Tattoo ideas

Top 135 Best Tattoo Ideas for Men in 2021

If you’re looking for brilliance in tattoos for men, this is the list for you to help spur creativity for future grand ideas.

Remarkable tattoo artist talent paired with inspirational ideas showcase jaw-dropping examples of masterful tattoo designs for men.

The designs for men in this collection pushes the limits of what’s possible and may make you reconsider the idea of professionalism when it comes to tattoo artistry.

In this guide you’ll find the best tattoo concepts for men in a range of styles, positions, and symbolic meanings; from ultra-realistic 3D art to sleeve tattoos, to small tattoo and traditional masterpieces, there’s something inspiring for all possible kinds of tattoo for men.

1. Forearm Tattoos for Men

Cool Hourglass Tattoo Male Upperarms

Cool Galaxy Tattoo Mens Forearms

3D Cool Serpent Tattoo Males Forearms

Guy With Cool City Street Lane Tattoo On Forearms

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Forearm tattoo designs often have great social and personal significance for men looking at getting the best tattoo ideas made real.

Forearm ink is in a place to be seen and could be the best tattoo to make a statement. And a quality forearm piece speaks to others about your confidence in yourself, the things you feel are important or bring you joy.

2. Chest Tattoo Ideas for Men

Cool Full Back Grey Tattoo Of Eyes For Men

Cool Flaming Dragon Tattoo Mens Chest

Cool Chest Tattoo Of Roaring Gorilla For Males

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Usually, the subject matter for chest tattoos for men are very personal. Near and often over the heart, chest tattoos idea and design pieces will display deep feelings or beliefs, such as memorial tattoo, loved ones, or religious imagery.

While these complex chest tattoo design ideas are the more traditional art seen on the chest, smaller pieces have become more popular as tattoos have spread amongst the broader population.

These tattoos for men often feature depictions of animals such as an owl tattoo wolf tattoo, the nautical compass tattoo, beautiful women or anchor.

3. Small Tattoo Ideas for Men

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The concept of a small tattoo for men is trending because they not only possess the incredible ability to convey symbolic meanings, but are also simple and clean tattoo design.

Often, tinier tattoo designs for men utilize bold but precise lines to perfectly compliment a man’s confidence and style.

There are many different possibilities for guys to enjoy, from a lion tattoo or cross tattoo to a feather tattoo or cartoon character on the forearm, wrist or ankle.

3. Arm Tattoo Ideas for Men

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Guys Arms Cool Royal Symbols And Chekered Board Tattoo

Cool Tattoo Of Sharp Eyed Owl On Upper Arms

Cool Universe And Rings Around Skull Tattoo For Guys On Upper Arms

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Richness is a vital element when designing any cool arm tattoo, especially if you hope to tantalize others with your body art. Vibrant colors are a plus, although some of the best varieties maximize shading range between black and white.

While arm tattoo concepts seem easy on the surface, their execution is actually quite difficult, especially since the competition is increasing every day.

4. Shoulder Tattoo Ideas for Men

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Shoulder tattoo styles feature distinctive designs, shapes, sizes, and application techniques to make outstanding body art.

The Shoulder tattoo is popular precisely because they’re versatile in size and offer interesting placement choices that can be augmented against the flow of muscle and bone.

5. Hand Tattoos for Men

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Cool Red Rose And Splashing Water Tattoo Male Hands

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Cool Calm Buddha Tattoo Mens Hands

Cool Iron Grey Tattoo Of Rose And Clock Tattoo Male Hands

A hand tattoo is easily seen by everyone, unlike other areas of the body. It’s the one place other than the neck or face that can’t be covered up or concealed.

Getting a hand tattoo is a big decision for any man.

Generally speaking, tattoos on the back of the hand are the most likely to age gracefully when it comes to hand tattoos, while tattoos on the palms of the hand will deteriorate fastest simply because of the amount of use they get in our everyday lives.

6. Tribal Tattoos Ideas for Men

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Nearly one third of all men look at tribal tattoos before ever stepping foot into a tattoo shop, and tribal designs for men are almost always heavily laden with meaning.

The four most notable reasons men in ancient times embraced tribal tattoos were for: Rites of passage, marriage tattoos, totem animal guardianship, and perhaps the most bizarre of them all, magical and medical reasons.

While some of these tribal tattoo designs are less superstitious than in times past, they remain extremely important symbols, such as a tribal wolf tattoo for strength and loyalty, or the owl tattoo for wisdom.

7. Cross Tattoos for Men

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A cross tattoo is primarily known as a symbol for sacrifice, unity and love. Almost universally, these tattoo designs for men provide deep meaning and great significance to the collector.

Not all men’s cross tattoos are religious in purpose however. For instance the tribal cross can be a tribute to a tribe or ancestor, or the growing gothic trend in tattoo design where all manner of imagery is joined to the cross to associate the tattoo with pain and anger.

8. Back Tattoos for Men

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Cool Tattoo Majestic Horse And Greek God Tattoo Mens Back

Arguably the body’s most expansive canvas, the back is an ideal location for epic tattoo masterpieces, whether it’s a full back Japanese inspired design or intricately detailed lion tattoo cascading down the shoulders and along the spine.

Possible back tattoo schemes can include mythical scenes, nautical themes, or dramatic iconography, although a single image or series of smaller designs are also useful back tattoo ideas, such as a compass tattoo in the middle of the back or other stylish tattoos for men.

9. Sleeve Tattoo Designs for Men

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Cool Grey Gods Tattoo Mens Full Sleeves

Cool Rose And Ferocious Tiger Tattoo Mens Upper Arms

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Arguably the body’s most expansive canvas, the back is an ideal location for epic tattoo masterpieces, whether it’s a full back Japanese inspired design or intricately detailed lion tattoo cascading down the shoulders and along the spine.

Possible back tattoo schemes can include mythical scenes, nautical themes, or dramatic iconography, although a single image or series of smaller designs are also useful back tattoo ideas, such as a compass tattoo in the middle of the back or other stylish tattoos for men.

10. Half Sleeve Tattoo Ideas for Men

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Cool Tattoo Of Scary Veiled Skull Tattoo Mens Forearms

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A half sleeve can look just as good as a full tattoo sleeve if not better. Understand that a half sleeve can be quite handy in terms of concealment, or for incorporating future ink.

The average price for half sleeve tattoos for men are around $1,500, however, this number and other tattoo prices can vary greatly depending on the shop, the artist, the details of the tattoo idea, and other factors.

11. The Best Neck Tattoo Ideas for Men

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A neck tattoo can show off bravery and individuality.

It could be an intriguing piece hidden under a collar, or an always visible tattoo that gives a clue to what a collector’s passions and interests might be.

It’s a chance for a man to really put himself out there as a free thinker and edgy creator.

12. Rose Tattoos for Men

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Far from a mere feminine symbol, the rose tattoo was once considered the botany of the masculine archetype, carrying a depth of meaning that lingered much longer than a perfume note or pretty flower.

The rose tattoo is a complicated badass symbol of strength, courage, and nobility, a reminder that refinery wears armor, and that even the truest love is not without its thorns.

13. Simple Tattoo Ideas for Men

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Cool simple tattoos add a suggestive statement with a flowing, seamless design. Be it whimsical or bold cool simple tattoos are an element of the tattooed man to be desired.

Simple tattoo designs range in size from the tiniest suggestive tattoos to fluid and bold design such as full chest or back tribal designs.

14. Leg Tattoos Ideas

Guys Lower Legs Cool Yellow Sailed Ship With Moon Tattoo

Cool Grey Tattoo Male Full Legs

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Leg tattoo designs are becoming more frequently utilized in contemporary tattooing. The legs offer different areas to use across any body art style and also provide a commanding opportunity for full sleeve tattoo designs.

Once on the lower range of the popularity scale for tattoo placement, the legs offer a fantastic large canvas with low pain options for your tattoo idea to be etched into life.

15. Finger Ideas for a Tattoo

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In today’s times, finger tattoo ideas are part of the growing popularity of visible body art, although some still view them as job stoppers for times after you get inked.

From complicated ideas to those simple in design, finger tattoo is paving the way for an ever-evolving creative talent. Though, as you can expect, your bony fingers are more than just hard to ink, they’re painful too thanks to a bunch of nerve endings.

16. Family Tattoos Ideas for Men

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A great tattoo is meant to last for life, which explains the enduring importance and popularity of family tattoo designs.

There are countless ways to pull off these emotionally charged pieces of family love and affection, but the touching impact always remains.

17. Rib Tattoos Ideas for Men

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There are innumerable concepts to explore, adapt, and depict when choosing a rib tattoo.

From minimalist designs and simple quote tattoos, to realistic rib tattoo art or those exploring religious themes, the rib cage is a bold area to make a tattoo statement.

Any application or thematic concept can be applied to make a successful rib tattoo. It is your expression and art brought to life by the tattoo artist.

18. Thigh Tattoo Ideas for Men

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A thigh tattoo presents the opportunity to cover a large surface area if desired and suits every style of body art application. They can be a deeply personal tribute tattoo, something more privately meaningful, or a reflection of interests.

Full thigh tattoo designs offer a unique style, while smaller designs are quite easy to cover up or hide as the situation dictates.

19. Badass Tattoo Ideas for Men

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Cool Tattoo Of Water Flowing Out Of Beast Mouth Forearms

Cool Spaceman In Universe Tattoo Mens Full Arms

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The tattoo industry has recently witnessed amazing technological strides. As a result, it is possible for men to get badass tattoos that defy all previous possibilities.

If you want to shatter the norms of convention, then now is a good time to pursue the unfettered sex appeal of badass tattoo style and excitement.

20. Symbolic Tattoo Ideas for Men

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A tattoo can be one of the most meaningful decisions you make. When you are planning your new piece of artwork, it is a wise idea to look deeper than the initial image.

What does it mean today? What has it meant in the past? What does it mean to you?

There are a wide range of symbolic designs, from ancient religions and histories to the contemporary ideas and connected culture of today.

21. Skull Tattoo Ideas for Men

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You’ll be surprised at the meaning behind many skull tattoo ideas, which are quite possibly the most popular designs for ink worldwide.

Most assume on first glance their scary, morbid, and intimidating form symbolizes one thing: Death. The truth is, skulls can symbolize everything from celebration of life to serving as a way to ward off evil spirits.

22. Christianity Tattoo Ideas for Men

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Christian tattoos keep gaining popularity, and it’s not just crosses and crucifixes. Theological imagery is presently being shaped into some of the most thrilling artistic designs conceived.

These iconic scenes include famous encounters with apostles or classic portraits of Jesus or the Virgin Mary. A picturesque emblem of spirituality will keep you on the right path and remind you not to stray.

23. The Best Tattoo Lettering for Men

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Traditional forms of lettering still applies to lists of the best tattoo ideas, even with realistic designs that can paint a thousand words in a single picture.

Often, the meaning behind these words when etched in skin are made stronger than when they are spoken.

From names to quotes to foreign characters, maxims, adages, or benedictions come together to form seriously cool body art.

24. Celtic Tattoo Ideas for Men

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The story behind Celtic tattoos is almost as intricate as the designs are. From ink that fiercely intimidates foes on the battlefield to the meaning of life with no beginning nor end.

When it came to inking the skin, men on the battle field could be seen with knot designs on either the upper chest or arms. Over time countless patterns, symbols and meanings emerged.

Swirls, trinities and circles are believed to symbolize nature, motion, time and the wind. While the popular cross and circle stood for the unity of four directions under the sun.

25. Flower Tattoo Ideas for Men

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When it comes to flowers tattoos for men, illustrated men of the past might have dismissed them as being a staple of femininity in tattoo design.

The truth is, gender stereotyping in the world of ink is being obliterated daily – we don’t care if you’re a man or woman as long as you rock cool tattoos.

With all sorts of different plants available to help in creating your inspirational tattoo design, each flower can be a distinctive bloom of beautiful significance.

26. Music Tattoo Ideas for Men

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There are no boundaries to the expression that can be enabled by a music tattoo for men. With millions of albums and concert posters to choose from, you will run out of room before you run out of ideas.

Sheet music and lyrics are fine choices too, while some fans even get autographs of famous performers tattooed on their skin.

The most common tattoo choice is an electric guitar, however classical music lovers shouldn’t feel left out because every instrument in the orchestra can be brought to life on the flesh.

27. Tree Tattoo Ideas for Men

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The roots of the tree run deep-in life, in history, and in art. A symbol of ancient wisdom, nurturing, and the branches that connect us all, the tree has long been revered as nature’s most sacred living monument.

It’s no small wonder that tattoo artists and enthusiasts have taken notice, resulting in some of the most stunning ink renditions to date.

There are many reasons to opt for a tree tattoo, ranging from cultural values to a preferred aesthetic.

Tattoos for Men FAQs

How much are small tattoos for men?

Small tattoo pricing can range from the shop minimum of $50-$80 for the smallest designs – two square inches or less, to around $200 for an hour for more complex work.

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.

What’s good advice for men getting a first tattoo?

  1. Choose a concept you won’t regret
  2. Start small and think of possible future ink
  3. Choose the right artist for your idea
  4. Study up on color, style, and tattoo health and aftercare
  5. Have fun!

What style ink should I get for my first tattoo?

First timers traditionally choose symbolically meaningful tattoo designs. Body art relevant to self identity and belief never go out of style.

Appealing application styles vary for taste – it’s entirely up to you! Smaller designs inked on simpler spaces like the forearm or outer bicep are statistically most likely.

What are the most popular style tattoos for men?

  • American Traditional – rose tattoo, daggers, and skulls
  • Animal realism and nature ink – owl tattoo, wolf tattoo, lion tattoo are the most widely sampled
  • Family tattoos and script designs
  • Linework tattoo designs
  • Tribal tattoos for men
  • Abstract, Geometric and 3D tattoo
  • Japanese style tattoos
  • Space themed 3D tattoo
  • Ironic and funny tattoo design

How much are sleeve tattoos for men?

There is no fixed price for full sleeve tattoos and sex or gender is also unimportant. Cost depends on factors such as:

  • Artist skills and experience
  • Tattoo size
  • Technical complexity
  • Ink color
  • Fillers
  • Time taken

A full sleeve tattoo can take at least 10-15, so a tattoo may cost from $1,500 to $2,000 before tips at a minimum.

How much should I tip my artist?

There is no set amount or percentage to tip and artist, and no actual obligation for you to do it after meeting the basic obligations for your tattoo.

However, we recommend that you make sure 15-20% of your tattoo price should be tipped for service and execution each time after you get inked.

What are the most popular flower tattoos for men?

A selection of the most popular flower tattoo inspiration for men includes:

  • Roses
  • Lotus flower
  • Cherry blossom
  • Peony
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Poppies
  • Magnolias

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