Tattoos For Men – An Ultimate Guide (500 Best Design Ideas)

For centuries now, tattoo art has been used as a popular form of body embellishment for both men and women. From being used as symbolism of tribal culture to becoming a style statement for the youth of today, tattoos have traveled a long, long journey in the realms of time. Though these are equally loved by men and women, there was a time when tattoos were considered as a symbol of masculinity and many times, tattoos for men were spotted on sailors, hippies, criminals and people belonging to gangs.

Today, however tattoos are worn for representing the attitude of the bearer as well as to grab the attention of the crowds. Men’s tattoos need to be masculine and should represent strength, valor and determination. The designs for tattoos on men may be suggested by experienced tattoo artists or can be chosen by the bearer himself, depending upon what he wants the tattoo to convey. Since tattoos are more of permanent nature and are hard to get removed once etched on a person, it is imperative that the design for the tattoo should be chosen with great care and conviction. Moreover, you have to invest a great deal of time and money to have a tattoo inked and the amount of pain to be borne in the process is considerable too, which makes choosing a tattoo design even more crucial for men as well as women.

Placement Ideas For Men Tattoos

Tattoos, which are once inked on a person, become a part of his or her personality and stay with them for a lifetime. Also, the purpose of a tattoo is to grab the attention of the onlooker, which makes its placement all the more important. At the same time, it should be placed in such a manner that it is as easy to catch attention with it as it is to conceal it. Sometimes, the bearer of the tattoo may be required to hide the tattoo for some professional reasons or otherwise. Tattoo designs for men are preferred in masculine spots such as the chest, shoulders, back, side, stomach, arms, legs, thighs, spine, neck, wrist, sleeve and ankles.

Sometimes, men even get tattoos on their face or head. The actual decision about the placement of tattoos is made on the basis of design and size of the tattoo, whereby larger designs are featured on larger surfaces such as the chest, back, side and stomach and smaller ones on the smaller areas of the body. Also, the placement of the men tattoos adds a special significance to their designs. For instance chest tattoos with name of the loved ones can replicate your love for them as these tattoos are located close to your heart, while tattoos on the shoulders and forearms stand for masculinity and power of men. It is important to understand the symbolism of the tattoo as well as the significance of having it inked on a certain part of the body, before you actually have it inked.

Most Popular Tattoos For Men

The variety available in men’s tattoo designs in extensive as male tattoos have been in vogue since times immemorial. For centuries now, masculine designs have been evolved by tattoo artists as well as tattoo lovers, who have brought ahead original ideas and concepts to create cool and unique design ideas. Here are some of them:

Tribal Tattoos For Men

Tribal tattoos have been eternal favorites for men since times immemorial, as they were used by the tribes in the ancient past to mark a person as a member of their clan. Till date, these stylish and masculine tattoo designs are desirable for men of all ages and classes. Most of them are done in the customary black or grey ink and comprise of vivid lines and patterns. They are usually large in design and are ideally placed on the back or chest areas. Tribal tattoo designs are equally sough after among women too.

Cross Tattoos

Another well likes tattoo design for men is the cross tattoo, which incorporates the most important symbol of Christianity. Though the cross is usually associated with the religion and religious feelings of a person, the cross tattoo is revered equally for its looks as it is for its religious value.

Heart Tattoos

Many men love to bear the tattoo design which contains heart as the main element. The heart stands for love, passion and emotions and many times, this tattoo design is made to include the name or initials of a loved one, or some meaningful quotes.

Sleeve Tattoos

Another popular tattoo design for men is the sleeve tattoo, which comprises of intricate and prominent pattern inked all across the arms of the bearer, which resembles the shirt sleeve, thus giving it the name of the sleeve tattoo. Sleeve tattoos look very masculine and are greatly eye catching, which makes it a favorite among men of younger generation.

Angel Wings

The angel wings tattoo design is another desirable tattoo design for men and women. It is usually seen on the back or the chest and symbolizes the purity and kindness associated with angels.

Skull Tattoos

Skull is another design element which is reaching the heights of popularity as a part of tattoo designs in the modern tattoo art. Men usually favor this design element because there is a masculine quality about it. In addition to its aesthetic value, the deeper symbolic meaning of the skull tattoo also accounts for its popularity. The skull depicts rebirth and eternity of life, which means that life never ends.

Biomechanical Tattoos

The best tattoo design for men which is preferred by men is that of biomechanical tattoos, which depicts the parts of the human body functioning as if they were the parts of a machine. Most of the time, they can be spotted on the shoulder, chest or back and have an amazing eye catching quality.

Floral Tattoos

Flowers are usually associated with femininity but men too love to have floral tattoos inked on them, with rose and lotus being the most popular flowers to be included in these designs. Many times, certain design elements like the skull, arrow, anchor and cross are included in floral designs to make their overall look more solid and masculine.

Anchor Tattoos

Tattoos have been popularized by sailors in the distant past and most of the tattoos used by sailors had elements of the seas included in the designing, which included anchors, waves, koi fish and swallows, to name just a few. Anchor tattoos continue to be popular as tattoo designs for men, even decades later.

The design options in tattoos for men is actually endless as both, the tattoo designers as well as the tattoo enthusiasts continue to look for creative and innovative designs, which can help the bearer create a unique visual impact. Some other design elements which have found a place in tattoo ideas for men are birds, clouds, arrows, music noted, Roman numerals, dragons, lions, tigers, nautical stars, compass and the list goes on and on. In addition to the design element, another thing that really makes a difference is the color or colors used in the inking of the tattoo such as white ink tattoos are trending these days. Though black and grey remain the ultimate choice in men’s tattoos, these days, artists have started using several vibrant colors in tattoo designs to make them more attractive. White ink tattoo is also an option, but they are mostly not recommended for men because they lack the prominence which is needed for a tattoo to be masculine. While selecting a tattoo design for himself, a man should not only consider its aesthetic value but also its symbolism as tattoos are more about one’s attitude and thinking. It is a way of being clear about your attitude and perception towards life, without being too loud about it.

Choosing A Male tattoo design

Choosing a men’s tattoo design is a big decision to make for men as they have to get something which they can stick to for a lifetime. Though it has now become possible to have a tattoo removed for good, but it is a complicated and expensive one. Therefore, it is better to be safe than sorry and get a design you can keep forever. For a tattoo design for men, it is essential to be masculine as that is the very purpose of the tattoo. It is better to look for a reputed and experienced tattoo designer who can create a good design as well as give feasible suggestions for selecting the same. A bit of research on your end can also be of great help in finalizing the design. For this purpose, you can consult some good books or websites for new designs. You can also enlist the help of a friend who is interested in this art form. Be careful about choosing its placement on the body too because a right tattoo on the wrong place will not do you much favor.

Important Thought Before Going

There’s a whole checklist that you should actually sit down and prepare now if you are really willing to go for getting your dream tattoo. Why is it really such a fuss? Only because tattoos are permanent, if it weren’t nobody would have actually given a second thought about getting one anyway. It is only because of the permanence that people need to give a very concentrated attention to both their mental and emotional thoughts.


Before finalizing an artist for the tattoo session always make sure that you roam around and just have a viewing session at the artist’s studio because this will actually help you judge a lot about the work of the artist that you were considering.

  • This is recommended to see how the artist deals with its clients.
  • Make sure how the artist keeps his tools and belongings because one of the most important things that you need to take care of is proper sterilization of the tools.
  • Many home-based studio artists might lack this bit so it is recommended to do your studio research really well.
  • This will also tell you a lot about the artist’s own personality and the way of his work.


As we have said it out loud you must note it in bold letters. Yes, it is really important to choose one of the finest artists for your tattoo because it is only an artist that makes or ruins the tattoo dream for you.

  • If by any chance you are actually looking at the price tag attached with the artist then you certainly are not meant to have a tattoo.
  • Great artists have long waiting lists, as long as even a year but the wait is actually going to be worth it despite all the pain.
  • Even if you don’t get a chance with your favorite artist look for the one that comes second best right after your favorite one.


You are definitely not going shoe shopping so you must not do about an hour long useless research on the internet and go for a design that you think looks only cute.

  • Go for a tattoo that actually seems to have a deeper connection with you.
  • Don’t go after googled images or the ones that are commonly shared on social platforms. Research according to your will and take as much time as your heart desires.
  • Come up with something that is unique and has a strong meaning attached with it.
  • Because images picked up only through web search are often found to be too common.


This might be the ultimate cause of a tattoo gone wrong when people are actually not clear to their artists about any kind of past skin allergies that they may have had or are having, just out of fright that a tattoo artist might let them down.

  • Never really risk your life for something that might not be worth it after all. If you are actually allergic to stuff like lead, lipstick ingredients or any other cosmetic substance then the key is to get a small area of your skin tested before you begin with the tattooing process.

You can even consult your skin specialist before going to an actual tattoo artist and ask the doctor to run a couple of tests that can easily identify if there is any kind of possibility for you to develop an allergic reaction post a tattoo.


How do you feel when you come across a stranger and they tend to give the world’s sweetest smile and you can’t help but resist the beauty of that moment? Things have to be pretty much the same in almost everything that we do in life; it has to be filled with good emotions and positive vibes. Since, there are people who are immediately attracted or repulsed by other peoples’ aura as soon as they meet them.

  • It has been shared by many people that they have been brutally rejected by artists’ moments after they have entered their studio, though there has been no exchange of any strong words or demonstration of physical arrogance but the artist didn’t bet their time on them.
  • This often occurs when the artist after taking a quick glance over the prospective client carefully deduce a long list of facts that often end up true about them and they feel no pressure into indulge themselves in a client that might end up arguing over a dollar.
  • Another matter of significance is that when you have finally booked your tattoo artist and you have arrived closer to your day of final appointment make sure you have communicated your demands and needs with respect to your design as clearly as possible because the clearer the artist’s vision the better the tattoo.


Even Masters in Literature make the stupidest of mistakes when it comes to spelling based or grammatical errors, but as long as it isn’t hurting someone the mistake is nothing critical.

  • This doesn’t however apply to someone who is intending to have a huge scripture tattooed on to their chest.
  • Whenever you are planning to have even a single word tattooed on your body always recheck and thoroughly proofread again and again.
  • Don’t hesitate to get it checked by someone else because at times your eyes go bling over a simple mistake that lies right in front of the eyes and a second person can easily identify it for you.
  • Having a misspelled or grammatically incorrect tattoo is nothing but a huge load of embarrassment.


Why wouldn’t it hurt when a needle is actually pricking though your skin at such an enormous speed? I mean yes all people who have intended to get a tattoo are perfectly affair of the painful part of the tattoo but they are still determined as they know what holds right beyond the pain.

  • It is known that some parts of the body hurt far greater than the rest of the body.
  • But the pain certainly varies from person to person and their individual ability to bear the pain.
  • The most painfully endangered parts are the ribs, the fingers and *ehem* the butt. Some also recommend grabbing a painkiller quickly after you are done with the tattoo as it may suppress the pain as soon as possible. However, it is never recommended to take one before the process to avoid unnecessary bleeding.
  • Yes tattoos despite being permanent fade away. This happens when the dermis layer of the skin is constantly exposed to direct sunlight and the UV rays damage the inked portions that are then discarded by the body as bad cells.
  • Fingers and knuckles being the most exposed parts of the body suffer from maximum tattoo fading.


There is a long list of precautions that one has to take care of once they have committed on to getting a tattoo. Nothing beautiful comes as easy as it might seem but the art of tattooing is pretty difficult when you come to know of it, in depth.

  • Clients are not recommended to get into any kind of water body that is based on chemical ingredients like swimming pools, hot tubs, or even lakes.
  • To avoid is a better option than to grow an infection.
  • Till then it is recommended that you go only through quick and clean showers.
  • Avoid direct contact with sunlight; if you have gotten a tattoo that can be hidden and covered by a piece of clothing then do so to avoid any fading of color.
  • Otherwise, cover up your tattooed skin with sunscreen to protect the tattoo.

Having Second Thoughts

Now you must have gotten an awesome and amazing tattoo right when you got 15 but to look back at it that Popeye The Sailor man on your arm is not a good idea 15 years later that it was at that time.

  • Laser removal treatment is one way to get rid of tattoos for men that are now more misery than pleasure.
  • But to convince yourself for a laser surgery is far difficult then to get a tattoo because of the immense pain associated with it.
  • Also it is best to remove a black ink based tattoo rather than a colored tattoo. Laser removal surgeries are also not a guaranteed form to get rid of the tattoos.
  • You might end up having faded colored scare left on the body and this might end up far disgusting then when it had the actual tattoo over it.

Types of Tattoos In General Term

We have understood the liability and importance of color and gradiance in designing some amazing and worth every penny, tattoos. However the art of tattooing isn’t only about decorating the body, there is a huge history attached with the art of tattooing. Even the American Academy for Dermatology has made their way into distinctively categorizing tattoos based on the purpose they serve.

A. Traumatic Tattoo

The notion of a traumatic tattoo might seem odd to a few people but yes the appearance of a tattoo as a result of a traumatic incident is actually valid and real. But the nature of the trauma is not a roadside accident or a bike fall; it is completely different to what one might actually perceive.

  • Traumatic tattoos are caused by the implantation of substances like coal dust; lead and asphalt accidentally enter the second layer of the body during an accident.
  • These accidents are not the ones that one usually suffers, people that in a direct contact with such substances like road workers, coal mine workers etc. go through a sever accident in which there skin gets damaged it is thus known that often such substances enter their skin and cause permanent marking.
  • Kids can also cause such kind of traumatic tattoo markings to themselves or one another if they are too fond of poking each other with lead based pencils.

B. Identification Tattoos

As of what it sounds these tattoos were actually given for pure identification purposes. Some tattoos even have really horrid memories attached with them. Mostly used at the time of war survivors still can see them and remember each and everything from the beginning.

  • Identification tattoos were tattoos given to either prisoners or slaves in the earliest empires.
  • The latest such known use came to surface when Nazis used tattoos to identify prison inmates and determined their course of action against them.
  • Identification tattoos have a long history associated with slavery where slaves were tattooed with either the words, ‘tax paid’ or ‘stop me, I’m a runaway’. Both of which if though of today was extremely humiliating.
  • The Maori people who have been known to use the art of Moko to sacredly cover their face in tattoos were identified of their class, lineage and position by those tattoos.

C. Cosmetic Tattoos

This might be an eye opening and insightful paragraph who are too much tired of setting up their eyebrows or areas on the face where they have tried all kinds of chemical based and even natural ingredients to bring about the change that they desire. Cosmetic tattoos are the remedy for such petty issues.

  • One main purpose of cosmetic tattoos is to redefine your eyebrows.
  • Some Mens also go for cosmetic tattooing to permanently add some sort of basic facial makeup that reduces the time for them to get ready in the morning for the rest of their lives.
  • Such makeup includes, lip lining, brow definition, fancy moles etc.

D. Medical Tattoos

Medical tattoos might seem a little bite weird to understand in the beginning but once dwelled in to the topic one will understand the sole purpose of why tattoos are rather opted in the field of medicine for certain issues despite its permanence.

  • A highly used application of medical tattooing in today’s world is reconstruction of skin coloring of vitiligo sufferers.
  • Now the process is not as easy as it might seem and the patient has to go through several sittings in order to get a firm result.
  • Other than this tattoo marking are used on the body of patients when places have to be identified again and again in procedures like radiotherapy where tools need to be inserted into the body over the same place, always.

E. Functional Tattoos

These tattoos might seem important but the truth is that such tattooing can be exempted if there is no hard need of the occasion.

  • Functional tattoos are mostly tattoos of identification material on the bodies of patients suffering from mental disorders like Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
  • This is done so to make the identification and then the transfer of the patient easily as per the details tattooed on the body.

Interesting Facts

Despite having the whole of Internet at your disposal still there’s a lot to be known about tattoos that might really shock a lot of people even those who have claimed to be self-proclaimed tattoo gurus. The next time you have an appointment with your tattoo artist have some tallying their knowledge with the ones you just gathered.

  1. Out of the 100% American population, only 19% men are indulged in tattooing in comparison to over 23% women who beat them off the charts.
  2. There are only about 36% young adults in the age range of about 18-26 years old that have been found to have tattoos while about 40% of adults in the age range of 28-40 are fond of tattooing.
  3. Despite a large number of educated populations, Tattoo still remains the most misspelled word in the world, with common mistakes like, Tattoe, Tato and Tatoo.
  4. Although being more in number, women are likely known to get rid of a tattoo through different means than men.
  5. The first ever tattoo artist to start its work in America, was a German who immigrated to Boston somewhere in the year 1846.
  6. Most commonly mistaken, a tattoo is not on the superficial layer of the skin rather the needle punctures right through the epidermis in to the dermis layer where the skin cells are far more stable than those on epidermis.
  7. There is actually a part on the tattoo known as a Holiday, it is basically the area where the artist might have accidentally missed a small spot or the tattoo might have changed shape during the healing process.
  8. Of all the different kinds of tattoos mentioned there’s one made out of UV ink, tattoos made out of this ink are known and proved to be completely invisible in broad daylight and are visible only under special ultraviolet light.
  9. One famous creation is known as the Hula girl, who was designed and engraved with such perfection that it allowed the client to actually get his Hula girl dancing just by moving his bicep.
  10. Laser removal surgery uses the technique to breakdown the colored cells, which with time are then carried away by the immune system to be discarded. The black ink is the easiest to get rid as it works well in absorbing the radiations while green and yellow are the hardest to get rid of.
  11. An ancient Mummy belonging to 3000 BC after being rediscovered was found to be the oldest found mummy to ever have visible tattoos on the body.
  12. People frequently opt for animal tattoos, as they tend to identify themselves with the soul of the respective animal.
  13. The designs displayed by an artist in the studio are known as ‘Flash’, clients have the liberty to choose from any of the flash or they can start their work with a custom built design. As getting a tattoo done out of a flash is just like getting stuff out of the rack.
  14. The pain while getting a tattoo can be identified as getting stung by a bee or even like getting bad sunburn.
  15. Some artists are known to retouch your tattoo, for life.
  16. Surprisingly Urine was once used to mix up different tattoo colors.
  17. The tattoo machine is comprised of 4 parts that is the needle, the tube that is known to hold the ink, an ever-needed electric motor and sewing machine like peddle.
  18. You are known to be pricked between 50-3,000 times a minute while you are being tattooed.
  19. Americans are known to be crazy after tattoos and are known to spend over $1.65 billion dollars per annum just getting tattoos.
  20. You might need to the most favorable and famous spots to get a tattoo on are; foot, lower back, neck, breasts, armband, the arms, chest, feet and the ankles.

Final Words on Men Tattoos

Remember, a  male tattoo will be a part of your personality for the entire life ahead. Therefore, it is essential to be very sure about the men tattoo design before you have it inked on your body.

500 Tattoos Designs For Men

For better user experience we split the collection in several pages, please find pagination in the end to proceed on next pages.



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