World’s first Raspberry Pi tattoo? We think so!

Eavesdropping on people mentioning Raspberry Pi on Twitter yesterday, I came across Paul Rainer von Habsburg (@RainerVonHabs, whom I shall refer to hereafter as Paul RvH), who was talking about his new tattoo. Here it is, courtesy of Now or Never Tattoos and Body Works – the various Linux/Android logos are the work of @ECHO1RTH and the Raspberry Pi logo is by @Johnnylemonz. Paul Beech (Paul B for the purposes of this post), who designed our logo, is bounding around with joy at the news; he has never seen a piece of his artwork in tattoo form before, and Paul RvH’s new ankle decoration means Paul B now has something in common with Lucian Freud.

Paul RvH’s tattooed logo is new and hasn’t healed yet; note the glossiness. He will, I hope, share another picture when it’s finished healing.

Linux tattoos galore!

Raspberry Pi tattoo

I don’t think I’ve seen dedication to Linux quite like this ever. Thank you Paul RvH – we salute your pain threshold!


Sam avatar

Why would you do this?

liz avatar

I actually think it makes quite a lot of sense; you’re much more likely to still be a fan of Linux in ten years’ time than you are of, say, dolphins. Or anchors. Or snakes eating the moon. Or Miley Cyrus.

Miley4eva avatar

I was with you right up until Miley.

Kris Chaplin avatar

Where’s the (TM) sign ? :-)

liz avatar

I think we’ll let him off.

cave avatar

hopefully he/she has also a GNU

Matthew Manning avatar

This is quite hardcore. Maybe Eben should a retro BBC Micro Logo tattoo.

Stephen Scott avatar

You could do quite an effective Beeb Beeb Ceeb Micro logo using either an upturned Lego brick, or Sticklebrick, depending on how large you want the end result to be.

Overall visual effect also depends on Eben’s pain threshold :-)

liz avatar

He is quite hairy. I fear this might end in divorce.

We were promised robots avatar

Too much info!

Stephen Scott avatar

Ah, but raspberries can be quite hairy, so no excuse! :-)

ivanroulson avatar

Why is it on his ankle? It’s got an ARM processor (groan)…

alex avatar

Very funny – not sure it works in German though. :)

liz avatar

Paul Rainer, despite the name, is from the US. :D

cave avatar

Habsburg, is a pure Austrian Name, not German!

Ben avatar

It does! :) Arm [arm] NOUN m

Maybe someone wants to go down that road over here…

Ben avatar

(Oh, well, it swallowed half the special characters in its grammatical description, and I should’ve expected that, but you get the idea. :)

Brian Williams avatar

I can’t believe that you are publicising this form of self-mutilation as a good and desirable thing, when the R.Pi is clearly aimed at children. I’m really disappointed!

liz avatar

I recommend removing that stick, Brian. You’ll be much more comfy.

Brian Williams avatar

… but not as disappointed as by your reply. Are all such considerations for kids nowadays treated with contempt? I would have thought a reasoned, polite reply would be in order. I don’t think I was rude to you, which if I have interpreted your reply correctly, you were to me. ( I presume that you are implying that the stick is in my lower digestive tract?)

a) am I wrong? Is the Raspberry Pi not aimed significantly (if not primarily) at children?
b) if you have/had kids, would you encourage them to get tattoos/let them think it was a cool thing to do?

If the answers to a and b above are yes and yes, then I will go back to the alternative universe that I apparently inhabit. But I’d be interested to know if anyone else agrees with me … or perhaps they don’t want to be insulted too.

I’m even more disappointed.

bantammenace avatar

Please feel free to insult me. I’m with Brian on this one.

liz avatar

There is, as I’m sure you’re aware, a significant difference between reporting on something (and it’s newsworthy; the Inquirer has already written an article about the ankle in question) and encouraging kids to do it. Kids can’t get tattoos anyway. It’s illegal. And if this post has made a child (or an adult) anywhere run to the nearest tattoo parlour having ignited a heretofore latent desire for body art, I’ll eat my hat. It’s just a daft surmise, and frankly, it’s a bit insulting, both to these imaginary kids, lured into a dark underworld of needles and piercings by a post on a technology blog; and to us at the Foundation, who credit our readers with a bit more sense than that.

The hand-wringing’s a tiny bit exhausting. And it makes us roll our eyes when someone in an armchair somewhere pulls a “Won’t somebody think of the children”; We think about kids ALL THE TIME; it’s why we’re here. Thinking about kids and their future opportunities is the reason I’ve given up my salary to volunteer on this project for crazy hours for the last 20 months.

Incidentally, Brian, that wasn’t an insult. If I ever do insult you, you’ll know about it.

poglad avatar

“Kids can’t get tattoos anyway. It’s illegal.”

Ah… and I was thinking the Foundation had global domination in its sights! You’ll be aware that in many/most countries, it’s not illegal at all?

JamesH avatar

Sorry, going to put my oar in on this one. What on earth has this got to do with children? This site is about education, and not just education for children.

That said, Tattoos. I dislike them, and will recommend to my children (yes, I do have a gaggle of those) that they really really do not get them. My other half on the other hand loves them (and has one). BUT, I really cannot see the connection between posting about some guy getting a tattoo (and they are extremely popular both here and in the USA and have been for thousands of years), and the harm it may do to children. I see no connection.

I am personally much more concerned about the violent nature of films and suchlike we are continually bombarded with, and the gratuitous nature of a lot of that violence which is immunising children against it. But in America (for example) sex and the odd exposed nipple is regarded almost as heresy, and to be hidden under the carpet, whilst blowing someone’s brains out in a film is OK. Now that IS worth get riled about. Not tattoos.

InactiveX avatar

Kids aren’t interested in having tattoos. What self-respecting 8-year-old wants to look like Robbie Williams in this day and age?

I hope the tattoo didn’t cost more than $25. ;)

poglad avatar

“This site is about education” – yes, not tattoos! I love the forum, but I’m starting to rely more and more on Adufruit’s retweets of RPi announcements. They are more focussed than this blog, and MUCH more focussed than the official Twitter account. Signal to noise, you know?

Phillipe avatar

The tattoos are fine by me — the minimum legal age to get “mutilated” where I live is 18, so I don’t expect any of my children to be coming home covered in ARM ink anytime soon. (Of course an adult is allowed to punch metal posts through a baby’s ears anytime they feel like it — but hey! it’s all good.)

What really disgusts me is that ‘Minecraft’ thing that you think is so ‘good’. Encouraging young children to beat pigs to death with their fists just to get a ‘pork chop’ when they are not even ‘hungry’. And forcing them to ‘quite literally’ set living creatures on fire. Never mind making impressionable young children think that it’s easy to get rich just by ‘digging ‘ so they don’t want to study for their ‘exams’.

You make me sick.

liz avatar


Gas avatar

I remember seeing a picture of one guy with the Microsoft Zune tatoo and at the time i thought the exact same thing i’m thinking now….Dude, you must be the smartest guy in the precint!

ukscone avatar

ok the foundation will let him off for not bothering with the tm symbol but i do hope he’ll have the tattoo physically augmented (button implanted under the skin) so that if someone kicks him in the shin the wearable raspi he obviously has opens a browser to

Roger H. avatar

I wonder how often Tux has to have his stomach shaved.

tzj avatar

If anyone plans a MagPi tattoo, at least wait till the sticker comes out, then I could say its tattoo worthy :D

nigel young avatar

Children, play nice on the forum, I am from NZ and a tattoo is seen as your mana or your life and history, it tells a story about you.
As has been said before no self respecting child is going to tattoo themselves with the raspberry logo but im sure they will have a giggle at it.
lighten up a bit folks this world has far more bad things for us all to be afraid of than a bit of ink.
Oops ive just blown a raspberry :-)

clive avatar

” a tattoo is seen as your mana or your life and history, it tells a story about you.”

Thanks Nigel – it’s enlightening to get a perspective from a culture that understands what inking your skin really means.

John Lokerse avatar

A dedicated dude!

Brian Williams avatar


I cannot believe the level of aggression that my comment has caused. I’m genuinely dismayed that concern for children is now considered “hand wringing” worthy of eye rolls.

I don’t think it is insulting to children to imagine that a youngster, reading messages from a load of adults crooning about how cool it is for one of them to get a tattoo will feel encouraged to experiment, albeit as soon as they are “legally able”, or perhaps earlier if they can get away with it.

Have you never seen kids under 18 smoking outside schools? I know I have – where did they get the idea from, do you think?

Tattoos may be “safer” than smoking, but I included with my original (edited) post, two links that point to significant problems with health and removal…. and don’t forget the possibility of amateur attempts either…. not all kids are sensible!

Finally, I don’t know what to say about the fact that you don’t think that telling me to take the stick out of my bottom is an insult! (At least, you did not correct my former assumption that that was what you meant). Words fail me on that one.

I realise that you have given up a lot to do this work, and there must be a temptation to take a criticism of an article as a personal attack. It was not intended as such.

Am I, then, to infer that any form of criticism such as this is unwelcome and will be met with unpleasantness? Is civilised discussion too tiresome?

Aaron avatar

Just because people are saying that it is cool, does not mean they would get it themselves, let alone recommend a child to get one! And hopefully by the time they are legally allowed to get a tattoo (18) the child may have thought twice about the implications of getting one.

Can you honestly say it didn’t make you smile just one little bit when you first saw that picture at the top? I would find it hard to believe if you answer yes.

Comparing tattoos to smoking is not really fair either. I have never heard of a tattoo causing lung cancer. And the issues you linked to on Wikipedia are a LOT rarer than the adverse effects of smoking.

And if I see kids walking around with RasPi tattoos in the future I will be extremely happy – at least that means the message is getting out! :-)

tzj avatar

That give me an idea… fake tattoo transfers!

Aaron avatar

stretch goal maybe?

tzj avatar

Yea!… but which logo? Or both!
(With permission of course)

tzj avatar

Prefebly ones that don’t leave a rash

tzj avatar

OK, yes I agree with you in that ‘posts’ COULD influence the younger generation in having tattoos, drink, smoke or commit a crime… BUT the MUCH larger percentage of influence comes from parents, peers, advertising, TV etc.

A good example is a lot of parents have tattoos, but those parents would also be able to tell their kids why/how they got them and to some extent what they mean. Thus a kid can communicate with their parent about having tattoos at an acceptable age (rather than the typical “NO! YOU ARN’T GETTING ANY!), which would lessen the ‘rebel’ reflex, making the child think more clearly about it and have done properly when they decide to have one done.

So, having a tattoo related post on a child friendly site isn’t a bad thing at all, it actually encourages children to ASK ABOUT tattoos with their parents, resulting in the example above.

MetabolicCloth avatar

im a “kid” and i personally think this tattoo is cool. however i dont want to run out and cover myself with ink

nigel avatar


It seems like you are classing anyone with a tattoo as a second class citizen. I think if you just ignore this post the thread will die a natural death and we can all rest peacefully in our beds.
And look forward to playing around with something more constructive than a silly tattoo :-)

We were promised robots avatar

If you want to reply to an individual comment, click the reply button at the end of their post. Just sayin’

Kabby avatar

Didn’t realise there was so many Daily Mail readers watching the blog and waiting to pounce!

liz avatar

We learned that this was the case on the day we put a picture of a condom machine on the blog. We just ignore them.

poglad avatar

Liz, I detest the Daily Mail, but the problem seems to be arising because it looks like a technical/education blog (a la whereas it is to all intents and purposes your own personal blog. If you think something’s funny then it goes on here, however off topic.

Kabby avatar

I fail to see how a Raspberry Pi Tattoo is off topic on a Raspberry Pi Blog?

JamesH avatar

Actually, Liz has her own personal blog. This one is for the Raspberry Pi stuff, as you might expect. And I’m pretty sure every posting has been Pi related in some way. It’s not just a Education/Technical blog, it’s a Raspberry Pi blog, for all things Pi.

liz avatar

Yup – over 300 posts, EVERY SINGLE ONE about Raspberry Pi or the Foundation. It’s a Raspberry Pi smorgasbord!

poglad avatar

I’m just pointing out that those who think it’s an educational/technical blog will be surprised to see stuff like this here.

And actually, this thread is NOT about either the Raspberry Pi or the Foundation. Now if he had programmed his Pi to control the tattooing needle, that would be a different kettle of raspberries…! :-D

JamesH avatar

Er, on what planet is a tattoo of a Raspberry Pi not relevant to a Raspberry Pi blog?

Anyone who’s been around here for more than 5 minutes will realise it’s a forum/blog about Raspberry Pi’s, and not specifically aimed at education or technical, although that is what the majority of posts are about. As you might expect given the web address.

Boris avatar

poglad: Actually the “problem seems to be arising” simply due your own bizarre preconception that a company’s blog should be only about what you can *do* with their product (and even this is a false dilemma: use it to educate OR use it to do techie stuff. Is a bit of fun *really* too anti-puritanical?).

But your shallow preconception is deeply wrong. This blog is actually about the Raspberry Pi and the unique community surrounding it. This includes human interest stories. This includes tales of tattoos and cats riding floor waxers. This may make you uncomfortable (I mean, *really* fidgety). But just because you’ve categorised this blog in your head (and your Favorites) as “education/tech” doesn’t mean for one moment that everyone else should conform to your narrow worldview. You’ll be telling us next that there’s only one god or that you shouldn’t eat meat.

Adam avatar

i really enjoy the blog and have read every single post. i have no complaint

poglad avatar

Boris: You are entirely mistaken. Go to the Forum page and click on News. You are presented with the Tattoo story. That is the official categorisation, not mine. I have no problem at all with the Tattoo story, but it must really be a slow-news week if it belongs in the News section rather than Community/General Discussion with all the other fun stuff. By your anything-goes reasoning, we can look forward to pictures of naked women with the Raspberry Pi symbol covering their nipples… putting the Pi logo onto something with *literally* no other relevance at all makes it worthy of coverage in the News section. Obviously I don’t get it. I’ll say no more.

Boris avatar

“By your anything-goes reasoning, we can look forward to pictures of naked women with the Raspberry Pi symbol covering their nipples…”

HOUSE!! Straw man, wishful thinking and slippery slope fallacies in *a single sentence* — you’ve been practising, haven’t you?

Robert avatar

Oh, great… Now I’m left waiting for the post of the cat with the R-Pi tattoo riding the floor waxer… :-/

Robert avatar

Great tattoo!

Ashley avatar

This is the coolest thing ever, I think.

Comments are closed