10 Small Tattoo Ideas For Guys - Society19 (2023)

If you’re feeling the itch to get a new (or your first!) tattoo but also feel some hesitation you’re not alone. The commitment of a tattoo is quite a decision to make when you’re looking at the almost limitless amount of designs out there for what to ink onto yourself. These small tattoo ideas for guys are possible options to consider when looking at what to get. The good thing about small tattoo ideas for guys such as these is that you can get them in coverable places and the small size lets the time required and cost of the tattoo typically be less. If you’re going for your first tattoo then a smaller one is probably a better and safer option. Here are 10 small tattoo ideas for guys that you can consider for your first, or next, ink.

1. Star

A star can be a solid option when looking at small tattoo ideas for guys because it’s simple but can have a variety of design choices. You can get a simpler star or add some extra oomph like this star design shown here. You can also choose your desired size and spot without it making much of a difference in terms of the look of the tattoo. Stars are really popular tattoo ideas for guys but don’t feel like you’re just following the crowd- if you want one then get one!

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2. Cartoon (The Hulk)

If you’re a big fan of cartoons or perhaps just your childhood nostalgia then cartoons can make solid, small tattoo ideas for guys. Depending on your preferences you can choose from a huge variety of cartoon designs such as Bart Simpson, Garfield, or maybe even Spongebob. This tattoo design here is a more intense rendition of The Hulk which is cool for any Marvel fan!

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3. Music Note

Any music lovers out there could consider some of the many music-related tattoo ideas for guys. There are a plethora of options from instruments you love or play to music scores. The design here is for a simple music note that should be fairly quick and inexpensive to get inked on you. Plus, it’s another tattoo that you can put pretty much anywhere you want depending on if you want it showing all the time or only when you want.

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4.Compass

Compasses can be a great choice when looking at tattoo ideas for guys whether you want one small or huge. It’s a seemingly popular tattoo although not so much that it’s overrated or “basic” to get. The typical meaning behind compass tattoos is a combination of a thrill for travel as well as the journey/direction of life itself. There are so many different compass tattoo ideas for guys that you can look at a variety of designs and it would be cool and work anywhere on your body. Not only are they cool to look at but hey they’re practical. If you find yourself lost and can figure out or remember which direction is where then you can just check your tattoo.

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5. Quote (Never Give Up)

You don’t need to fall for that stereotype that says only girls can have tattoos with words or meaning behind them. Plenty of tattoo ideas for guys out there can be meaningful and have a quote or such that means something to that guy. The example design here is a “never give up” tattoo that has a sleek and subtle look to it. You can also design your own quote or meaningful tattoo that you want at your next tattoo session.

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6. Cross

If you’d prefer more faith-based tattoo ideas for guys then you could consider a simple but elegant cross design. The design here is fairly minimalist but you can go for a darker and more prominent cross if you’d prefer. It’s a common tattoo design for both girls and guys but in no way does that mean it’s “basic” or overrated. It’s a simple design that can be good for expressing yourself and your beliefs.

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7. Batman Symbol

This could be considered a more “nerdy” of these tattoo ideas for guys but hey embrace who you are. A batman symbol or really any Batman-related tattoo design could be really cool. This design shown here is very simple as just an outline utilizing the Christian Bale Dark Knight trilogy Batman symbol. A great choice but there are at least 15 to 20 more Batman symbol designs you could look at getting tattooed onto yourself. Depending on how big you want it or how much money you’re willing to spend you could get a full Batman or a Heath Ledger Joker tattoo to really prove your dedication as a fan.

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8. Airplane (Travel)

The symbolic tattoo ideas for guys are a popular choice for guys looking at getting their first tattoo. A lot of people believe that tattoos that mean something to you are easier to convince yourself to get. While that may be true, it doesn’t have to be true that ALL tattoos have to be meaningful and personal to you. Sometimes people just want a cool design tattooed on themself and that’s perfectly fine too. This airplane tattoo is a symbolic design that expresses love or desire for traveling. Whether for work or pleasure the idea of traveling and visiting new and exotic places is something that you love to do or hope you can do more. Either way, it’s a great choice when looking at small tattoo ideas for guys who love traveling!

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9. Star Wars (Rebel Alliance)

Another of the more nerdy designs of these tattoo ideas for guys, but if you’re a Star Wars fan then you might just love this idea. This is a design for a rebel alliance symbol that’s also accompanied by a band around your arm. If you’re looking for a smaller tattoo then just go for the rebel alliance symbol and make it smaller if you prefer. Many Star Wars tattoo designs are out there so if it’s an interesting idea to you then look them up!

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10. Triangle (Delta)

A triangle design for a tattoo can have several meanings but for this case, it’ll be to represent the Greek letter of the delta. It represents “change” which could apply to a number of things but as a general rule of thumb, life is all about change. You can also add a gap into the triangle (delta) which adds implication that you’re also “open to change.” It’s another great concept to express about yourself in addition to promoting change in general!

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Got any additional small tattoo ideas for guys to add? Share them in the comments!

Featured Image Source: Photo by jahir martinez on Unsplash

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Samuel Anderson

I have a passion for helping others and see journalism as a great way to reach and impact many people. Born in Texas but raised in the San Francisco Bay Area! Then with a short detour in Boulder, Colorado to get my bachelor's in Journalism with a minor in political science. I'm a determined, motivated individual striving to make a difference in this world. I have hopes to play a role in the continued development of journalism and in maximizing efforts to inform and inspire the public. Check out my articles on Society19!

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FAQs

What is the most popular tattoo for a guy? ›

What are the most popular tattoos for men? The most popular tattoos for men are animal, tribal, skull, lion, wolf, flower, compass and religious.

Where should a man get a small tattoo? ›

Where should guys get small tattoos? The most common places to get a small tattoo are the wrist, forearm, ankle, foot, neck, face, rib, and hand.

What does a 3% tattoo mean? ›

The law center's website says the Three Percenters moniker refers to the “dubious” claim that only 3 percent of American colonists fought the British during the Revolutionary War.

What do 1% tattoos mean? ›

1% The symbol used exclusively by OMCGs to identify themselves as the one-percent of motorbike riders that are not law abiding citizens. The symbol is almost always used to classify a motorcycle club as “outlaw”.

What is a good first tattoo? ›

For a first tattoo, find an artist who's inspiring, and consider getting a tattoo that is personal in some way. For some people, it could have sentimentality; for others, it could simply be an image they find beautiful. Meaningful quote tattoos and memorial tattoos are both popular choices.

What is the tattoo of 2022? ›

2022 Tattoo Trend: Microrealism

"This style has become very popular the last few years alone, especially for people who love attention to details, and creating an entire story within their tattoos," Westervelt said.

What does 3 triangle tattoo mean? ›

Triquetra tattoo

Some pagans believe the three interlocking parts of the triquetra symbolize the connectedness of the earth, sea and sky. Christians came to use these meaningful tattoos to illustrate the Trinity, the idea that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all one entity.

Is a 2 inch tattoo small? ›

A small tattoo, which is anything between 2 square inches and 4 square inches, can cost you between $50 and $250. Medium tattoos, which are between 4 and 6 square inches, usually cost between $150 and $450. A large tattoo, usually anything above 6 square inches, can cost between $500 and thousands of dollars.

What is tattoo Man's power? ›

Mark Richards (1985 - 2011)

Tattooed Man is a super-villain who can manipulate living tattoos on his body and usually an enemy of Green Lantern.

What does the 2% tattoo mean? ›

Those who bear this tattoo, wear it with pride because it points to the victory in that persons life. Most who bear the the mark of the 2% have survived a battle that many will not. The 2% is representative of the mere 2% of people who are statistically shown to have success in drug and alcohol treatment.

What does a 5% tattoo mean? ›

“One day he may.” It means you must work hard. et me tell you, 5% of the people do what it takes to get what they want. 5% put the work in.

What does 3 black dots tattoo mean? ›

The three dots tattoo is a common prison tattoo that represents “mi vida loca,” or “my crazy life.” It's not associated with any particular gang, but with the gang lifestyle itself. This tattoo is typically found on the hands or around the eyes.

What do 7 dots mean? ›

Seven dots are believed to have been the divine symbol of Sibitti, and they are thought. always to have had an astral significance, although it is only in comparatively late texts. that they were identified with the Pleiades. The 7 dots were represented in art in very archaic.

What does 1111 mean in tattoo? ›

The piece was devoid of any color or additional designs, making it the epitome of minimalist tattoos. The meaning behind angel numbers varies, but 1111 is generally believed to be associated with entering a new cycle — think of it as confirmation that you're on the right path.

What does 3 dots mean? ›

Ellipsis points are periods in groups of usually three, or sometimes four. They signal either that something has been omitted from quoted text, or that a speaker or writer has paused or trailed off in speech or thought.

Is a 2 inch tattoo small? ›

A small tattoo, which is anything between 2 square inches and 4 square inches, can cost you between $50 and $250. Medium tattoos, which are between 4 and 6 square inches, usually cost between $150 and $450. A large tattoo, usually anything above 6 square inches, can cost between $500 and thousands of dollars.

Can guys get small tattoos? ›

There are many reasons for men to opt for a cool small tattoo. If it's your first tattoo, a small design is a good way to test the waters. They're also easy to fit almost anywhere on your body—wrist, hand, chest, arm, leg, you name it.

What is a 4 inch tattoo? ›

Most 4-inch tattoo sizes tend to be oblong or rectangle, so they can fit along the lines of your body. This one flatters the shoulder area, but the upper arm or lower leg works as well – but of course, you can't really fit a 4×4 square there.

Do tattoos make a guy hotter? ›

Key points. In a study, women rated tattooed men as healthier but not more attractive than men without tattoos. Men viewed tattooed men as more attractive but not healthier than men without tattoos. Women judged men with tattoos as worse potential parents and partners than men without tattoos.

Do tiny tattoos last? ›

Even if a tattoo is small, it's still a permanent mark on your body, and it's critically important to educate yourself on the process before you go under a needle.

How much does a 2x2 tattoo cost? ›

Average tattoo prices range from $30 to $100 for sizes under 2x2, between $100 and $200 for a 3x3, and around $250 or more for a 4x4 tattoo. Prices depend on where you live, the experience level of the artist, their hourly rates, and if it's a custom tattoo.

What is a simple tattoo? ›

A small tattoo design standing out against the wrist, on the finger, neck or ankle pack another kind of punch by utilizing only as much ink as is necessary to impart their distinctive effect. Simple tattoo design and clean placement denotes clear intentions. Unnecessary intricacy only distracts from a precise message.

Do girls like tattoo guys? ›

A survey has found that two thirds of women are attracted to men who have tattoos. The research carried out by dating app Type, found that 64 per cent of women who stated a preference were looking to date men who have had some kind of permanent ink body art.

What does 3 triangle tattoo mean? ›

Triquetra tattoo

Some pagans believe the three interlocking parts of the triquetra symbolize the connectedness of the earth, sea and sky. Christians came to use these meaningful tattoos to illustrate the Trinity, the idea that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all one entity.

How painful is a tattoo? ›

How bad do tattoos hurt? There's no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how much pain you'll feel when getting tattooed. But if you're wondering what type of pain to expect, Caranfa says the experience is comparable to the feeling of a cat scratch or a sunburn.

What does the 2% tattoo mean? ›

Those who bear this tattoo, wear it with pride because it points to the victory in that persons life. Most who bear the the mark of the 2% have survived a battle that many will not. The 2% is representative of the mere 2% of people who are statistically shown to have success in drug and alcohol treatment.

How big is a 3 hour tattoo? ›

Palm-sized tattoo would take from one to three hours to make. Hand sized tattoo can take up to 5 hours to make. Full sleeve tattoo can take 6-10 hours to make. Very large tattoos, such as a back piece, can take up to 30 hours to make.

How long will a 2 inch tattoo take? ›

Small Tattoos

A small tattoo only a couple inches in size realistically only takes only a few minutes, but don't expect to be in and out that quickly. Even if your tattoo is only 1” x 1”, you still have to account for prep time and set up.

Are men with tattoos better in bed? ›

Attraction does matter for women does matter when it comes to sex and while it can be caused by anything from looks to personality traits like sense of humour in a man, a study suggests that men who have tattoos are more preferred by women in bed.

What tattoos do girls find attractive on guys? ›

Tattoo Location
  • Tattoo Location. ...
  • Forearm Tattoo – Forearms tied for first place with chest ink, with 28% of the votes.
  • Bicep Tattoo – 18% of women like bicep tattoos, with no specification as to inner or outer arm.
  • Shoulder Blade Tattoo – 11% of ladies prefer to see a man with ink on their shoulder blade.

Will tattoos get me laid? ›

Interestingly, the men surveyed found men with tattoos more attractive, which researchers believe creates a knock-on effect. Other men perceive men with ink to be more of a threat to their chances of luring women, as women start to find the tattooed men hotter. A double whammy of sexual attraction.

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