Design my tattoo?
July 11, 2018 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Turning 40. First tattoo. Have an idea but need cool design ideas. Hope me.

So my first idea got put on hold by the Mrs.. She really liked my second idea though - walking out of the Won't You Be My Neighbor documentary with my face nearly swollen shut with tears still, I told her I'd like to get "143" as my first tattoo instead (I corresponded with Mr. Rogers as a kid and he was a huge formative influence in my life having grown up in a very unsafe environment).

Thing is, all of the 143 designs for a tattoo that I can google are kind of lame. At this point I'm kind of leaning towards a basic roman numeral version, but I'd like to come up with something more unique and maybe hard to decipher, but I and the Mrs. know what it means.

My initial thought was to go binary, but I don't know the language well enough to know which one of these would be "right" - I just used a text-to-binary converter:



That said, I'm not married to the idea of binary, and I'd like to think of something that has more of a cool design-spin than a coding-spin, if that makes sense. Something with cool shapes or something, I don't know. That's why I'm asking you smart people. Thanks in advance.
posted by allkindsoftime to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you want each number separately, the bottom set is the "right" one.

If you want to do 143 as just the number 143, then this is correct: 10001111
posted by deezil at 9:44 AM on July 11, 2018 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I am a believer in not getting tattoo in languages you don't speak. This is sort of a hedge case, but if you're uncomfortable with reading binary maybe a binary tattoo is not the right way to go?

Instead of obscuring 143 in binary you could go in the opposite direction and have the tattoo be a visual explanation of 143. Because Fred Rodgers was all about teaching. Something like:
1 letter for i
4 letters for love
3 letters for you

Or you could get it as a house address sign to indicate that you are part of the neighborhood
posted by French Fry at 9:48 AM on July 11, 2018 [16 favorites]

Best answer: 00110001 00110100 00110011 is the binary representation of the textual characters "143" in the standard encoding known as ASCII (which maps characters to numeric IDs).

00000001 00000100 00000011 is the binary representation of the numbers 1, 4, and 3. (Actually, it could just be 1 100 11; the extra 0s in front don't do anything in the same way that 00123 is the same number as 123).

As deezil said, 10001111 is the binary representation of the number 143.
posted by dfan at 9:59 AM on July 11, 2018

Maybe something graphic. I'm often inspired by things like The Daily Minimal

So it could be something like a series of circles. 10 x 10 followed by 10 x 4 followed by 1 x 3
(or broken up in any other way that makes 143 points)?

or Could be thick lines with some decorative flourish to mark the start and stop that have a ratio of
1:4:3....or 100 : 40 : 3
That could be done circular like a graph.
posted by Wink Ricketts at 10:04 AM on July 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love the house address sign idea.
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:30 AM on July 11, 2018 [4 favorites]

Best answer: How about 143 dots that compose a heart?
posted by tchemgrrl at 10:33 AM on July 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I was designing a similar tattoo for someone, we were thinking of doing it in Morse Code with the dots and dashes represented by shorter and longer lines and then wrapping it in a circle.

ILY would be ..|.-..|-.--
ILOVEYOU would be ..|.-.. --- ...- .|-.-- --- ..-

That's short enough to wrap into a tidy little design.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:35 AM on July 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Just some ideas.

You could do the binary 10001111 as a series of circles, coloring in the ones for 1 as black dots. Do them in a circular layout instead of a line it's never ending I love yous? Of course they don't have to be dots, they could be say hexagons, some with a pattern in some not.

Get the numbers 143 tattooed on you in your wives or child's handwriting.

Work the numbers into a sigil, there are lots of different ways to make a sigil so google until you find one that clicks with you. With or without wiccan undertones they can look amazing & can be highly personal.
posted by wwax at 10:37 AM on July 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Find a reputable tattoo artist that works in a style you like. Ask them how they can interpret your idea. Let the artist handle the creative part.
posted by gnutron at 10:45 AM on July 11, 2018 [14 favorites]

You could create a design that's made up of hands holding up fingers to indicate 1, 4, 3 - as a kid would show how old they are.
posted by quince at 12:11 PM on July 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconding what gnutron said (I think this is the answer to most tattoo-design questions).
posted by box at 1:21 PM on July 11, 2018

Three of the puppets from the Land of Make-Believe, each holding up a sign with a number on it.
posted by egypturnash at 1:10 AM on July 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Ditto children's hands giving the American Sign Language for 143. Maybe some nice framework around it (wind blowing little leaves, or clouds, or subtle scrollwork).
posted by TrishaU at 11:28 AM on July 12, 2018

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