Apr 222013
Half Sleeve Custom Tattoo Design from Dark Design Graphics

A Half Sleeve Tattoo Design

Customers of our Custom Tattoo Design service often contact Dark Design Graphics unsure of what information we require to create a unique tattoo design for them. We get a mixed bag of briefs from hard to understand to sometimes literally one line of text. Thankfully we received one of the most detailed briefs we have had for this half sleeve tattoo design.

We Know What’s Best

A detailed brief should not read like instructions. The aim of a brief is to give the designer as much information about what the client wants as possible.

Because its only a half sleeve if I have too many things or if you need more then take sh*t out or just add stuff in. You know what is best dude.

In this case the customer created a list explaining each feature he wanted in his tattoo design from a Spitfire fighter plane to a warrior helmet. Although not strictly necessary the customer explained the significance of each of those items. While we do not ask customers to explain the significance of their tattoo designs, there is nothing better than designing a deep and meaningful tattoo.

It is open to debate whether knowing the significance of your project really helps you to create but for me knowing why my customer wants something helps me to decide what features to emphasise, how to style my design and to be honest creates a much more enjoyable project.

Creating A Half Sleeve Custom Tattoo Design from Dark Design Graphics

Research & Reference Resources

Research is the first step to designing a tattoo as mentioned in How We Design A Tattoo. With my customers excellent brief I could work through each item mentioned researching composition, style and compiling a collection of reference images and resources for the Half Sleeve Tattoo Design.

When compiling my research I use Dropbox to share my ideas and collected images with my customer. As Dropbox allows you to share folders with people I also ask the customer to add any ideas, images or update their brief if they want to add useful information on their design.

Spell Casting Hand Reference Photo

Hand Reference Image

For this half sleeve tattoo design project I took a couple of photographs of myself for the Wizard Of Oz Character in my design. Although slightly blurry I was very happy with how the reference image above turned out. I also took a few more of my face for the design but I will not be showing them because frankly they make me look like a bit of a nutcase! But please feel free to click on the image above and download the full size picture for your own designs, I will be interested to see what you come up with.

Designing A Half Sleeve Tattoo Design Concept from Dark Design Graphics


This turned out to be one of the most interesting tattoo design projects I have done, with a well explained brief, an interesting background to each feature of the design and a customer who worked with me in each step. There is a great sense of fulfilment when you end up with a happy customer, especially when this half sleeve tattoo design had such meaning to the client.

I really appreciate everything mate, I think what you have done is amazing, couldn’t be more pleased.

Custom Half Sleeve Tattoo Design from Dark Design Graphics

Half Sleeve Custom Tattoo Design from Dark Design Graphics

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  10 Responses to “Creating A Half Sleeve Tattoo Design”

  1. Can you please email me so I can send you pictures of my half sleeve ideas.

  2. Hello
    I have a medium size tribal tattoo on my back. I would like to cover it. Could help me?

    • Hi Mate, thank you for getting in touch, we do do cover ups but we do need a lot of info about what you are looking for, size of the design and an idea of the design you would like to cover, so just fill in as much info as you can on our custom tattoo quote form and I will get back to you with a quote and plan of action – http://darkdesigngraphics.co.uk/tattoo-design-quote

      Cheers, looking forward to seeing your idea.


  3. I really like your work man and I would love to have you design my tattoo for me. It’s a pirate ship themed half sleeve. How can I get this happening??
    Cheers matt.

  4. I would really like help designing a quarter sleeve regarding something similar to the quarter sleeve demonstrated with a few key differences please get back with me on how to do this

    • Thank you for getting in touch, I have just emailed you with a list of questions about your idea. Please remember to check junk mail if you do not see the email. Looking forward to hearing back from you,

      • I have a Dragon tattoo on shoulder i want to turn it in to half sleeve i have ideas can you Help me design it i can email photos i need you email address thank you

        • Hi Ryan, I have just sent you an email with some questions about your idea! Looking forward to hearing back from you.

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