Behind Jax Teller’s Reaper Tattoo

Photo Credit: Youtube Screenshot
Photo Credit: Youtube Screenshot

Charlie Hunnam talks on the inspiration behind the forever iconic Reaper tattoo on Jax Teller’s back.

San Francisco tattoo artist Freddie Corbin designed the iconic Reaper back patch worn by all SAMCRO members and makes up Jax Teller’s back tattoo. The iconic Reaper patch design was inspired by outlaw motorcycle club patches, but is completely unique to the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club. The concept for the design was based around a skull, symbolizing death. After several rough drafts the Reaper emerged. The text surrounding the reaper is reminiscent to the saloon style lettering featured on patches worn by outlaw motorcycle clubs in the 1960s.

The back of Sons of Anarchy vest is made up of the clubs logo, the Reaper, along with the letters “MC” (motorcycle club), a top rocker which is usually the club’s name, “Sons of Anarchy”, and the bottom rocker to represent the territory, “California”.

Photo Credit: Tumblr

Before filming Sons of Anarchy, Charlie Hunnam spent time researching outlaw biker culture by immersing himself into the world of a prominent Oakland outlaw motorcycle club. While hanging out with the members, Charlie got the idea to have the Reaper patch tattooed on Jax Teller’s back as a way of symbolizing his dedication to SAMCRO.

Each SAMCRO member’s tattoos are symbolic and the stories behind them are congruent to each character’s past. The tattoo images are stenciled and printed on paper with a vinyl cover for protection. Before each filming session the tattoos are applied similar to the process of applying a temporary tattoo and lasts up to 4 days. Sons of Anarchy’s makeup artist Michelle Garbin refers to a large binder with photographs of each character’s tattoo placement, using freckles and bone structure to strategically place each tattoo.

Check out the video below to find out more behind Jax Teller’s reaper back tattoo:

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