Rune Tattoos For Men

Top 79 Best Rune Tattoo Ideas – [2020 Inspiration Guide]

Rune tattoos are reviving an ancient form of Viking symbolism for today’s manliest ink fans. The archaic language is intrinsically laced with profound meanings that any guy will love.

Runes are magnificent symbols of a long lost culture, and these sleek icons carry enormous connotations in ink form.

Each rune possesses a unique meaning, and many occult practitioners believe that these designs are connected to black magic from the Viking era.

Most of these dynamic likenesses are granted exceptionally positive meanings, and they can be applied as a holy spell to ensure blessings. However, a few of them can be considered curses. With this knowledge, you can hone your rune tattoo to be in accordance with your personal philosophies.

There are actually a few separate sets of runes that are known to historians, and each unique language is attached to a different Germanic mythology. For an alternative to the most well-known Viking versions, you can try out Orlanthi runes instead.

Because these characters were originally carved on stone, they have been preserved for us to admire today. Their link to sediment has also made them a hit among archaeologists. Regardless of what inspires your own rune tattoo inclinations, this stellar catalog will certainly instigate some motivation to get started.

1. Flesh Effects Rune Tattoos

Stone Guys Bicep Rune Tattoo Ideas

3d Ripped Skin Mens Celtic Rune Tattoos On Inner Forearm

Stone 3d Mens Ripped Skin Rune Tattoo Ideas

Triangle Stone Viking Runes Tattoos For Men On Arm

A popular trend in tattooing involves black and gray ink and a specific application to create the sense of an image being carved into stone that lies beneath the wearer’s skin. A talented artist can use drop shadows to add depth to a piece, while smooth shading and precise lines are used to recreate the texture of stone tablets. This approach is most successful when utilized designs like these runes that look like they could come straight from an archaeological site in Lapland.   

2. Black Ink Rune Tattoos

Small Simple Rune Black Ink Guys Chest Tattoos

Amazing Black Ink Rune Armband Tattoo On Gentleman

Center Of Back Rune Spine Tattoos For Guys

Guys Rib Cage Side Black Ink Rune Lettering Tattoos

Solid Black Ink Rune Foot Tattoo On Male

Man With Collar Bone Rune Tattoo

Gentleman With Rune Chest And Back Tattoos

Rune Upper Arm Guys Tattoo Ideas

Mens Black Ink Linework Rune Leg Sleeve Tattoo

While some people use vibrant color ink to make designs pop, others prefer the effect created by fully saturated black ink standing out against a blank canvas. Stark black ink is especially effective for these rune tattoos: for some people, the focus of these tattoos should be on the symbol itself, and they would rather use a limited color scheme that lets the designs speak for themselves rather than clutter them with color and detail. 

3. Color Incorporated Rune Tattoo Designs

Armor Full Sleeve Guys Norse Rune Tattoo

Mens Full Sleeve Red Ink Pattern Rune Tattoo Designs

Colorful Nordic Viking Rune Mens Sleeve And Chest Tattoos

Back Of Shoulder Nordic Rune Tattoo On Man

Shoulder Mens Tattoo Runes

Just as some people prefer the subdued tones of black ink work, just as many people want their tattoos to jump of the skin, and bright colors are a great way to accomplish this. Red ink specifically is an excellent choice for these rune tattoos thanks to its aggressive nature and its historical associations with the fierce Viking warriors from the Norse culture. These tattoos are great examples of how color ink can be successfully incorporated into rune tattoos.  

4. Simple Rune Tattoos

Mens Lower Back Rune Tattoo Designs

Small Simple Rune Bicep Tattoo On Guy

Grey And Black Ink Rune Tattoos On Mans Upper Arms

Upper Back Rune Male Tattoo Design Ideas

Mens Small Simple Rune Chest Tattoos

Black And Red Ink Guys Small Rune Foot Tattoo With Dotwork Design

These Norse runes are perfectly suited for simple tattoos. While there is definitely something to be said for intricate details, the stark shapes and simple design of these runes are enhanced by an uncluttered composition. One strategy that some people use with rune tattoos is to go big, using large applications of these shapes to create striking tattoos that stand out despite their simplified designs.  

5. Viking Compass Rune Tattoos

Mens Wrist Rune Celtic Knot Tattoos

Mens Bicep Norse Rune Tattoos

Small Simple Rune Nordic Tattoos For Guys

Guys Norse Rune Thigh Tattoo With Black Ink

Mens Solid Black Ink Rune Upper Chest Tattoos

Mens Upper Chest Rune Smybol Tattoo Designs

Bicep Rune Male Norse Tattoo Ideas

Mens Foot Rune Viking Tattoos

Center Of Cester Rune Symbol Male Tattoo Ideas

Dotwork Male Rune Norse Upper Chest Tattoo Inspiration

The Viking Compass, or Helm of Awe (Ægishjálmr), is an ancient Norse symbol that is believed to have been mentioned in several of the Viking sagas being used by warriors as a protective charmIn Norse culture a helm referred a helmet, and while some argue that the Helm of Awe was an actual object, most people believe it to be a spell, cast to protect warriors. These unique symbols make for striking tattoos that instantly evoke images of Pagan rituals and fierce Vikings 

6. Traditional Norse Tattoos

Awesome Mens Half Sleeve And Back Nordic Rune Tattoos

Upper Arm Nordic Male Rune Tattoo Ideas

Awesome Full Sleeve Guys Rune Norse Tattoo Ideas

Man With Nordic Themed Shoulder Rune Tattoo

Dotwork Guys Leg Sleeve Rune Tattoo Designs

Masculine Full Arm Mens Nordic Runes Tattoo

Mens Sleeve Rune Tattoos

Male With Rune Leg Sleeve Tattoo

Upper Arm Dotwork Guys Norse Rune Tattoo Inspiration

Upper Chest Mens Viking Rune Tattoo

These traditional Norse tattoos use bold line work and a number of different application techniques, including stipple shading and fully saturated black ink, to create these striking designs. Several different runes and Norse symbols are utilized in these tattoos, incorporating stylized images of dragons and mythical beasts along with these magic glyphs to complete these one of a kind pieces.   

7. Norse Mythology Runic Tattoos

Black Ink Grow Rune Negative Space Mens Sleeve Tattoos

Cool Wolf Rib Cage Side Shaded Male Rune Tattoo Design Ideas

Inner Forearm Wolf Rune Male Tattoo Ideas

Red Ink Rune Tattoo On Mans Leg With Dotwork Bear Design

Mens Negative Space Black Crow Rune Tattoos

Cool Celtic Symbol Rune Viking Mens Thigh Tattoo Ideas

The Norse people had complex myths and legends that they used to explain the world around them and create a world view that was inextricably tied to the harsh Northern climate, as well as their warrior culture. 

These tattoos incorporate a number of these symbols and characters, including ravens, which were considered Odin’s familiars, wolves who were associated with the fierce monster Fenrir, and the three interconnected triangle known as the Valknut. All of these different elements make for stunning tattoos thanks to talented artists.  

8. Rune Tattoos Featuring Negative Space

Norse Rune Mens Full Sleeve Designs For Male Tattoos

Dotwork Mens Inner Arm Norse Rune Tattoos

Upper Chest Norse Symbols Rune Male Tattoo Ideas

Nordic Male Rune Arm Tattoo Ideas

Mens Cool Rune Norse Tattoos On Upper Chest Ideas

Mens Negative Space Celtic Rune Tattoos On Arm

Guy With Rune Half Sleeve Tattoo

Man With Norse Rune Full Arm Tattoo

Man With Rune Norse Chest Tattoo

Depending on the skin tone of the wearer, negative space can be used to create some striking designs. By incorporating stark black ink and shading techniques (specifically stipple shading) these tattoos successfully use negative space as a component to help these designs pop. The simple but powerful nature of Norse runes makes excellent subjects for this approach. 

9. Neo Traditional Rune Tattoos

Pattern Sword Mens Viking Runes Tattoo

Mens Small Thigh Rune Stone Tattoo Designs

Dragon Eye Mens Abstract Inner Forearm Norse Rune Tattoo Designs

Half Sleeve Rune Pattern Geometric Guys Tattoos

Skull Rune Mens Hand And Wrist Tattoos

The vibrant colors and bold outlines of neo-traditional tattooing can achieve some incredible levels of detail and these tattoos demonstrate how excellent this style can translate into Norse rune designs. Whether they are skulls, dragons or designs that incorporate geometric shapes, a neo-traditional approach is perfect for these tattoos 

10. Dotwork Rune Tattoos

Inner Arm Geometric Dotwork Guys Viking Rune Tattoo Designs

Mens Chest Runes Tattoos With Dotwork Design

Inner Arm Mens Dotwork Rune Tattoo

Shoulder And Arm Male Rune Nordic Themed Tattoos

Man With Spine Rune Tattoo

Mens Outer Forearm Runes Tattoo

Mens Upper Arm Circle Rune Dotwork Tattoos

A growing trend in tattooing uses a meticulous application of dots in a variety of densities that range from negative space all the way to fully saturated black to create tattoos. These Norse runes are perfect subjects for this style thanks to their ancient and mysterious past and the ability of a talented artist to use this stipple technique to create depth and a sense of weathered texture. 

11. Viking Warrior Tattoos Featuring Runes

Manly Rune Full Sleeve Viking Tattoo On Gentleman

Viking Warrior Helmet Mens Rune Forearm Tattoo

Viking Warrior Rune Male Forearm Sleeve Tattos

Perhaps the most instantly recognizable symbol of Norse culture, the fierce Viking warrior is the perfect subject to incorporate into these rune designs. Thanks to the opportunities to incorporate colors and create intricate details that these figures provide, it is no surprise that they make for some of the best tattoos we have seen so far.  

12. Runes on Hands and Fingers Tattoos

Negative Space Guys Dotwork Rune Hand Tattoo

Man With Norse Rune Knuckle Tattoos

Awesome Fingers And Knuckles Rune Tattoos For Guys

Cool Guys Hand Norse Runes Tattoo Ideas

There are few places that you can get a tattoo that are as instantly visible as the hands and fingers. These simple glyphs are perfectly suited for this prominent placement and anyone who gets these Norse runes inked on their hands will instantly display the importance of these magic symbols in their lives.  

Rune Tattoo FAQs 

What do rune tattoos mean? 

The term “runes” refers to several alphabets known as runic alphabets that a number of Germanic languages used in their written form. However, today when people say rune, especially in the world of tattoos, they refer to the Norse tradition of symbols that many believe held magical powers, which is corroborated by archaeological and anecdotal evidence.  

While their original use may have had more spiritual and Occult intentions, in modern times these mysterious symbols are used more as a way to demonstrate pride in the wearer’s Norse heritageThese powerful symbols make excellent tattoos, incorporating Viking warriors, wolves and bears, and utilizing a variety of styles and applications to create striking pieces that are sure to turn heads. 


Looking for more bad ass Viking themed tattoos? Click on the links below for more awesome Norse galleries:


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