Top 37 Small Neck Tattoos for Guys – [2022 Inspiration Guide]
A neck tattoo can show off bravery and individuality.
It could be an intriguing piece hidden under a collar, or an always visible body art that gives a clue to what a collector’s passions and interests might be.
It’s a chance for a man to really put himself out there as a free thinker and edgy creator. Anyone brave enough for a neck tattoo probably has the balls to accomplish many amazing things in the course of their life, starting with enduring a painful tattoo in a very conspicuous spot.
With color and highlights, a small neck tattoo might take on a realistic form. Others may choose to highlight a simple silhouette or design a row of letters. Regardless of the style, having a neck tattoo is both a conversation starter and a way to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Our gallery of excellently designed and curated small neck tattoos will give you a taste of a daring world that begins when you choose to take the leap toward a neck tattoo design.
See more about - The Top 51 Awesome Small Tattoo Ideas
See more about - Top 39 Best Neck Tattoo Ideas
1. American Traditional Small Neck Tattoo Ideas
Generally, bird tattoos are known to represent freedom or the wearer’s desire to be free. The swallow tattoo, in particular, has been associated with nautical tattoos often worn by sailors. This simple design is done in black and gray, saturated enough that it will be on this skin permanently.
This tattoo design makes use of the primary colors present on your color wheel, staying true to the traditional, old school style of tattooing. The colors of the castle are vibrant and recognizable from afar. The size of the tattoo and its proportion to its placement is perfect. This architectural body art may not be perfect in the way it is drawn, but it is balanced in color and composition, well executed, and will last for a long time on the skin.
The anchor tattoo has been gaining popularity for the past few years, even among couples who get a pair of his and hers neck tattoos. This design looks placed at an angle that it can be viewed well even if it’s situated behind the neck. It’s subtle enough not to attract unwanted attention, big enough to be recognized right away, and executed with added dimension, so it doesn’t look flat.
Rose tattoos symbolize love. In this tattoo design, a single red rose with a date inked on the neck celebrates the start of a beautiful romantic relationship.
2. Linework Small Neck Tattoo Designs
Minimalist tattoos in linework style like this can hold deep meaning. This wolf neck tattoo is a subtle way of carrying an extremely powerful and symbolic animal with you. This tattoo is absolutely minimalist in design, done in black ink. The wolf design is smartly placed a little under the ear such that this creature looks like it is relaying a message to its master.
The ultimate versatile skull in a simple illustration in black ink is subtle and a great idea for a neck tattoo for guys. It looks very masculine under the ear. Its versatility also extends to its meaning, which may be symbolic or literally just the more popular ones, such as danger, warning, or death. It could be a memorial for some and a tribute to life in general as a constant reminder to celebrate life each day because death is a certainty we all are faced with.
This ferocious creature, if you’re not careful, will sink its claws into your skin. This design is meant to do just that, symbolically that is, break barriers to release the authentic self, claw into you to release the fears, and draw blood to release the demons you allowed to stay. Time for them to leave.
This neck piece is definitely no temporary tattoo. It’s striking and highly saturated that’s why it’s a standout. It is contoured and has dimension so it doesn’t look flatly perched on the neck. The added scale details are well spaced out and the lines are almost the same size.
This is a delicate way of adding the biggest source of inspiration to a meaningful spot on your body. If you’re looking for a new tattoo to honor your family, this minimalist design done with a single needle in black ink is perfect.
3. Black and Gray Small Neck Tattoo Ideas
This tattoo design is strategically positioned to accommodate the antler. The deer skull looks powerful with the dark and highly detailed antler. The skull’s details are haunting, sunken, and lifeless. This gentle and graceful animal is worn as a tattoo for spirituality, renewal, or to symbolize the balance or transition between life and death.
Small tattoos are intriguing, much more when placed on the neck. A bear paw is known to be a symbol of direction and power. It’s subtle in design and size but definitely larger in meaning.
This feather tattoo design looks delicate on a masculine neck. The feather is considered a powerful symbol that is deeply revered and a sign of high honor. In this piece, the feather details in black and gray provide a great contrast against the skin of the wearer. It is accompanied by two initials, customizing the design.
It’ll definitely take a guy with a huge personality to endure the pain and carry this cobra tattoo on his neck. This tattoo design is of Japanese tattooing style in black and gray. The inks are so deeply saturated that the brilliance of these muted inks brings this snake alive. It is full of details, the scales, the striped underbelly, fangs, and forked tongue.
4. Heavy Black Ink Small Neck Tattoo Ideas
This is a simple tattoo design of the Eye of Ra, a powerful Egyptian symbol. Ra, also known as the sun god whose eye literally mimics the sun, started out as Pharaoh and could be one of the original rulers. One myth has that the human Ra was old and very weak; because of this, his people began to ignore his laws and instructions. He sent his daughter, the eye of Ra, in the form of a lion to punish his people.
To place the eye of Ra at the back of the neck may have a distinct and personal meaning to the owner, but it looks like someone is always recording what is happening at the back of his head.
The flower tattoos are beautifully drawn in extra fine lines, very detailed and mimic that of the sketch with the pencil as medium. The petals are delicately shaded at low points to add depth, then the leaves are shaded all throughout.
These neck tattoos were inked on the skin at different times. Each must have been done by a different tattoo artist because of the various levels of saturation of the ink and the style. If the third eye represents intuition, or at times regarded as the eye of the soul, faith, or Christianity, the spider symbolizes wisdom and strong protection from dark forces according to ancient beliefs.
This neck tattoo design is deeply saturated in black ink and looks sinister with the symbolic placement of the finger on the cutter instead of the cigar, a move often associated with torture by gangs or mafia.
This neck tattoo is absolutely stunning. The strikingly sharp contrast of the deeply saturated black ink against the pale skin of the wearer makes the tree stand out. It is small and simple, but the rich black makes this piece larger than life.
5. Lettering and Character Small Neck Tattoo Ideas
Indeed, it must take courage and strength to take his vulnerability into his skin for everyone to see and judge, even if unsolicited. Hopefully, people will also appreciate and find inspiration in the wisdom of these words. This neck tattoo is drawn on one side of the neck, with the word “beautiful” as the focal point.
This script tattoo can be read from a distance despite the last letter looking like a small “E”. You also need to get closer to read the other words. And yes, there is a reason for this. It is when you look closer that you see the real struggle of the person. It is when you form a bond with this person that you get a glimpse of his authentic self.
There are absolutely no limits when you’re persistent and disciplined enough to go after the realization of your goals. This is a thick black tattoo of “no limit” in Japanese characters. It is imperative to ensure your tattoo artist can accurately ink characters or symbols in a different language.
This minimalist tattoo of the letter “A” on the neck of this gentleman looks delicate and finely done. It is in black ink and the precision in its execution is commendable. “A” as the first letter of the alphabet can mean anything, but that’s the beauty of getting a tat. The idea that it can be customized according to what you’re willing to do to your body is one of the highly appealing qualities that draw customers to get inked.
This shaded ornate letter “D” tattoo in black and gray with a few details on the outline is an eye-catcher right below the neck. Simple letter designs can be great tattoos for women too.
The Chinese symbols of blessings, wealth, and longevity inspired this series of neck tattoos.
6. Christian Small Neck Tattoos
This tattoo design of a darkly shaded cross is meaningfully placed on the neck and encircled with a series of lines in a definitive pattern. It can definitely be recognized and seen from afar. It is often associated with a religious meaning and represents spirituality or memorializes a tragic loss.
Here are more cross neck tattoos you can take inspiration from, ranging from the small and inconspicuous to the elaborate and bold designs.
7. Innovative Small Neck Tattoo Ideas
A snowflake is a favorite tattoo idea. It screams uniqueness as no two snowflakes are the same.
Small tattoos in the neck area, including those behind the ear, may be inconspicuous but they make for interesting conversation pieces. Ask your tattoo artist and they will probably have a multitude of snowflake tattoo designs to choose from.
Small Neck Tattoo FAQs
What styles work for neck tattoo ides?
Simple is often beautiful with neck tattoo designs. Bold black linework and negative space work effectively. American traditional applications featuring sharp lines and crisp simple colors also look good, while lettering and script tattoos never go out of style.
If you want to be daring and bring vivid color and bright designs, you might want to get new wave and neo traditional neck pieces that pop.
If you’re a collector who prefers a more traditional design palette, black and gray neck tattoos utilize great variations in shading, line, and contrasting ink application to look snug in a range of placements on the neck area.
Why are neck tattoos called jobstoppers?
As the name would imply, jobstoppers refer to tattoos that are difficult, if not impossible, to hide on places like the face, hands and neck. In the past, tattoos – especially highly visible ones – carried strong associations with criminality which can still be felt today in different parts of the world.
Because of these ties to criminal elements, in the past employers were unlikely to hire someone with visible tattoos: hence, jobstoppers .
Attitudes are changing, however. Neck tattoos very well may still disqualify you from more professional settings like offices and board rooms, so make sure you’re comfortable with getting one and the stigma it may entail on top of the pain you have to endure.