Looking for tattoo ideas for men? Well, you’re in the right place. Tattoo designs for men are far, far different from those designed for women, and we know that guys have a certain taste that they usually look for when they are thinking about getting inked. As such, we have compiled an entire list of cool tattoos for men that you can refer to for inspiration!
Awesome Guy Tattoos to Inspire Your Next Tattoo Session
People always tend to decorate their bodies somehow, and tattoos became one such tool. Beautifully designed tattoos attract the attention of all generations, from teenagers to older ones. While the idea of the best tattoo for men may differ between people, there are generally a few concepts, styles and tattoo locations that are preferred among men. Let’s take a look at the tattoo designs for men below to get started!
1. Scattered Guy Tattoos
It’s not uncommon to see men’s tattoos being a little more scattered and in a wide variety. Often, men will wear a chest tattoo, half or full arm sleeves, and even on their hands and fingers. It won’t hurt to ink many designs on yourself if you can’t choose a theme.
2. Inscriptions, Skulls & Words
Women, skulls (or death, by proxy) and inscriptions are also popular tattoo themes when it comes to tattoo designs for men. While inscriptions can be considered as a popular design for both men and women, skulls and death seem to be more prominent for men.
3. Across the Chest
It’s not like all men need to have full body tattoos, right? Take this guy as an example – the tattoo is more prominent just along with his shoulder blades and his chest. Looks good!
4. Keeping it Simple
The simplest tattoos for men can just be made up of several small inscriptions like this one. But hey, it works, doesn’t it? It certainly gives a great contrast to his arm tattoo!
5. A Tattoo with a View
Now, this is one classy chest tattoo design for men! Having a tattoo like this one just means that you are carrying artwork around with you. Isn’t that just beautiful?
6. Watercolor Art Tattoo Design
If you have ever thought that artistic tattoo styles like this one are for women only, well, you’re proven wrong with this single photo. These tattoos can be placed on the back or across the chest!
7. Small Tattoo Ideas for Men
You don’t need your tattoos to be all large and full-coverage either. Something like this one – plain line work with a few geometric color blocks – that’s simple enough to work and it’s graceful!
8. Chest & Arms
9. A Small Patch of Colors
You might see men donning religious tattoos like this one – the elephant leans more to Hinduism, while the lotus flower is usually depicted with Buddhism.
10. Portrait Tattoo Ideas for Men
The best part about tattoos is that you can ink your favorite movie characters on yourself. That opens up so many new revenues!
11. Realistic 3D Carving Tattoo for Men
Try telling us that this tattoo does not look like an actual carving of a stone statue – No matter how you look at it, this is one tattoo that will always look realistic and 3D – a fresh tattoo idea for men!
12. Black & Red
Want some colors, but don’t want to go too colorful? Some of the simplest guy tattoos can just be made up of random patterns and simple colors.
13. Matching Tattoos for Couples
Why not show some love for your partner by inking yourself where she has tattoos too? Couples that ink together stay together!
14. Cool Tattoos for Men on the Back
Koi fish remains a consistent style when it comes to tattoos for guys. Well, not really. These fishes are a common theme whether we are talking about tattoo designs for men or for women, but it looks good all the same!
15. Simple Tattoo Ideas for Men
The battle between the brain and the heart is a common feeling and dilemma when it comes to humans. Our brain tells us one thing, but our mind with its rationality might tell us another. Which one would you choose?
Older generations often disapprove this kind of self-expression, based on the fact that in old times, only the prisoners used to have tattoos. But time changes and nowadays men like this kind of art and use it to underline the most attractive parts of their body or for personal reasons. They leave like a mark, a memory carrying it through their whole lives.
16. Scattered Locations
There is no one best tattoo for men. Rather, you can ink anything that you find to be meaningful for yourself. In any case, you can always choose several designs and ink them across your body!
17. Polynesian Tattoos for Guys
you might have noticed that Polynesian tattoos are popular tattoo themes for guys. These designs can be inked across their chest, shoulders, arms, and back, but there are also other locations for these tattoos!
18. Japanese Style Tattoo Designs for Men
Japanese style tattoos or illustrations like the one pictured here can be among the more graceful tattoo ideas for men. There is always something unique when guy tattoos are gentle like this one.
19. Cool Shoulder Tattoos for Men
Just two posts above. we have talked about how cool Polynesian tattoos are when it’s for guys. Well, this one proves to be no different! Look at how crisp this one is when it’s still so fresh!
20. Polynesian Tattoo Designs for Men
You don’t need to be worried about running out of ideas for tattoo ideas for men. That’s because there are so many tattoo variations that you can choose from! There’s the trash-polka style, Polynesian, animal tattoos, and so many more!
21. Breaking Bad
This can arguably be the best tattoo for men who enjoys the Breaking Bad series. But then again, who doesn’t enjoy this wonderful series once they have started watching it? There’s no one that wouldn’t enjoy this, right?
22. Japanese Tattoo – Colored
Didn’t we just see the black and white version of this tattoo a little above? Well, here it is in its fully colored glory! Guy tattoos can be colored too!
23. A Single Hand
What do you think is the idea behind this unique tattoo? While we can’t be sure of what this person has in mind when he inked this seemingly-dark idea, it sure seems like a cool one to have!
24. Artwork for a Tattoo
Tattoos for guys can take a form like this one too! As mentioned above, tattoo concepts for guys can usually consist of animal themes and a female figure or two. In this tattoo, the girl seems to be wearing the animal’s head as her trophy!
25. Cool Tattoo Ideas for Men – Peacock Feathers
What better way to flaunt your stuff than by using the most beautiful bird on Earth? The feathers in a peacock’s tail in its wild and vibrant colors will prove to be one of the best tattoo designs that a man can get.
26. The Head of a Tiger
Isn’t this just magnificent? This tiger’s head tattoo is one that will instill sense heroism in most guys wearing it. It is, after all, a fearsome creature!
27. Scales and Feathers
Tattoos for men have been always full of symbolism, telling a story about man’s personality. Ancient warriors and headmen in power of their people, decorated their bodies with a number of different complicated pictures or tattoos, carrying memories of successful battles and social change.
28. Of Lions and Roses
Here, we see two contrasting motifs. A lion is seen as a strong and powerful creature, while a rose is a beautiful and gentle flower often associated with love. Perhaps the best tattoo for men will be a combination of these two elements!
29. Full Leg Tattoo Ideas for men
Can’t stick to one idea? Then don’t! Cover your entire limb up like this guy right here – it’s almost like having a movie poster inked to your entire leg! Guy tattoos can be a combination of various elements to show off like this one.
30. Shadows & Shadings in a Men’s Tattoo
Even the men need proper shadings and shadowing in their tattoos! This one here features a simple portrait and some words. The colors and shadows improve the tattoo’s aesthetics significantly.
31. Time is Ticking
Some tattoos for guys are subtle, while others are a lot more meaningful and carries obvious meaning. As an example, this guy’s tattoo here is clearly focused on the flow of time. There can’t be any confusions for this.
32. A Mix of Elements
What do you see in this guy’s tattoo? There’s the classic baby angel, a clock with its mechanisms and some rays of light in the background. Perhaps the meaning for this tattoo is more religious than anything else!
33. Weird Tattoo for Guys
An eaten apple and a tooth with a gray background? What could this possibly mean? Honestly, we will never know. All we can say is that this is one weird tattoo, but to each their own, right?
34. Tree Tattoo Designs for Men
The two sides of nature – life and death. This concept is clearly portrayed in the tattoo divided into two separate portions. A like this will be perfect for guys who are also working hard to preserve nature.
35. From the Movies
Men or women, you’re going to need a really skilled tattoo artist to make this design happen! Many tattoos for guys are based on movies or character that they like, and so a tattoo like this is not much of a surprise.
36. Awesome Guy Tattoo Ideas
Modern tattoos carry less canonic symbolism. In most cases, men decide to make such a step to show their brutality, determination, courage or romantic side of personality. But such designs don’t make tattoos less meaningful: men’s body covered with a professional and stylish designed tattoo attracts women’s attention.
37. Like a Star
Starry designs are also popular tattoo motifs even from the past. Decades after its first use, this tattoo design remains a popular concept that is included among the cool tattoos for men.
38. Roses on the Neck
If you thought that rose tattoos are only for women, this tattoo might have just proved you wrong! Men can also look good with rose tattoos, and with it decorating your neck, it just becomes much more obvious.
Planetary motifs can make awesome tattoos for guys. A tattoo like this one will require intricate dotwork and plenty of planning beforehand. This is especially true when it involves such a vast background with mountains and water!
40. Old and Wise
Portray wisdom and care by using tattoo items with that theme in mind. Wise old men sure will portray a sense of knowledge and experience, if anything. You can even ink your own father or grandfather!.
41. Geometric Symmetry – Owls
Browse a little more on our website and you might just notice that owl tattoos come in many styles. Portraying wisdom and mystery, you can see these motifs among people with various characteristics.
42. The Red Indians
Unconsciously, women put men with tattoos to the category who are keeping their promises and can prove the words with action. It is a good motivation and advertisement. The era of Red Indians may have been long gone by now, but many still commemorate their memories with a tattoo like this one.
43. A Forearm Tattoo
Forearm tattoo designs for men can include a trash polka style like the one shown above. Usually, you can see a mix of realism, splashes of red and some surrealism in the tattoo.
Men are very creative when it comes to the moment to choose the part of the body they would like to put tattoos on. The most popular places are:
- Neck – Boys like this spot and small pictures look especially good.
44. Neck Tattoo Designs for Men
We think this is among the best tattoo ideas for men when inked around the neck; Put a small tattoo design on the back of the neck, and lead it to the area right between the shoulders. The mirroring design looks great!
45. A Sign of Freedom
Why do we get a vibe that the person having this tattoo is a proud American? In any case, having a bald eagle tattoo on this area may show plenty of patriotism!
46. Not for the Arachnophobic
The most popular designs are the pictures of a spider or a night bat. This one above might look a little realistic and scary though, especially when meeting new people who might not expect to see a spider there!
47. Spiral Tribal Tattoos for Guys
Tribe motifs look especially unique. It seems that men love tribal tattoo designs partly for its simplicity, but also for how exotic and complicated it can become.
48. Bat Tattoos for Men
Tattoos with these night creatures are not new. This man won’t be the first person to have it, nor will he be the last. You will never know where you might see a bat-themed tattoo next!
- Chest – One of the best parts to put a tattoo for men is the upper side of the chest.
49. Vintage Style Eagle Tattoo
This man here practically reeks of masculinity. That fancy mustache somehow pairs well with that eagle tattoo design of his, and we can almost see him doing lumberjack work!
50. Eagle with a Heart – Cool Tattoos for Men
Is an eagle tattoo too mainstream for you? How about something like this one? This tattoo features an eagle clutching a heart in its claws, and the heart itself has so many arrows running through it as well.
51. Won’t Go Wrong with a Chest & Arm Tattoo
Every guy can easily look awesome with tattoos on their chest and arm areas, especially when the tattoo is connected just like the guy in this picture! A chest tattoo can be expanded to cover the arms as well, so you can expand your design anytime you want to.
52. Cool Tattoo Designs for Men
53. Of Skulls and Owls
54. Impressively Realistic 3D Tattoo Ideas for Men
55. Simple Line Art in Vintage Style
56. Colorful and Fancy
57. Full Body Tattoos for Guys
58. The Rabbit in the Wolf’s Jaws
59. Almost Demonic
60. Partly Complete
Here a quiet big design can be drawn.
Symmetrical pictures look very beautiful!
The choice of sketches is wide here
and gives you freedom of choice with no restrictions.
- Back – This part of the body
is the best spot for huge designs,
and even a whole picture.
- Hands – When it comes to the hands, men prefer to do them on the forearm,
for those who have big triceps or deltoids.
The inner side of the hand is a bit more sensitive
but lettersand quotes look especially cute here.
Hands down is the best place for ink.
- Calves – Tribe motifs
and ancient sketches are usually put on the legs
It gives a masculine look to the owner,
plus calves are less painful than other parts of the body.
- Ribs – Tattoos on the ribs
look absolutely fantastic
and can be anything from letters or quotes up to
complicated sketches and photos.
- Stomach – You have to be honest with yourself.
In a few dozens of years your six pack will turn into a beer belly
and your ex cool tattoo will turn into chaos under the belly.
If you decided to get a tattoo on the ribs, you should be aware that the process is going to be extremely painful and healing will last for 1-2 months. It depends on the size, complexity of the picture and physical peculiarities of your body.
Placement of Tattoo
Placement is one of the most important things to determine for the tattoo. The design can be unique, creative and really attractive, but if it is not scaled to the body, it won’t work out the way you want. The question is: ”Are you getting a tattoo for its design or just to fill the empty spot on your body?”. The most important thing to remember is that a tattoo should complement your body, be a part of it, and look natural.
A tattooed man should look like a man whom you can’t imagine to be without a tattoo.
How Painful are the Tattoos?
The question of pain is the most common when it comes to tattoos. Sad to admit, but tattoos do hurt. The level of pain depends on the individuals and on the location of the picture. Pain threshold of every person is so different, that this question is hard to be answered. But there are parts where tattoos are less painful:
More or less handleable:
And now the worst parts:
- Soles of feet
- Breasts and Belly
The most painful parts are those where skin is the thinnest and needle is close to the bone. Don’t forget that alcohol is not the best way to release stress, because it widens the vessels and may lead to high blood pressure. As a result, you can start bleeding when the needle is inside. So, if you decided to put a sketch on your body, be a little bit patient. To answer the question, whether a tattoo hurts, the answer is yes and no. The feeling of a needle crashing your skin is not the most pleasant thing you ever felt, but if you definitely decided you want a tattoo, it won’t be an excuse.
Modern Ways to Remove a Tattoo
The idea to get a tattoo sometimes comes unconsciously and is not well thought through. It happens, that a tattoo comes out not the way you expected it to be or the location is not the best and your boss gives you a hard time instead of a promotion. No matter what the reason, you need to remove a tattoo, the question you face is – how? Here are the modern ways to help men in such situations:
- Removing skin with dermatom – The majority of doctors consider this method the most effective and less harsh. The effectiveness is explained by the fact that coloring coming into the skin’s reticular layer located above the line of the oil glands and hair. Therefore while deleting the tattooed piece of skin, the skin surface saves the opportunity to regenerate.
- Laser – The procedure with the help of a laser usually takes from 1 month up to 12, depending on the quality of ink, the way the tattoo was placed and patient’s organism peculiarities. Every tattoo saloon offers corrections of low qualified tattoos, updating them with new equipment or even putting a totally different design in the same place. The quality depends on professionalism. But you should be aware, that to remove such a tattoo with a laser will be impossible, as a double ink absorbs the laser’s energy with a double power which may lead to serious burns and leave a big scar.
- Coagulation – The picture is burned with electrodes. The procedure is performed with local anesthesia. The skin is covered with a dry layer that falls down in a week or ten days. In most of the cases, the scars are rather visible.
Many of us dream about getting a tattoo when we are young, but sometimes what fits a young boy doesn’t really look good for a mature man. There are ways to remove no longer wanted tattoos, but you should be prepared for the outcome.
Most Common Men’s Tattoo Designs
The variety of ideas for men’s tattoo are so rich, that you can spend weeks in search of your perfect tattoo. The choice of a design is very complicated and the true meaning of the picture will be open only for the owner. If you didn’t make up your mind yet which sketch to choose, you can always look through the photos in the saloons to choose one fitting exactly you. Though, there are few commonly used ideas for men’s tattoos:
- Arms – This designcovers a hand from the wrist up to the elbow or even the shoulder.
The content can be different, but in most cases,
Polynesian tattoos, Japanese or fantasy. “Arms” can be of one color
or many. They can combine lettersand mix few pictures.
- Polynesian and Maori – Polynesian tattoos have their own history. Only men were allowed to wear them and only due to some occasion. In ancient times, every tattoo should be
deserved and only then it could be drawn. Nowadays there are different kinds and variations of Polynesian tattoos.
They should be differed from traditional ones.
- Biomechanics – It is a rather new and developing style in
tattoo designs, which contain pictures of mechanical creatures imitating actions or other states.
Many biomechanical tattoos take pictures from comic books.
- Anchor – This is the symbol of balance and shelter.
It is a common design for sailors, who spend most of their time at sea, for people who love the sea and those who live next to it.
An anchor is also a symbol of early Christianity.
- Ship It is the symbol of hope and sailing.
Many people with such tattoos have a connection between their lives and ship life. A woman and a ship are two non matchable things. A ship is often depicted as a symbol of destiny.
- Skull –This is one of the strongest and most popular symbols of tattoo designs. It symbolizes death, fear and the afterlife. Every culture interprets a skull in a different way.
For some cultures it has a positive meaning, for the others, evil.
- Lion – This is a well known king of animals.
A man with such a tattoo wants to show his power and leader qualities.
- Cross – It can carry both religious context and a decorative one.
Usually there are initials next to it, the letters of a person’s name who was dearest to a man.
- Scorpion – It is a beautiful and exotic tattoo, done only by a few men.
They are usually performed in the army. If a man took part in a war, or actions the stinger is raised up, if he just served in the army, the stinger is curved down.
- Letters, quotes – The letters can be written in English
Japanese, Chinese, Latin or another language.
Hieroglyphics used to be extremely popular and are often seen now.
These categories belong more to male tattoos rather than female. No matter what kind of tattoo you choose, it should be meaningful only to you.
Which Tattoos should Men Never do?
There are photos and sketches not recommended for men. And not because they are not cool, just some of them look kind of strange:
- Superheroes -The sketches of Superman
or other heroes
turns men into small boys fond of childish comics.
- Iconic tattoos. If you are fond of Bob Marley
art or a fan of Elvis Presley,
putting the photo of a favorite star on the body means you are making a gallery, which will distract attention from your personality.
- Name of beloved woman or a wife – If your love is true, deep and sincere, you don’t have to show off.
Moreover, we all know the statistics of break ups and divorces.
How are you going to explain to your new passion a sign of an ex on your body? It doesn’t look cool at all.
How will Your Tattoo Look When You Get Old?
The eternal question that bothers all the tattoo owners and not only. It is not going to be very pleasant to see your tattoos as messy pictures, the skin will no longer be beautiful and tense. But this change is going to happen with everybody, doesn’t matter if they have a tattoo or no.
On the one hand, the picture on the body can even have an advantage: to cover the flaws of skin when you get old. At least some part of your body will look younger and accurate. It is up to every man to choose to get a tattoo or not. People who judge and bring this well-known argument – about the look of tattoos in 30 years don’t take into account one thing.
How many times have you heard from people with tattoos complain about the others – “clean bodied”, who don’t have any? They don’t care…so why does this question bother people who don’t have a tattoo?
How are you going to look with a tattoo in 50-60 years? The same way as other people, just with a tattoo!
Sketches of Men’s Tattoos: