Minimalist Tattoos Meaning, Design & Ideas

It’s very common to find people who want to get tattoos but don’t want to cover too much of their skin. Well, that’s what minimalist tattoos are for! These are smaller, usually thinner designs that often have just as much meaning as their larger counterparts while also having a nice, clean look. These tattoos are for people who are new to tattoos and even those who already have a bunch of ink on their skin.

Below we will take a look at some of the most popular minimalist tattoo categories and why they can be just as meaningful and beautiful as the much larger and complex designs.


It should come as little surprise to most people that animal tattoos are near the top of the list when it comes to minimalist tattoos. These versions of animal tats are usually either outlines of the animals or smaller designs that don’t have too much detail. What’s really great about these animal tattoos is that you really can use any of the meanings associated with the creatures.


Similar to animal tattoos, with insects you can pick a specific species of insect based on both its looks and the meanings attached to it. The truth is that there are as many minimalist spider tattoos as there are larger, more detailed designs. You can very easily fit one of these guys on your wrist or even your finger.

Basic Shapes

Believe it or not, just about every shape that you can think of is very meaningful and often has meanings that spread all across the spectrum. You can also do a lot with any shape you can think of. For example, you can get a single black-outlined triangle, or you can stack a bunch of triangles on top of each other. Some people even combine multiple shapes into a horizontal minimalist tattoo that can wrap around your wrist or go down your forearm.


Arrows are yet another great example of classic minimalist tattoos. If you do like the look of these simple arrows, be sure that you learn what each type and set means. You will find that one arrow has completely different meanings than a set of two or three. In most cases, you can use your arrows to represent love, but there are also a bunch of other very cool meanings you can use.

Simple Lines

Lines, or “bands” as they’re called in the tattooing world, give you a very simple way to get ink on your skin while also representing deep meanings. Many people get their black bands to honor someone who has passed away. In other cases, people simply get their thin-line tattoos because they think they look cool on their arms or legs. It’s better to have some type of meaning attached to your tattoos, but we totally get it if you just like the look of these bands.


If you are into your horoscope and want a very cool way to show that through ink, a constellation tattoo could be absolutely perfect for you. These are easily made by simply connecting lines to dots in specific patterns. What’s really cool about these minimalist tattoos is that you get the full meanings attached to the constellation you get regardless of how much detail there is in the design.

People also like to get these because they can pick and choose which meanings to include and which ones to leave out without having to tweak their designs. A cool way to hone in on meaning is to include little symbols that represent the same things as the constellation.

Sun or Moon

The sun and the moon together in a tattoo represent the circle of life, which is a meaning that most people would love to get with their minimalist tattoos. You can get the two symbols next to each other or you can put the moon inside of the sun. Like most of the other minimalist tattoos listed on this page, you can very easily fit the sun and the moon on your wrist, your ankle, or just about anywhere else that you want them.


What’s great about dot tattoos is that they can be included in other minimalist tattoos or they can hold their own meanings in their own designs. They’re easy to make, look good in every color, and a lot of people just love the look of dots a lot more than they like simple lines.

If you think about it, you can easily turn your dots into a whole other design. An example of this is to combine two of the ideas on this page into one by using dots to make your sun and moon tattoo. Just be warned that the two-dot and three-dot tattoos are sometimes associated with prison and gang life, so you might want to steer clear of those.

Basic Sailboat

If you love the sea or you love adventure, then you might want to get the sailboat as your minimalist tattoo. This just happens to be one of the most popular small tattoos out there right now because, well, the meanings just work for people. To make the minimalist version of the sailboat, all you have to do is combine two small triangles for the sails and then make a semicircle for the hull. Some people will add a little bit of color to these designs, but that definitely isn’t necessary.


Those who want to get very specific with their meanings will probably love the idea of getting a smaller text tattoo. As you’ve probably seen, text tattoos are as great as wrist tattoos, forearm tattoos, and even rib tats. The trick to these is to find a font that works with whatever words you’re choosing to get and then line them up in an attractive way. Text tattoos also happen to be the types of tattoos that many people regret getting, so be sure that you’ll always be happy with those words before you commit to them.

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