Over the last decade, it's become a lot more common place for several people in a family to go get tattooed together. Where it used to be shocking for someone's grandmother to get some ink, or a tattoo was what you hid from your mother instead of getting with her, all that has changed. But coming up with a design that suits a variety of different individuals can be tricky.
Who's Getting Tattooed?
The first thing to take a look at is just who is participating in the group experience. What used to be the occasional father-son ritual or a secret outing by siblings can now often take shape as a large, multi-generational event. Adult children, mid-life parents and senior grandparents can all be involved, not to mention aunts, uncles, cousins and various spouses.
It's important to think about things like placement and life responsibilities. If everyone wants to have the exact same tattoo in the exact same place, the more people who are involved, the harder it's going to be to find a spot that everyone is happy with. Personal preferences over what is appropriate and what isn't will have to be worked out too. Make sure Grandma doesn't find the placement to bold or revealing and be sure to check so that no one will get fired for having some ink in a too visible spot.
What Is Being Commemorated?
Is this ink to honor a family history? Crests and emblems can be really good for that. Singular monograms are also a good way to symbolize a family name. Is this tattoo shared by members of the same profession? Family with a traditional career (law enforcement, craftsmen, etc) sometimes like to honor the history and knowledge that gets passed down with a design that reflects their work.
Allow Some Variation
When trying to create a family tattoo, the people who allow a little bit of variation are often the ones who come up design that makes everyone happy much more quickly. The same design but resized can often work for the younger folks who want something more bold and the older folks who'd like something more discrete... or less painful. When the Lord of the Rings cast all got tattooed together, they picked the same design, but each actor put it in a different spot on their body. That's another great way to make sure everyone is happy with the design.
You could also consider having part of the design vary in color or do slight differences in the design for different family members. A friend of mine has a delicate moon tattooed on her forearm. So do all the rest of the women in her family. But they moon tattoos are exactly identical. A small section of the outline is made of dots and on each woman, the number of dots is different. This lets them have tattoos with are both matching and unique all at the same time.