo-style script font was created by designer Vicky Mardian. This download is free for personal use only, with the full font and commercial license available to purchase from font foundry and reseller Aring Typeface.
43. Antlers is a striking tattoo font with an obvious influence!
Created by Måns Grebäck, this striking font, titled Antlers, will certainly make your tattoo design stand out. Available for personal use only, this typeface includes a full set of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and various special characters.
44. Try something a little different with Head Case
For a tattoo with a difference, check out designer Jonathan S. Harris's Head Case design. This playful font is available for personal use only, with commercial licenses available to purchase from Tattoowoo.
45. Ramp up the style with Echinos Park Script
A stylised cursive font from Måns Grebäck, Echinos Park Script has a touch of calligraphy to it and stacks of character. It's free for personal use and perfect if you're looking for a handwritten feel.
46. High on Fire tattoo font
Create big, bold tattoo designs with High on Fire
If it's big and bold that you're after, then look no further than typeface High on Fire by Billy Argel. The free version of this design is partial and only available for personal use. The full font and commercial licenses can be New York designer Socialh does a great line in tattoo fonts
New York-based designer Socialh regularly experiments with an array of typography styles. We love this fun, playful tattoo font, which is available to download free for any personal use.
This is an updated version of an article that previously appeared on Creative Bloq.