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What Makes a Good Tattoo? Twisted Thread

What Makes a Good Tattoo?

tattoo sleeve

In the last blog we wrote about what to look for when picking a good tattooist – this week let’s take a look what makes a good tattoo. As an alternative clothing brand, tattoos are a big influence for our creative output. Identifying great looking tattoos is an important element in designing great looking tattoo clothing. 

Odds are, if you have followed the tips in the previous blog, you will have found yourself a good tattoo artist to create your next work –here is a list to ensure that you’ve made the right decision once the needle has hit the skin. 

1. Tattoo Cleanliness, the Artwork and Your Health Afterwards

There’s two parts to cleanliness. Regarding art, take a good look at the work – this might be hard if you’ve picked a tramp stamp, but hopefully you have someone who can take a closer look at the ink and the artwork itself. A good tattoo will be crisp and clear – everything looks like the image you gave the tattooist. 

The second part relates to your health afterwards, specifically those little needles punching in and out of your skin. They will create a bit of swelling and redness, but that should go away within 4-7 days depending on the size of the tattoo. If it doesn’t, then the cleanliness of the tattoo equipment comes into question. Hopefully you followed the steps in last week’s blog (LINK to last week’s blog) and wont have this issue. If it’s still red, swollen or painful after seven days pop back to you tattooist or see your doctor for advice. 

2. How Does the Colour of Your Tattoo Look?

Is the colour of your new tattoo the same throughout the work? The colour should be solid, not patchy or dotty. The same goes if you have any shading in your tattoo. Does the shading do its intended job and create the right look? Great tattoos look great because the shading works and is effective in creating depth to the work.

skull tattoo


3. Size of the Tattoo

A big tattoo doesn’t automatically mean it’s a good tattoo and the same can be said for a small tattoo. But how well the tattoo ages is key to how good a tattoo will actually be, and that’s where size comes in to the equation. As your new tattoo heals, small lines will naturally spread out and change how the piece looks. This means that the intricate design you picked may end up as a big smudge in as little time as 12 months if it’s not done well. 

4. Location of Your Tattoo

You wouldn't expect a dope tattoo-styled hoodie to have a hood stitched to the sleeve right? It would look completely out of place. Same thing goes for tattoos. Pick the right place and the tattoo will look good. If you want a small design, ankles and wrists tend work well. But if you are a big guy, a bigger tattoo would most likely look better on those guns than some tiny Sanskrit symbol.

wrist tattoo


It seems as though getting a tattoo is a bit more complicated that just getting drunk and rocking up to the first tattoo parlour that you see. Well, it can be that simple if you want it to be, but the message that we want to send is to take your time when getting the right tattoo and the right tattooist. You will thank us for it in the long run.

Here at Twisted Thread we spend a lot of time looking at tattoos and tattoo art as they are a big influence on our brand of streetwear. Have a look at our latest flash tattoo style clothing collection for the latest designs or feel free to contact us with questions or suggestions for clothing.

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