If you’re searching for a new tattoo, you’ll love our collection of the best tattoo ideas for men. These cool designs make up the best tattoos we’ve seen. But with so many different types of creative and unique tattoos, it can be tough choosing the perfect artwork for you. From our experience, the best tattoos for men stem from timeless, classic ideas.
For example, getting a meaningful family, quote, name, cross, tribal, lion, skull, phoenix, or wolf tattoo can be a great decision. Plus, guys have the option of picking any part of the male body to get tattooed, including their arm, chest, shoulder, back, leg, wrist or hand. Ultimately, the choice to get inked can be an easy one, but finding a badass design and determining where to get it may require some inspiration.
Whether you’re getting your first tattoo or want to add-on to existing drawings, check out this guide to the best tattoos ideas and designs!
Tattoo Ideas For Men
Awesome tattoo ideas can range from small and simple to creative and meaningful. Designs can be black and white, all black, or every color of the rainbow for a beautiful watercolor affect. When it comes to the best tattoo designs, the possibilities are truly endless. Here are the coolest tattoos to inspire you.
Small tattoos are great for working professionals or guys who don’t want their tattoo to define them. The best part is that you can get a small tattoo absolutely anywhere on your body. Whether you choose a tiny design on your arm, hand, wrist, or chest, you can always conceal the artwork when you want. In the end, small tattoos make for good first and easy tattoo for men.
Simple tattoos are proof that designs don’t have to be intricate or complicated to be cool. A simple idea can provide more meaning and allow for creativity and style. Generally, small and simple tattoos have been very popular for men.
Religious tattoos come in a variety of shapes and styles. Some of the most popular religious tattoo ideas include the cross, bible verses like John 3:16, and phrases like “Only God Can Judge Me”.
Naturally, the Christian religion isn’t the only one that can be immortalized in ink; other tattoos can represent Greek, Roman, and Norse gods. These tattoos are perfect for guys who want to show their devotion for a lifetime.
Crucifix and cross tattoos are by far the favorite Christian designs you’ll see. Symbolic of God, Jesus, and your faith, the cross tattoo provides plenty of styling options.
Quote tattoos are continuing to gain traction with men due to their ability to accurately represent a life philosophy or belief. When looking at quote tattoo ideas, important factors to consider include the meaning, size, location, and font – all of which play a crucial role in emphasizing the message.
It’s also good to remember that a longer quote will require more space and a font or script that is too small can be difficult to read. Ideally, a single sentence or phrase is best, and most guys choose powerful quotes from their favorite songs or authors.
If you’re looking for designs that represent strength, courage, and family, the lion tattoo is an excellent option. The lion is among the fiercest of all the predators on Earth, and it can serve as a symbolic reminder of your own strength.
Lion tattoo ideas can stand alone or be surrounded by other images in a gorgeous collage, which makes them perfect centerpieces for artwork on the sleeve, chest, or back.
The wolf tattoo is one of the best animal tattoo ideas for guys. Because it symbolizes family, strength and loyalty, it can immortalize your relationship with family members and friends. Guys may choose wolf tattoo designs that illustrate the full body or just the head howling at a moon.
Skull tattoos are by far one of the most badass tattoo ideas. Talented artists have reinvented the skull tattoo designs in thousands of different and unique ways, so whether you want a small drawing for your hand or forearm, or a fiery 3D version on your back, chest or shoulder there are endless possibilities.
Though the skull has traditionally been used to represent death, this is not always the case. Skull tattoos for guys can symbolize rebellion, power, passion, rebirth and mortality.
Though rose tattoos may look feminine, roses are often incorporated into many designs for guys. Although the traditional red rose tattoo is the most common, artists can turn a traditional rose into a masterpiece by making it look realistic or 3D. The rose represents a fresh start, growth, potential, peace, and even a tribute to loved ones. Much of the meaning depends on the color of the rose and the specific art.
Owl tattoos symbolize intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge. Designs can be drawn realistic or more in a traditional tattoo style, and they can even be added into other images. Small owls are perfect for wrists, ankles, and even hands, but larger ones can be located on your back, chest, thigh, or upper arm. If you want an unique tattoo that doesn’t conform, get an owl.
The phoenix tattoo is all about new beginnings and rebirth. Sometimes a new lease on life is the best way to move forward, and that’s exactly why many guys get phoenix tattoos. A phoenix rising from the ashes can symbolize transformation, virtue, and potential. It’s incredibly common among recovering addicts and those who have dealt with great loss but continue to move forward in life.
The dragon tattoo is another powerful mythical creature and design idea. Dragons represent strength, power, greed, intellect, wisdom, and rebellion. There are dozens of different types of dragons, and each has its own meaning.
Horned dragons are the strongest, celestial dragons are protectors, and earth dragons are much like kings and rulers. Dragon tattoos make for amazing designs, especially stretched as a full sleeve tattoo or extending from your arm, shoulder, back and chest.
The compass tattoo is often underappreciated, but offers a classic idea for men who want a small, simple design with deep meaning. Traditionally, a compass is a traveler’s icon, but some guys like to extend the representation to the journey of life. The compass symbolizes good fortune and guidance as we navigate our own paths, helping us decipher between the right and wrong so we can achieve happiness, health and success.
3D tattoos represent our favorite designs and can be truly captivating. Only the most exceptional artists can create cool 3D tattoos. The best 3D tattoo ideas include optical illusions, mechanical gears or robotics as body parts, carved-out sections of skin, and more. It’s vital to find a reputable artist for this type of tattoo, but other than that, the designs are unlimited.
Tribal tattoos are derived from ancient history and cultures. As a symbol of family, strength, power, and courage, tribal designs are bold and beautiful. For an intricate and timeless tattoo, get tribal patterns.
Star tattoos have trending in recent years. The star can be small and simple as standalone ink, or big and stylish for a masculine look. In the end, the star tattoo can look good on any guy.
Angel tattoos can represent your faith, your belief in angels, or just the beauty of the design. Your angel tattoo idea can be beautiful and serene or badass and edgy. Either way, angels make for excellent body art.
A music tattoo is an excellent idea for guys who are either musicians or simply have a deep appreciation for music. Share your passion for music with artistic notes, instruments, lyrics, or any other representation.
Arrow tattoos look great anywhere on your body. In fact, arrow tattoo ideas make for the best first tattoos because they are simple and stylish. Popular spots include the wrist and forearm.
Feather tattoos are rich with symbolism and versatile enough to fit anywhere. While you may think feather tattoo designs are straightforward, consider a creative approach to stand out.
The crown tattoo for men is meant to signify that you are a king. Crowns are often part of matching couple tattoos, where a boyfriend and girlfriend or husband and wife get a king and queen tattoo design to celebrate their relationship. For this reason, crown tattoos can be very powerful symbols.
Family tattoos are an expression of love and unity. Some of the best family tattoo ideas include quotes like “Family First”, “Family Is Forever”, and “Family Over Everything” or names, portraits, and family trees.
The family tattoo is very meaningful and special, and few men ever regret this type of ink.
Scorpion tattoos can celebrate the Scorpio horoscope or represent passion, sexuality, intimidation, power, perseverance, evil, and death. As a powerful piece of artwork, choose the scorpion tattoo carefully.
Meaningful tattoos come in all shapes, sizes and styles, all depending on the message you want to convey. Whether you pick a quote, symbol, name, or another really cool design that speaks to your soul, guys are always searching for unique tattoos with meaning.
The name tattoo can be an awesome way to show love for a family member or close friend. Whether you want to celebrate your love for a spouse, sibling, child, grandparent, or best friend, name tattoos are all about the styling of the design.
Where To Get A Tattoo
Now that you have some different tattoo ideas when it comes to the location on your body, it’s time to think about the actual design. Sometimes, you may see a piece of artwork that you love for no apparent reason, and this is just as acceptable as a date or something symbolic. Here, you’ll learn the best tattoo design options that are popular among men.
A sleeve tattoo covers the arm, and can be a great canvas for large, powerful messages and drawings. While a full sleeve covers the entire arm, and a half sleeve can cover either the upper or lower arm. Many guys wrap a sleeve tattoo into the shoulder, back and chest for a truly badass piece of work.
While the pain factor varies, areas closer to the bone, such as elbow and wrist, may feel more tender than larger areas such as the forearm, back of your arm and shoulder.
When it comes to choosing artwork for a full or half sleeve tattoo, just about any design you can imagine can come to life. Some men choose a single image that wraps around all or part of their arms, but others choose to turn their sleeves into a collage of images that may reflect their hobbies, accomplishments, or even pieces of artwork they admire.
Arm and forearm tattoos are a bit different in that they are single pieces of artwork that do not cover your entire arm like a sleeve. The forearm is a great location for a variety of tattoos, and for the most part, any pain you might experience is minimal.
If you’re a professional working in an office, you can cover an arm tattoo with a long sleeve shirt, but it’s far easier to hide ink on your upper arm. If you want a tattoo on your arm, anything goes. The arm can accommodate the best tattoo designs and ideas.
Chest tattoos are growing more popular with every passing year and represent some of the most masculine and badass tattoo ideas. However, a chest tattoo may or may not be right for you. Men who have quite a bit of body hair will need to shave their chests prior to getting their ink, and they may need to continue shaving to keep their tattoos visible.
The pain is minimal for the most part, but areas around the nipples and close to the collarbone can be bothersome. The coolest chest tattoo designs include the dragon, skull, phoenix, quotes, names of loved ones, and anything you want to keep close to your heart.
Chest tattoos are among the easiest to cover in professional and formal settings. Nevertheless, take your time finding a talented artist so your ink comes out clean and clear.
The back tattoo is the perfect spot for big drawings and masterpieces. The back is a blank canvas for all types of tattoo ideas. Plus, because you can cover up back ink easily, back tattoos can be as edgy and intimidating as you want. Some favorite designs include quotes tattooed from shoulder to shoulder, vivid scenes of mythological creatures and Gods, and smaller artwork like a cross or name.
Furthermore, one of the best tattoo ideas for the back is a collage that you can add to as the years go by; many men choose to tattoo their kid’s footprints and birth dates in this manner or get ink to commemorate important events in their lives.
If you are concerned about pain, the areas just over the sharpest parts of the shoulder blades and along the spine can be moderately painful, but tolerable for most.
Shoulder tattoos are perfect for larger pieces of art, and some men choose matching designs for both shoulders. This can look awesome with a tank top, but easily be covered up by clothing. You’ll also see many tribal shoulder tattoos as they stretch from the shoulder to the back and chest.
The shoulder is one of the more painful areas to get tattooed. But if you’re going for a very manly and bold shoulder tattoo, the pain is almost like a rite of passage.
Hand tattoos come in many different styles. Generally, hand tattoo designs are very bold statements since they are highly visible. Spelling a word or phrase across four (or eight if you choose to tattoo both hands) may suit your personality. Some guys opt for a very small and simple tattoo on the hand, like a crown, rose, or cross.
Knuckle and finger tattoos can be quite painful, but because they are small, most men won’t even wince. The downside to hand tattoos is that they are almost impossible to cover if you are a professional.
Neck tattoos are extremely visible and impossible to cover as well, so we wouldn’t recommend this spot if you are a professional with a career. If this does not apply to you, there are numerous neck tattoo designs that can work well here.
Single words that have some sort of meaning are popular, as are small tattoos on the left or right side. Some men may also choose to tattoo the backs of their neck. As far as pain goes, it depends on the location; the back of the neck is far less painful than the sides, but even then, the pain is only moderate and easily tolerated.
If you like the idea of a neck tattoo, think carefully about what you want to convey to the world.
Wrist tattoos can look amazing, depending on your personality and the type of ink you get. While it can be difficult to cover a wrist tattoo, the inner wrist has become a popular canvas for artists. It’s a great place for stylish, small, subtle designs that are becoming more accepted in most workplaces.
While the wrist is not a painful area to get tattooed, the region just over the bone can become tender quickly. Simple ideas look best here, so a cross, crown, spade, symbols, and dates are worth thinking about.
Leg tattoos are good for guys who want to show off their ink. The upper thigh and calf are great for working professionals who want to be able to cover up a leg tattoo, whereas drawings on your ankle will make a statement.
Because of the length of the canvas, the best leg tattoo ideas for men tend to be long like a dragon or phoenix. However, you can always get a small and compact design.
A stomach tattoo can be sexy and hot if you have a toned body. Whether you want a badass tattoo design across your stomach or on just one side, be mindful that the artwork can look stretched out if you gain weight. Other than, it’s a great spot that can easily be concealed.
Despite the limited space, finger tattoos can be tailored in a number of ways. The best finger tattoo ideas are often small and simple, like a cross, rose, musical note, symbol, letter, or arrow. Guys can even choose to get one design on each finger for a collection of drawings.
Rib tattoos can be among the most painful, but the rib cage makes for an excellent canvas. Ideas for a rib tattoo range from the fierce lion roaring to a fiery skull bursting in flames.
While you may see more face tattoos popping up, this type of ink is still generally considered an extreme look. We recommend you weigh the pros and cons before getting one, especially if you aren’t in love with the design. Even then, there are plenty of other body parts to get tattooed that are easier to cover up in the future.