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Rebecca O'Connell
Rebecca O'Connell

Realistic Temporary Tattoos Help You Try Designs Before Committing

Rebecca O'Connell
Rebecca O'Connell

Getting a tattoo is a big commitment: Whatever design and place you decide for your tattoo is (mostly) permanent. So it makes sense to want to take a tattoo idea for a test drive before signing up for the real deal. Momentary Ink offers convincing temporary tattoos that are designed to give you a good idea of what your tattoo will look like once it's on your body.

Traditional temporary tattoos have a whole host of problems, from looking unrealistic to getting a gross, sticky texture. It's also a lot harder to get custom designs without ordering in bulk. But this Philadelphia-based company has found a way around these problems and can offer custom tattoos that are genuinely convincing fakes. Users upload their own images or scroll through a large library of pre-drawn designs. If the customer isn't sure what they want or need an artist to draw their idea, Momentary Ink has artists on staff that can help bring those ideas to life.

Applying these tattoos is just like any other temporary tattoo—with one extra step. After placing the tattoo in the desired spot with water, the user needs to dab the area until dry. Next, they can add a thin layer of a blue solution over the tattoo. This helps the design better blend in with the skin.

The tattoos are nontoxic, waterproof, and can last anywhere between three and 10 days. The founder of Momentary Ink, Jordan Denny, says he experimented with over 50 combinations before finding the perfect formula for the tattoos.

"When it comes to the type of tattoos that people are getting today, it’s a lot harder to visualize and get on the paper exactly what you’re thinking," Denny told Mashable. "We allow them to really visualize what this thing is going to look like as an exact replica before they get it done."

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Ker Robertson, Getty Images
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architecture
5 Scrapped Designs for the World's Most Famous Buildings
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
Ker Robertson, Getty Images

When an architect gets commissioned to build a skyscraper or a memorial, they’re usually not the only applicant for the job. Other teams of designers submit their own ideas for how it should look, too, but these are eventually passed over in favor of the final design. This is the case for some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks—in an alternate world, the Arc de Triomphe might have been a three-story-tall elephant statue, and the Lincoln Memorial a step pyramid.

GoCompare, a comparison site for financial services, dug into these could-have-been designs for Alternate Architecture, an illustrated collection of scrapped designs for some of the most famous structures in the world, from Chicago's Tribune Tower to the Sydney Opera House.

Click through the interactive graphic below to explore rejected designs for all five landmarks.

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George Mayerle, U.S. National Library of Medicine // Public Domain
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Design
This 1907 Vision Test Was Designed for People of All Nationalities
George Mayerle, U.S. National Library of Medicine // Public Domain
George Mayerle, U.S. National Library of Medicine // Public Domain

At the turn of the 20th century, San Francisco was a diverse place. In fact, Angel Island Immigration Station, located on an island in the San Francisco Bay, was known as the “Ellis Island of the West,” processing some 300,000 people coming to the U.S. in the early 1900s. George Mayerle, a German optometrist working in the city at the time, encountered this diversity of languages and cultures every day in his practice. So in the 1890s, Mayerle created what was billed as “the only [eye] chart published that can be used by people of any nationality,” as The Public Domain Review alerts us.

Anticipating the difficulty immigrants, like those from China or Russia, would face when trying to read a vision test made solely with Roman letters for English-speaking readers, he designed a test that included multiple scripts. For his patients that were illiterate, he included symbols. It features two different styles of Roman scripts for English-speaking and European readers, and characters in Cyrillic, Hebrew, Japanese, and Chinese scripts as well as drawings of dogs, cats, and eyes designed to test the vision of children and others who couldn't read.

The chart, published in 1907 and measuring 22 inches by 28 inches, was double-sided, featuring black text on a white background on one side and white text on a black background on the other. According to Stephen P. Rice, an American studies professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey, there are other facets of the chart designed to test for a wide range of vision issues, including astigmatism and color vision.

As he explains in the 2012 history of the National Library of Medicine’s collections, Hidden Treasure [PDF], the worldly angle was partly a marketing strategy on Mayerle’s part. (He told fellow optometrists that the design “makes a good impression and convinces the patient of your professional expertness.”)

But that doesn’t make it a less valuable historical object. As Rice writes, “the ‘international’ chart is an artifact of an immigrant nation—produced by a German optician in a polyglot city where West met East (and which was then undergoing massive rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake)—and of a globalizing economy.”

These days, you probably won’t find a doctor who still uses Mayerle’s chart. But some century-old vision tests are still in use today. Shinobu Ishihara’s design for a visual test for colorblindness—those familiar circles filled with colored dots that form numbers in the center—were first sold internationally in 1917, and they remain the most popular way to identify deficiencies in color vision.

[h/t The Public Domain Review]

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