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Brainstorming Penn State Fine-Line Tattoos

Graphics created by Erin Conaway

The year is 2022. Thick, colorful tattoos are out, and fine-line tattoos are in.

Many tattoo artists specialize in fine-line tattooing by using small, singular needles to create thin, delicate designs. These tattoos lack a color gradient and can be minimalistic or intricate.

Before you book your next tattoo appointment, check out our ideas of what Penn State fine-line tattoos could look like. Imagine how many compliments you’d get if you had a delicate lil’ Old Main tat on your arm.

Nittany Lion Logo

The Nittany Lion logo is one of Penn State’s most recognizable designs that serves as a reminder of the university’s numerous sports teams. The massive LED logo that shines atop Beaver Stadium is truly breathtaking and symbolic of all the good times Penn Staters have had in there. Why not make those memories permanent?


For the Penn Staters with ~culture,~ a JoePa tattoo might be the perfect tribute to legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. Whether you grew up watching his team on TV or have heard tales about how he would teach a lesson, there’s no denying the impact he had on Penn State. You could opt for an outline of his since-removed statue or a delicate “409” to denote the number of games he won with the Nittany Lions between 1966 and 2011.

Old Main

Penn State’s most iconic building is an architectural beauty. Old Main’s massive pillars and bell tower have been an important part of campus for generations. It’s arguably the most recognizable Penn State “thing,” which would make any fan or alumni smile as they glanced at your tat.

Lion Shrine

Gosh, the Lion Shrine is so damn cute. The placement of this tattoo just above your elbow would allow him to peek through every short sleeve shirt. If you want to be even more adorable, you could get your tattoo artist to outline a photo of your family on the shrine, too. Wholesome af.


Everyone’s favorite Penn State bar deserves to live on your skin permanently. Maybe you never want to forget the place where you met your girlfriend or the first place you blacked out. Heck, you might’ve even witnessed the Jonas Brothers perform here. If you want it to be subtle, you could instead opt for a thin outline of a dirty sprite or the Champs football logo.

Paw Print

A thin drawing of “the official paw print of the university” is ideal for Nittany Lion lovers. This fine-line tattoo could also serve as a fun bonding experience for the ultimate Penn State family. Perhaps you could get a mini paw print for each member of your family or get a big one in honor of the ultimate Penn State fan in your life.

Four Diamonds

If THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, had a profound impact on your Penn State experience, this might be the tattoo for you. Four Diamonds, THON’s beneficiary, has a simple rhomboidal logo. Each individual diamond represents the four qualities found in every Four Diamonds child: courage, wisdom, honesty, and strength. A simple thin outline of the Four Diamonds logo can symbolize the special memories THON and Four Diamonds children had on your life.

Other aesthetically pleasing Penn State fine-line tattoos may include an outline of Beaver Stadium, your fraternity or sorority letters, or the university seal. What kind of permanent ink will you get?

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About the Author

Colleen Nersten

Colleen is a senior biology major from York, Pa, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She overuses the ~tilde~ and aspires to be no other than the great Guy Fieri. You can find Colleen filling up her gas tank at Rutter’s, the ~superior~ Pennsylvania gas station. Please direct any questions or concerns to [email protected] For the hijinks, always.

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