Decades do their dirty work
In tattooing, size and detail really are a compromise.
Unfortunately for any tattoo collector, all tattoos will spread and fade over time. An age old saying in the industry is, "Bold will hold!"
Although most of the images that you will see posted online are super clean and crisp, they are usually photos immediately taken after the work is done, and not always the best example of what it will look like in 1, 2, 3, or more years.
Most tattoo lines will ultimately triple or quadruple as they age. Lettering can be the worst victim, with the small gaps in lowercase "e"s and "a"s blurring together after a short time, if not spread out enough.
Large, simple, free flowing designs will last well over time, while tight or small lettering, along with other fine detail work, can become really distorted as our skin ages and the pigment breaks down. Something to consider when putting together your next piece!