The Design-Body Project in Analogue Corpus – Tattooing as a Graphic Expression in Paper and in Portuguese Skin Since the Beginning of the Twentieth Century

  • Susana Azevedo CardalEmail author
Part of the Springer Series in Design and Innovation book series (SSDI, volume 1)


In this chapter we propose not to think about “the canvas” where it is usually present but change the discourse of its territory and invest in a new identifier space/support, the human skin – the tattooed body as a support of elements for communicational graphic expression. The “analogue corpus” generates a new critical process in the history of the tattooed image and the graphic design, as well as in the use of materials, instruments and techniques suitable for the fulfilment of these body marks in paper and on the skin. We intend to examine the evolution of these body marks by the handling of the materials and instruments used in the paper drawings and the skin of the Portuguese throughout the XX century, focusing on three phases of study (INMLCF – 1911/43; Portuguese Colonial War – 1961/74; Post Carnation Revolution, April 25, 1974), as a graphic expression of visual perception on the form of the human body as a means of communication, allowing us to develop a synthesis of these in the development of these body marks as a historical framing. At the same time, we confront “design-project” with “body-project”. The tattooed body affirms itself today, as a privileged means of the contemporary representations of the identity of a certain individual, collectively establishing the social portrait of a given generational group, given the qualification and evolution of its professionals, as well as the resources they use to obtain significantly improved results compared to previous years.


Tattoo Lettering Legal Medicine Portuguese Colonial War Portugal 



A special thanks to Miguel Fernandes Ceia, for the translation of this book chapter.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FAUL – Faculty of Architecture of the University of LisbonCIAUD – Centre for Research in Architecture, Urbanism and DesignLisbonPortugal

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