Small Simple Tattoos For Men

Top 63 Small Simple Tattoos For Men [2020 Inspiration Guide]

For any man getting a tattoo for the first time, it can be a pretty daunting experience. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be. By starting small and going with a simple design, you’ll slowly ease your way into body art, possibly with one of the best tattoo ideas for 2020.

While the pain from getting a tattoo might be temporary, the ink on your skin is definitely permanent.

Everyone man knows this, yet most men still tend to think big when it comes to their first tattoo.

Bigger the better right? Not exactly.

The truth is, smaller sized tattoos and simple designs can look just as good. Not to mention, downright masculine and manly too when done right.

There are countless design ideas to go with from anchors to mountains, trees and more. Even the outlined shape of a camera can have a major significant meaning to a lifelong photographer. Or how about a simple globe for the man who flights around the world in a constant search of adventure.

To help you get creative, I’ve put together a collection of 70 small simple tattoos for men. Understand, these aren’t the most interesting designs in the world, yet their simplicity and uncomplicated nature makes for great inspiration. Don’t let their size fool you, the meanings behind each can be enormously profound!

Small Tattoo Ideas

Best Small Tattoos For Men

This funky little message in a bottle plays on traditional elements to create the beach scene. While only small it uses smart shading, along with sharp fat lines to create a strong image.

Tattoos For Men Small

This minimalist tree is on the tiny end of the spectrum. It’s simple but effective, using a single needle and the work would have been finished within minutes.

Small Wrist Tattoos For Men

This piece is another interesting little tattoo. By giving the image a border, the artist worked within its constraints to create a nice realist scene, with smart shading helping create different facets of earth, forest, and mountains, and shifting line work giving the river flow.

Small Tribal Shape Tattoos For Men

This is a simple but effective geometric tattoo. It’s a skillfully drawn, single line that would’ve taken a good eye to maximize the sharp angles

Small Tattoos On Men

Another fresh, clean, geometric pattern. The symmetry of this little piece stands out, with the interlocking star at the center being the key part of the artwork – it’s simplicity effectively shows the more complex total the longer you take it in.

Small Tattoos Men Arrows
Rope Small Tattoos For Men On Wrist

This is an unnerving take on a new wave tattoo. The noose features great line work that really pops off the skin, complemented by a font imprint that really stands out – it’s almost like a bright neon sign in a shopfront, but spooky.

Small Tattoos For Men On Arm

This a very cool miniature armadillo. It’s a unique small realism piece that uses its own shape and the part not tattooed in a geometric pattern to make the armor lock together.

Small Tattoos Designs For Men

A quintessential minimalist bit of ink. It could mean anything, or nothing. But the lines are sharp, well drawn, and placed with precision on the forearm. It’s most definitely a conversation starter.

Small Tattoo Ideas Men
Mountains Small Tattoo Ideas For Men

This is a very clever little tattoo, playing the solid colors of blue-black off against the almost abstract shading to create a series of peaks, with clean lines supporting the changes in shape.

Parachute Small Tattoo For Men

A brilliant piece packing the elements of a large tattoo into small sizing. There are three separate stages – the sun and fluffy cloud-chute created by excellent shading, then crisp rope lines themselves joining to the jumper, who almost looks like an origami person. Top-drawer work!

Coffee Small Tattoo Designs Men

Ironic tattoos can be a little hit and miss, but mug life is a good way to be, no matter what’s in your cup!

Small Tattoo Designs For Men Triangle Tree

Thick black from a wide gauge needle creates a dominant triangle. The tree here is deftly drawn, using the lines in waves rather than shading and shadow. This image gets more intense the longer you look at it.

Triangle Small Simple Men Tattoo

This small tattoo features elements of the sketch style combined with geometric ingenuity to create a nice group of mountains, and the solo lines above and below the core piece support nicely without having to do too much.

Small Simple Armband Tattoos For Men
Ocean Waves Blue Small Tattoos For Men
Bow And Arrow Small Men Tattoos

Sometimes the simplest tattoos are the most arresting. This small piece is reminiscent of old school tattoos from antiquity. Ancient cultures like the Scythians, Picts, and Thracians had this type of tattoo method, often getting inked in manhood and war rituals.

Bird Small Men Tattoo Ideas On Ribcage

This piece is an excellent example of the blackwork style. No shading, likely a single needle, but rendered with clarity because of a great shape complemented well by the position of the raven across his ribs.

Small Men's Tattoo Ideas
Anchor Small Men's Tattoo

Going in to the 20th century sailors were the most likely profession to get tattoos, particularly merchant seamen going long distances hauling freight. These days anchors such as this one are tattooed more in homage, rather than as a professional benchmark. This is a tricky blackwork version.

Feather Small Wrist Tattoos For Men

Feathers are a popular type of small tattoo. They’re great at being able to convey an artists’ skillset, particularly for shading and linework. 

Vintage Anchor Small Forearm Tattoos For Men
Drawing Small First Tattoo Ideas For Men

This one is funky. It’s like the challenge you would have to do by closing your eyes and trying to draw a person’s face without taking your eye off the page. The tattooist probably didn’t do that, but it’s a very clean continuous line.

Small Birds Tattoos For Men
Small Back Of Wrist Tattoos For Men

This is a relatively simple idea, but very precise in execution, with a bevy of triangles laid down using a narrow gauge. The freshness of the work results in a great symmetrical pattern.

Simple Tattoos Men

A cool take on the arrow, it’s a surprising tattoo mainly because of its length. The arrow is straight, the black sharpens the lines, and the shading free image makes it rest well along the inside forearm.

Simple Tattoos For Men Paper Airplane

A paper plane echoes the concept of a minimalist tattoo message. Small, simple, but readily identifiable it’s a nice, unique piece.

Simple Tattoo Ideas For Men

This tattoo would most definitely be on the upper end of pricing for a small tattoo. Dotwork tattoos are extremely time consuming and painstaking pieces of art, but they deliver an interesting image in contrast to regular shading or pattern usage.

Simple Tattoo For Men
Simple Tattoo Designs For Men

Of the mountains designs we’ve looked at here this is by far the most minimalist, with just a few simple lines linked together to form a range

Simple Tattoo Designs For Guys
Wave Ripple Simple Small Tattoos For Men On Arm Designs

You’d struggle to find a better example of the minimalist method, a single lonely wave. This would be literally 5 minutes work and would most likely come under the studio’s shop minimum pricing, unless they have a flash day sale or promotion.

Shark Fin Simple Small Tattoo Men

This one stands out a bit more, the simple line of pale blue waves contrasting with the black/gray of the shark’s fin to form a cute, small image.

Skull Warrior Simple Small Tattoos For Men

Fire emoji. This is a badass traditional American tattoo. It’s a fine example of clean, black lines, and a deft piece of needle work by the artist. The is the type of piece to show off your old school sensibilities.

Loch Ness Monster Simple Small Men's Tattoos

There aren’t many tattoos of Nessie, but this one is cool. A solid black monster contrasts with the line work used to create the shadow off water.

Tree Simple Small Meaningful Tattoos For Men
Simple Small Arm Tattoos For Men

Japanese calligraphy is difficult to pull off but this version excels. It truly reflects the traditional Japanese art form and looks like it could have been freshly drawn with cut quill and fresh ink. This is understated but extreme quality tattoo art.

Simple Men Tattoos
Simple Men's Tattoos On Upper Chest

This solid, small chest piece delivers a symmetrical pattern. It’s using a Nordic rune theme to create its style. It would be interesting to see what the piece translates too.

Simple Cross Piston Tattoos For Men

Biomechanics meets realism. The effective use of shading to highlight the lack of tattoo in places as well as create detail makes the makes the piece a standout. It’s a flawless but of design reminiscent of metal knucklebones.

Simple X Tattoos For Men
Simple Body Art Tattoos For Men

It’s hard to describe black as a vivid color but this Japanese calligraphy almost makes the piece looks fake. It’s delivered well enough to believe it could have been painted on by a master with horsehair paintbrush.

Simple Arm Tattoos For Men
Nice Simple Small Tattoos For Men

This is very well drawn. The small scale of this piece adds luster to the excellent self-containment. There’s great depth in the image, and the elements of line work and shading work well together.

Men Tattoos Small And Simple
Three Triangles Men's Small Tattoos
Men's Small Bicep Tattoos Simple
Shadow Figure Men's Simple Tattoos
Navigation Compass Men's Simple Tattoo Design IDeas
Arm Band Men's Simple Tattoo
Mountain Peaks Men's Simple And Small Tattoo Designs
Men Small Tattoo Ideas Simple Camera
Men Simple Small Tattoos
Man With Simple Small Tattoo
Manly Simple Tattoos For Men Anchor
Christian Cross Male Small Tattoo Designs
Creative Male Simple Tattoo Inspiration Spade
Globe Cool Small Tattoos Men
Cool Small Tattoos For Men Compass
Fox Cool Small Tattoo Ideas For Men
Cool Small Men's Tattoos
Cool Simple Tattoo For Men

Small Tattoo FAQs

How much is a small tattoo?

Small tattoo pricing can range from the shop minimum of $50-$80 for the smallest designs – two square inches or less, to around $200 for an hour for more complex work.

Highly skilled, in demand artists can charge up to $500 per hour, while apprentices and less skilled artists are as little as $75.00 per hour.

How much does a small chest tattoo cost?

Chest tattoos range in price from $400 for small scale ink, while intricate chest pieces can cost as much as $2000. Again, the skill level and demand for your artist will dictate the price.

In both cases a 15% tip is the average, but 20% for quality work is usually recommended.

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