If you are looking to get a very cool tattoo that has many different and vastly different meanings, you might want to look into getting a lock and key tattoo. These tattoos range from the bold to the elegant, from the sweet to the serious, and they pretty much always look great on the skin. You will find that a lot of people get them as very personal tattoos, while others will get them with a significant others to show off their love for each other through their ink.
Lock and key tattoos have been around for quite a while now, but it’s possible they’ve never been quite as popular as they are right now. That might have something to do with the amount of detail that a lot of people want to get in their locks and keys and the fact that tattoo artists continue to get better as the years go by. It might also have to do with the fact that more and more people are recognizing how many cool meanings can be attached to these designs. Regardless of the reason, plenty of people are interested in lock and key tattoo designs these days.
If you think you might get a lock and key tattoo or you just want to know a bit more about them, you’ll find out all you need to know about them on this page. We’ll go over some of the most commonly used lock and key meanings, some of the very cool design styles you can use in a design, as well as some of the areas of the body where these tattoos are usually placed.
Popular Lock and Key Tattoos
A lock and key suggests a secret, something that is meant to remain hidden, but the answer is there. This is a great lock and key tattoo to get to show that you are the type of person that people can confide in since you will never tell their secrets no matter what type of pressure you are put under.
Additionally, the lock and key is an indication of protection, protection of self or anything cherished by the individual. When people uses either one of these meanings that will sometimes make at least part of the key hidden or even leave the key out of the image and only include the lock. This shows that whatever they are protecting cannot be reached without going through them first.
When imaged on two separate people, where one receives the lock and the other the key, the inseparability of the two is emphasized. One is virtually meaningless without the other and only become functional when put together. In romantic relationships, it’s common for a woman to get the lock and a man to receive the key, creating an intimate theme between the two images.
Birds are sometimes introduced in these tattoos, often illustrated in flight. The image of two birds, one carrying the lock while the other carries the key, creates an image of duality. This is an excellent meaning for those who want to show that they have multiple layers but don’t want to go with the more cliché yin and tang tattoo.
Ribbons and flowers are sometimes included to feminize the lock and key tattoo, although they are often used in traditional style designs as well, not necessarily feminine. On top of being nice design elements to add in, ribbons and flowers also have extra meanings that you can use in your tattoo. Flowers especially have thousands of meanings, so it’s important to pick the ones you want to include carefully to ensure that you add in the meanings that make the most sense for you.
Skulls and bones introduce a less romantic theme to the design, using greyscale. These usually represent death or the person’s acceptance of their own mortality. Combined with the lock and key, these images could show that you will love the person you with until you die.
The design can be one cohesive design or can easily be split into a couple’s or friend’s tattoo, signifying one’s need for the other. This shows that the two people are incomplete without the other person in their lives.
Designing and Placing a Lock and Key Tattoo
The lock and key together as one design is often rendered very simply in a traditional style with dark lined details and bold colors. This makes the tattoos stand out without having to go all-out to make them look overly realistic.
To create a romantic piece, hearts can be added, as well as a banner including a name scrawled along it. With a heart shape placed on the lock, the phrase “the key to my heart” is induced. While simple heart tattoos are still the most popular love tattoos around, the lock and key is shooting up the ranks, especially in the matching love tattoo category.
The lock can be designed with a chain attached where the key at the end of the chain is an initial or name of the beloved. If you decide to get one of these, you will want to think about a font that will blend well with the overall look of the design. You want the text to look like it was always on the lock rather than looking like a completely different piece of artwork.
Another cool way that people like to get their lock and key tattoos designed these days is by making them appear to be inside of their skin. This is done by hiding and giving a light shadow effect to part of the lock. This makes sense for these types of tattoos because the lock is thought of being attached to the person who has the tattoo. This is an especially good idea for the love version of these lock and key tattoos.
Wings, stars, swirling line work or any other designs are often used to decorate the lock, making it more ornate. These elements can also bring with them their own meanings, making it very easy to customize the look and symbolism of the lock and key tattoo.
Easily the most common places to put lock and key tattoos is on the forearms. Most people want everyone to see their locks and keys and the locks and keys are often separated and placed on two arms. In some cases one person will have both parts of their tattoos on their own arms, while in other cases the lock will be on one person’s forearm and the key will be on someone else’s.
You certainly don’t have to get the lock and key tattoo placed on your forearms if you don’t want them there. Some folks instead to get them placed on their legs, while others will place them on their backs or even on their chests. You can place them anywhere, but you want to make sure that both shapes look nice in the area you’re thinking about putting them before you commit to it.
Is the Lock and Key Tattoo Right for You?
We hope you now have a better understanding of why lock and key tattoos are so popular these days. They might look like simple tattoos at first glance, but they can hold a lot of powerful meanings to the people who get them and they are the types of tattoos that people very rarely regret getting.
With all of that being said, lock and key designs aren’t for everyone. You shouldn’t just get one because you like the look of it or you wanted to get any type of matching tattoo for you and your loved one. Ideally you will find that one or more lock and key meanings make more sense to you than other similar tattoos so you can increase your chances of always being proud of having it on your skin. If you know it’s the right type of tattoo for you and you choose a design that makes you happy, then chances are you will be a proud lock and key tattoo owner for the rest of your life.