With the century-old history, tattooing has become more than just body marking; it is an art form, a fashion trend and, most importantly, a way of expressing oneself. There are lots of different tattoo designs suitable for both men and women, yet there are some inks that fit only men which is why it is so important to do research before getting inked up. Each given day thousands of tattoos all sizes, shapes and styles are being tattooed all over the globe so the process of choosing the best design that can help you to express your personality and fit your body may become quite confusing. We are here to help you not to get lost in the endless sea of tattoo designs and choose the one that would be perfect just for you.
Possible Designs of Male Tattoos
Not a secret that there is no such thing as completely female tattoos or male tattoos nowadays. Everyone is free to choose any ink he/she likes best. But if you want your tattoo to look more masculine, consider these tattoo variations:
- Eagles, falcons, owls and other predatory birds
- Animals such as lions, wolves, bears
- Nautical tattoos such as a compass, sparrows, ships, rope, anchor
- Dragons, koi fish, samurais, basically all the Japanese tattoo designs
- Comic book characters
- Tribal patterns
- Angels, doves, praying hands, rosary beads and other religious tattoos
- Geometric patterns and elements
- Pin-ups, portraits of beautiful ladies
- Flowers such as peonies, roses
- Daggers, swords, guns
Of course, it isn’t the ultimate list of all possible mens tattoo designs; keep reading, and you will find much more interesting ideas to choose from.
Features of Guys Tattoos
Unlike feminine inks which are more refined and delicate, male tattoos are usually bolder, with strong shading or line work and with distinctive masculine touch. As far as placement, men prefer inking wide areas of skin. Thus, most of the sleeves, half-sleeves, full body tattoos are basically worn by men. Yet if it’s your first tattoo or you want something smaller and simpler, there are dozens of little inks that will look as masculine as big ones. A tattoo style depends on a design and your preference not on your gender, so here you are not limited at all!
If you hesitate about a tattoo design, a spot on your body where to place this design or what tattoo style to choose, we have found tons of nice male tattoo ideas that will definitely inspire you. Just check them out below!
Tattoo Design Ideas for Men
This bird shoulder tattoo has all the features to be called one of the best. Nice dotwork shading and great outline work make this piece outstanding.
Aside from perfect line work and dot work skills of the artist who has executed this awesome lion arm tattoo, there’s another perfection hiding in the tattoo placement. Wrapped in rose vines the lion nicely works with the place where the arm bends imitating running.
At first glance, it’s hard to tell what this epic custom tattoo is about but when you give it a closer look so many elements are revealed. The distorted bearded man with mushrooms instead of hair in black and yellow hues is undoubtedly original idea.
The heart that is portrayed as the amethyst with two swords piercing it looks so cool on the chest. If you are looking for something super clean with solid colors and outline, this design is exactly what you need.
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Composed of many different tattoos this black and gray sleeve doesn’t look messy but vice versa all the elements are well placed in accordance with each other. Choose one style you like best and get your desirable tattoos done in this exact style. We guarantee that your sleeve will look as fantastic as this one.
If music is your whole life passion, there is no better way to show that than a tattoo with an image of a musical instrument you play. For instance, check out this wonderful half-graphic half-geometric violin tattoo on the forearm.
First tattoos can be tough because there are a lot of tricky moments while you are choosing the design, place and style. You will definitely hit the mark with this something like this gorgeous black leg piece depicting the gun ending with roses. Plus this design is symbolic of pacifism.
What kind of other design can be more masculine and badass than the skull? Here we can see the perfect tattoo of the skull in profile with great detail, smooth shading and the cleanest lines. The geometric background adds dimension and makes the skull really stand out.
The eye of the providence along with Latin phrase “Fiat Lux” which literally means “Let there be light” is accompanied by the image of the star and the book signifying education and knowledge. Overall this black and gray piece is beautiful and symbolic.
Every single tattooed person will confirm that once you got your first tattoo, it’s hard to stop so why not get the huge black and gray religious chest piece from the start. The bold outline, great detail and soft shading inside it are incredible. It’s not just the beautiful tattoo; it’s the real masterpiece.
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Personally, the perfect tattoo is the one where all the little details and all the aspects are matched up and well thought. Even though the proportions of the girl and animals are far from realistic, this black and gray chest tattoo looks insanely beautiful.
There are a lot of different elements like the crescent moon, the lower jaw, the cross and crystals that nicely work together in this impressive surrealistic tattoo on the forearm.
This tattoo of our planet Earth if to look at it from space proves that you can get an eye-catching saturated piece and not be charged much money for it.
The customized portrait of tattoo bearer’s wife is creatively adorned by geometry elements and the lettering with her name. Interesting style, fine lines, cool hues and the unique idea make this shoulder piece so attractive.
Amazing contrast between black and red, as well as dotted shading and fantastic line work, make this piece that presents the beautiful lady surrounded by roses and strawberries jump off the skin.
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These matching hand tattoos are the beautiful blackwork take on the famous Traditional design of rose and knife. As far as the bold black color goes, this is the cleanest tattoo we’ve ever seen.
Negative space of the animal skull jaw and flowers tattoo nicely contrasts with a dark background that makes those light areas of skin really pop off.
The Egyptian god Horus portrayed as a Falcon with the eye of Horus, and Egyptian cross that is called Ankh give the men some truly beautiful Dotwork forearm tattoo idea.
Small details like howling wolves, the full moon and mountains inside the dark bison silhouette tattoo tell an interesting story about wild life. Very impressive black tattoo idea on the chest!
You have the chance to make sure that even floral designs which are thought as more feminine designs can look manly if done properly. This bold and colorful Traditional flowers tattoo sits nicely on the shoulder.
Shoulder Tattoos for Men
Based on the Middle Ages illustrations this black and gray tattoo has incredibly good depth and dimension that don’t let it look messy. A bit scary looking yet beautifully executed this death shoulder tattoo impresses!
Good tattoo execution of one of the most famous works created by the digital artist Android Jones. Talented use of negative space and gray wash technique has led to the dynamic tattoo. The source of light between lovers is literally shining.
The lion family tattoo that is applied on the chest stands for strong family bond and love. Every tiny detail, line and shade scream that this is the beautiful, precise tattoo.
The gray shading is amazing. That’s exactly the whole point of black and gray tattoos which helps to show dimension and depth. This sleeve presenting Colosseum and statue of Jupiter is such eye-catching thanks to the contrast between dark and light areas of tattoos.
Originally attributed to seamen tattoos of mermaids used to be inked in order to protect sailors in the rough and unpredictable waters. Nowadays, any man can get tattooed with the seductive mermaid design like this abstract one just because it’s beautiful.
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This nice colorful tattoo is the talented take on Van Gogh’s painting “The Starry Night” imitating painter’s brush strokes and color palette. The application of the tattoo is just perfect!
Consistency is the key to awesome precise geometric tattoo. Perfect negative skin areas creating straight lines, perfect angles and perfectly matched up repeating patterns are exactly what make this leg sleeve so outstanding.
This outlined tattoo of the astronaut with space reflected in his space suit is just awesome. The simple and at the same time the intricate design is full of little fine details perfectly executed by the artist.
Seems as if this expressional wolf tattoo was drawn with a black marker instead of a tattoo machine. What a great example of clean blackwork tattoo for men.
This black and gray tattoo of the anatomically realistic heart pierced by three daggers and decorated with roses is something more than just beautiful. It signifies betrayal and obviously means a lot for the owner. A head is a painful spot for tattooing though.
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These incredible tattoos of snowflakes on both shoulders with some ethnic patterns that beautifully sit on the chest show the precise work of the tattoo artist and inspire to get something similar.
This is a great example when less is more. Good bold black outlines create the seductive woman’s figure stretching her hands to feet. Where’s the head though?
This amazing tattoo of glass with an ice cube in it and some drink placed on top of old script writing looks so real. Reminds of Charles Bukowski, doesn’t it?
The consistency of these sparrow tattoos is incredible. Repeating the same design over and over again without any flaws is a hard task to do for a tattoo master yet these pieces are perfectly even and look insanely attractive on the chest and shoulders.
This is true geometrical perfection done in solid black with the clever use of negative skin areas. Every single line, circle and shade are well thought and nicely executed. Gorgeous chest piece!
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This thigh tattoo depicts the girl holding balloons who has a bit threatening look. The tattoo execution reminds some ink pen drawing with wet paint drops running down the leg. The artist totally nailed that unfinished look of this sketch tattoo!
This jaw-dropping black and gray portrait of the girl in smoke is the reason why people get tattooed at all. We can see insanely good shading and values that transit from heavy black to those areas that aren’t tattooed. The detail is something out of this world!
This magic tattoo shows the beautiful girl who is making out with the moon. Her hair wrapping the moon with a male face is incredible. Nice choice if you want a tattoo symbolizing love.
This inspirational full body tattoo of the same theme and same distinctive gothic-like style looks quite dark and aggressive. There are so many different elements that come together well and tell an interesting fantasy story. But it hurts just to look at those tattooed nipples.
Even though the pieces don’t tie together, each piece looks gorgeously. The pitch black with perfect line work creates very decent tattoos on the chest and stomach that imitate the style of book engravings.
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The twisted tree of life with geometric roots that pop off thanks to that solid black background create some really good tattoo on the calf. Speaking of composition and placement, it couldn’t have been better than this.
This cool dinosaur tattoo presents some of the cleanest and boldest outlines we’ve ever seen. Overall this is the good strong design we are sure you will like!
Look at this amazing work depicting the tiger and the skull in Dotwork style. The dark aspects of the tattoo are just dark enough to bring the light ones out. The detail is great; the dotted shading is soft and smooth. Overall, it’s the amazing half-sleeve!
Signifying freedom the whale that is swimming through the clouds tattoo nicely sits on this man side flowing with his body. Smooth flowing lines and soft shading make this whale heavenly beautiful!
Cool Small Tattoos for Guys
If you look for the tattoo design that only you know it’s there, this tiny dagger tattoo behind the ear will undeniably give you a bit of inspiration. Barely visible this unique piece stands for fearlessness in overcoming obstacles.
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Whether you are Pisces according to zodiac or you like fishing, or maybe some other thing brings you to the choice of a fish tattoo, check out this refined and fantasy-like fish with flowers tattoo on the forearm with soft shading and fine line work.
This simple outline tattoo shows us why we love tattoo art so much. It’s because if you want to, you can implement any idea, even the craziest one, into a beautiful and original tattoo design.
The lion and the phoenix, the crown with two crossed swords and roses get together perfectly even though they were obviously inked in different periods of time. If you like collecting tattoos like this guy, you will unquestionably need to check out his black and gray sleeve with the collection of different amazing designs.
Japanese Traditional is a very symbolic tattoo style where every detail needs to be the right size and in the right position. Black Koi swimming downstream, swallows flying to the moon and beautiful red maple leaves create this marvelous Japanese sleeve symbolizing the success in overcoming life challenges.
There’s something haunting and sad about this girl’s face, and we find it so beautiful! The shades, the depth, the dimension – every tiny detail is perfect, and all the elements work together so well.
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You will definitely recognize this frightening to death smile out of thousands. Based on Batman comic book motives this is an abstract take on Joker’s smile accompanied by his maniac laughter.
Very nice fine lines of this floral chest tattoo prove that flowers aren’t just girls’ thing. If to leave behind all the symbolic meanings of roses, they look just great as body decoration as well.
This fantastic portrait tattoo of Salvador Dali on the hand is as extraordinary as the painter was himself. Nicely arranged colors along with heavy black shading and that amazingly bright rainbow crossing Dali’s eye are exactly what makes this tattoo pop off.
This sketchy design of a sexy screaming woman with a crow looks a bit messy at first glance, but you can follow every twist of every line on her body and hair after giving it enough of attention. The image is so dynamic that you nearly can hear her screaming. Cool design!
Inspired by the famous animated film “Who framed Roger rabbit?” this black and gray Jessica Rabbit pin up tattoo is so beautiful and seductive. Her shiny lips and those sparkles on her dress are incredible!
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The flawless big bold owl tattoo holding a skull is that kind of design that can’t leave anyone of you indifferent. We can see a lot of gradation right from the super dark areas to super light. Looks awesome especially on the male chest.
This stunning one color back piece fascinates with all the elements that nicely composed by each other and the body shape. If you want your back tattoo to look like this one, you have to think all the tiny details through.
With most of this design covered with just heavy black color, this tattoo looks so bold and readable. Still, after you give it a closer look so many little details are coming through such as ornaments and cool geometric elements.
It’s unusual to see the cute Bulba Pokémon tattoo performed without bright colors. On the other hand, that fact that it is boldly outlined using just solid black provides this men’s tattoo with uniqueness.
What do you think of this splendid tattoo of peonies with all Seeing Eye that is placed in the center of icosahedron? Complex design along with heavy background shades looks stunningly!
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When it comes to sketch tattoos the whole point of this style is to look like the work is unfinished. This unfinished look is perfectly achieved in this awesome shark hand tattoo. The angular crown and scratchy font of the lettering “Killer” below nicely complement the composition.
Here’s the clean presentation of fine lined leaves. We like the way this leafy branch tattoo flows with this man neck.
The artist who created this amazing dotwork piece knows how to use the body, so it works well with the tattoo design. The beautiful tattoo of a girl in a traditional Indian headdress and a dead bear’s head flows with the arm perfectly.
The smaller tattoo is, the harder to make it detailed enough to be readable. As for this cute tattoo of two hummingbirds, the detail is unbelievably well done along with amazing colors.
This is one of the most original tattoos ever. The strong, vibrant contrast between black and red really pops this floral fish tattoo off the skin.
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Composition-wise, this tattoo is very interesting and unique. The way those emotions on both faces are transmitted is just amazing. Smooth, heavy black shading and clean lines make this arm design stand out even more.
There’s so much going on in this surrealistic tattoo, so it gets hard to tell what it is about yet the confusion this tattoo calls in a viewer mind is the whole point of surrealism. Plus technical application of this tattoo is perfect.
The strong contrast between vibrant yellows, blacks and reds creates some really well readable tattoo of the owl on the forearm. Symbolizing wisdom, the owl is a great tattoo choice for men.
This expressive abstract phoenix bird tattoo that signifies rebirth covers most of the chest and partly stomach. What catches the eye even more than saturated red color of the sun and bold black color of the bird is wet paint drops all over the tattoo.
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The simple line of green color gradation on the right calf is surely one of the most original ideas ever. This is one of those cases when less is more.
This one color tattoo design on the stomach seems to be too dark at first, yet it is heavy black that makes this gorgeous horse with lady tattoo stand out.
The soft gradation from black to light gray creates this absolutely amazing tattoo of dark smoke coming out of the negative circle on the shoulder. To make the image of smoke look as realistic as possible is one of the most difficult things for a tattoo artist. This execution is flawless!
This forearm tattoo of burnt envelope with ashes and burnt matches is beyond greatness. It’s just amazing how masterly the tattoo artist has used gray wash technique in this piece!
This leopard half-sleeve is the example of tattoo perfection. The detail, color and shading: everything is incredible. With a tattoo like this, you need to be ready to receive “wows” from every person you meet.
Despite its scary sinister look, the Japanese Hannya mask doesn’t carry any negative significances in tattooing. Nicely executed using solid colors and bold outlines Hannya mask is supposed to protect the bearer.
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The combination of Linework and Dotwork can give some truly interesting designs like this surreal tattoo on the side. Unique, eye-catching and technically precise this tattoo is totally worth attention.
The preciseness of Traditional Japanese art reckons thousands of years, and that’s the reason why it’s so important strictly stick to the rules and apply every detail accurately. All the aspects of this geisha sleeve tattoo with some cherry blossoms are matched up and fit the place perfectly.
As far as the boldness of lines goes, this clean outline geometric tattoo of wings on the chest is highly complex and impressively well executed.
We love the way the wings are spread on both sides of the neck following the natural shape of the hair line and how the colors of this tattoo are exploding in front of our eyes.