The triangle is a popular tattoo motif due to the variety in its symbolic meaning and the range of associations it conjures for people.
From the Eye of Providence in Christianity to themes of masculinity, femininity, and the shape’s relationship to the number 3, if you’re looking for a meaningful tattoo idea the triangle is a versatile option.
Equilateral, isosceles, and scalene… Remember those words from math class trickling back into your memory? If you don’t, how about triangle types based on length – right, obtuse, acute and oblique? The angles, of course.
When it comes to the triangle in tattoo culture, there’s more to them than just the initial thought of mathematics or geometric shape.
A triangle tattoo’s body stores a considerable amount of meaning inside.
For instance, if you’re a Christian, you might view the triangle as a symbol of the holy trinity: Father, son and holy ghost. For those of Norse blood the triangle is connected to the ancient rune symbol Valknut.
Some simply interpret the triangle directly with a different meaning like the number three, or ideas such as the past, present and future, and the mind, body and spirit too. Some claim the pointed top is merely a symbol of the ascension towards a spiritual world.
Read on for the best triangle tattoo designs for men. From full sleeves to small ideas inked on the chest, there’s plenty of inspiration to discover.
1. 3D Triangle Stunning Tattoo Concepts
An excellent 3D triangle tattoo. The artist has created a nicely balanced triangle by stacking cubes, with the shading an appealing hybrid of slash and dot work. The tiny star in the middle of the artwork is a nice negative space tattoo.
Another 3D style triangle tattoo realized with skilful attention to detail. Minute dotwork technique applied with grayscale shading is a difficult transition to make, however the result for the small tattoo is well worth it. The artist has contrasted the triangle’s detail with alternating lines of thickness and length, all cleverly and crisply inked in.
Working 3D precision into a simple triangle creates epic tattoos. I particularly enjoy the bending of perspectives to create a stairway, or even the mind bending needed for cubes or chunky extra-dimensional geometric shaped.
2. Solar System and Space Triangle Design
This new wave solar system tattoo is a well deployed abstract work. The triangle in this image acts as a unique style of border, allowing the world within to condense. The technical aspects of this work – the dot work stars and white ink inner triangle -mesh well with the lovely swirling black, green and maroon color scheme.
Etching the solar system within a triangle tattoo is a cool concept. It provides a cool border shape to work behind, with either elaborate colors or black and gray shadow work inside the shape to give it fine detail.
3. Eye of Providence Triangle Tattoos
The eye in this tattoo represents the Eye of Providence. It’s symbolized by an eye inside a triangle, with rays of light branching outward from it. The eye is the eye of God watching over humanity.
This is a more complex Eye of Providence chest tattoo. This one is etched with an amazing level of detail, matching beautiful internal dotwork inside the triangle image, with other well crafted dots on the end of each ray of light. The laurel wreath of black line work bordering the image creates a nice contrast for the other distinct shapes to fit within.
Another Eye of Providence, another different depiction of the idea. This inner forearm tattoo goes full abstract, incorporating many different pieces of line work and shading. Again, the dotwork is a prominent technical feature.
Not sure what this Eye of Providence is trying to say, however it can’t be good. It’s a visually confronting tattoo with the scarlet central triangle and eye making it seem like a cross between something from 1984 and A Clockwork Orange.
Viver translated from the Portuguese means ‘to live.’ By complementing the soft triangle stylized Eye of Providence this tattoo symbolizes to live under God’s eye. It’s a funky religious themed tattoo.
These stylized ink versions of the Eye of Providence run the gamut from simple design ideas through to visually arresting, impossible triangle version of the eye of God, watching over humanity. In simplest terms, providence means the guidance of God over his subjects. The triangle traditionally represents the holy trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
4. Geometric Triangle Tattoos
This is a funky group of triangles. The artist has used an effectively wide array of different concepts to bounce off each other and make a bad ass chest tattoo. Having a single black and gray shaded triangle with intertwined endless rope amongst a lot of more minimal versions is an excellent technique.
Wow. This is a mesmerizing amount of triangles. It’s a small tattoo in spirit that radiates outward with each different addition to make an abstract geometric triangle tattoo masterpiece. It took quite a while to find the cube within the triangles as well!
This work is interesting. A tee-pee shaped triangle with beautifully worked black lines within make this an arresting tattoo. It kind of looks like a single earring from a set you buy from a craft market etched into the skin.
An interesting mix of geometric tattoo and the abstract, however the execution needed a little work. the triangles – particularly the internal ones – are fine but the circles look pushed together through the middle.
White ink highlights added to the internal image enliven the two tone gray triangle tattoo. It’s a well executed artwork – the different shards making the final, full equilateral triangle is exceptional.
The triangle part of this full sleeve is nicely drawn. The negative space element is a bright and simple counterpoint to the busy, black and gray shading and iconography making up the rest of the tattoo. The triangle traditionally represents the holy trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
This ink is a cool 3D tattoo. The pale blue overlapping pyramids inside the well realized hexagon make the whole piece pop. A wider image would better show how the ink splashes interact with the rest of the subject’s body art.
This is a funky group of geometric design triangles. Each artist has used an effective variety of concepts to bounce off each other and make bad ass geometric tattoo concepts come to life. Each concept understands the need to balance design originality and care with cool conceptual displays.
5. Scenery and Landscape
Okay, now this is an unbelievably cool piece of body art. I know this leg tattoo represents the Turkish city of Cappadocia only because I’ve been there, however the recollection was instantaneous when looking at this artwork. The hot air balloons, cave buildings carved from rock, and the beautiful colored skyline are all realized with clarity and elegance by an amazing assembly of color separated within a series of triangles. This is top drawer tattooing.
Look, this image just needs an alien in a bike’s basket, and we’re all set! ET jokes aside, this is a well realized triangle tattoo built with an alternative commitment to negative space. Here the negative space (non-tattooed area) forms the focal point of the tattoo, and the black ink is support. Love the slightly gray shading within the moon section to give it detail.
Scenery and landscape worked within a simple triangle are a cool tattoo idea. You can choose almost any scene you like – camping, the night sky, a mountain range – and work within the confines of the geometric shape to apply your chosen technical tattoo.
6. Elaborate Black and Gray Ideas
Wow. This upper bicep tattoo is fantastic. The use of a variety of different triangle shapes and shades create the impression of glass shards. They create a great counterpoint to the pin up style portrait of the woman, whose hair is etched in windswept, flowing strands.
Funky inner forearm tattoo alert! What intrigues with this piece is whether or not the downward facing triangle – symbolizing earth from an alchemy perspective – will be filled, or whether it will remain negative space framed by the epic tree. Hopefully, it remains as is because the stark space left unblemished work brilliant in the context of the surrounding branches.
This is not an Eye of Providence tattoo, just in case you weren’t sure. It’s a bad ass scene of mayhem capped by wicked looking Gothic style triangle framing. Love the simple crosses, and the irony of the shining sun behind the death dealing skelly headed conqueror.
7. Skull Triangle Design
Combining aspects of tattooing with the popularity of skulls and triangles make for cool, creative design elements. These examples utilise an impossible triangle or a mix of different superb geometric triangle tattoo linework to frame the heavily textured skull focal point.
8. Animal Triangle Tattoo Meaning
Incorporating your favorite animal motif into a triangle makes a cool symbol. The triangle outline makes an epic border shape to contain your wild beast or wise owl design inside, and create a piece with any application style you like inside.
9. Penrose Triangle Tattoo Ideas
This is a tricky hand tattoo. The tattoo artist has applied a good mixture of fuzzy shading in black with sporadic dotwork to achieve interesting details in the impossible unique triangle image. Being a hand tattoo this ink will get noticed and draw comments about the visual trickery of the Penrose tribar.
Created by Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvärd in 1934 the Penrose triangle or Penrose tribar is an optical illusion. It can be depicted as a triangle in a drawing form but can’t be a solid object.
The impossible triangle, as shown above, can be depicted in a variety of awesome Penrose triangle tattoo design ideas, that show off a range of sizes and effects.
10.Small Triangle Tattoo
One of the most popular ideas for triangle tattoo meaning revolves around the direction of shape; in other words, is it pointed up or down? Pointed up represents male energy, air and fire, all masculine elements. While female elements water, energy and earth tie into triangles facing downwards.
Playing with directions make it easy to get a range of ideas across in a small tattoo design. These small triangle tattoo examples utilize different aspects to broadcast their symbolic meaning.
Again, the triangle tattoo design works as a border for the internal ocean and wave core element to be depicted in a vast array of technical applications
Simple tattoo designs in these examples draw on non-religious concepts to form cool pieces. In alchemy concepts featuring a double triangle tattoo, the upward facing triangle symbolizes elemental air, while the one facing downward is earth.
The combination of minimalist and abstract ideas works together to form impressive, unique pieces of body art built with simple lines and occasional heavy black ink.
13. Innovative Triangle Body Art
You don’t see these types of white ink tattoos very often. This triangle is worked fully opposite to convention, demonstrating a boss level artistic skill and painstaking technical application. Here, the artist has taken a flat black triangle, then applied tiny pieces of dotwork technique to form an engrossing patterned image using white ink. The degree of difficulty for this kind of body art is off the scale.
These triangle examples make stunning tattoo art. Each tattoo artist has worked to deliver boss level artistic skill and painstaking technical application. The degree of difficulty for some of the triangle ideas is off the scale – and if you like Pink Floyd then the Dark Side of the Moon cover on skin is sweet.
Using such ideas such as simple 3D elements or linework versus detail can make a small tattoo standout, while a small triangle outline helps form balance for an opposing shape, such as the traditional half-folded razor.
Triangle Tattoo FAQs
Traditionally, triangle tattoos are closely linked with Christianity.
As triangles have three points and three straight sides they’re most often used to represent the holy trinity: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The triangle symbol can also be the number 3 in numerology and tattoo culture, representing balance and wisdom, while for the non-religious the triangle has a broad association with the moon, or with the past, present and future.
Twin superimposed triangles of the same size are alchemy symbols that have been commandeered into the realm of body art.
If the two triangles point skywards they represent the element of air, while a downward pointing pair of triangles symbolize the element of earth.
Another popular representation of twin triangles occurs with an upside-down triangle where the tip points downward to symbolize the female/feminine. The triangle with the point facing upward is a man/masculine symbol.
Did you enjoy these ideas, from the simple triangle tattoo through to more elaborate shapes and designs? Click on the links below for more cool galleries: