Cool tattoos come in many colors, shapes, styles and sizes. But the best tattoos for men require creativity and unique drawings. In fact, cool tattoo ideas offer a balance between a masculine look, meaningful message, and original artwork. Fortunately, there are an endless number of awesome tattoo designs that are both stylish and manly, helping you come up with your own really cool design ideas.
Whether you want a badass tattoo because it looks good on you or desire body art as a form of expression, this guide will help you explore the best cool tattoos for men. These great guy tattoos will truly inspire you with some stunning ideas.
- 1 Cool Tattoo Ideas
- 2 Cool Tattoos
- 2.1 Small Tattoo
- 2.2 Simple Tattoo
- 2.3 Cross Tattoo
- 2.4 Skull Tattoo
- 2.5 Dragon Tattoo
- 2.6 Lion Tattoo
- 2.7 Phoenix Tattoo
- 2.8 Quote Tattoo
- 2.9 Family Tattoo
- 2.10 Star Tattoo
- 2.11 Angel Tattoo
- 2.12 Owl Tattoo
- 2.13 Eagle Tattoo
- 2.14 Arrow Tattoo
- 2.15 Name Tattoo
- 2.16 Clock Tattoo
- 2.17 Tree Tattoo
- 2.18 Gemini Tattoo
- 2.19 Cloud Tattoo
- 2.20 Taurus Tattoo
- 2.21 Wolf Tattoo
- 2.22 Christian Tattoos
- 2.23 Celtic Tattoo
- 2.24 Demon Tattoo
- 2.25 Music Tattoo
- 2.26 Feather Tattoo
- 2.27 Crown Tattoo
- 2.28 King and Queen Tattoo
- 2.29 Samurai Warrior Tattoo
- 2.30 Norse God Tattoo
- 3 Where To Get A Tattoo
Cool Tattoo Ideas
With tattooing becoming mainstream in the last decade, deciding to get tattooed is no longer a controversial choice. Instead, it’s a great way to express your personality and collect beautiful art. Once you’ve decided to get inked, the tough part is choosing the right tattoo for you. With so many cool tattoo ideas for men, you’ll need to think about where you want to get inked and the design you to look at for the rest of your life. Some guys want to honor family members, while others simply want the best-looking tattoo ever. Ultimately, not every piece needs a deeper meaning; sometimes, it’s just fun to enjoy a nice image. Guys often imagine scary or intimidating imagery as symbols of masculinity such as demons, lions, wolves, tigers, dragons, warriors, tribal bands and skulls.
Small tattoos are easy to hide, so if you need your tattoo to be discreet and covered up, a small design is a great option. But a small tattoo doesn’t necessarily mean inferior, and tiny drawings can be incredibly detailed if you have a skilled artist.
There are thousands of cool small tattoo designs for you to choose from that are packed full of meaning and created with unique artwork.
Simple tattoos can be trendy and fashionable. Plus, a minimal design forces you to be creative when conveying a bold message with basic symbols.
Modern and timeless, simple tattoo ideas look best in black and grey. Plus, you can fit these cool concepts almost anywhere.
Crucifix and cross tattoos are a classic design choice for religious Christians. Symbolizing Christianity, Jesus, love, faith and your piety, these designs are incredibly meaningful and iconic.
Skull tattoos are one of the most popular designs around. With a range of meanings, from death to mortality, rebellion, and rebirth, the skull is an image that can be incorporated into any concept.
Whether you want a realistic skull, a full on anatomically-correct skeleton, or a stylized Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) sugar skull, a cool skull tattoo is a timeless choice.
Hailing back to traditional Japanese designs, dragon tattoos offer a classic look with deep cultural meanings.
As symbols of power, strength, wisdom and protection, you can’t go wrong with cool dragon tattoo designs.
If you want ink that symbolizes strength, royalty, courage, and family, a lion tattoo is a favorite.
Not only are lions beautiful creatures that look awesome tattooed on your chest, shoulder or forearm, the king of the jungle can be a constant reminder of your strength and perseverance.
Symbolizing rebirth, transformation, and potential, the phoenix is a mythical creature with a deep meaning. Phoenix tattoos are popular among men who have experienced loss or gone through hardship only to emerge stronger than ever.
A phoenix rising from the ashes tattoo may be the perfect way to commemorate your journey and new beginning.
A quote tattoo is a cool way to represent your beliefs and personal philosophy without relying on imagery and symbolism. A quote can be simple, profound, and look nice with artistic styling.
Just be sure to check the spelling, meaning and translation to avoid typos and embarrassment later.
One of the best ways to honor your family is with a tattoo. Whether you want to get their names, birthdays, portraits, or something more abstract, commemorating your love and appreciation with a family tattoo would look good on any guy.
Stars have been a popular tattoo design for many years and can look stylish and masculine when styled properly. Similarly, guys can use star tattoos to fill in gaps in a large collage of images.
If you’ve lost someone special, an angel tattoo is a beautiful way to commemorate their life. Angel tattoos represent protection, guidance, love, rebirth and religion, particularly if you choose a Guardian Angel design.
Angels can symbolize Christian beliefs or be a poignant way to show devotion and remembrance for those you’ve lost.
Owls represent wisdom and intuition, and are often depicted as guardians. So whether you pride yourself on your intellectual prowess or you’d like a tattoo to remind you to be wary and wise, an owl tattoo is a great idea for guys.
Representing freedom, strength, leadership and vision, the eagle is the most badass bird of prey. Manly and powerful, eagle tattoos look amazing on the chest, back or shoulder with vivid imagery.
Similarly, if you’re from the US, pairing an eagle with the American flag is a classic way to get a patriotic tattoo.
Arrow tattoos are versatile, simple, and trendy. Aside from the classic arrow through a heart representing love, arrows are often used to represent a good sense of direction and forward momentum.
Perfect for a first tattoo that will fit anywhere; try an arrow tattoo design to show you’re living your life without regrets.
Name tattoos are the ultimate display of love, commitment, and loyalty. Often tattooed on the chest to remain close to your heart, name tattoo designs are extremely personal and romantic.
If you pick your girlfriend’s name, make the decision thoughtfully. A safer bet would be to honor family with a rose or wait till you get married to ink your wife’s name.
Clock tattoos, including hourglasses, sundials, and complex watches, often symbolize mortality and the passage of time.
Often paired with a compass, map, and other artistic designs, clock tattoo ideas are meaningful and can inspire guys to appreciate life.
Trees are symbols of life, strength, nature, growth, and fresh starts. Because of this, many tree tattoos generally represent the “Tree of Life”.
If you want a masculine tattoo of nature that represents your ability to withstand the obstacles of the world, a black and grey tree tattoo design might be right for you.
The Gemini is an astrological sign represented by twins symbolizing the duality of nature. Gemini tattoos depict complexity or the ability of someone to have seemingly contradictory characteristics.
Use the Gemini zodiac sign as a design to show you’re multi-dimensional and unique.
Clouds are whimsical and picturesque, making them cool tattoo ideas for men who want creative work that demonstrates their easy-going nature.
Cloud tattoos not only offer meaning, but are versatile enough to fit on any body part and get inked with any styling.
Taurus tattoos generally represent guys who are patient, loyal, hard-working, laid back, and humble. Additionally, this zodiac sign is represented by the bull, which indicates the power, conviction and passion behind these ideals.
Wolf tattoos represent family, loyalty, strength in numbers, and survival instincts. Wolves make for cool animal tattoo ideas.
Whether you identify as a lone wolf howling at the moon or consider yourself a loyal family man who’s the leader of your pack, wolf tattoo designs can represent your values in a timeless way.
Similar to cross tattoos, Christian tattoos demonstrate a man’s commitment to God. As a way of literally wearing your faith on your sleeve, symbols of Christianity include praying hands, the crucifix, rosary, Jesus on the cross, angels, bible verses, etc.
Christian tattoo designs can be a modern tribute to your deep religious beliefs.
Celtic tattoos are classic symbols in European culture, specifically Irish, Scottish, English, and Welch. The Celtic knot is a visually interesting design rich with many meanings.
The most common version is that life has no beginning or end, and the eternal connection between the spiritual and physical. Another popular Celtic tattoo design, the Claddagh represents love, friendship, and loyalty.
The demon tattoo represents rebellion, temptation, and mortality. However, at the most basic level, demon tattoo designs are scary and intimidating, which is why guys find them super cool to get inked on their back, chest, shoulder or arm.
If you’re musically gifted, a music tattoo is a great way to illustrate your passion. Musical notes are a nice and simple touch if you want something small. Otherwise, you can pay tribute to your favorite artist, song or instrument with a larger piece.
Feather tattoos are often used to symbolize freedom, travel, and courage, so if you’re a keen adventurer or just value your personal freedom, a feather tattoo design might be perfect for you.
Crown tattoos are powerful symbols of leadership, authority, and power. If you want a reminder of your inner strength, want to feel like a king, or would like the world to appreciate your supremacy, consider a crown tattoo design.
King and Queen Tattoo
Matching king and queen tattoos are sweet for couples. Whether you’re boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife, or any relationship where you want to share your love with the world, then look for the best king and queen tattoo designs.
Samurai Warrior Tattoo
The Samurai were some of the bravest, most honorable warriors in history. Synonymous with loyalty, humility, courage, skill and honor, samurai warrior tattoos encourage men to strive for these ideals.
Norse God Tattoo
Norse Gods were the leaders of the Vikings. Rugged, masculine, strong and ruthless, tattoos of Norse Gods, Viking Warriors, and Nordic symbols pay homage and give men something to aspire to.
Where To Get A Tattoo
Once you’ve decided what tattoo design you want, the next step is to decide where to get your tattoo. If this is your first tattoo, you have plenty of canvas to choose from. But guys with multiple designs will have to think about how to incorporate new artwork on their body.
The following should serve as a guide to use when picking where to get a tattoo.
Sleeve tattoos are one of the most popular choices for men. There are full and half sleeve tattoo ideas, and guys have the option of picking a sleeve design that covers the upper, lower, or full arm.
Given the size and visibility, a cool sleeve tattoo can really look badass and enhance your image. Picking good artwork is really critical here, and it doesn’t hurt as much as other area of the body.
Unfortunately, sleeves are expensive and require a long healing process due to the amount of skin involved. But the pain can be worth it with the right ink.
Shoulder tattoos are very common because designs look really good placed here on any body type. Easily hidden and attractive, shoulder tattoo ideas can extend to the chest and back or down the arm.
From discreet to loud, get a shoulder tattoo if you want something amazing that requires a large canvas.
Chest tattoos look hot and flattering on most guys. Especially if you work out, have a toned chest, and want a badass look for when you’re shirtless, chest tattoo designs can be awesome.
From small and simple to detailed across both sides of the chest, over your heart is the ideal spot for something special.
Your back is the largest area of open skin on your body, making it the perfect location for a badass back tattoo. You can pick a lower, upper or full back tattoo and still hide it as a professional.
If you’re getting a new tattoo, start with a small to medium-sized design and build on it over time. Back tattoos are versatile enough to handle all types of unique ideas.
Forearm tattoos offer another excellent blank canvas. Because the forearm is almost always visible and on-display, be careful about your design ideas. Nevertheless, the forearm can be the start of a stunning half or full sleeve arm tattoo.
If you don’t mind everyone seeing your ink, then we’re confident you’ll love getting tattooed on the lower arm.
Your legs are a relatively painless place to get tattooed, and an incredible leg tattoo can take advantage of this big open space. With a range of leg designs to choose from, cover your thigh and calf with nice artwork.
Just be wary of the knee and parts of the skin because they can be particularly painful.
Thigh tattoos are suitable for detailed work you want on your legs without having to sacrifice elements of the design to fit. You can pick from a single piece or multiple small to medium images.
Additionally, your thigh doesn’t typically see a lot of sun so your tattoo won’t fade due to sun damage like other parts of your body.
For small, simple designs, your wrist is a great place for ink. It’s highly visible, so you’ll be able to see your tattoo whenever you look at your hands, but with a watch or long-sleeved shirt, even the coolest wrist designs can be easily covered.
Best-suited for meaningful or personal messages that share a life philosophy or inspiration, wrist tattoo designs make for fun first tattoos.
Getting a tattoo on your arm can be treated much the same as getting one on your leg. It’s a great spot with open space and the clothing you wear will dictate how much it shows.
With arm tattoos, you have several options, including the upper and lower arm, inner bicep, triceps, outer arm, shoulder, and a variation of all the parts. The cool thing about starting an arm tattoo design is you can always add to it in the future.
What may start out as a beautiful tattoo idea for your arms can transform into an impressive sleeve.
Ankle tattoos are all about small and simple designs. Getting tattooed around your ankle isn’t comfortable because the needle is going to hit plenty of bone.
However, tiny ankle tattoos can make bold statements and are worth it if you have a cool idea to share with the world.
Hand tattoos are among the most daring spots to get ink. Almost impossible to hide, guys need to be extremely committed to their hand tattoo designs. Furthermore, tattoos on the hands will need to be regularly touched up.
With that said, sick ideas for your hands come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Get matching artwork on both hands or a small design on just one. The possibilities are limitless.
Much like your hand, neck tattoos are a big commitment to the tattooed life. It’s a painful spot and very visible, so be sure you know exactly what you want before getting inked.
If you do want a neck tattoo, they can be excellent at chiseling out a jawline and showcasing your personality.
Despite their growing popularity, face tattoos are pretty extreme and shouldn’t be done unless you’re already heavily tattooed.
Even then, it’s always nice to have the option to hide your ink when necessary. But if you’re going all out, then face and head tattoo designs are the ultimate frontier.
Rib tattoos are eye-catching and extraordinary, but can be a pretty painful spot to get tattooed.
With a cool design and clean work, the aesthetic for guys is certainly flattering and stylish.