A few generations ago, most tattoos were viewed as potential gang tattoos – whether or not they were actually gang related. In other words, though most people didn't have the skill to identify symbols, it was more or less taken for granted that tattoos were connected to a criminal underworld.
A lot of gang members have one or more teardrop tattoos under their eyes, especially if they've spend time in jail. For the average person, it is unlikely that you will encounter gang tattoos at a close enough range to try and identify them. Japanese gang tattoos (which usually identify members of the Yakuza, or Japanese mafia) take the form of simple black rings around the arm – one ring for each major crime a gang member has committed. Usually though, tattoos of Yakuza members are very elaborate and detailed, going from sleeve to full body tattoos.
Hispanic and Mexican gang tattoos vary a lot, because they relate to the numerous specific gangs. Most gang and prison tattoos have fuzzy, unsteady lines compared to those of professional tattoos. Gangsta tattoos are getting mainstream nowadays, because they are idealized and popularized by rappers. If you like this article, you might be interested in some of our other articles on Bad Tattoos, Crazy Tattoos, Viking Tattoos and Samoan Tattoos. You can see intricate designs inked all over this man’s face right down to his chest.


I don’t get the idea of having the tattoo on your face just like in the Face Defined tattoo design.
AboutA popular Graphic and Web Design site where you can expect to see a unique take on topics, we try not to tread on familiar topics seen on other design sites. That’s because tattooing was relatively uncommon among the mainstream public, and having a tattoo almost automatically meant that you had some sort of criminal association. The similarity with tribal tattooing is quite strong – there, too, tribe members got additional tattoos in recognition of deeds they had done.
Just like gang tattoos, they form a secret language that pictures all kinds of information about the wearer, such as hierarchy, commited crimes, etc. When gang or ghetto tattoos are taken out of their context (the gang) they are not the real thing anymore.
Being right on the skin, a gang tattoo tells you at once that the person’s bond with the gang goes deep. From items related to the gang, to pictures of weapons used in fights, to a special script, to figures symbolizing death, you can find so many kinds of tattoos. Along with tutorials and articles, we also do round ups, how-to guides, tips, tricks and cheats on all of the hot topics in the design world.
There are still tattoo designs that are specific to the different ethnic gangs that operate in the major cities. They indicate for example what status a member has in the group or what a prisoner is in for.


Alternatively, a small five pointed star can be found on the hand, between the thumb and first finger.
The ink used in Russian prisons for example was made with melted shoe soles, mixed with urine and blood.
You can find Gang Tattoos showing special symbols like a black bird or a group of skulls with the gang’s name inked intricately in the design. You can see many tattoos inked on a person’s face, or on his back, or even on his fingers.
Gang and prison tattoos have more in common with traditional tribal tattoos than they do with modern decorative body art: they are designed to mark an individual as a member of a group, as well as being an indication of status.
A piece of body art holds so many stories, from the person’s relationship with the gang to his loyalty and raw courage.
Often, experienced gang members get tattoos inked from their face all the way down to the chest.



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