30 Most Notable Launches of 2007


Urban Ink

Once a symbol for outlaws and rebels, tattoos have become mainstream, crossing all socio-economic and cultural boundaries. Attempting to capitalize on this growing trend is Urban Ink, a tattoo magazine for people of color. One only needs to take a look at popular culture to see the countless examples of young African-Americans covered in tattoos.

African-Americans, Latinos and Asians are the fastest growing group getting inked, according to the editors of Urban Ink. Recognizing that there were no tattoo magazines targeting this growing consumer base, the publishers, who also publish Skin & Ink magazine, decided to create a tattoo magazine that features information especially for people of color.

In fact, Urban Ink’s goal is to be the ultimate source for the ethnic tattoo community, and, with the substantive content this magazine provides, it could well be on its way to being just that.

The detailed articles on tribal tattoo symbols and fraternity branding address topics unique to the ethnic-inked community, while profiles of celebrities with tattoos show that today’s popular culture is a culture of ink.

Once you see things in that context you understand why Urban Ink is one of the top 30 launches of the year.


Paul Gambino

1. What do you consider the single most important achievement your magazine has accomplished in today’s marketplace?

Until Urban Ink hit the streets, the urban tattooed community had virtually no representation in the print world. UI gives this community a place to express its opinions, shout out its anger, showcase its talent and show off its ink.

2. Looking back, what was the most important hurdle you were able to overcome?
Establishing street cred.

3. What was the most pleasant surprise?
The appreciation and cooperation of the urban tattoo community. It is with their willingness to contribute material and cooperate with us that makes Urban Ink such a wonderful magazine. 

4. What is the biggest challenge you are facing today?
With the popularity of the magazine growing so quickly, we are having to juggle which celebs will make it on the covers.

5. Imagine you have a magic wand and you can strike the magazine and make it human? Describe that human being.
He is standing in a tattoo shop, with his back to the world. The walls are covered with everything from flash from the 1930s to 1980s graffiti to modern day portraits of rappers. In one hand he carries a tattoo machine in the other an old school boombox. Is he Black, Latino, Asian, American Indian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean? It’s your call.

6. The number of new magazine launches has been on a steady increase. What advice do you offer to someone wanting to start a new magazine?
Find a niche that you are passionate about and create the best damn magazine you can. Then the people will come. 

7. Finish this sentence: in 2011 your magazine will be…
Urban Ink will be known for more than solely a tattoo magazine. It will be recognized as a magazine representing the best in the urban tattoo culture and the cutting edge voice of the urban community.