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5 Simple Yet Meaningful Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women

“I want a tattoo, but I can’t decide what it’s going to be.” We hear this phrase daily. Whether you’re getting your first tattoo or adding to your canvas, it’s a very big decision! It can also feel overwhelming. Maybe you’ve had an idea of what you want for years. Or maybe you have no idea what you want your tattoo to be. Our advice for choosing your new tattoo is simple: Get inspired. 

We’re going to walk you through a few simple yet meaningful tattoo ideas that we have seen growing in popularity. They’re fun, they’re trendy, and they can be really really special when you add your own flair or design to them.

As we are all aware, getting a tattoo is a permanent decision. You want it to be special. You want it to last. For some, it’s also important that your new tattoo has some meaning to it. So, don’t take the task lightly. Think about and look through some inspirational photos of tattoos or of designs that you love. We also recommend creating a Pinterest board for you to refer back to when deciding. 

Keep reading to explore different inspiration photos and our team’s top 5 picks for simple, yet meaningful tattoos. 

1. Simple Flower Tattoos

This classic and timeless design will continue to be a top pick for simple, yet meaningful tattoos as years pass on and new trends arise. Flowers can represent a quality like strength or love, or can be chosen because they are beautiful and intricate. Some may choose a flower because it reminds them of a loved one or because no matter what one weathers, flowers always seem to grow back. Simple flower tattoos are very common as first tattoos.

A few popular flowers include: 

  • Sunflower
  • Rose
  • Lotus
  • Wildflower
  • Hawaiian 

Flowers are also delicate and can be whimsical. They can be the perfect small tattoo or also be larger and cover more skin. Roses are a great way to show love for someone and perhaps you add text or a name with them. If you already have handwriting or quote tattoos, flowers can be the perfect addition to cover more skin and to bring together existing tattoos and tie together ideas. Flower tattoos can range from very simple in just black ink, to colored and more realistic. Be sure to ask your tattoo artist about different coloring options and techniques. Tattoo artists are a great resource for all different tattoo designs as they design and see tattoos daily!


 2. Simple Animal Tattoos

Like flowers, animal tattoos are also a great subject to design a more simplistic tattoo. You can do so by having just an outline of an animal. Or, the more intricate and realistic tattoo of an animal is also a possibility. Animals are fairly easy to scale in size and also would look great all over the body. Also, there are so many different ones to choose from that you won’t ever feel like you are losing the originality of a tattoo design! 

There are many different animal tattoos. We chose a few below that we continue to see and be tagged in. A few popular small animal tattoos include:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Tigers 
  • Butterflies
  • Horses
  • Turtle
  • Fish 

As we said, these are just a few of the simple animal tattoos that we’re seeing. Just like flowers, animals are symbolic of many things. They can be attributed to honor, loyalty, or trust. They also can represent certain countries or cities or experiences. Some might decide to get an animal tattoo to represent or show honor towards a beloved animal, or a memory. The reasoning for these tattoos are endless. Regardless, animal tattoos can vary in size and meaning. They can also vary in complexity and color. 


3. Simple Line Tattoos

Do you consider yourself a minimalist? Do you focus on the details and the parts that make the whole? Line tattoos at first glance may not seem meaningful, but to a lot of folks they are extremely important and meaningful. Some examples of line tattoos can be seen below: 

These tattoos are also great if you are new to tattoos. They do not take as much time as other more intricate tattoos and are normally cheaper. Line tattoos are also great on the more tender skin areas. For example, line tattoos are commonly seen on fingers, feet, behind the ear, or on the face. 

4. Simple Phrase Tattoos 

Maybe it’s one word or an entire phrase. Simple phrase tattoos across your body can be meaningful or just very fun! Do you have a specific phrase that was repeated to you growing up or a mantra that you repeat daily? Do you want a loved ones handwriting marked on your as a reminder each and everyday? Word/Text tattoos have always been popular and will continue to be. 


5. Simple Tiny Tattoos 

Shrink the size and a tattoo automatically becomes both simple and meaningful. Cool, small tattoos are all the rage. A tiny tattoo could be literally anything, however, they’re often words, hearts, symbols, or acronyms. They could even be just a letter! The possibilities are endless.

The smallest of tattoos that we see are normally shapes, most commonly circles or squares. Have you always wanted a tattoo but you’re too afraid that it might be painful? Well, these are the perfect tattoos for you then! Be sure to talk with your artist about what you are looking for! 

Ultimately, the decision of the design and coloring of your tattoo is up to you! We love the tattoos shown above but know there are many other amazing designs. Take the time to research and make sure it’s exactly what you want. Design is important but so is the tattoo artist - look at past tattoos and make sure they can execute your design exactly how you want and envision it to be. Once you get your tattoos, you’ll also want it to keep looking as sharp as the day you got it. Take a look at our guide to learn more about proper tattoo aftercare.

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