Tattoo competitions

Important information

- All tattoos on neck, hands and head will not be judged at the competetions - it is according to the law illegal to tattoo on these areas in Denmark.

- It is also illegal to tattoo people under the age of 18 in Denmark.

- We recommend that you, in respect of the art, do not participate in the competitions with designs that have been copied / taken / stolen by other artists.

Competition Guidelines

- It is only possible to participate with a tattoo if the studio/tattoo artist is present at Nordic Ink Festival. We have made the choice that the studio/tattoo artist must be present, because we want to support the exhibitioners participating at Nordic Ink Festival.

- Registration for competitions must be handed to the registration stand 15 minutes prior to the start of the competition

- Each tattoo can only enter in one category throughout the convention, with the exception of participating in the “Tattoo of the day” and “Tattoo of the show”. Read specification for “Tattoo of the day” and “Tattoo of the show”.

- Tattoo of the day/show – is open to all types of tattoos. To participate in “Tattoo of the show”, the tattoo has to be made at this year’s Nordic Ink Festival. To participate in “Tattoo of the day”, the tattoo must be made the day you choose to participate

- If you previously have won a first, second or third place in a competition in a category with a certain tattoo at Nordic Ink Festival, you cannot participate with that tattoo.

- It is very important that you choose to participate in the right competition category, if not you will risk that the judges will give the tattoo 0 points.

Judging Criteria

The complete appearance of the tattoo. Furthermore, the tattoos are judged by the originality of lines, colors, shadows, overall design, flow and movement of the tattoo.

Competition structure (NEW IN 2022)

If less than 10 artists have signed up for a competition, the competition will start from round 2.

Round 1 – Pre-Judging
All the attending models gather on the stage from start. The judges will from here quickly view all the tattoos and pick out their 2 favorites and gives each of them a jeton. 10 tattoos qualify for the next round. All the models that did not get a jeton, leaves the competition and the stage.

Round 2 - qualification
The 10 qualified models from first round will one-and-one be called to the stage. From here the judges will carefully study the tattoo and give an anonymous point from 1-10. When all tattoos have been judged the points will be counted and the 5 tattoos with highest point will be called back on the stage for the final round.

Round 3 – Final
The 5 finalists stand side by side in front of the judges. From here the judges in a cooperation will discuss and decide the competitions 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The decision will be kept secret and handed over to the host, who will announce the winners from 3rd-1st place.


Best Traditional Tattoo

Simple classic designs in limited primary colors; often black, red, blue, green and yellow. Examples of subjects are sail boats, roses and anchors.

Best Small Tattoo

All styles are welcome. The Tattoo cannot be bigger than 10 x 10 cm

Best New School Tattoo

This style is inspired by graffiti and cartoons. There is often used eye catching colors and cartoonish motives with varied thickness of the lines.

Best Blackwork/Ornamental Tattoo

This category is open towards all tattoos with a strong presence of black ink. Line work, geometric, symmetry, ornamental, celtic, tribal, nordic, inca, polynesian, mandala etc.

Best Oriental Tattoo

This category is open to all types of Asian motives.

Best Color Tattoo

Color tattoos of all kinds, large and small. It may vary in several styles, the only requirement is that the tattoos are in color and that the color scale gives life and dynamics to the subject.

Best Black'n Grey Tattoo

This category covers both Modern Black’n Grey and Classic Black’n Grey tattoos. These tattoos are made with what is called ‘Greywash’, and not with the grey color, but with shades and colors from the grey color scale which creates depth. It may vary in several styles, the requirement is simply, that the tattoos are in black and grey. It is accepted to use white color for contrast/highlight. In this category there are often seen semi-realistic motives, Chicano tattoos etc. There is a strong emphasis on contrast, progress and the “finesse” of the shadow. Note, this category does not contain realistic tattoos and portraits.

Best Neo-traditional Tattoo

This category is open for more modern versions of the Old School style. You will often use thick lines, add modern and realistic motives with a twist of the Old School style.

Best Realistic Tattoo

Naturalistic tattoos and portraits. They can be made in color or black and grey. If possible, bring a photograph of the original artwork/photo that’s has been used for the tattoo. Judges are looking for how much it looks like the artwork/photo, and the dimensions of the image.

Best Large Tattoo

All styles are welcome. The tattoo must be a full armsleeve, legsleeve, chestpiece or backpiece.

Best Tattoo of The Day

This category is open to all types of tattoos, but it MUST be made at Nordic Ink Festival the current year and on the given day. This will be checked.

Best Tattoo of The Show

This category is open to all types of tattoos but it MUST be made at Nordic Ink Festival the current year. This will be checked.