Hardcore: Prepress Tattoo

  • Fonts in Use
Fonts in Use | Jürgen Siebert | October 8, 2009

Long time Adobe InDesign product manager Will Eisley is so dedicated to his job that it has gotten under his skin – quite literally. Will recently had his initials tattooed on his inner forearms, together with the registration marks, crop marks, and colour and grayscale bars which are part of InDesign’s printing marks. The next ink he has planned are “a series of 3’s in ITC Franklin Gothic Heavy. One of the best 3’s in all of typography, IMO”.

People tattooing their favourite brands or products on their bodies is not a new phenomenon – Nivas developer Daemon had the Adobe logo tattooed on the inside of his left wrist. Nor are typographic tattoos; art director, designer, writer, photographer and professor (at The City College of New York) Ina Saltz was the first to devote an entire book to this phenomenon. Body Type: Intimate Messages Etched in Flesh explores the ideas and emotions behind this indelible commitment. From Shakespeare to Radiohead, from Dante to James Joyce, from celebrations of love to homage and memorial, the wide breadth of messages captured provides insight into the human condition. The book – which has been called inspiring, shocking, and voyeuristic – is recommended reading and viewing, not only for tattoo aficionados, but also for all lovers of the written word.

(via the blog of John Nack, Adobe Photoshop product manager)



  1. The dude has his color bars inside his crop marks… He might be a quark user, or even worse.. corel..

    Posted by Lee on Oct. 8, 2009
  2. i love tatts. i love type. this is perfect. thanks.

    Posted by Simon Robertson on Oct. 8, 2009
  3. Perhaps I’m wrong but shouldn’t the reg marks and colour & grey bars not be outside of the crop?

    Posted by Youssef Sarhan on Oct. 8, 2009
  4. Um, the color bars are inside the crop… Oops! Should have proofed it first I guess.

    Posted by James Kurtz III on Oct. 8, 2009
  5. Hmmm, perspicacious readers. ;)

    At least the tattoo is not misregistered. :P

    Posted by Yves Peters on Oct. 8, 2009
  6. Maybe the point is that he loves color bars so much he wants them in the trimmed print?

    Posted by Stephen Coles on Oct. 8, 2009
  7. ITC Franklin Gothic Heavy is indeed a nice 3.

    Posted by jay on Oct. 8, 2009
  8. Some people have a thing with threes – we once received a request on Font Identification and Type Research, specifically asking for typefaces that have threes with flat tops.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Oct. 9, 2009
  9. Um, it’s not the most delicate line work now, is it? What’s the weight on those crops? Looks like it was done with a Sharpie…

    Posted by Art on Oct. 9, 2009
  10. @yves – i love the flat-top 3’s. i’m someone who will search for them :-) is there a proper name aside from flat-top? do the ‘other’ kind have a name?

    Posted by Simon Robertson on Oct. 10, 2009
  11. Simon, heads up – look what I made for you. ;) I’ve only started it, so expect it to be completed over the coming days.

    Oh, and as you can see I have no better name for them.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Oct. 11, 2009
  12. Wow, Yves! That is really cool (of you to do that, and also a cool feature of the site). Hooray for typography.

    Posted by Jill Brunner on Oct. 13, 2009
  13. I want a tattoo on my lower lip!

    Posted by Jordan on Oct. 20, 2009
  14. @yves – sorry for taking so long to check this! thanks!!! you’re too kind :-)

    a great list, i’m going to need to spend some more time going through it! just quick, did you have Dedica and Verveine from DaMa in the list? I saw a couple of others but not those :-D

    Posted by Simon Robertson on Oct. 22, 2009
  15. oh, and Dispatch from FB :-)

    Posted by Simon Robertson on Oct. 22, 2009
  16. I’m working on and off on the list. I fear I have already come to the point that I will need to split up the list in sublists with sans, serif, script, display etc.

    Posted by Yves Peters on Oct. 22, 2009
  17. haha! well, as the list was made for me, i’m finding it *very* handy! so feel free to split away :-D

    Posted by Simon Robertson on Oct. 22, 2009
  18. ok, so i’m about to finish my course at uni soon (monday folios are due!) and i think i’ll get a flat-top 3 tatt to celebrate… now to pick one…

    Posted by Simon Robertson on Oct. 22, 2009
  19. Hello

    With regards to the tattoo that sparked at least half of these comments, I have to ask – what if those “lines that look like they’ve been drawn with a Sharpie” are bleed marks? And Will Eisley is just so cool he crops everything himself? With one stroke of a cable knife?

    (this was a completely valid theory until I checked the registration marks)

    (Wait – Will Eisley is so cool he registers in the bleed box.)

    (he does this because his prints always come out right anyway)

    Posted by Barbara van Wyk on Feb. 27, 2011

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