Looking for some cool or new tattoo ideas for men before you go ahead and waltz on into a tattoo parlour? A wise choice.
Now that you’re too old for tattoo transfers, contemplating the decision to get a genuine tattoo isn’t one that men should take lightly. While tattoo removal technology is improving all the time, a tattoo is for life (not just for Christmas, lol) so you need to make sure you’re one hundred percent happy with your chosen design.
If you’re looking for ideas for your first tattoo then perhaps something small and minimalistic will be the best option for you. It’s entirely up to you where you have your tattoo done, but the placement is just as important as the tattoo itself. While some companies such as Virgin Atlantic now allow their flight attendants to have their tattoos on show, your boss might not be so forgiving.
But, if you’re a tattoo veteran then you may be looking for ideas that will suit the last bit of bare skin you have on your body. Whatever it may be, we’ve rounded up the best men’s tattoo ideas into one definitive guide.
If it’s your first tattoo you’re looking for, then one of the best tattoo ideas for men is going to be something small. Easy to cover up and barely noticeable in case you find you don’t like it in 20 years time, you’ll find a vast majority of tattoo artists should be able to make almost image or design small for you, so make sure you ask for what you want.
For more small tattoo inspiration, check out our complete guide.
A classic tattoo design for men if ever there was one, a rose tattoo can come in a range of styles and sizes. Do you go realistic like the one in the image above, or do you look into getting a single-line drawing rose tattoo design instead? How about adding some colour? See, choosing a tattoo design isn’t as easy as you thought, right?
For more rose tattoo idea inspiration, check out our complete guide.
Sword tattoo designs for men are traditionally said to symbolize bravery and courage or they can even have connections with Christianity. Of course, you could simply get a sword because you like swords. Remember, a tattoo is a piece of art, it doesn’t have to have meaning.
Separate from roses, you could get a floral tattoo, such as a single flower or a larger piece on your arm or back, for example. Floral tattoo ideas could have meaning for men; you could get the favourite flowers of a loved one, or, as with any other tattoo, it could just be an incredible piece of art.
If you really want to commit to some serious ink on your body, then a full men’s back tattoo piece could be the way to go. With such a large area of skin offering itself up as a blank canvas, you have a great deal of freedom with regards to what sort of design you can get. Japanese-style tattoos are great for back pieces, or you could go for a full landscape scene.
A popular tattoo for men is an eagle tattoo. Some suggest eagle tattoos can symbolise freedom, while others just simply love the bird of prey itself. An eagle tattoo can be tattooed in almost any size, although the larger you go, the more likely you are to end up with a seriously detailed result.
Many people believe wolf tattoos symbolise protection, loyalty and strength. Wolf tattoos can come in various styles, including a realistic wolf face or something a little more abstract. They’re a great tattoo idea for men.
Single Line Tattoo
Single line tattoos for men are an incredible variation of a fine line tattoo. The best part is that you could theoretically get any design, whether it be a flower like the image above, or an animal, as a single line tattoo. It’s best to seek out a tattoo artist who has demonstrable experience with single line tattoos, as they do require real skill.
Some pet owners love to get their furry (or not so furry) friend immortalised in ink on their skin forever. Whether it’s your pet’s face, their paw or their entire body, a pet tattoo is a great idea for men looking for a sentimental design.
Love ’em or hate ’em, some men like to get tattoos of their favourite celebrities or inspirational figures. Just be careful with your choice of tattoo artist if you want to get a portrait, as you’ll want it to look as realistic as possible. Remember, it will be on your skin forever.
You may consider a compass tattoo for its connotations of guidance, protection and direction. You could opt for a realistic-looking compass like the one in the image above, or a more simple compass tattoo design such as some arrows pointing in all four directions.
Religious tattoos can come in various guises, be it a cross, a depiction of God or, in the case of the image above, the Creation of Adam. The Creation of Adam is an incredibly popular tattoo for men and can be designed in numerous ways. It symbolises the spark of life God gave to Adam, so could be a good way to symbolise life on earth.
An ankle tattoo is a great idea for men who want something small, yet don’t necessarily want to cover it up. You can get almost anything tattooed on your ankle, so if there’s a small design you want, then the ankle it a great place to have it done.
We’ve already discussed snake tattoo ideas for men, but we thought we’d reiterate them here. A snake tattoo can symbolise the cyclical nature of the universe because they shed their skin and are essentially ‘reborn’. A snake tattoo can go anywhere on your body and be any size, so if it’s something you like the idea of, speak to a tattoo artist about exactly what you want.
A men’s neck tattoo is a bold statement for sure, and admittedly, it won’t be for everyone. However, some men consider neck tattoos to be a symbol of trying something new and to be open to new experiences, because the neck and throat can be associated with communication.
A favourite tattoo design for men is a full sleeve tattoo. The beauty of a sleeve is that you can have all your favourite images and designs in one full piece. Just remember, you’re not going to be able to have a full sleeve tattoo completed in one session, so be prepared to go back to your tattoo studio multiple times.
For a truly unique men’s tattoo idea, then try seeking out incredibly talented tattoo artists who are capable of designing stunning realism tattoos. If you have an idea of what you want, they will be able to come up with a design just for you, leaving you with a tattoo that will be a guaranteed conversation starter.
A chest tattoo is another popular option for men. Chest tattoos are said to be a sign of masculinity and strength, especially if your tattoo covers your entire chest region.
A dragon tattoo is said to be a sign of strength, wisdom and masculinity, making it a great tattoo idea for men. Dragon tattoos can look particularly effective when done in a Japanese or traditional style, as seen in the image above.
A snail tattoo is said to symbolise rebirth or death, but you could just get one because they’re actually a cool little animal. Snail tattoos can be inked in either a realistic fashion, like the image above, or you can opt for something more cartoonish, such as Gary, from SpongeBob Square Pants.
A star tattoo is a great tattoo idea for men because it can be big or small and have a number of meanings. Popular meanings of star tattoos include dreams and ambition, desire, hope and mystery. Star tattoos can come in various styles, too, whether it be the typical 5-pointed star you used to draw as a child, more of a sparkling star as seen in the image above, or perhaps even a star constellation.
Bee tattoos are another popular tattoo idea for men. While some guys may get a bee simply because they like them, if you wanted to get a tattoo that represents loyalty, a bee tattoo is a perfect idea. Bee tattoos are also one of the best to get because they can be drawn in a number of ways. You could choose to include a honey pot with your bee tattoo, opt for a geometric design as seen in the image above, or go down the small tattoo route.
Not only do you need inspiration with regard to what you want to get a tattoo of, but you also need to think about where you want to have your tattoo inked on your body. Check out this complete guide to some of the best forearm tattoo ideas to see if it’s the perfect canvas for you.
If you and your partner, or your best friend, want to immortalise your relationship, then how about a matching tattoo? The world is quite literally your oyster here, as you may have an inside joke between the two (or more) of you. Alternatively, couples can get matching tattoos that symbolise their love for one another.