The best tattoo ideas range from designs that are meaningful and unique to simply cool and badass artwork. While some guys get tattoos to mark a special moment in their life, highlight a life philosophy, or honor their family, sometimes men just want a really amazing, intimidating or creative piece of body art.
To help you explore the possibilities, we’ve put together a guide on how to get the best tattoos for men. From placement to design ideas to picking an artist, here’s everything to consider with a guys tattoo.
Where To Get A Tattoo
When it comes to getting a tattoo, there are many different important factors to consider. Many of these major decisions fall into place after this big one: placement. For example, the decision to place a tattoo on your arm will likely dictate what the design looks like.
Factors to consider include whether or not it’s appropriate for the world to see, versus one that can be hidden on your back or thigh. Once you’ve determined where to get tattooed, the fun begins – choosing from all the cool tattoo ideas and designs for guys.
Choosing where the tattoo goes will have an overall significant impact on the design itself.
If you’re looking to get a flashy tattoo that the whole world can admire, you might consider getting a sleeve tattoo. A sleeve is typically defined from shoulder to wrist, though there are variations like the half or quarter sleeve if you’d rather not commit the entire limb to ink.
Pro-tip: If you’re going big with a sleeve, make sure and choose a design that fits you and your personality.
Shoulder tattoos are all the rage. In addition to a flattering shape, this part of the body can either be covered up or shown off to the world. It’s a curved canvas ready for a bold design.
There are so many reasons to love a back tattoo. For one, the back is an expansive space so you can go with one big design or fill the area with a ton of smaller individual designs.
Second, these tattoos are easily covered up, though can definitely be shown off by choice. And last, back tattoos are forever trendy and cool.
Want to show off your pecs? There’s no question that a chest piece is one of the most popular places to get a tattoo – it’s a classic spot to fill, and definitely allows the artwork to be showcased. Chest tattoos are considered highly attractive, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.
Though a bit of a skinnier canvas to work with, legs no doubt have a lot of room to work with. Whether you’re going for placement on the thigh, calf, or ankle, you’ve got options. A leg tattoo is perfect for showing off your ink with some shorts.
Cool Tattoo Designs for Men
When it comes to tattoo designs, the possibilities are endless. There are, however, some classically cool ideas that will always be go-to options for men. These include things like a skull, a dragon, lettering, geometric shapes, family cress, trees or mountains, stars, an angel, a pattern, crosses, arrows, a portrait, bones, watercolor, or even that classic “I love mom” tat.
If you’re looking for inspiration, consider looking at a tattoo-specific hashtag on Instagram or surfing Pinterest, where there are virtually limitless ideas.
The most important thing about choosing a design is that you like it. As long as the design is something you enjoy, it’s going to be cool. You don’t necessarily have to have a deep backstory about its meaning; it’s enough just to like it.
How it looks, too, is entirely up to you. Some options are to keep things simple and modern with black and white ink. You can also choose to fill your entire design with bright colors. Then, too, consider having lots of details, dot work, and trendy lines. You can get a big design or a small and simple one.
To decide what direction to go in, first consult the location of the tattoo. From there, sort through the this-or-that categories. Do you want large or small? Minimalist or over-the-top? Go through all the different options one-by-one until you reach a decision.
How To Get A Tattoo
When you are getting a tattoo for the first time, there are a few up-in-the-air questions, and it can be hard to know where to start. Keep the following steps in mind before you go to get tatted up.
Pick Out A Good Artist
One of the most important parts of getting a tattoo is first finding a good tattoo artist. While a reputable, experienced tattoo artist might impact the cost of your tattoo, this is definitely not an area to skimp on. They’ll be decorating your body with something permanent, so it’s imperative to find a trusted artist with skill and a good reputation.
Be sure to do your research. Look up tattoo artists near you online (or at a destination that you wouldn’t mind traveling to), read any available reviews, and check out their portfolio. Most will have an Instagram account, so be sure to scroll through their work. This can also help to inspire you for your own design.
Once you’re at the shop for your appointment, you’ll be able to work together with your artist. They will ask you what you want, and you can go back and forth until you reach a final decision.
Your artist will sketch out the design first and show you the placement, so you can see it visually on you before they get started with the needle. Show up sober and prepare for discomfort; some artists recommend using a numbing cream beforehand if you are sensitive to pain.
Prepare for your appointment by asking for a quote. Most artists have a minimum price for their work. Tipping is customary as well for a job well done.
Take Care of Your Tattoo
Another thing to keep in mind: aftercare is vital. Though taking care of your freshly inked skin is good for maintaining the integrity of the piece and ensuring that it will look amazing for as long as possible, it’s also critical for your skin’s health.
Typically, you will be told how to remove your bandage, ways to keep the area clean, tips for moisturizing, and the importance of preventing sunburn.
By taking care of the tattoo, you will be able to avoid infection, as well as any kind of fading. The most important thing is to listen to your artist’s aftercare instructions and to ask if you have any specific questions. This guarantees a long-lasting, loved tattoo that will continue to impress.