Popular Tattoos Designs

There are many different types of tattoos and tattoo designs that you can choose from whether you pick something off of a flash from the walls of the tattoo shop or you have something custom designed. But, if you think about it, even custom designs are typically all based on some major theme that is seen in hundreds and thousands of other tattoos.

Even if you hand design a flaming dragon with a koi wrapped around it, you've got two main designs that are both really popular- the dragon and the koi.

And, random scibbles and black lines can easily be miscontrued as tribal or Celtic, even it it's not the intention of the tattoo.

So, even when having a unique, custom piece, your tattoo is generally going to be based off of some other idea that just may be a popular tattoo design.

But, anyway... Below, you'll find just a few of the more popular tattoo designs in history and in the present day time.

  • Stars

No matter what type of star you get, whether a basic nautical star, pentagram, shooting star, or any other pointed star, they all can have different meanings. But, looking back, stars are typically a sign of hopes and dreams, but at the same time nautical stars where the symbol of protection and guidance especially for sailors trying to make it home safely. Depending on the type of star the actually meaning will vary, so when choosing a star tattoo you may want to check out what a shooting star generally represents, but at the same time you can give anything your own meaning.

  • Hearts

Heart tattoos have gotten more elaborate with time, but generally speaking they can mean love, lost love, failed relationship, freedom, spirit, bravery, and betrayal. Many times you will find hearts with wings, swords, or some lettering wrapped around the heart.

  • Wings

Wing tattoos are really popular among women, but I have seen wings on men as well. Typically, they stand for freedom and aspirations. Generally, wings are placed in the nape (back of the neck) or the back.

  • Dragons

Dragon tattoos are more popular among men than women, but believe it or not the meaning can vary greatly between the sexes. Typically, men symbolize dragons as strength, courage, and power, whereas women tend to symbolize dragons as protectors, creator, and strength. But, of course because there are many different types of dragon tattoos, the meaning will vary. Common dragons include Chinese dragons and tribal dragons.

  • Koi

Of all the animal tattoos, koi fish are probably one of the more popular. Recently, within the past several years, they have gained the majority of their popularity. Common Koi have Kanji floating around them, or a Koi/dragon morphing conglomeration. Koi tattoos can symbolize luck. masculinity, power, and courage.

  • Skulls

Skull tattoos are wide and varied in design. Popular skulls include the Sugar Skull (Mexican Day of the Dead Skull), but for the most part, most skulls are just the old school type skulls. Generally, skulls can mean, protection, strength, overcoming a death or tough time, and remembrance.

  • Butterflies

Butterfly tattoos are VERY common among teenage girls. Many times they are surrounded by flowers or tribal as a part a tramp stamp, but that doesn't mean that young girls are the only ones with butterflies tattooed on their bodies. Butterflies can represent a change in your life, freedom, or luck.

  • Flowers

You may think this is just a common girl tattoo, but many men get flower tattoos as representative remembrance. Depending on the type of flower and even the color of the flower, you will find the meaning of the actually tattoo will vary. For example, the lotus flower can represent new beginnings or an enlightenment, whereas roses can mean love and passion. As for the color of the rose, now that greatly varies the meaning. You can find a list of the meanings of the different colors > HERE

  • Crosses

Crosses are not always a religious symbol, although typically that is the reason behind the tattoo, but there are really many different types of crosses that can vary per person on the meaning. Common crosses include tribal crosses, celtic crosses, and Christian crosses.

  • Kanji

Kanji tattoos are pretty popular among many types of people, but when you get a Kanji tattoo, you want to make sure that it truly reads what you think it does. You don't want a Kanji tattoo to read, "I kiss monkey butts" when you thought it meant, "Live to fight another day." The more common Kanji symbols that people get tattooed can include, honesty, truth, wisdom, power, courage, love, loyalty, and faith.

  • Lettering

Lettering can be a tattoo on its own, or it can be a part of a bigger tattoo. When it comes to lettering there are so many types of fonts and styles that you can opt from, so your options are near limitless. Many people get names and/or initials of their children, pets, friends, and family. It's not uncommon for military to get the names of their platoon members who have passed tattooed on their body; in this case it's a symbol that you've got to be careful and life can be taken away quickly. It's not uncommon for songs, bands, and other life phrases to be tattooed as well.