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Geek Ink : Geeky Tattoos

Posted in Art,Computers,Just Cool by Joe Colburn on the July 24th, 2008

We all know what a tattoo is. They’ve been around for centuries and surely will continue to decorate the skin for centuries to come. Time only enhances them by adding vibrant colors and ink that shows up best under black light. While mothers have always cringed at the thought of their baby getting a tattoo, most of us know someone with a tattoo or two and some of us have our own. Recently, I had a couple more done, so I thought I would post them and some that other people have that are equally as geeky.

I’ll go first
Bar code and ports tattoos

Above is a photo showing all my ink. Almost 3 years ago, I got a parallel port tattooed on my back. That’s the port in the middle that is a little lighter than the rest. I have been in love with computers since the first time I was on one in the early 80’s and it’s something I am very passionate about. Years ago, I wanted to get a bar code, but by time I got around to it, everyone else had one, so I opted for a parallel port instead. It was my first and when it was done, I immediately started thinking about what else I wanted done. Life kept me busy and I eventually started thinking about it again and worked out what I would want next. Last weekend, I headed to Americana Tattoo and added to my collection. The bottom row is a FireWire logo, followed by two FireWire ports. At the top, I finally got my bar code. I figured I shouldn’t care what everyone else has and did it anyway. However, I did make it a little more original. I used an online bar code image generator to generate a Code 128 barcode. I chose this standard because it’s easy to scan. The bar code should actually scan as “Joe” and the numbers underneath it spell out “Joe” in binary. These tattoos are just a small part of a much bigger plan.

Other geeky and nerdy tattoos
There’s a ton of geeky tattoo photos out there on the net, but I just grabbed all these from the Geeky Tattoos pool on Flickr. I had been planning a Matrix port tattoo to go with all my other ports, but I think it needs to be just a bit lower than the one below. I love the Tank Girl tat, because I’m a big Tank Girl fan. Of course, there’s the binary and the HTML-like tags (which are also on my list). Finally, there’s a bigger version of the FireWire logo, proving I’m not the only one crazy enough to ink that into my skin, and the “OMG LOL” tattoo, which has me thinking, well, “OMG! LOL!”.

Now I have questions for you.
1. Do you have any ink? If so, how many, what are they, and where on your body? (picture links are welcome)
2. What’s the geekiest (or your favorite) tattoo you’ve seen?
3. Any plans for geeky tattoos?

About the author

Joe Colburn Joe Colburn is a software engineer specializing in PHP and a technology enthusiast. Always eager to dive into new and exciting things, Joe writes about anything technology related news and products that he thinks you will also be excited about. Find Joe Colburn on Google+ or by any of the links below.

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31 Responses to 'Geek Ink : Geeky Tattoos'

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  1. Beth said,

    on July 24th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    lol- I love geek tats. None of the 10, yes 10 that I have are geeky per say, just girly. I once thought of having tattooed somewhere, since I always typed that in IMs and a few times on my blog, but thought people would think I was nuts. If anyone wants to see the few pics I have- I don’t have all 10 (latest is a ladybug on my foot), just email me at

  2. Joe said,

    on July 24th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Beth: That’s a lot of ink. I’m sure I’ll catch up to you. I got such a late start with it because it took forever to be 100% sure of what I wanted.

  3. mxyzplk said,

    on July 24th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    lol…. I like that it just like this one… html language tattoo
    If think im gonna make some great java script tattoo or other coding tattoo that easy for people to understand, or maybe a binary code,,,

    mxyzplk’s last blog post..Make Money With Your Post

  4. Beth said,

    on July 25th, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    oops the tattoo I had thought of didn’t show up even with spaces. It was /end rant.

  5. on July 25th, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    1. No, I don’t have any.
    2. I have to say your parallel port :D , but I’ve also seen a tattoo of Ctrl-Alt-Del buttons.
    3. No, I don’t know what to get in that case but maybe I should go for my company logo….

    Andreas from Xavier Media’s last blog post..Win another 700 EC

  6. Joe said,

    on July 25th, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    mxyzplk: I like that one, too. I just wish I’d thought of it first. There are a ton of HTML/programming/*nix jokes that could apply to body art, though.

    Andreas: I thought of the company logo idea, too, but what happens if you sell your company one day? It’s the same reason I decided long ago to never put a girlfriend’s name on my skin. Now if the logo is really cool, on the other hand, maybe. I inked the Firewire logo on my back simply because it shows up next to the actual port on devices quite often. The same will happen when I get my USB port, etc.

  7. on July 26th, 2008 at 1:19 am

    @Joe you put your trademarks, domain names and logos in a holding company and lease it out to your business running company. Then wen you sell your business running company you transfer the assets you don’t want any more to your business running company for a huge sum of money. That way you can keep your logo in your holding company and start new projects using it :)


    Andreas from Xavier Media’s last blog post..Win another 700 EC

  8. Z said,

    on July 26th, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Hey there,

    Thanks for featuring one of my photos. The guy with the OMG, LOL! tattoo go it, as i remember, as a gift to himself after finishing college.

    I wish I could find some more people with such tats…

  9. Catherine said,

    on July 26th, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Those are some really cool tats. I usually go for mythical creatures or japanese designs but I really like the love hate code

  10. Simple Mindz said,

    on July 26th, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Good Gawd…I have so many “home job” tats that I did when I was a kid. None are geeky though, just stupid. lol. I got the “hearts” and the “initials.” The cross and the ex’s name too! Hopefully, someday I can get them covered with real tats and get rid of these!

    Simple Mindz’s last blog post..Relationships take work

  11. on July 28th, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I have “1000101” tattooed on my arm.

    I guess I’m around enough geeks. Some people have actually known what it was without any prompting whatsoever.

    Elliott – 21st Century Dad’s last blog post..21st Century Dad’s Dirty Secrets and Checkered Past

  12. fwaggle said,

    on July 29th, 2008 at 7:54 am

    both my geek tattoos are works in progress (they’re done with prison scratchers unfortunately, i’m waiting until i can afford a proper machine to fix them up). the first isn’t really “geek” but some might recognize the internet site i robbed the artwork from.

    fwaggle’s last blog post..So THATS why the #8 plug wouldn’t come out!

  13. Mandi said,

    on July 30th, 2008 at 1:02 am

    I don’t have any ink, mostly because I can’t commit to anything for that long…I worked with a guy who had Street Fighter characters tattooed on his head….

    Mandi’s last blog post..Best Tip Ever! Probably bad service…..

  14. WyriHaximus said,

    on July 30th, 2008 at 4:47 am

    @fwaggle Nice second one, my colleges are wondering why I ROFLed :D!

    Personal I’m planning my own geek tat for a while not not entirely sure what to do so’ll wait till I’m sure :).

    WyriHaximus’s last blog post..SVN up

  15. Tyler said,

    on August 3rd, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Nice TechToos. It inspired me to put a link on my blog, CommentLuv should link it below.

    I also run a photoblog,, and I posted your tat there too. Check them out when you have a second.

    the actual link to the TechToos is here:

    Tyler’s last blog post..TechToos! (Technology Related Tattoos).

  16. on December 9th, 2008 at 5:59 am

    […] found Joe Tech’s geek tattoos via a blog post on his site. Joe is a self-proclaimed geek from Phoenix who loves computers. He first got a […]

  17. on December 13th, 2008 at 8:01 am

    […] se tatuó un puerto paralelo (una entrada de pc), demostrando que le apasionan las computadoras (él mismo lo confiesa en su blog). Y debajo de esta entrada tiene tres pequeños tatuajes más: el logo de FireWire y dos entradas […]

  18. on December 15th, 2008 at 5:03 am

    […] se tatuó un puerto paralelo (una entrada de pc), demostrando que le apasionan las computadoras (él mismo lo confiesa en su blog). Y debajo de esta entrada tiene tres pequeños tatuajes más: el logo de FireWire y dos entradas […]

  19. Ashley said,

    on March 12th, 2009 at 10:22 am

    haha I love it! I am a computer geek as well. I’ve wanted a barcode also since I can remember first wanting a tattoo. I wanted the barcode to actually scan.. but I didnt know what barcode I wanted to use. I have 3 tats.. and I’m getting a tattoo tonight (hence why I’m searching tattoos through google)… and I’m getting the Evolution of Mario.. from the pixelated 1981 version to the newest 3D verison. =D If anyone would like to see the pics email me at

  20. Joe said,

    on March 12th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Ashley: I definitely want to see the pics. That’s awesome.

  21. Nikki said,

    on March 21st, 2009 at 3:10 am

    Well, I’m flattered that you like my Tank Girl tattoo, but it would have been nice to be informed that you’re using my photos.

  22. Joe said,

    on March 21st, 2009 at 10:35 am


    I apologize. I thought I had contacted everyone. It’s a great tattoo and I appreciate the use of the photo. I’m sorry I didn’t contact you about it previously.

  23. inkpicker said,

    on April 18th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    those are great, where’s part 2?

    inkpicker’s last blog post..Tattoo Design Sites Review

  24. Joe said,

    on April 19th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    inkpicker: I keep thinking about my next step, but I haven’t made the move yet. Soon, I’ll get some upper arm work. Think cyborg.

  25. king of tatz said,

    on June 2nd, 2009 at 6:04 am

    guess im late to the party but i would definately like to see more , i would like to try a gi-joe or a retro cartoon or video game like contra tattoo

  26. bernice said,

    on July 17th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    cool!,,,,im really liking these tats!

  27. on August 21st, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Hey – I haven’t got a tattoo but am very tempted to get a variation of the Snake Eyes tattoo from the new GI Joe movie…I know this is kinda geeky but I just really like that tattoo!

    Mark @ Storm Shadow Costumes’s last blog post..Kids and Adults Storm Shadow Halloween Costumes

  28. on August 25th, 2009 at 4:25 pm


    Is that barcode tattoo similar to the one Neo has in the Matrix? I could be getting mixed up but it looks very similar to me…either way its a cool tat. I’ve got a massive sun on my back, its about 25cm in diameter. Ive had it for about 10 years now so its not as defined as it once was.

  29. on November 3rd, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Muy bueno e interesante artículo. Adiós!

  30. yeremia said,

    on May 14th, 2011 at 6:36 am

    After read your article now i’m thinking bout my first tatoo..
    yeremia´s last blog post ..Tablet Asus chip Nvidia Tegra 3

  31. CatElaineHale said,

    on April 10th, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I have a classic bat signal tattoo on my foot. :3

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