Tech tattoos: The good, the bad, and the R U SRS?!

Would you tattoo the Apple Safari logo on your forearm? What about a USB symbol? Get ready to see some of the worst (and best) tech tattoos around.

  • USB Symbol

    Guy: Hey, baby, let's "transfer some files," if you know what I mean.
    Girl: What? Are you trying to pick me up?
    Guy: Are you "USB compatible," if you know what I mean?
    Girl: This is getting weird.
    Guy: No, really, I need to transfer some files and all I have is this USB cord.
    Girl: Oh. Well, I'm a FireWire kind of girl. We're not compatible. Should've thought of that before you got that big ol' tattoo, huh?

    While a [[xref:|USB symbol|Faster USB 3.0 Is Coming]] as a tattoo doesn’t exactly make sense to me (it's sort of like the power symbol, but with less obvious symbolism), I don't absolutely hate this one. It's a little big, but otherwise well done. It's nicely drawn, and it's black, which is good. Solid black tattoos are chic, and symbols really shouldn’t be done in color. Plus, I'm sure he can use it as a pickup line.
  • A Mario Goomba

    In the world of geek tattoos, [[xref:|Mario|E3: Nintendo's Hottest Games and Gear--Have a Look]] artwork is as played out as Zelda artwork, if not more. I've seen no shortage of [[xref:|1up mushrooms|1up mushroom]], [[xref:|Princess Peach|Princess Peach]], and [[xref:|invincibility stars|invincibility stars]].

    I haven’t seen a lot of cute little [[xref:|Goombas|Goombas]], though, and this one is just adorable. Goombas, for the non-aficionados, are mushroom-shaped enemies that Mario can kill, by stomping on them, to receive a gold coin.

    I’m not exactly sure where I stand on "adorable" tattoos, but this Goomba is obviously also a fierce little bugger. Ignoring the fact that I want to stomp on it to make it pop out a coin, the tattoo is great--the artwork is superb, and it's pretty distinctive.
  • 01110011 01100101 01111000 01111001 (Sexy)

    It may have sounded as if I was ripping on binary earlier, but I was really just ripping on binary when it translates to "Geek Porn." This tattoo, however (which translates to the person's last name), is actually pretty cool.

    I love the location, the execution, the translation. Much [[xref:|sexier|Engineering 'Sexy,' Says Tech Commissioner]] than "Geek Porn," and definitely a great conversation starter if she's wearing a backless dress.
  • Think Different Before Entering a Tattoo Parlor?

    I know what you’re thinking, and you’re wrong: This is not the first tattoo on the "worst" list just because it’s an Apple tattoo. In fact, PC fangirl though I am, I’d much rather be walking around with an Apple image tattooed on my body than I would a Microsoft logo (like the [[xref:|infamous Zune guy|infamous Zune guy]]). A little black apple might even be cute, and iconic enough that people would know exactly what my tattoo meant…which brings us to this lovely creation. Can we say overkill? The apple, well, fine. Even the power symbol in the middle, while a bit much, is acceptable. But "Think different" underneath? And to top it off, the fuzzy blue glow around that? This person could definitely take a leaf out of Apple’s advertising book: Understatement is key.
  • On Safari

    I'm on the fence about this one. On one hand, it's the Apple Safari Web browser logo, and, well, 'nuff said. On the other hand, though, it is a compass (which, by the way, has its place in tattoo lore), and it could be seen as just such.

    "No, this is not a [[xref:|Safari Web browser|Update: Apple Releases Safari 4 for Mac, Windows]] logo. What kind of crazy nerd do you think I am? What kind of rabid Apple fanboy do you take me for? It's a compass, pointing to the northeast, I feel about the northeast...go...Yankees...!" (Editor's note: Go Red Sox! Skankees suck!)

    Uh, yeah. Hey, don't get me wrong--there are some software icons out there that I would gladly have carved onto my skin...if that meant I could double-click on my arm and open Photoshop.
  • May the Triforce Be With You

    [[xref:|Zelda|New Nintendo Games: Zelda for the DSi System, Punch-Out for the Wii]] tats are something I can get behind--the Hyrule Crest or the [[xref:|Triforce symbol|Triforce]] are pretty awesome, and Zelda is a game classic. Also, Zelda was one of the first games to keep me company on my trusty Game Boy (even if I, at 6 years old, never made it out of the first dungeon).

    And it's hard to mess up a Triforce tattoo, as it's merely three triangles. Which is why this tattoo is great--it's a Triforce (yes, arguably, the symbol isn't unique to Zelda, but this is a geek-tattoo slide show), but it's different because it’s integrated into another design.
  • Plug and Play

    If I saw this guy in an airport, I might try to plug my laptop into his leg socket. (Hey, wall outlets are notoriously scarce in airports, and my computer has next to no [[xref:|battery life|Laptops With Epic Battery Life Keep You Working]].) After poking him repeatedly with my plug, I might then ask him, "Why? Why?!" Seriously…why?

    Who loves an electrical outlet so much that they want to carry a picture of it around with them--on their skin--wherever they go? And if it's supposed to be clever…somebody, please explain.
  • Will the Code Hold?

    [[xref:|Know HTML?|The Geek Chic Checklist -- 22 Sure Signs You're a Geek]] Check. Think you’re cleverly ironic? Check. Want to be reminded of your knowledge of HTML and your clever irony in 30 years? Check.

    Enter the HTML tag tattoo.

    Just imagine him trying to explain, in a few decades, exactly what an "HTML tag" is, and why it's subsequently clever.
  • Old-School Game Boy

    I do have a soft spot for the old Game Boy--it was my best friend on long plane rides, back in the day. But I've never loved any game console so much as to have it tattooed on my leg (well, maybe my [[xref:|DSi|Nintendo DSi Review: Slimmer, More Multimedia-Savvy]]).

    And what's with the red glow around this one? Looks as if somebody done shot that Game Boy dead.
  • 'Geek Porn'

    I'll admit, back when I was young and stupid and contemplating tattoos (about three days ago), I seriously considered the [[xref:|power symbol|Next Metal Gear is Coming to "Universal Power Symbol"?]]. Although it’s a bit overplayed these days, I thought it would demonstrate my inner geek and be a cute and clever conversation starter. ("This is how you turn me on.")

    But I didn't imagine it taking up half my back, or surrounded by binary code. The best (worst?) part: The binary says "Geek Porn." True story.
  • All the Rage: Geeky Tattoos

    The great thing about geeks is that we just love our technology--operating systems, consoles, companies, gadgets, game characters--you name it, we adore it, and we want it to be with us forever. No, really. Some of us want our technology to be with us...forever. If not physically, at least in spirit--inked-on spirit, that is.

    One good central repository of tech ink is BMEInk's [[xref:|Geek Tattoo section|Geek Tattoos]]. I found everything you could imagine there, from messages in binary to Apple logos to IM "heart" symbols. Here are 12 of the top tattoos that caught my eye--for bad and good reasons.

    First, let's look at tattoos that make us ask: What were they thinking? (Or drinking?)

    All photos: Courtesy of [[xref:||]]
  • Bringing the World of Warcraft Alliance and Horde Together

    First of all, somebody should tell her that in [[xref:|World of Warcraft|The Ten Greatest PC Games Ever]] you can't be part of both the Alliance and the Horde. That little detail aside, this is some serious dedication and artistry. Go big or go home, right?

    I have to give kudos to the artist: I've seen a lot of WoW crest tattoos (the circles I run in are very cool, all right?), and this is some of the best artwork out there. But if she ever encounters an Undead, she’d better make sure to keep facing to the left.
  • The Blue Screen of Death. Really.

    The infamous Blue Screen of Death tattoo has been making the rounds of the Internet for quite some time now, and it's either the best geeky tattoo ever or the worst geeky tattoo ever.

    Maybe it's just me, but I'm always trying to avoid the BSoD. Having it permanently etched on my arm might, well, make that a little more difficult. But I'll give the owner of this arm credit: It's comprehensive, it's well done, and it must've taken a lot of Windows 98 crashes for him to grab all the text.

    What's that? This slide show of tech-tattoo fiascos hasn't properly terrified you, and you're going to get the Twitter bird tattooed on your forehead if it's the last thing you do, gosh darn it?

    Hey, I’m not going to stop you, but I will suggest that you follow these steps to ensure tattoo bliss:

    1. Think.

    2. Bring a [[xref:|picture|Top 10 Point-and-Shoot Cameras]], so your artist knows what they're working with.

    3. Don't get a tattoo of your [[xref:|iPhone 3GS|Apple iPhone 3GS]], because you know Apple will come out with a new version in, like, three days.

    And, in the meantime, may I suggest that you try on something less permanent, such as a [[xref:|T-shirt|Tech Tees Release Your Inner Nerd]]?
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