Geek Ink : Geeky Tattoos

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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?

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.

31 thoughts on “Geek Ink : Geeky Tattoos”

  1. 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. 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: 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.

  4. @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

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. @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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Nikki,

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Hey,

    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.

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