10 Best Chicano Tattoo Lettering Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind | Curated Mint

If you prefer iconic black and fine lines tattoo, that appear to be more realistic, this list of chicano tattoo lettering styles is for you.

chicano tattoo lettering
@kati_777_ via Instagram

Of all the concepts of tattooing, the most popular one is the Chicano tattoo lettering.

From time immemorial, the tattoo artists have always presented the Chicano tattoo lettering in a monochromatic format. But the voluminous and realistic look that they come with and their style makes them one of a kind.

Chicano lettering tattoos can be done on any part of the body. Often, people prefer getting a Chicano lettering tattoo on their entire body. Since Chicano fonts require a larger canvas, it is always suggested to get the Chicano tattooing done on areas like chest, back, hips, arm and forearm. There are some distinct features of the Chicano tattoos. The drawings of the Chicano tattoos are made with dark black and grey shades. One of the essential components of Chicano fonts is the shadowing. The better the shadows done by the artist, the better it looks.

Further, the tattoo artist creates fine lines and well-defined contours to highlight the detailing. Since the Chicano style tattoo lettering is an influential and impactful design, it has led to inspire more people and develop different styles of tattoos. The popularity of the Chicano tattoo increased after they were found in the Chicano street culture. However, most of the Chicano lettering tattoo fonts have been developed in the prison.

There is an ancient history attached to the Chicano fonts. Since different sub-cultures use some symbols to recognise themselves or to create their presence, the Chicano tattoo is no different. The first Chicano tattoo was found in the 40s in Pachuco gang. Back then, the Chicano tattoo style majorly consisted of the Pachuco cross tattoo inked between the index finger and the thumb. Another style or design followed back then was the scripts. In addition, people also used portraits as a personal mark or a sign of their ethics and values. However, these signs and styles got the recognition of lettering Chicano tattoo designs not until the 60s. From then on, the Chicano designs were combined with the cholos.

Since these Chicano designs were done on prisons, it was really difficult for the people there to get access to other bright colours. Therefore, they thoroughly used the black and grey shades for Chicano la tattoo lettering. With time, the people worked on the styles and designs of these Chicano tattoo. Today, what we have as cursive Chicano lettering tattoo is a much refined format of what it was developed at first.

The meaning of the Chicano tattoos differ from one style to another. Some of the common Chicano styles, sign and themes include the Holy Death or Santa Muerte. In this tattoo design, you will come across a woman decorated with some skulls and ornaments. Generally, the portraits of women in Chicano tattoos consist of young ladies, defiant with masks and guns and similar other tools. In almost every Chicano tattoo, you will come across either a significant date or one or two words that have great relevance to a particular event or incident. Other popular tools of the Chicano tattoo include weapons, skulls and crosses. Religious symbols are an intricate part of Chicano tattoo as they make great tools to augment the tattoo design.

People who have a strong urge to express themselves the way they are, or to not follow any order, can go ahead with these Chicano tattoo designs and styles as given below.

Lettering Chicano Tattoo with Fonts

lettering chicano tattoo with fonts
@horusbriones via Instagram

One of the primary elements that one will find in Chicano tattoos is the presence and relevance of fonts. The purpose of using these fonts in a tattoo is to showcase the message that you want to convey to the whole world. Make sure the fonts you choose should have relevance to your living and lifestyle. Further, the fonts may also be relevant to the principles that you believe.

In this tattoo, a name is inscribed by the tattoo artist in the forefront. While at the background, there is an image of a busy street. Since the Chicano tattoo designs have its roots both in the prison and in the streets of LA, the tattoo shown here can be a tribute to the inventors of the Chicano design or to the people who propagated this art form through their living.

Bandida Chicano Tattoo

bandida chicano tattoo
@rech1 via Instagram

Another element of order and precision that is mostly found in Chicano tattoos is the image of a woman tattooed on a larger body part. Generally, famous personalities or images of Mexican women are selected to highlight their beauty. Therefore, if you adore any eminent personality or look up to the style of a heroic being, you can easily get a Bandida Chicano tattoo as shown here. Since these tattoos allow the tattoo artist to inscribe the tattoo in a grander way, always choose a portion of your body that has enough space. To make the woman more magnificent, add some fonts or eye catching tools to it.

Clown Tattoo in Grey and Black

clown tattoo in grey and black
@juniorbandatattoo via Instagram

One significant thought that revolves around the Chicano tattoos is to portray the idea of enjoying the moment. To highlight this symbolism, tattoo artists draw jesters and clowns to focus on this thought – ‘Smile now, cry later.’

In this tattoo, two jesters are drawn where the face of one is noticed to be shedding tears while that of the other is an angry, agitated one. The whole image proves that the agitated jester is trying to teach the crying jester to laugh and live the moment. In Chicano tattoos, shading plays a vital role. Also, to retain the simplicity of the design, only the shades of black and grey are chosen.

Religious Jesus Chicano Tattoo

religious jesus chicano tattoo
@juniorbandatattoo via Instagram

If you have a great inclination to your religion or cult, this religious Jesus tattoo is a great option for you. In this tattoo, a large image of Lord Jesus, blessing all his disciples are noticed. From the background, the halo and an angelic aura appears. While tattooing religious tattoos, the artist has to be careful with the shades as they are the ones that can bring a change. it is through this change in shades in the religious tattoo that it gets a 3D look. If required, one can use fonts along with the religious symbol. Such a religious symbol can be a great option for Chicano back tattoo lettering.

Smile Now Cry Later Tattoo

smile now cry later tattoo
@juniorbandatattoo via Instagram

As has been mentioned earlier, one of the most significant maxims followed by the Pachuco gang, the inventors of the Chicano design was ‘Smile Now Cry Later.’ In this tattoo, this adage is beautifully depicted by the use of two masks. Although the masks look like the ones that are used to symbolise dramatics, however, they have a deeper meaning attached to them. While one mask is given the look of a sad face, the other one is seen to be smiling. To accentuate both the masks and highlight the themes that the masks depict, a wounded heart is ink right below the masks.

Chicano Woman Tattoo With Gun

chicano woman tattoo with gun
@juniorbandatattoo via Instagram

If you are looking for some tattooing design that will depict rowdiness, this woman tattoo with a gun in hand is an ideal solution for you. Here, the image of a bandida woman is inked with her tongue out. In her hand she has a gun. By looking at the tattoo as a whole, one can easily figure out the roughness. To showcase this coarseness in the tattoo, the artist has to play with the black and grey ink and deliver the best shading that the tattoo deserves. In place of the gun, other tools can also be used.

Skull Tattoo in Chicano Style

skull tattoo in chicano style
@juniorbandatattoo via Instagram

The images of skulls are one of the most common and sought-after tattoo designs that many people prefer. If you click on this link, you will find the images of two skulls placed a forty five degree angles. While one skull shows its teeth, the other one closes its mouth by putting its hand on the mouth. This image again depicts the common Chicano adage – ‘Smile now, cry later.’

Woman and Dali Mask Arm Tattoo

woman and dali mask arm tattoo
@alexwarhs via Instagram

After people watched the popular Spanish series ‘Money Heist’ in Netflix, the urge to wear or own Dali masks have increased by leaps and bounds. How about wearing the Dali mask in the form of a tattoo? Well, this is sure to be a great idea. But, an even better idea would be to combine a bandida woman and a Dali mask and create a design likewise.

Full Sleeve Chicano Tattoo in Black Shading

full sleeve chicano tattoo in black shading
@tattoobyregino via Instagram

If you want to cover your full arm with a realistic tattoo, the one shown here is ideal for you. The tattoo comprises of the face of a bandida woman along with two masks and relevant fonts. The masks depict the maxim – ‘Smile now, cry later’, while the bandida woman is a motif of fearlessness.

Chicano Angel Tattoo

chicano angel tattoo
@francescofrigenti_tats via Instagram

Most people prefer getting tattoo that portray religious orders. This angel tattoo is one of them. Here, the face of a baby angel is inked. To highlight the face, the tattoo artist has used fine lines and proper black and grey shades. Since this is a broad tattoo, it is suggested that people should get such tattoos done in body parts that have enough space.

Now that you have got an idea about the lettering tattoos, you can easily choose your preferred tattoo artist and get one for yourself. The price of the tattoo will depend on the inks used, the intricacy of the design and the area to be covered with the ink. Therefore, choose your design and the artist wisely.

Here are some more suggestions for you:

  • Chicano westside tattoo lettering with fonts
  • Low rider Chicano tattoo
  • Mexican flag and eagle tattoo
  • Play now, pay later tattoo
  • Pachuco cross tattoo

feature image from Pinterest

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