Descriptions of the competitions

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.
  • 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. 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 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 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 Neo Traditional Tattoo: This is a tattoo which is in the more modern end of Old School. You will often use thick lines, add modern and realistic motives with a twist of the Old School style.
  • 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 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 Feminine Tattoo: In this category the tattoos are judged based on how design and placement highlights the female dimensions.
  • Best Oriental Tattoo: This category is open to all types of Asian motives.
  • Best Weird Tattoo: These tattoos will be judged by subject and location. The stranger the better. As in all categories, these tattoos shall be technically well made with fine lines, correct progress, color saturation etc.
  • Best Cover-up Tattoo: This is a category of cover-up tattoos. Cover-up tattoos must be a new motive to cover-up an old motive. The participant must bring a photograph of the old tattoo.
  • Best Ornamental Tattoo: This category is open towards all tattoos within the ornamental style. It can be celtic, tribal, nordic, inca, polynesian, mandala, geometric motives etc.
  • 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.

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.
  • It is only possible to register in a maximum of two competitions per tattoo per day. One “category” and one “tattoo of the day/show” – NOT two categories the same day!
  • 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.
  • You cannot participate in a competition if you have previously won a first, second or third place at Nordic Ink Festival. (If you previously have won a first, second or third place in a competition in a category with a certain tattoo 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.


The points will be awarded on a scale from 1-10.

In case of a tie between several tattoo artists, the category will be re-judged.