Sizes of Tattoos: A Pro’s Guide with Examples (2022 Updated)

tattoo sizes cover page

Too many people allow the planning and execution of their tattoos to consume countless hours of their lives. And yes, these are all significant considerations you need to consider before getting tattooed. But you should never discount the importance of size and placement! Deciding on the size of the tattoo is a very crucial step to take. It might make or ruin the design you have in mind for your tattoo.

Oh, and I must stress the significance of this. Since laser tattoo removal can cost thousands of dollars (we know because we’ve written a lot on the subject), ensuring that your dream tattoo turns out exactly how you envisioned it the first time is essential.

We have provided charts for tattoo size prices, session times, and recommended placements in this guide to tattoo sizes. In addition, we have highlighted some outstanding examples of tattoos.

Why Is the Size of a Tattoo Important?

The size of your tattoo affects several different aspects, including its placement.

  • Regarding the price of the tattoo, having more ink means paying a higher price.
  • Session times: If the tattoo is large, you must schedule numerous appointments.
  • Placement: certain large tattoos won’t work in the area that you want.
  • Regarding shading and intricacy, specific ideas don’t work well in miniature, and vice versa.

Imagine spending months conceptualizing and sketching your ideal tattoo, only to discover that the tattoo artist you’ve chosen believes it’s impossible in the size you want it to be!

Because of this, our guide is quite essential. Be sure to read all the information we have compiled on tattoo size, and then have a conversation with the tattoo artist you have chosen about what is and is not possible.

Tattoo Size Chart

Tattoo Size Number of Sessions Approx. Cost Good Placements
<1 inch <1 $50 Ear, wrist, toe, finger
1-2 inches 1 $100 Wrist, ankle, clavicle
2-3 inches 1-2 $150 Wrist, ankle, upper arm, calf
3-4 inches 2 $200 Chest, neck, lower arm
4-5 inches 2-3 $250 Shoulder, ribs, lower back, thigh
5-7 inches 5 $300 Half sleeves, upper arm, upper back
7-10 inches 7 $400+ Sleeves, hip, thigh
10-15 inches 8-9 $500+ Back, side body, full leg sleeve
>15 inches 10+ $700+ Full body

These are only estimates we’ve come up with based on our previous work and the opinions of certain tattoo artists that we polled for more information.

Generally speaking, each session lasts about two hours. However, the required time for a session might range anywhere from one to five hours, depending on the tattoo artist. Do not be startled or disheartened if the price quote for your tattoo is more significant than you anticipated; instead, read the part below in which we discuss the factors that, in addition to the tattoo’s size, might have an effect on the cost of getting one done.

We will also give you some tips on how to figure out if an estimate is too expensive.

Please remember that the numbers you’ve seen here are nothing more than approximations and averages. For instance, a one-inch tattoo of a delicate line heart with no detail at all will take a lot less time and may be cheaper than a one-inch tattoo of a realistic, highly detailed, and shaded dice tattoo. This is because there is no need for shading in a realistic tattoo.

Everything is relative!

2×2 Tattoo Size

2x2 Tattoo Size

Even though it only measures two inches, the 2 x 2 tattoo size provides more than sufficient room for adding additional detail to the design. Take, for instance, a look at this tattoo on the ankle. Two inches is just enough room for some vivid color, a teeny-tiny detail, and crisp and clear lines.

If you have naturally small lower arms and wrists, you may find that a tattoo that is only 2 inches long is sufficient to cover the entire surface area of your wrist, beginning on one side and ending on the other.

The following are some excellent choices for a tattoo of this size:

  • animals such as birds, butterflies, bees, etc.
  • a variety of intricate symbols and hearts.
  • The use of initials and lowercase letters
  • designs that are both modest and classic in the United States.

3×3 Tattoo Size

3x3 Tattoo Size

Remember that moving from a tattoo size of 2 squares by two squares to a tattoo size of 3 squares by three will increase the total area, making it significantly more extensive than you may initially believe. The lower arm, wrist, and ankle parts can still easily accommodate a 3-inch tattoo size, just like they can accommodate a 2-inch tattoo size. However, tattoo sizes of three inches look lovely in other places as well. The shoulder, the back of your neck, and the upper part of your arm are all ideal sites for a tattoo.

In addition to that, we discovered a large number of tattoos measuring three inches across the rib cage and chest area. It is the perfect size to adorn your mid-torso without going down to your stomach.

The following are some excellent choices for a tattoo of this size:

  • Decorative elements in the form of little flowers,
  • Feathers, swords, and other lengthy shapes,
  • Toy animals and painted portraits of many animals.

4×4 Tattoo Size

4x4 Tattoo Size

This awesome bat tattoo probably measures just a hair more than 4 inches from wing to wing, but it’s important to remember that it tapers down to a relatively narrow width from the head to the tail. When considering tattoos with a size larger than three inches, this is an essential factor to take into consideration. Because they need to follow the contours of your body, most tattoos with a 4-inch diameter are either rectangular or oblong in shape.

This one accentuates the shoulder region, but it can also work on the upper arm or lower thigh; however, you won’t be able to put a square that’s four by four there.

Therefore, when you are thinking about getting one of these awesome tattoo ideas, think about the shape and size. Many tattoo artists set their prices based on the area covered.

  • Characters from cartoons
  • Miniature artistic compositions and abstract patterns,
  • Tigers and dragons,
  • photographs of cherished individuals or revered figures.

6×6 Tattoo Size

6x6 Tattoo Size

Although it is somewhat larger than 6 inches in width, this tattoo in the rib area makes up for its size by being relatively narrow.

A tattoo six inches wide is the ideal size for the arm because it completely covers the lower or upper arm without expanding into a full-blown sleeve design. A tattoo measuring six inches across looks fantastic not only on the buttocks and thighs but also on the upper back and shoulders.

In addition, a width of 6 inches permits the inclusion of a significant amount of information. Your tattoo artist now has more room to move around and display their artistic ability thanks to you.Keep in mind that this will increase both the cost and duration of each tattoo session.

The following are some excellent choices for a tattoo of this size:

  • large text size,
  • skeletons and roses,
  • elaborate mandalas, and butterfly designs.

Tattoo Size Prices: Why They’re Hard to Guess

Tattoo Size Prices Why Theyre Hard to Guess

Depending on the size of the tattoo, the price will vary, although it’s not always clear why this is the case. You may have received an estimate from one tattoo artist that it will cost $250 to ink your 5-inch tattoo, while another will gladly do it for $180.

The cost of your tattoo session is determined by several intriguing factors, the most obvious of which is the size of the tattoo you want.

  • Initial start-up equipment. The price includes everything necessary for getting a tattoo, from the needles and ink to the sterilization supplies and even the rent for the tattoo parlor. Because various tattoo parlors use various machines, the prices at these establishments can vary.
  • Tattoo details If you want your tattoo to include many different colors and detailed elements, the tattoo artist will need to concentrate more and work over a longer period of time. Therefore, they only want to charge you a higher price.
  • Busy books When you decide you want a tattoo, you can make an appointment with a tattoo artist. When tattoo artists have no more time slots available or are on a break, they may declare that their books are closed or that they are not taking any more bookings. This could be because they take breaks or run out of time slots. If an artist is in high demand, they may choose to raise their prices to avoid being overbooked and losing revenue as a result.
  • Both talent and renown are essential. This ties in with the previous explanation. You may have to pay a higher price for the work of a creative and well-known tattoo artist because there is a high demand for their services, and you are essentially paying them to create art on your body. Even though they may both depict sunflowers, for instance, the price of a painting created by your niece will be significantly less than that of a painting created by Van Gogh.
  • Specialists do tattoos. There are many different types of tattoos, and not every tattoo artist is adept at them. Most painters focus their careers on a particular style, such as fine line art, surrealism, or traditional American art. They may charge a higher price for tattoos in these styles because they can deliver a superior product.

What If the Price Seems Too High?

What If the Price Seems Too High

The most prudent thing you can do is get estimates from a few different tattoo artists. Show them the design you want or explain it to them, and then ask them what they consider to be a fair price for it. To accomplish this goal, you should search for various musicians on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. All that is required of you is to write them a cordial greeting. They can respond with cheaper, higher, or comparable costs to the ones you initially quoted them.

That is an excellent method for determining whether or not you are being taken advantage of.

In addition to this, you should consider contacting prior consumers. Verify the reputation of your prospective tattoo artist or studio by reading reviews posted on social media. It’s possible that they provided you with a cost estimate because they are the most reputable company in the state.

Tattoo Size by Time

Tattoo Size by Time

The length of time it takes to get a tattoo depends on the artist’s skill level, how well you can handle the pain, and the design of the tattoo. You can probably understand that a simple, minimalist tattoo consisting of just line work will be completed much more quickly than a realistic, intricate tattoo with lots of shading.

One hour is sufficient time to accomplish even the most basic of tattoos. Pieces with an entirely detailed back can take up to twenty hours to complete. This time is divided into sessions for your convenience and the convenience of the tattoo artists. If you are an experienced player, you might be able to make it through a session that lasts for five hours!

We have provided a side-by-side comparison of a tattoo that takes two hours to complete and one that takes six hours so that you can understand the impact that additional sessions have in terms of the tattoo’s size and level of detail.

It is essential to keep in mind that, regardless of the size of the tattoo, your artist may wish to perform one last session of touch-up work once the tattoo has healed.

2 Hour Tattoo Size

2 Hour Tattoo Size

Do you find the amount of detail to be impressive? us too! This skilled tattoo artist can do a tattoo session covering an entire leg in just two hours. At first glance, this tattoo, approximately 6-7 inches in size (according to our calculations), appears to be highly elaborate and as though it would take a long time to complete.

However, there are certain traps to avoid here. To begin with, the tattoo would have been created by tracing a stencil onto the skin. A stencil was prepared for the tattoo procedure by first being printed on transfer paper. After that, it penetrates your skin and stays there. This will speed up the process regardless of the size of the tattoos that you are interested in getting.

In the end, it all comes down to line work. The shading contributes color or depth, and it necessitates switching needles and using a variety of inks. It requires a lot of time. It’s clear that if you keep the shading in your design to a minimum, you’ll be able to get a large tattoo in a short amount of time.

6 Hour Tattoo Size

6 Hour Tattoo Size

This tattoo took three times as long as the last one, which took only two hours. Even though the two are nearly the same size, there is a discernible difference between them. This artist now has plenty of time to add color, depth, and shading to the design, thanks to the addition of four hours.

The artist Alphonse Mucha, who contributed significantly to the art nouveau movement, served as an inspiration for this design. This is an excellent illustration of how the design of the tattoo, rather than its size, can determine how much money you spend on getting one. Not every tattoo artist can do this style as well as this one can, and not all of them can use this many colors.

Tattoo Font Size Guide

Tattoo Font Size Guide

There are a few distinct rules to follow depending on the type of font and size. The price of font tattoos is typically lower than other types of tattoos. This is especially true if the client already has the font they want and doesn’t need the artist to make one for them.

This is because most text and quote tattoos are made up of a single line, so they only need line work and very little shading (if any).

When choosing the size of your font, there are a few aspects you should bear in mind, which are as follows:

  • Is it legible? After the typeface and text have been printed on paper, affix them to one of the walls. Try to read it while standing on the other side of the room. Your text should be legible, meaning it shouldn’t be confused with another word or a collection of symbols. It should be clear what it is supposed to be.
  • Is it appropriate for the setting? For instance, the placement of lettering along the edge of one finger is a common choice for a tattoo. However, using a very ornate or thick typeface in this space could be challenging. It’s possible that a back tattoo with clean lines and a simple typeface won’t look that fantastic when placed on such a large surface area.

Thankfully, experimenting with different font sizes is simple. Choose a font from the internet, or scan your existing font onto a computer. You can enlarge or reduce it to the size you choose, print it off, and then hold it up to your skin to see how it will appear.

Our Three Favorite Tattoo Font Sizes

Our 3 Favorite Tattoo Font Sizes

Don’t stress yourself if you can’t easily create your font because so many options are available. You can experiment with a font that has already been designed. You have the option of searching for your fonts to customize or asking your tattoo artist if there are any fonts that they specialize in.

The following websites are excellent resources for finding typefaces online:

  • Google Fonts offers a beautiful selection of clean and unobtrusive typefaces in various styles.
  • Some imaginative and beautiful fonts can be found on the 1001 Free Fonts website.
  • By using their font generator, Font Space lets you generate ideas with their font.

Small Tattoo Font – Soft Handwriting

Small Tattoo Font – Soft Handwriting

When using small fonts, joined-up handwriting has a charming appearance. The wording for this short name tattoo on the forearm is done in an elegant, flowing font. You can use this excellent typeface for your wrists, fingers, and hands, or place it behind your ear, breast, or collarbones.

Similar typefaces can be found online:

Medium Tattoo Font – Clear but Cursive

Medium Tattoo Font – Clear but Cursive

Medium-sized tattoos, such as the one that runs around the wrist and is about two to three inches long, look their finest when the text is slightly bolder. Because the letters are often spread out more, joined-up handwriting tends to look cluttered and is difficult to read when it is reduced to this size.

Choose fonts instead with a somewhat heavier, more calligraphic appearance. For a stylish look, you can wear this around your forearm, ankle, rib cage, or upper back and neck.

Similar typefaces can be found online:

Large Tattoo Font – Go Bold!

Large Tattoo Font – Go Bold

Wow! Whoever stated that tattoo lettering must be limited to only letters was wrong. This design across the leg demonstrates how a skilled tattoo artist can transform a series of letters into something much more elaborate. The key to completing lengthy typeface tattoos is to keep the designs straightforward. The fonts with swirling patterns tend to look overly intricate when viewed at this size. You don’t want to strain your eyes to read them, do you?

Similar typefaces can be found online:

Tattoo Needle Tip Size Chart

Tattoo Needle Tip Size Chart

The needle size is the last item that matters in our guide on getting tattoos of various sizes. Did you know that there are a wide variety of needles in terms of size and type? This chart will explain what needle is used and when, whether you are a professional tattooist or just curious about the process of getting a tattoo for any reason.

There are three types of needles: flat, round, and magnum. Then there are also subtypes to consider.

  • The round liner, abbreviated RL, is an excellent tool for drawing lines and outlines.
  • The round shader, abbreviated RS, is an option for general shading.
  • The Magnum Shader (MS) is fantastic for vast shading areas in a short amount of time.
  • The Curved Magnum Shader (CMS) is an excellent tool for fine shading details.
  • Flat (F) is excellent for drawing geometric and mandala lines and shading.

After that, the needles are arranged based on a number. For instance, a 5RS shader is a circular shader with 5 points at the end of the needle. This configuration enables you to shade a tiny area in a short amount of time. On the other hand, 2RL is a round liner with only 2 points, which means that it will produce a thin line rather than a thick one.

Needle Diameter Sizes

Gauge Number Size Ink Flow Best For
#8 0.25mm Very slow Very intricate detail – it’s slow but allows amazing precision.
#10 0.3mm Steady but slow Popular for most tattoos when you need a slow but steady stream for accuracy.
#12 0.35mm Medium-fast flow The most used needle gauge size. Allows a fast flow of ink for rapid tattooing. Great for line work.

You can see various ways you can mix and match your tattoo needle. A low gauge number combined with a single flat needle (1F) would produce a meager ink flow rate while still producing a beautiful line. On the other hand, if you used a regular needle size of #12 and a multiple-magnum needle set-up (7MS), you could quickly shade and fill in blog colors.

Quick Recap: How Do I Select Tattoo Sizes?

Quick Recap How Do I Select Tattoo Sizes

If there is just one thing that you remember after reading this tutorial, let it be this:

  • Please look at our tattoo size chart for better timing and prices.
  • Make sure the size you choose is appropriate for the position you want.
  • Choose a pattern and an aesthetic that work wonderfully well at that scale.
  • Have a conversation with your tattoo artist about what can be done (and what can’t be done).
  • Make use of Saved Tattoos to generate many ideas!

First and foremost, you should enjoy yourself and let tattoos win over your heart. Because it is intended to be a permanent kind of body art, you should ensure that the size, design, and placement are all ideal.

Quick-Fire FAQs

Let us answer your burning queries.

How can you tell how big a tattoo is without getting it?

Calculate it. Multiply the length by the width to get the area expressed in square inches.

What kind of tattoo can I get for a hundred dollars?

The price of a small tattoo measuring between one and two inches can range from $100 to $200, depending on the design.

What is the appropriate amount of gratuity for a tattoo?

The typical range is between 20% and 30% of the total cost.That’s a lot, so make sure you set aside money in your budget for the tip right now. The size of the tip corresponds directly to the size of the tattoo.

Read More: What Should You Tipping Your Tattoo Artist?

What is the most prominent tattoo that can be done in one sitting?

It depends on the type of the tattoo, but often it is either a large tattoo measuring 5-6 inches that is very simplistic or a smaller tattoo measuring 2 inches with a decent amount of complexity. It also depends on the person who did the tattoo.

How large should a tattoo on the forearm be?

In most cases, the width of a tattoo on the lower arm is between three and four and a half inches, and the length is between seven and nine inches. The circumference of your arm determines it.

Is a tattoo session that lasts for six hours too long?

Sitting still for that long is only possible for trained professionals with a high tolerance for discomfort. The average duration of a tattoo session is between one and five hours.

It’s more fun to share!

Hi, I'm Kahraman SARIBAL and welcome to Some individuals find tattoos fascinating, while others can't live without them. Learn more about tattoos and their symbolism/meanings on my blog (Hero Tattoo). I'm a big fan of tattoos, and I want to provide the best advice and information possible in the most interesting way possible.

1 comments On Sizes of Tattoos: A Pro’s Guide with Examples (2022 Updated)

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    Amazing issues here. I am very happy to peer your article. Thank you so much and I am having a look forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

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