Tattoo ideas

Top 109 Best Armband Tattoo Ideas – [2021 Inspiration Guide]

Ah the armband. While the once popular tattoo style has fallen out the spotlight in the past, lately it’s been making quite the comeback on the arms of gentlemen across the globe.

Ages ago, traditional tribal armband tattoos weren’t the only way to distinguish a man’s role or rank among a group of people. The truth is, their purpose was often associated with a variety of different meanings not to mention, materials too.

In historical times, like the Bronze Age, armbands were actually make of bronze and jet, a minor gemstone formed from petrifying wood under tremendous pressure. Of course, back then the metal band took on a slightly different name of “arm ring”.

However, even with the passage of time you’ll still find arm rings in use by Kandyan drummers of Sri Lanka who celebrate an age old tradition. And if you look back in Sri Lankan history you’ll find stories of brides wearing armlets to keep bad luck at bay.

In medieval times during jousts, knights wore scarves or kerchiefs around the arm to show an emotional affiliation or conviction for his lady. If you’ve ever wondered where the phrase “wear your heart on your sleeve” comes from, there’s your answer.

Traditions aside, armbands can be found all on the arms of men from all walks of life including the military (a brassard), press, sporting teams and more. Interestingly enough, the modern meaning of distinguishing what group, team, rank or role someone belongs to, has literally the same connection to the past.

With that said, there are a lot of different reasons to get an armband tattoo. Sure, historical times rarely warranted tattoos and instead opted for cloth and metal, however, if something is important to you, why not get it inked permanently? After all, that is the point of tattoos to begin with.

Take a moment to explore these top 70 best armband tattoo designs for men below. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of ideas to wear upon your sleeve ranging from classic to cool, modern and more.

1. Dotwork Armband Tattoos

City Skyline Armband Tattoos For Guys

Dotwork Armband Tattoo For Men With Solid Black Line

Cool Male Armband Tattoos With Geometric Square

This is an expertly executed piece of tattoo art that would have taken double the amount of time it’s size would have you think. Using such two divergent ideas – blackwork and dot work – come together to make a beautiful geometric theme. Every part of this tattoo screams quality.

Desert Sun Dotwork Shaded Mens Armband Tattoos

The dotwork shading in this 3-levele armband tattoo is fantastic. The top image on its own is interesting, using angles exceptionally well to create depth and style within the confined space. The other two bands are showing off in the best way. Here, time consuming dot work is employed stylishly to create very different shapes on the subject’s forearm.

Black Band With Dotwork Design Guys Forearm Tattoos

Manly Mens Armband Tattoos Solid Back Lines With Geometric Shape

Tree Root Negative Space Mns Forearm Band Tattoo

Black Band With Dotwork Design Male Forearm Tattoos

Mens Geometric Flower Of Life Forearm Band Tattoo

Cool Black Ink Mens Dotwork Forearm Band Tattoo Ideas

Mens Ornate Dotwork With Script Forearm Band Tattoo

This type of band tattoo is found on the forearm and is made up, at least to some degree, of the dotwork technique. This technique is an interesting and unique way to form a tattoo on the skin by means of a collection of tiny dots.

Many of such tattoos have more than one band and only some of them are made of dotwork. Others are simply one solitary band made using the technique. The dotwork is often only applied to a portion of the band or bands. That being said, this is by no means a rule or limitation and ultimately the dotwork method can be done in more than one way.

The specific placement of this tattoo on the forearm is also important. On the forearm, a band (or multiple bands) is in a position that is fairly straightforward. In other words, it is not only easy to conceal or show, whichever the particular man wishes to do at a particular time, it is much more. Primarily, for example, it is also incremental in the sense that it is often quite aesthetically pleasing. The dotted forearm band tattoo is both interesting and appealing.

2.Tribal Black Band Forearm Tattoos

Polynesian Male Armband Tattoo Ideas On Forearm

Polynesian Male Tribal Armband Tattoos

Simple Armband Tattoos For Males

Black Ink Triangles Guys Patterned Band Forearm Tattoo

Zig Zag Mens Black Ink Pattern Forearm Band Tattoo

Tribal Mens Hawaiian Forearm Band Tattoo Ideas

Polynesian Forearm Tribal Band Tattoo Designs For Men

Tribal Polynesian Forearm Band Tattoos For Males

Negative Space Triangles Guys Forearm Band Tattoo Ideas

Pattern Unique Guys Polynesian Forearm Band Tattoo

Tribal Black Ink Negative Space Male Armband Tattoos

Tribal Guys Armband Tattoo Designs

Tribal Male Armbands Tattoos

Male With Forearm Band Tattoo With Polynesian Tribal Design

Masculine Guys Forearm Band Tribal Polynesian Tattoo Ideas

Knots Mens Forearm Band Tattoo

Polynesian Mens Tribal Forearm Band Tattoo

Guys Tribal Armband Tattoos On Forearms

Hawaiian Armband Tattoo For Males

Hawaiian Guys Armband Tattoos

Hawaiian Male Armband Tattoo With Black Ink

Hawiian Tattoos Male Armband

Designed in a variety of styles, tribal black band forearm tattoos are consistently creative and impressive. These fantastic works of art showcase different signs and symbols in unison with solid black bands. Sometimes these symbols are found between the bands, other times within.

No matter how they are formatted, however, tribal black band tattoos are definitely something that can carry a great deal of value. The meanings of their symbols are not always apparent but there is no doubt that they always carry a great deal of significance.

3. Eastern Inspired Forearm Band Tattoos

Unique Tribal Pattern Armband Tattoos For Guys

Cool Unique Flower Forearm Band Tattoos For Guys

Guy With Cool Pattern Tribal Forearm Band Tattoo Design

Geometric Armband Tattoos For Men

This is a high-flying armband tattoo. It’s a showpiece because it uses difficult techniques to pull off the mosaic tile effect. The line work is precise, crisp, and well-drawn. The dot work is painstaking, and the seemingly effortless creation of clearly defined geometric patterns is a testament to the artist’s keen skill level.

Decorative Floral Guys Forearm Band Tattoo Designs

Gentleman With Polynesian Armband Tattoo

Using zero space effectively is a skill that separates competent artists from the very best at tattooing. The quality of this seemingly simple black tattoo is found in the artist’s use of non-tattooed areas to make flawless patterns and shapes on the interior of the armband.

4. Geometric Forearm Band Tattoos

Hexagon Armband Honeycomb Tattoo Ideas For Guys

Masculine Pattern Guys Forearm Tattoo Band

Triangle Pattern Guys Forearm Band Tattoo

Gentleman With Thin Black Ink Lines Forearm Band Tattoo Design

Geometric Mens Pattern Cubes Forearm Band Tattoo

Hawaiian Tribal Guys Forearm Band Tattoo Design Ideas

Small Detailed Ornate Mens Forearm Band Tattoos

Triangular Male Forearm Band Sleeve Tattoos

Negative Space Guys Armband Tattoo Ideas

Outline Arrows Tattoo Mens Armband Designs

Pine Tree Manly Mens Armband Tattoo

These tattoo bands, coming in multiple different ranges of thickness, are often mesmerizing to see as a viewer. In a similar way they are surely badass pieces of ink to feature on one’s arm. These tattoos come in many different designs and patterns and often represent much more than one might think.

They may appear to some as mere bands of neat and badass-looking collections of shapes. In all actuality, however, they are truly meaningful and often mesmerizing pieces of body art.

5. Innovative Forearm Band Tattoos

Masculine Armband Tattoos For Men Three Red Solid Lines

London City Skyline Getlemens Tattoo Armbands

Negative Space Alien Creature Armband Guys Tattoo

Skulls Armband Male Tattoos Designs

Manly Forearm Band Woodgrain Mens Tattoo Ideas

Mens Arrows Forearm Band Tattoo

Creative Forearm Band Tattoo Design Ideas For Men

Eagle Forearm Band Tattoos For Men

Mens Lower Forearm Black Ink Pattern Band Tattoo Designs

Mens Moon Phases Forearm Tattoo Band

Mens Ocean Wave Viking Ship Forearm Band Tattoo

Mens Outdoors Nature Landscape Forearm Band Tattoo

Mountains With Nature Forest Guys Forearm Band Tattoo

Some forearm band tattoos are not only interesting and unique, they are also innovative. This can be true in the sense that they accomplish new feats of tattooing artistically or even just aesthetically. Tattoo innovation can also be seen in the way that an artist executes a piece when it comes to the creativity or distinctiveness given to that piece.

6. Christian Forearm Band Tattoos

Man With Religious Cross Armband Tattoo Design

Watercolor Cross Male Forearm Band Tattoo

Negative Space Cross With Woodgrain Design Mens Forearm Band Tattoo

Mens Forearm Band Cross Tattoos

While many tattoos make references to God or any other type of religious or spiritual beliefs, some are much more direct about it than others. This is certainly true for forearm band tattoos as it is for many other types of ink.

Christian forearm band tattoos often incorporate different aspects and well known signs of the Christian faith such as a cross or other common symbol found amidst the Christian faith and tradition. These tattoos mean a great deal to many people as they may serve as a reminder of one’s spiritual direction or religious convictions.

7. Negative Space Forearm Band Tattoo

Black Band With Quote Guys Small Simple Forearm Tattoo

Roman Forearm Band Tattoo Designs For Guys

Traditional Hawaiian Male Forearm Band Tattoos

Unique 69 Negative Space Mens Black Ink Forearm Band Tattoo

Watercolor Paint Brush Stroke Mens Forearm Band Tattoos

Some forearm band tattoos display significant signs, shapes, symbols and other characters of meaning but in a different way from those mentioned previously here. That is because instead of using the ink of the tattoo to form such symbols, shapes, etc. they essentially do the opposite.

These tattoos make great use of the negative space outlined by the ink rather than the ink itself. It is a creative and powerful way to bring out a desired piece of art in a band tattoo by means of a different approach.

8. Black Ink Armband Forearm Tattoos

Watercolor Faded Gentlemens Armbands Tattoos

Poker Playing Cards Themed Mens Armband Tattoo

Guys Negative Space Blackwork Armband Tattoos

Simple Guys Armband Tattoo Of Two Solid Black Ines

Rune Mens Black Ink Forearm Band Tattoo

Blackwork Masculine Mens Forearm Band Tattoo

Solid Black Ink Mens Forearm Band Tattoos

Three Black Bands Guys Forearm Tattoo Designs

Creative Forearm Band Male Pattern Tattoo Inspiration

Large Black And Thin Band Mens Cool Forearm Tattoos

Abstract Lines Black Armband Tattoo For Guys

Man With Cool Negative Space Armband Tattoo Design

A simple play on geometric design can form effective armband tattoos. This artwork is only six narrow yet solid bands tattooed around the inner forearm. It’s a crisp, fresh grouping of bands done neatly and spaced efficiently.

Solid Armband Male Tattoos

Solid Black Armband Tattoos On Man

Solid Black Mens Armband Tattoo With Quote Cursive Lettering Design

Thin And Thick Creative Armband Tattoos For Guys Black Lines

Three Solid Armband Tattoo For Men

Tribal Armband Tattoo For Guys With Solid Black Lines

Two Solid Black Lines Armband Tattoo On Man

Barbwire Masculine Male Armband Tattoo

Tribal armband tattoos were hugely popular in the early parts of the century as ink became a more accepted part of mainstream culture. This piece is reminiscent of that style – thick black barbs etched in a tight circle around the forearm just below the elbow.

Technical Innovative Band Tattoo Ideas

Abstract Line Hatch Tattoo Guys Armband

This unique matching set of hatches is a cool armband design. The days are marked off in a variety of different styled groupings to form a nice piece, simple dot work creates a border at slightly different points of both artworks.

Abstract Thin And Thick Armband Black Line Tattoos

The key to this minimalist armband is the use of different line work – plus the colored and hollow dots – to effectively highlight the major, thicker armband running through the image. It immediately conjures a latitude/longitude vibe when you look at it.

Awesome Armband Tattoo For Men

This decorative armband tattoo uses a stencil format to create a thick, clean black tattoo. It’s similar in design to borders on frames, plant pots, and even household ceramics.

Aztec Black Ink Mens Armband Tattoo Designs

This Aztec inspired ink brickwork is cool. The major element of this piece is the shading, done with a dot work focus rather than traditional black gray. The line work in this art captures the artist’s focus on attention to detail.

Birds On A Line Armbands Tattoo On Man

Well executed minimalist armband tattoos are very funky, and this body art is a tremendous example. It mixes a simple, single line band around the arm with a group of flat black birds to create an arresting image.

Black Ink Geometric Linework Male Tribal Tattoo Armband

The effective geometric shapes created with singular lines of black makes this patterned armband quite unique. It’s a simple but useful technique to create a series of interesting shapes.

Black Ink Shaded Guys Armband Tattoo Design Inspiration

This is a wider style of armband tattoos for men. It looks much like a gladiator’s bracer or armguard. The tattoo uses a good mix of black line work to create clear, well defined shapes within the image, supported by effortless gray and negative space shading.

Black To Red Ink Faded Armband Tattoos For Guys

The piece in this image uses a nice gradient of color steps from vivid red through to black. Parts look almost looks like dipped litmus paper. The way the color has been applied by the artist makes the brighter red parts of the tattoo reflect a permanently raw wound.

Cool Guys Tribal Armband Tattoo Design Ideas

This tribal piece is a work of real technical skill. A single needle has been used here, giving it the crispness of lines and pattern inside the band needed to flaunt the artist’s skill, while zero space is also effective in shaping the design.

Detailed Pattern Armband Tattoos For Guys

This tattoo uses an interesting pattern, but the most impressive part of the piece is how clean and fresh the line work looks. If you put it against the older tattoo below the contrast in quality is like night and day.

Nature Band Tattoo Ideas

Cabin In The Woods Guys Armband Tattoos

There are a lot of elements to this spectacular armband tattoo. It utilizes classic black work throughout, but also mixes a smart array of different needle patterns to create different styles of shadow and line work in the skin. The way the sky is inked has an almost fish scale quality to the shade work.

Fox Armband Tattoo With Nature Background Design For Guys

Great use of soft color in the fox to make the mountain band a nice piece of art. The soft hue helps the fox blend into the rest of the image and suggest a mountain stream, especially with the way it’s been shaded to create a cascading effect in the fur. The line work at all stages of this artwork is precise.

Man With Cool Armband Tattoos Of Swimming Fish Design

Mountain Nature Armband Tattoo Design For Guys With Pine Tree Forest

Mountains With Pine Trees And Night Sky Stars Male Armband Tattoo

Small Simple Amband Tattoo On Male With Elephants And Palm Trees

Watercolor Armband Guys Tattoo Designs

Armband Tattoo FAQs

What does a solid armband tattoo mean?

Solid armband tattoos traditionally pay tribute to a lost loved one, in the same vein that black armbands are worn by athletes memorializing the death of a club great or personally important figure.

The black tattooed armband allows the person to remember their loss through acknowledging the body art representing their memory.

What are other reasons for getting a black armband tattoo?

Remembrance is not the sole reason individuals choose to get black armband tattoos. In tribal cultures – such as the collective tribal tattoos of Polynesia or older cultures of South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent – they represent strength and courage or are part of a wider geometric pattern that’s important to symbolic themes such as traditional balance between life and death

At other times a black armband tattoo can be most effective in covering up old or poorly drawn previous tattoo pieces, such as barbed wire or poorly drawn Celtic armbands. They are also hugely popular with tattoo collectors that love using circular designs and geometric use of alternating black ink and negative space.

How much does an armband tattoo cost?

Small armband tattoo prices can range from $150 for the barest designs – think minimalist line work done with single outlining needle – to as much $1000+ for more intricate, complex work such as dot work armbands or bio-mechanical themed armband design.

Average pricing sits between $150 – $200 per hour. Highly skilled, in demand artists can charge up to $500 per hour, while apprentices and less skilled artists are as little as $75.00 per hour.

Remember a 15% tip is the average, but 20% for quality work is highly recommended, and always make sure you clarify pricing with your artist before sitting down to get inked.

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