People Are Getting "Work Tattoos" & We Don't Know How To Feel About It

Photo courtesy Beyond Type 1/Bellalu Photography
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of her business, Rachel Sutherland, an owner of a communications firm in Charlotte, North Carolina, knew she wanted to do something special. But instead of going out for drinks or buying a pricey item she'd been eyeing, she took it to the next level and got a tattoo of her company's logo on her wrist.

It may sound extreme, but Sutherland's not alone. More and more employees have made the decision to commemorate their commitment to their career with a tattoo — either one they choose with coworkers or one they get on their own.

"I'm turning 30 soon; I know I want to get a tattoo, and I'm absolutely thinking of getting a logo of my company," says Leanne Weekes, a publicist at Silent Revolution in Miami, Florida. "It would be a private reminder of all of the times I could have or should have given up. To remember always the community of people who took a chance on a humble graduate with big dreams." Weekes says she thinks a work-related tattoo shouldn't be seen any differently than any other ink. "If you are wholly committed to your career and the love you have for what you do wholly embodies all of who you are, then the artwork should be symbolic of [that]."

People who have already gotten ink related to their professions say the key is to make sure you're 100% on board with the design — and that the design (and story behind it) will transcend your time working for the company.

Victoria Kent, 34, a Chicago-based publicist, got a small tattoo of her client's logo behind her ear. The client was Sailor Jerry rum, and while the brand was impressed with her commitment, she says the reason she got it was that it was a great memory. "I had been thinking of getting a behind-the-ear tattoo for a while, and when Sailor Jerry offered free ones at a festival, it seemed like the perfect time. It's a great memory, and I love telling the story!"

Click ahead for the stories and images behind other work-related tattoos. And, maybe consider booking your next team-building meeting at the local tattoo studio?
1 of 6
Photo: Courtesy of Macaroni Kids.
Group Effort
Some coworkers celebrate commitment with a group coffee run. These women — who work for Macaroni Kid, a local publishing platform highlighting kid- and mom-friendly events around the country — made the decision to get permanently inked.

At the company's annual convention, 10 Macaroni Kid publishers from around the country banded together to get the logo — three small daisies — tattooed on their wrists.

"Inking yourself with an employer's logo represents a truly extraordinary company culture," says Stephanie Duhon, who publishes Macaroni Kid in Tennessee.
2 of 6
Photo: Courtesy of Rachel Sutherland.
A Bold Statement
"Starting my own business had been intense," says communications executive Rachel Sutherland. "I had quit my job in 2009 as an editor at a large newspaper, and I'd always thought I'd do journalism forever. For me, starting a business was a huge leap, and after five years, I was pretty proud of how far I had come. I wanted to commemorate it [with a tattoo]," she says, adding that the only detractor has been her mom.

"My mom is always asking me, 'Well, what if you change your logo?' But I talk a lot, so I think I'll be okay, regardless," says Sutherland.
3 of 6
Photo: Courtesy of Adam Geringer-Dunn.
Wearing His Passion On His Sleeve
Adam Geringer-Dunn, co-owner of Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. in Brooklyn, got two bivalves on his arm after he opened his first Long Island City fish market, to symbolize his love for his industry.
4 of 6
Photo: Courtesy of Beyond Type 1/Bellalu Photography.
All For The Cause
The logo for the charity Beyond Type 1, helmed by Nick Jonas, is all about raising awareness of all forms of diabetes. To show support, some people in the organization — including cofounder Sam Talbot — have gotten the company's logo (the shape of a drop, as in the drops of blood used for blood-testing) tattooed on their bodies.
5 of 6
Photo: Courtesy of Sabrina Lane.
Thick Skin
"These are placoid scales, which are basically modified teeth that cover a shark's body and make their skin incredibly resilient," says Sabrina Lane, 30, who works at an aquarium in Central Florida. "It took me forever to get into my career, but it was worth the wait, and this tattoo embodies my love for sharks, my passion for my work, and [it's] a reminder that I need a tough skin to stay strong!"
6 of 6

More from Work & Money


R29 Original Series