inkbox is a brand new technology, and with every new technology comes new possibilities and limitations. This guide's aim is to help you, the artist, understand these limitations.
First, have a look at the images below. These are some of inkbox's most popular designs from Summer 16'.
You'll notice three things:
1. They're all black
2. They're all stencils
3. There's no shading
Why are they only black?
Because that's the way the science works. The colour doesn't come from an ink we put on top of your skin but rather a chemical reaction we trigger after sinking the formula into your skin.
Why are they stencils?
Because of how they're applied. Once again, this stems from the concept of sinking the formula into the skin rather than placing it on top. To do so requires an adhesive barrier between parts of the design, so that the formula doesn't seep - it's how we get crisp edges. Stenciling both helps provide structure to the adhesive materials while laser-cutting and makes the backing layer of the tattoos easier to peel for the customer. Read more about stencils here.
Here is a closer look at how a design is stenciled. Pay attention to how the artist opened up the areas highlighted so that they connected to the rest of the white space. (The white space on our tattoos is the adhesive layer that goes against the skin).
And this image below should give you a good idea of how an artist will give a design structure. You'll notice that the design is technically stenciled from opening up the space highlighted in green, but opening up the other space highlighted in red helps give the design structure. Without this extra opening the user may peel the packing and rip the design at the standalone opening. This also helps when laser cutting the design (when the design is symmetrical like the one above, it's easiest to just mirror every opening).
It's best practice to create openings that follow the natural flow of the design. Sometimes this isn't possible, in which case it's best practice to create openings at the intersection of two lines.
Sizing & Complexity
We have 3 standard templates in which to design:
2x2" - download template
3x3" - download template
4x4" - download template
Because we laser cut the designs, their complexity is regulated by the width of the laser beam and the structure of material being cut. The space between parts of designs can be no smaller than 1mm or 1/64". Beside each size you'll find a link to a .PSD file which allows you to easily visualize the the spacing required between parts of a design. These files will also help you stencil your designs with the smallest viable spaces.
Why is there no shading?
Because of how the tattoos are made. Manufacturing tattoos with shading is technically possible but not feasible with current technologies.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions regarding inkbox tattoo designs or to submit your designs.