The 60+ Best Tattoo Ideas For Men In 2024
— 1 March 2024

The 60+ Best Tattoo Ideas For Men In 2024

— 1 March 2024
Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon

If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, then you probably already know what a big commitment it is. Inspiration of what to get can always prove a little tricky, so if you’re on the fence with your ideas, here are some of the best tattoo ideas for men.

Not that any would admit it, but there are plenty of blokes dragging their regret around with some generic body art, likely ticking off something like a music tattoo, rose tattoo, dragon tattoo, scorpion tattoo, skull tattoo, crown tattoo, family tattoo, or phoenix tattoo. They would be the first to tell you not to bother.

But just because they didn’t make the right choice for themselves, it doesn’t mean you have to fall into the same shadow of regret. You need to be across all the best tattoos for men before you walk into a parlour, so without further ado, let’s get into some of the best tattoo ideas for men in 2024.

Best Tattoo Ideas For Men

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The 60 Best Men’s Tattoo Designs In 2024

1. Photorealistic Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men
Image: @shooby_tattoo

It’s truly amazing what some tattoo artists can do. Some of the very best can even achieve a photorealistic (also called hyper-realistic) tattoo like this leg tattoo pictured above.

Many people enjoy this style for portrait tattoos or detailed, dramatic scenes. Others, like this artist, employ their skills for simpler pictures like this lizard (although you might not want something as niche). You may need to search for a tattoo artist who has the skills to pull off a photorealistic tattoo, but the search is worth it. 

Photorealistic tattoos can be any size and on any part of your body but are usually favoured for larger tattoos like sleeves, shoulders, and back tattoos.

2. Watercolour Tattoo

watercolour tattoo - tattoo ideas for men in 2021

Gone are the days when tattoos were all about simple black lines or flat colours. Moreover, there’s no reason to think that men can’t get watercolour tattoos.

If anything, these ultra-bright, artistic tattoos are growing in popularity for men. You may have to find a tattoo artist specialising in this style, as it can be challenging to get right. 

However, the result is stunning. Some versions, like this lion, use a combination of bright watercolours and sharp black lines to create a truly one-of-a-kind tattoo. Watercolour tattoos can be any size, shape, colour, or location.

3. Skull Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men

Skull tattoos are some of the most popular tattoo depictions you will see, especially on men. 

Classic versions tend to be simple and one-dimensional, while more modern skull body art can be three-dimensional and involve detailed shadowing and other designs. Some even incorporate cultural elements like the traditional depictions of Mexican culture. 

Skull tattoos can have many meanings, such as a reminder to make your life count or a “Memento mori” — “Remember your death.” No matter its significance to you personally, you can get a skull tattoo in almost any size, colour, or style with the right artist.

4. Bird Tattoo

bird tattoos tattoo ideas for men

Birds have many different kinds of significance throughout the world, from literature to culture, tradition, religion, and myth. 

Birds of prey are often used to depict fierceness and independence, while peacocks signify beauty and elegance. Doves represent peace, while sparrows are a nod to the Bible verse: “Fear not, you are of more value than many sparrows.”

Birds of all kinds are used to represent freedom. Hell, even an owl tattoo could look kind of cool if you play it the right way, and it’s much less expected than say a phoenix tattoo, which has been done to death.

In other words, this is a lovely and versatile tattoo idea with many meanings. It is perfect for many style types, sizes, and body parts and always looks fantastic.

5. Family Tattoo

family tattoo - best mens tattoos

A nod to your family might be one of the most popular tattoos you will see. There are many ways to do it, but the simple word itself is one style. 

This gives you the chance to have some gorgeous script with a tattoo that has a reasonably self-evident meaning. Family is a central part of many cultures, and a tattoo can serve as a reminder of one of the most important things in life. 

Alternatively, it can also remind you of the family that you make. As they say: “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.”

6. Linework Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men
Image: @byyclouds

Colour tattoos can be breathtaking but when done correctly, and with talent, a simple linework tattoo is amazing. A great tattoo artist can achieve an impressive amount of detail with nothing but black ink. 

A tattoo like this works best in a prominent place — such as on your shoulder — so that the artwork can be seen and appreciated. If you choose this tattoo style, consider your options carefully to select a piece that is truly unique to you. 

Linework tattoos are an often underrated option but are surprisingly a highly versatile choice.

7. Religious Tattoo

religious tattoo - best tattoo ideas for men

Many people use tattoos as an opportunity to express personal philosophies that are important to them, including religious ones.

There are a lot of directions this can go, from symbols like a star tattoo, cross tattoos, and favourite religious verses. Christian tattoos commonly cite the most meaningful bible verses for the individual, although the religious historically frowns upon body ink, especially when compared to Buddhism and Hinduism, which are both rife with tattoos.

Religious symbols are likely some of the most common tattoo designs you will see. These are a great way to make something meaningful and personal to you, and they offer a lot of opportunities for different styles, sizes, designs, and locations. 

Cool tattoo ideas don’t really come into play when considering religion. It’s all about personal meaning here, and pulling out the bit of philosophy that means the most to you helps you build a definition of yourself that you proudly broadcast to the world. As they say, define yourself before others do and you’ll never be misunderstood.

There are many ways to do a religious tattoo, from intricate sleeves to small and subtle personal reminders. 

8. Ankle Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men
Image: @velco

Ankle tattoos have a reputation for being feminine, but more and more men are opting to get their own. There are plenty of ways to make these look masculine if that is your concern. 

Regardless, your ankle is an excellent place for a tattoo. It can be noticeable and attention-catching without being in your face, especially in a professional setting or another place where you don’t want to show your ink. 

And, of course, there are countless styles to choose from. Many people like their ankles as a spot for a minimalist tattoo, but that’s far from your only option. 

9. Tribal Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men
Image: @ksp_ink_tattoos

Tattoos play an essential role in many cultures worldwide, including the Polynesian Islands, Samoa, Japan, Egypt, and South America. 

For these cultures, they have a significant meaning and serve as a reminder of where you come from and who you are. Unfortunately, some people have co-opted them unfairly and turned them into simple decorations. So this suggestion comes with a caveat: don’t get a tribal tattoo unless your heritage is part of that tribe.

However, if you want to make a nod to your ancestry, these tattoos can be a striking way to do just that. 

10. Lion Tattoo

lion tattoo - best tattoo ideas for men

A lion tattoo is another popular choice, and for good reason: this king of the jungle is certainly striking. Some people choose the big cat as the centrepiece of a chest or back tattoo, making it impossible to miss. 

But it can be done just as well on a more petite area, such as on a sleeve, shoulder, or calf. This tattoo symbolises bravery or dominance for many people, but it doesn’t have to be a show of power. 

No matter what it means for you, a lion tattoo can be a beautiful and eye-catching piece of body art.

11. Quote Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men
Image: @markece_tattoos

The options for a quote tattoo are essentially endless. People have chosen their favourite song lyrics, poems, religious verses, or historical quotes. 

This type of tattoo requires some thought beforehand, but it can go in any direction you can imagine. It is also an opportunity to choose some profoundly meaningful scripts. 

Classic options include memorializing deceased loved ones, historical figures, faith journeys, or even picking out your favourite quote from a book or film. Quote tattoos are often inspirational or contemplative, too. 

Common areas for quote tattoos include the leg, arm, and back.

12. Sleeve

sleeve tattoo - best mens tattoo ideas

A sleeve is a big commitment, but there is no denying that it makes a statement. Most people treat a tattoo sleeve as a personal piece of meaningful art, full of images that are important to them. Others simply love the opportunity to let their body turn into artwork. 

Regardless, sleeves are a lot of fun. Some are a large, single design, while others are made up of dozens of smaller tattoos. 

Expect to spend a lot of time getting your sleeve completed. Most people spend at least 15 hours getting their sleeves, though complicated designs can take several sessions.

13. Neck Tattoo

neck tattoo - best tattoo ideas for men

The neck is a highly visible space that’s sure to be noticed right away. This means that many neck tattoos are often not only meaningful but downright flamboyant. 

Others are smaller or subtler to bring a laser focus to the artwork or a personal message. The neck is a unique canvas for body art because of its shape and size. This gives you a lot of wiggle room in deciding what you want and where you want to place it. 

Just remember that it’s tough to hide your neck, so make sure you’re comfortable showing your tattoo anywhere.

14. Heritage Tattoo

heritage tattoo - best tattoo ideas for men

Heritage tattoos are a beautiful way to commemorate family traditions or history. They are common in cultures that have long histories of family heritage passed from generation to generation. 

They can be for remembering significant events in your family’s past or celebrating something you all share in common. Many heritage tattoos are dedicated in honour of special holidays or spiritual beliefs as well. 

These types of tattoos are as rich and diverse as the many cultures that integrate them into common practice. Additionally, heritage tattoos can be simple reminders of traditional family and social bonds.

15. Hand Tattoo

hand tattoo - best tattoo ideas for men

The hand is quite the unique tattoo spot for many reasons. 

First, your hands are pretty much always prominently on display unless they’re inside gloves (or your pockets). Most people use their hands to some extent while they walk, talk, and even think, so hand tattoos tend to get noticed pretty quickly. Second, hand tattoos also have to be relatively small to fit the limited space. 

Hand tattoos can be simple or complex, colourful or subtle, but they are sure to make a definitive impression. Be sure to pick something you want the whole world to see.

16. Anchor Tattoo

anchor tattoo

At one time, an anchor tattoo might have made you think of Popeye, but no more. It is a popular tattoo that has been done in many different styles, sizes, and placements. 

In general, an anchor symbolises hope, safety, steadfastness, and determination — just like an anchor holds a ship in place during a violent storm. 

Many people also incorporate other elements into their anchor tattoos, such as waves, roses, or quotes. Some good quotes include: “We should not moor a ship with one anchor, or our life with one hope” (Epictetus) and “A faithful companion is a sure anchor.”

17. Wrist Tattoo

wrist tattoo - best mens tattoo ideas

The wrist is a sweet tattoo spot for many because it can be easily hidden or displayed. If you’ve got to be somewhere, your tattoo might draw unwanted attention. However, it’s easy to conceal this tattoo with long sleeves. 

With a quick roll, though, you’re sporting your body art publicly once again. Wrist tattoos are ideal for wrap-around designs, small personal symbols, or short messages. Because wrists offer both curvature and flat space, they can host various designs that take advantage of either. 

If you want a tattoo that comes with a lot of flexibility, consider putting one on your wrist.

18. Wolf Tattoo

wolf tattoo tattoo ideas for men

The wolf tattoo is a surefire classic. There are practically unlimited variations on the wolf tattoo theme that come in every vibrant colour. 

Wolves are displayed alone or in packs, either hunting, travelling or howling at the moon. Wolves are valued for their noble qualities, as symbols of teamwork and leadership, and as a reminder of perseverance. The wolf tattoo instantly identifies the wearer as someone who values the mysterious side of things. 

These tattoos are great options for broad spots like the shoulder or back, but the legs and forearms are also common. As long as you play it right, the wolf tattoo is a one-of-a-kind statement.

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19. Hero Tattoo

hero tattoo tattoo ideas for men

Everyone has a personal hero, and there are many categories a “hero” can fall into. 

Maybe you have always looked up to your mother, who taught you your first and most important life lessons. Perhaps you hold a historical or cultural figure as a personal hero. Or maybe your hero is as literal as the term can be, and you look up to Spider-Man.

No matter who inspires you, a tattoo is a great way to memorialise them. It will also remind you of their influence — and hopefully inspire you to live a bit more in a way that would make them proud.

20. Classic Tattoo

mom tattoo tattoo ideas for men

We have all seen variations of the most classic tattoos, some of them many times over.

However, something about these old styles is so satisfying that we can’t help but return to them again. So don’t feel tacky if you’re planning to get a heart surrounded by roses that declare your love for your mother. It can be the ultimate “I really don’t give a fuck what you think” statement.

As with all classic tattoos, there are plenty of ways to make a tribute to the old styles while making the design your own, so feel free to sketch up some ideas and talk to the artist before settling on a course.

21. Wave Tattoo

wave tattoo - best tattoo ideas for men

You don’t have to be a surfer to appreciate the symbolism behind the imagery of the wave. For many people, the ocean’s waves represent the constant flow of life and time. 

Others think of it as a symbol of the connection between all living things or even a sign of peacefulness and strength during times of turmoil. 

If you’re a fan of the show The Good Place, you might recognise this comparison of a wave to death: “The wave returns to the ocean, where it came from and where it’s supposed to be.” This idea for a tattoo is packed with meaning. 

22. Script Tattoo

script tattoo - best mens tattoos

A script tattoo is put in a different category than a quote tattoo because it is more about the look of the letters than the message. That is not to say that the message itself is not important.

However, a script tattoo is usually just a few words (sometimes even a single word), and the emphasis is on the artistry of the script. If you don’t know what look you’re going for, a talented tattoo artist might have a suggestion for their favourite scripts. 

This can go in almost any direction, from bold and attention-catching to flowing and elegant. 

23. Cartoon Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men
Image: @nataliarainy

Whether you love all cartoons or have a soft spot for one in particular, a cartoon tattoo can be a great choice. 

These are playful tattoos that almost anyone will recognise. Browse the internet, and you will find cartoon tattoos depicting everything from Mickey Mouse to Disney characters, vintage cartoons, and Pokemon.

If you have an abiding love for a cartoon from your childhood, that is worth exploring as well. No matter what you choose, a cartoon tattoo is a fun choice that offers plenty of options and can be any size or placement.

24. Compass Tattoo

compass tattoo - best mens tattoo ideas

A compass tattoo is another popular choice, and it is not hard to see why. It is intricate, beautiful, and packed with meaning. 

For many people, a compass is a symbol of being guided in life, though it might mean something different for you altogether. No matter what its significance, a compass is an excellent subject for a tattoo. 

You can incorporate many different styles and other elements or make it a part of another tattoo.

25. Portrait Tattoo

portrait tattoo - best tattoo ideas for men

Portrait tattoos are prevalent but also a little intimidating. You need to be bold to get a tattoo like this for a couple of reasons. 

First, it’s vital to make sure that you find a top-notch artist to do a portrait tattoo, or else you might end up with one that doesn’t look much like your favourite actor at all. Secondly, it is a big commitment.

But done well, these are a fantastic way to memorialise the most important people in your life, whether they are friends, children, parents, or figures from a film or television series, or — in the case of the photo above — history.

26. Nature Scene Tattoo

nature scene tattoo - mens tattoo ideas

Nature is one of the most beautiful things we have, offering an infinite number of beautiful scenes to memorialise. 

Just like a landscape painting, these tattoos show off scenes from the world around us. There are many choices for a nature scene like this one. Maybe you spent many days at the beach as a child and those memories played an important role in your life. Or perhaps a particular trip holds a special place in your heart. 

Regardless, it is easy to find a beautiful nature scene that is perfect for a tattoo. You might have a hard time choosing. 

27. Bright Color Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men
Image: fabrizio_pileggi

There is no reason why a tattoo needs to stick to being in black or grayscale. 

Bright colours are becoming increasingly popular, and it is not hard to see why. With tattoos like these, you can turn your own body into the most radiant and eye-catching art piece. 

In other words, there is no way to do it wrong. Once you decide what design you want, you can start talking about the colour scheme and how vibrant you want the colours. 

There are endless ways to make a tattoo like this not only eye-catching but also completely your own. 

28. Dragon Tattoo

dragon tattoo

A dragon might just be one of the most popular tattoos you can get, and it has been for a long time. Dragon imagery plays an important role in several cultures but is also just a striking tattoo on its own. 

There are many styles for dragons and ink, from classic depictions sourced from Japanese tradition to modern, more photorealistic variations. 

Whatever you choose, there is no denying that this is an eye-catching tattoo, whether you decide to go large or small, colour or line work, or classic or modern art.

29. Fish Tattoo

fish tattoo tattoo ideas for men

If you see a fish tattoo, it usually has some deep symbolism behind it. Of course, it is always possible that the person just has a deep love of angling.

However, the image of a fish has tons of symbolism throughout cultures and religions. Most commonly, it is associated with the ichthys of Christianity, a sign of baptism and a secret sign among early believers. 

However, you will also find fish used to symbolise consciousness, peace, and resilience throughout different spiritual beliefs, art, and literature. 

30. Classic Symbolism Tattoo

classic symbolism tattoo

A classic symbol tattoo is one that you have probably seen many times before. 

Examples include the yin yang, Celtic knot, arrow, infinity sign, and many more. These are instantly recognisable and have been used across time and culture. 

But even though they have been done before, they can still have a special meaning to you. 

31. 3D Tattoo

3d tattoo

A 3D tattoo is the kind of ink that will make other people gasp in awe when they see it. Most of these are large, intricate tattoos. 

You will need to find a talented artist to create a tattoo like this, as it requires many special skills and unique training. 

However, if you can manage it, it is worth it just for the amazing effect.

32. Date Tattoo

date tattoo - best tattoo ideas for men

A simple tattoo of a date is one of the most popular tattoos you will see. Many people choose a significant date of their lives, such as the birthdate or death date of a loved one, the date of their wedding, or something else. 

Sometimes parents use this as a chance to commemorate the birth dates of each of their children. You can do this in many different styles (some people even choose Roman numerals) to make it as subtle or noticeable as you please. 

33. Elements Tattoo

elements tattoo

Earth, air, fire, and water are the four elements of the world and have been depicted in countless styles across time and culture. So it stands to reason that this is also a great idea for a tattoo. 

This particular design includes a nod to the television series Avatar, though you can also keep it simple with a more traditional design. 

34. Angel Tattoo

angel wings tattoo

An angel is one of the most popular tattoos you will find — you have probably seen someone with an angel tattoo or one incorporated into other designs. 

But just because it is popular does not mean you can’t make it uniquely your own. An angel tattoo can be in any style or size. 

Traditionally, they are usually made in grayscale with portrait levels of realism, but there is no reason to feel beholden to that. It is your tattoo, so design it exactly as you please.

35. Tiger Tattoo

tiger tattoo

Tigers are a tattoo classic, symbolising power and strength, mystery, love and attraction, and nobility. 

Tigers make phenomenal tattoos in colour. The distinct orange or sharp white of a tiger is immediately striking. 

Designs of tigers are popular on many parts of the body including the legs, arms, and back. Tigers are often integrated into other tattoo designs as well. 

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36. Symbolic Tattoo

symbolic tattoo

Symbolic tattoos are a popular option because they allow people to express themselves uniquely in abstract, meaningful ways. 

Symbolic tattoos are as diverse as the things they symbolise and signify. You can choose a common symbol that many people recognise or something that has personal meaning to you. 

37. Sun Tattoo

sun tattoo

Celebrating the sun is an ancient human phenomenon, and celebrating the sun with tattoos is almost as old as that. 

We’ve all heard the story that the first humans saw the sun rising and concluded it must be a powerful god. The bright star in our sky has captivated and enthralled us since before we could express our feelings in words. The sun is from time immemorial the symbol of the source of life, new days and opportunities, sustaining power, and even passionate love. 

Sun tattoos can be literal renderings, cartoonish depictions, symbolic images, or spiritual icons. 

38. Flower Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men
Image: @byyclouds

Flowers are already one of the most beautiful phenomena of the natural world. It’s no wonder they’re also one of the most popular styles of tattoo. From roses to orchids, daisies to dandelions, flowers of many styles are highly favoured for their timeless appeal. 

They bring elegance and grace to body art. Soft, curved lines can combine with delicate colours to create an image almost as real as the flower itself. A flower tattoo is a gentle expression that shows your appreciation for life’s little wonders.

39. Insect Tattoo

insect tattoo

There’s no shortage of incredible insect tattoos to choose from praying mantises, stag beetles, ants, bees, wasps, and hornets are just the start of many possibilities. 

And while they aren’t technically insects, arachnids like scorpions and spiders are among the most popular in this style. Spider webs are easily incorporated, too. Insect tattoos are easy to place on wrists, hands, ankles, legs, and practically anywhere else. 

Their small size makes them easy to hide and unobtrusive to display. Insect tattoos are quickly done with or without colour, looking stellar either way. You can also easily integrate them with other tattoo designs.

40. Watercolour & Outline Tattoo

watercolour gorilla

If you feel like you can’t choose between a classic outline tattoo and a modern watercolour in bright colours, keep things simple — you don’t have to. 

These days, it is becoming more and more common to see tattoos that combine these two styles, often with very eye-catching results. This gorilla design is just one of countless examples. The black ink and soft, bright colours are a great look that makes for a truly unique tattoo. 

You might need to find a tattoo artist who specialises in watercolour, as it takes some special skills. 

41. Leg Sleeve

tattoo ideas for men
Image: @kevinpyyc

The leg sleeve is a bold choice because it involves your whole leg (or both) by its nature. 

Getting this tattoo not only involves a few potentially tender spots but also lots of hours at the parlour. Leg sleeves involve a lot of work on the artist’s part and can’t be completed in a short time. 

That said if you’re okay with investing the time (and money), picking a leg sleeve gives you endless options. People express their life stories, interests, cultures, family history, hobbies, and more. Leg sleeves give you great flexibility and tons of space.

42. Arrow Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men

Arrow tattoos are awesome. There’s no way to miss that simple fact. 

Arrows are simple and elegant, striking, and can be assigned all sorts of meanings. Or they could just be a nod to your archery hobby. Maybe you enjoy bow hunting and want to express your love of the sport. 

Whatever your motive, arrow tattoos are a simple design that has tons of possibilities. They can fit anywhere you like and be as small or large as you please. Whether they integrate with another tattoo or stand-alone, an arrow tattoo is sure to stand out.

43. Snake Tattoo

snake tattoo idea for men

Snakes are one of the coolest animals on earth, so it’s no surprise that they’re a classic tattoo idea. They can fit almost anywhere on the body with ease, which gives them broad appeal. 

Snake tattoos can be in full colour or just line art, coiled around limbs, or ready to strike. Often, people integrate other tattoos with snakes since their shape makes it easy to do. Vipers, cobras, and rattlesnakes are common, but practically any snake imaginable has been done. 

Snake tattoos can be placed pretty much anywhere and made almost any size, so it’s mainly up to personal preference.

44. Funny Tattoo

funny tattoos

If you have a gut-busting sense of humour, why not express it in your body art? Funny tattoos are becoming increasingly popular because they’re a unique way to express yourself. Although most of the time it can look like you’ve just transposed a lame slogan t-shirt onto your body forever. Not something you want, like the example above.

Maybe you’ve got a favourite funny line from a movie or TV show. If you’re a fan of a hilarious cartoon character that impacted your life, a tattoo could be the perfect commemoration. Or perhaps you’ve got an original joke of your own with a stellar punchline. 

Tattoos that draw attention to other tattoos in a humorous way are a staple, too. Whether you want to laugh by yourself or everyone around you, a funny tattoo gives you the opportunity.

45. Surrealist Tattoo

surrealist tattoo

Want to surprise people without saying a word? Then you would probably enjoy having a surrealist tattoo. 

Surrealism is an art movement that originated right after World War I. It is infamous for irrationality, illogical, and juxtaposed images usually made with extreme attention to detail. This means many surrealist tattoos are more complicated than other styles. 

The goal of surrealist tattoos, like the art that inspires them, is to activate the unconscious mind by expressing itself out of absurdity. If you want to get people to think deeper without them even knowing it, check out some surrealist tattoo options.

46. Minimalist Tattoo

minimalist tattoo

Minimalist tattoos are extremely popular and for good reason. With clean, bright lines and simple designs, they stick to the attractive and meaningful rather than the flashy or elaborate. 

You can take minimalist tattoos in any direction you please, and they are a great choice for a first tattoo. 

Before you plan a larger tattoo, try a smaller one to see how it suits you. Of course, minimalist tattoos also tend to be small, so you can get as many of them as you want (or at least, almost). 

47. Geometric Sleeve Tattoo

geometic tattoo

Even if geometry wasn’t your favourite subject in school, there is no denying its aesthetic qualities, especially as a sleeve tattoo. 

Geometry can be found everywhere in nature, from flowers to beehives, constellations, and more. So it stands to reason that geometric designs like this one make for some pretty stunning tattoos. 

There is no end to options for a geometric design, so feel free to browse ideas before you go. This will let you formulate a vision, so your artist knows what you are looking for. 

And as with all great tattoos, there is plenty of opportunity for style changes and customisation for the perfect geometric sleeve tattoo. 

48. Vintage Tattoo

vintage tattoo

There is something charming and classic about the old vintage tattoos with bold lines, bright colours, and simple themes. Skulls, flowers, hearts, and beautiful women feature prominently, and when paired with a retro font, will be instantly recognisable to any tattoo enthusiast. 

There are lots of ways to make a design like this uniquely your own while keeping those older elements that have been around for decades (if not centuries). 

As they say, there is no need to mess with a classic. A great tattoo artist will know exactly how to complete a throwback design like this one.

49. Family Crest Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men
Image: @tattooist_marco

Family is one of the most important things for many of us. But if you want something a little more involved than just the word “family,” consider getting a tattoo of your family crest. 

These are often beautiful and intricate, making them perfect for an eye-catching tattoo. If you don’t have a personal family crest, feel free to design one. You can even get your family in on it to create a design that is meaningful to all of you. 

Alternatively, do a bit of historical digging before you head to the tattoo parlour to find out if your ancestors flew a family standard.

50. Card Tattoo

card tattoo

Card imagery is recognisable to almost anyone. Cards in themselves are symbols of values and figures, so it’s not hard to understand why we put so much meaning in the tattooed versions of them.

Of course, combining the cards — like this tattoo of a full house — can bring even more meaning to them. These tattoos can be symbols of luck, courage, intelligence, or more. 

This idea is also the perfect tattoo for a poker enthusiast or card player (or even a magician). Cards have been packed with meaning in cultures all around the world, so it only follows that a tattoo would be the same.

51. Feather Tattoo

A feather tattoo won’t be for everyone, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of great ways you can design and execute this style of tattoo. Known to symbolise bravery, strength and independence — specifically a free-spirited attitude towards life — the feather tattoo has a long history in Native American tradition.

The best feather tattoo ideas for men can include both colourful and black-and-white designs, with ample opportunity for a skilled tattoo artist to create a very finely drawn and detailed tattoo. Once you’re settled on a tattoo design, placement is important, with many selecting feathers for forearm tattoos or shoulder tattoos.

52. Cross Tattoo

The cross tattoo is one of the most popular ideas for those interested in Christian tattoos, with many different design options available. Given its inexorable link to faith, a cross tattoo is one of the most meaningful tattoo ideas for men looking to create meaningful tattoos that will last a lifetime.

Selecting a tattoo design is important, as always, with many people choosing simple tattoos that are not over the top. Forearm tattoos are commonly cross icons, with other popular locations including the chest, back, and neck.

53. Eagle Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men
Image: @jamieallantattoo

Understandably, the eagle tattoo is an extremely popular design for Americans, typically representing freedom, strength and courage, as well as the natural beauty of northern American wildlife. In Native American traditions the eagle tattoo can also represent protection and a view of the future, making it a great subject for tattoo art.

Given the link with America, it is also linked to star tattoos and can be executed in a range of different artistic styles. Popular locations for an eagle tattoo include the chest, forearms, shoulders and upper arms.

54. Geometric Body Tattoo

In recent decades, the geometric tattoo has grown in popularity due to the subjectiveness of their meaning. While guesses can be made about the meaning of a lion tattoo or a rose tattoo, a geometric tattoo such as a circle or pattern of hexagons can be more private. Additionally, a geometric tattoo can be one of the best small tattoo ideas given its potentially discreet nature.

Different geometric shapes can also have significant cultural and spiritual meanings behind them, as well as the chance to express the history of different ideas.

55. Praying Tattoo

For many folks, religious tattoos of praying hands can be some of the most powerful and meaningful tattoos that can be inked onto a body. Not only are they a constant reminder of the commitment to faith, but they can communicate your faith to those around you as well.

Some of the most popular Christian faith religious tattoos for men include scenes of The Last Supper, or Durer’s Praying Hands, both of which are iconic images around the world.

56. Tree Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men
Image: @evitas

Tree tattoos for men are also a subject matter that won’t be for everyone, but can look great depending on the design and the reputable tattoo artist you work with. Typically symbolising nature, personal growth or grief, a tree can make for a very meaningful tattoo.

Typically found on the upper and lower arms, as well as the chest or back, a tree tattoo can be designed in countless different ways to mean the most to you.

57. Lettering Tattoo

Lettering tattoos for men are quite popular to express phrases or ideas that are very meaningful to their owners. In addition to the literal meaning of the words of lettering tattoos, the font or script used to articulate the words can be an art form themselves, giving tattoo artists the chance to truly express their creativity.

Different lettering tattoos are often designed as memorials of loved ones who have passed away, featuring their name alongside their birth and death date, or to mark the birth of a child. If you’re considering a letter or script tattoo, make sure you pick your words very carefully, however, as they can be a source of future regret.

58. Samurai Tattoo

The best Samurai tattoo ideas for men all have their origins in Japan and typically represent strength or masculinity. The intricate battle masks of the Samurai are also the source of inspiration for many tattoos, thanks to their fearsome designs and battle-ready expressions.

A Samurai tattoo is most meaningful for Japanese people, but has become popular around the world and is typically located on the upper arms and shoulders.

59. Animal Tattoo

tattoo ideas for men
Image: @skullsociety_tattooshop

An animal tattoo is one that many find to be a cool tattoo idea, with popular examples including lion tattoos an elephant tattoo and many more. While you can certainly select your favourite animal as the subject, it’s also worth considering the meaning behind different animals and the ways they are represented around the world.

The beauty of an animal tattoo is it’s somewhat mysterious in terms of meaning, as well as gives the chance to create any kind of design that represents the animal, from the photorealistic to the impressionistic. Animal tattoos are found all over the body.

60. Simple Tattoo

If you don’t want to spend dozens of hours in the tattoo artist’s chair getting your entire back inked, simple tattoos can often be very meaningful tattoos without being too complex or expensive. If you have an idea you want to represent, it can be an enjoyable challenge to think about the most minimalist way to visually design your concept.

Simple tattoos also have the possible benefit of being more discreet and private, as well as quick and easy to do. This tattoo for men idea can be applied anywhere on the body.

Should You Get A Tattoo?

Getting a tattoo is a big personal statement, and it should be treated as such. Don’t take potentially permanent markings on your body lightly; in fact, treat the choice with the kind of weight you would some of your biggest life decisions. This deserves weight.

A tattoo is meaning, nostalgia, and sentimentality, before aesthetics. Or at least it should be. A lot of flogs with tribal tattoos just get it because it’s expected of them, and they make up meaning as they go along.

You don’t want to be that guy. Sketch out the tattoo first, decide if the meaning is right for you, and then have a deep think about whether that meaning will stand the test of time.

Before heading to the tattoo parlour, it’s vital to sit down and think about a design with personal meaning. This piece of artwork will be on your body for the rest of your life, or it will cost you an arm and a leg to permanently erase it — which often comes with its own set of complications and potential infections.

A meaningful tattoo, no matter what or where it is, is always going to trump whatever just looks cool at the time. It’s the story that sells a meaningful tattoo, and next time you get your kit off you’re going to want to have something that’ll help people understand you. And if they can’t, then at least they can respect your sense of individuality.

It’s inevitable that at some point you’ll be second-guessing your decision and looking hard for permanent tattoo removal services, but if you’ve put in considerable thought beforehand you’ll more than likely fend off any lingering regret and find pride in your markings.

Make sure the design you choose has that same sort of meaning — one that you want to put on your body permanently. A great tattoo artist will be happy to work with you to make your vision come to life.

For more men’s tattoo ideas, it’s always a good idea to browse a site like Pinterest.

Where Should I Get My Tattoo?

In addition to thinking about tattoo designs for men, you’re going to have to decide which body part will be crowned with freshly laid ink. It’s not enough to come up with some awesome tattoo ideas if they are just going to go in the wrong places and look awkward as a result.

Tattoo design is as much about anatomy as it is about illustration, and the best tattoos are the ones that are strategically placed to further the personal meaning.

If you’re mostly concerned with what tattoos are hot on guys, the hottest places for male tattoos — according to women — often cite any of seven spots: shoulder tattoo, back tattoo, side tattoo, upper arm tattoo, hand tattoo, chest tattoo, and of course, lower arm tattoo.

Invariably, women seem to crave a badass tattoo on or around the bicep, with the upper arm typically seen as the most attractive place to get inked.

If how people perceive you doesn’t really matter, then you still need to think carefully about where you’re putting your tat. Do you want a wrist tattoo? A leg tattoo? Neck tattoo? Full sleeve tattoo? Arm tattoo? Chest tattoo? Forearm tattoo?

The amount of surface area varies greatly and will absolutely dictate what kind of tattoo you’ll be able to fit in without it looking awkwardly stretched. Male tattoo locations are always an important consideration, especially if you’ve got some unique tattoo ideas.

Tattoo Ideas For Men – Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to get a tattoo?

You can usually expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $250 for a less intricate tattoo, but of course, that price will rise the more detailed and labour-intensive your tattoo design is. $200 to $500 is a reasonable range for a medium-sized tattoo, but for a large tattoo, you’re looking well beyond the $500 price point. Price will also depend on how premium the tattoo parlour you go to is.

Where is the most painful place on the body for a tattoo?

Tattoos really don’t hurt as much as people think, but you can expect some degree of hurt if you’re getting your ink done on an area of the body with thin skin or dense nerve endings like the spine, shin, armpit, ankle, kneecap, or groin.

Are tattoos attractive?

If you’re getting a tattoo to look more attractive then you’d be happy to know that some studies have found that some women find guys with tattoos to be more attractive. However, there are some other studies that have found that women find guys with tattoos to be a bit more aggressive in their appearance. So it really depends on who you’re trying to attract.

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Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon is the Editor of Boss Hunting, joining the team after working as the Deputy Editor of luxury watch magazine Time+Tide. He has a passion for watches, with other interests across style, sports and more. Get in touch at nick (at)


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