Simple Anchor Tattoos For Men

Top 43 Simple Anchor Tattoo Ideas [2020 Inspiration Guide]

Since the first of his kind took to water, the seafarer and his roving mythology have fascinated sailor and landlubber alike.

Life on the high seas was unforgiving, with death among the fathoms always a storm or fatal accident away, but the intoxicating freedom and exhilarating adventure were well worth the danger.

Such a life was worth commemorating in ink, and the sailor’s tattoo catalogue persists to this day.

The anchor is perhaps the most recognizable of the seafarer’s insignias, and likewise the most popular. Simple enough in shape, the anchor carries a litany of meaning and symbolism, historically regarded as a signifier that one has made his first crossing over the Atlantic. Naval officers and newcomers alike proudly bore the anchor tattoo not only as a mark of their first Atlantic passage, but right of passage as well. The anchor is a mark of success over a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, that one’s troubles were ultimately not enough to drag them down.

Your anchor tattoo needn’t be elaborate, but a simple testament of what you’ve endured and triumphed over. You may not be a man of the sea, but you are a man of the world, a risk-taker with a soul as deep as the waters so many have crossed for centuries. Such a life deserves a mark of remembrance, so why not start with the oldest badge of honor of all?

1. American traditional anchor tattoos

Gentleman With Simple Traditional Rose Flower Anchor Tattoo

Guy With Simple Anchor Tattoo

Incredible Simple Anchor Tattoos For Men

Manly Simple Anchor Tattoos For Males

Masculine Simple Anchor Tattoos For Men

Simple Anchor Tattoo Ideas For Men

Simple Anchor Male Tattoos

Check out the common characteristics of American traditional style tattoo, the old school themes central to anchor tattoo expression. There’s a limited color palette comprising black, green, red and yellow with comparatively little shading and negative space. The keys to American traditional are the intersection of predominantly flat color fills separated by thick, yet still sharp black lines needle work. The tattoos are compact, well ordered, and look extremely fresh on the skin.

2. Small anchor tattoos

Mens Tattoo Designs Simple Anchor Themed

Ankle Black And White Ink Unique Simple Anchor Tattoos For Men

Good Simple Anchor Tattoo Designs For Men

Mens Cool Simple Anchor Tattoos

Guys Cool Simple Anchor Tattoo Ideas On Ribs

Stylish Mens Simple Anchor Tattoos On Chest

Guys Simple Anchor Tattoo Design Ideas On Neck

Mens Simple Anchor Tattoo Designs

Simple Anchor Themed Tattoo Design Inspiration

Anchors are a great motif for use in small, unobtrusive tattoos. Their natural shape is interesting yet solid which works well for ink that may otherwise be swallowed up by bare flesh or other body art. As can be seen in the examples above small anchors can be dropped anywhere, including the face, neck, and head.

3. Innovative anchor tattoos

Simple Anchor Tattoo Designs For Gentlemen

Simple Anchor Tattoo Inspiration For Men

Tattoo Simple Anchor Designs For Men On Arm

Inner Forearm Lines Tattoo Simple Anchor Ideas For Guys

Minimalist Tattoo Designs Simple Anchor

Simple Anchor Mens Tattoos

Inner Arm Geometric Guys Simple Anchor Tattoos

Anchors are tremendous for your funkier tattoo effects as well, they don’t have to be confined to simple, efficient black line boredom. In the examples above there are fantastic concepts, such as continuous line, minimalist, basic geometric tattoos, and dotwork/linework hybrid technical application.

Artists are often able to take the stereotypical anchor approach and flip the execution to reflect more modern, exciting methods of illustration,This featured image above mixes clean line elements, painstaking dotwork, and well balanced geometric fundamentals to fashion a brilliantly effective inner forearm piece.


4. Black ink anchor tattoos

Simple Anchor Themed Tattoo Ideas

Outer Wrist Compass Excellent Guys Simple Anchor Tattoos

Male With Simple Anchor And Compass Tattoos

Male Simple Anchor Themed Tattoo Inspiration On Upper Arm

Solid Black Ink Leg Tattoo Ideas Simple Anchor

Simple Anchor Tattoos For Gentlemen

I understand it can be hard to get excited about simple black work tattoos. But they underpin this kind of application. This selection shows variety and versatility in the black lines – they run the gamut from thick, solid expression down to fine and delicate line work.

The other thing is, you can test an artist’s skill by getting black ink, as it’s hard to make look amazing and easy to wreck. The best practitioners often achieve the former, and never the latter. 

5. Traditional black and gray shaded anchors

Amazing Mens Simple Pixel Anchor Tattoo Designs

Cool Simple Anchor Tattoos For Men

Male Chest Sketched Tattoo Ideas Simple Anchor Themed

Male Simple Anchor Themed Tattoos

Sweet Mens Simple Anchor Tattoo Ideas Old School Traditional

Simple Anchor Themed Tattoo Ideas For Men

Simple Anchor Tattoo Designs For Men

Traditional Old School Leg Guys Tattoo Simple Anchor

There’s superb variety in these traditional black and gray tattoos. Their size and effects are all different, yet retain the simplicity in design which helps the artists flex their muscles in technical application and style. These tattoos feature great attention to detail, some of the gray scale shading and dotwork in particular is precis, time consuming expression.

I also like some of the more bold uses of fine/thick black lines internally, while outlines, borders, and the irrepressible hunks of rope build interesting tattoos by delivering clever changes in shape, scale, and focus.

6. Hand and finger anchor tattoos

Awesome Simple Anchor Tattoos For Men On Fingers

Creative Simple Anchor With Rope Finger Tattoos For Guys

Simple Anchor Tattoos For Men

Sick Guys Simple Anchor Themed Tattoos

Simple Anchor Tattoo Design Ideas For Men

Mens Simple Anchor Tattoo Ideas

There’s plenty of individuality in each of these small, hand and finger tattoo designs. There’s scope for different styles and tiny flourishes of technical application such as dot work, associated single lines and shading. Interestingly, these examples are all small. Some anchors can be larger, more complex pieces covering the whole hand, designed to help retain color and shape over a longer period.

Hand tattoos are a tricky proposition to keep color and definition over a long period. Make sure to talk to your artist about touch ups, future pricing, and make sure to take intensive care of your art after the tattoo process and well into the future to avoid ink drop outs and fading.

Anchor tattoo FAQs

What is the meaning of an Anchor tattoo?

Traditionally, anchor tattoos were crafted almost exclusively for sailors as a ready means of identifying each other and to reference the brotherhood of the ocean. They also represented stability, believed to prevent a sailor from floating away from the ship if he fell overboard.

At one time in the late 19th century, almost 90% of US Navy had maritime tattoos as symbols of good luck. Members of the US Navy would get anchor tattoos to commemorate crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

With the rise in popularity of general body art, and American traditional and neo traditional styles as throwbacks to tattoo history and culture, the anchor now has a variety of different meanings but the theme of stability continues.

Anchor symbolism has expanded to include themes of hope, composure, and calm, with an emphasis on being well grounded, solid, and dependable. They remain favored by sailors, Navy, and Coastguard personnel, as symbols of family, and a life spent at sea.

Are anchor tattoos bad luck?

Quite the contrary, anchors are good luck tattoo symbols that help support and strengthen the psyche of sailors. Legendary tattooist ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins described the anchor as “the most secure object in a sailor’s life, making it the perfect representation of stability.”

If you liked these Anchor tattoos, check out more of our nautical collections by clicking the links below:

50 Anchor Tattoos for Men – A Sea of Masculine Ideas

60 Unique Anchor Tattoos for Men – Cool Design Ideas

Top 75 Best Sailor Tattoos for Men -Classical Nautical Designs

100 Nautical Tattoos for Men – Sick Seafaring Designs

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