Designs for the 21st Century: Feel Self-Empowered with Meaningful, Expressive Tattoos

Carnegie Mellon University is known for churning out world-class problem solvers and leaders, so it comes as no surprise that a group of design students is sending out bold messages through their tattoo art

Emoticons and internet slang are common enough in online chat rooms. Texting is no longer an act of convenience but a primary form of social interaction. A generation of youth is saying forget it to old-school meet-and-greets. In response to these shifts, the Carnegie Mellon freshman design class set out to create tattoos that convey visual codes of self-identification.

In short, these tattoos are real-life versions of emoticons. Totally on fleek.

Check out their fresh, new designs below, as well as what students had to say about the initiative.


Simply choose from a variety of 20 different designs.

Choose one, several, or even mix-and-match to your liking!

This is about expressing who you are.



FREEDOM – Because I’m a free spirit.


FORGIVENESS – I’m learning to not be so hard on myself.


 CREATIVITY – I’m a creative person.

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