The coolest small tattoos are personal to the point of being intimate. A prominent, noticeable tattoo is a conversation piece with everyone, but a small tattoo is more likely to surprise and endear those already close to you.
When a specific symbol carries a potent personal meaning, surrounding it with intricate decorations or inflating it to unnecessary size can feel disrespectful, let alone unnecessary.
As with so many things, keeping it simple and strong is the best way to go for small but significant tattoos.
Depending on their placement, small tattoos can be secret or merely coy. An image placed on the foot or hip might be a clandestine revelation shared only with lovers. A symbol on the hand, face or neck is visible to all and almost never covered, but still retains some subtlety with its miniature size. A tattoo on the shoulder, chest or lower leg may will hide at some times and peer out at others, making these locations an exemplary as a middle ground.
A small, surreptitious tattoo is the ideal solution for the man who wants to maintain an utterly clean-cut image in his professional life, but offer an illustrative declaration of his inner life to perceptive eyes at the beach or on weekends. An unpretentious design of diminutive size melds seamlessly with the sophisticated aura that naturally surrounds him.