When you ask a tattoo enthusiast, he or she would likely tell you that their body is their canvas. Truth be told, the body is indeed a great and big canvas for body art, especially for tattoos. But if there is one place in our body that is the perfect place for body art, it would be the back. Back tattoos are the masterpieces and often the main attraction of a gallery that is our body.
Since the back is basically a great, big, blank canvas, you can put any design you want there. You can choose a part of your back where you will have the tattoo or have a full back tattoo. You can create bad-ass designs or even delicate ones. Just like with any art, the limit is your imagination.
Still, there are some popular back tattoos that could likely inspire your ink. If you wanted to get a good back tattoo design, you might want to read on.
Back Tattoos For Girls
Popular Back Designs for Men
Men usually get tattoo designs that are more complicated. They tend to lean more on the realistic approach or something with more subjects than one. Their back tattoos are often more bad-ass and gives more enhancement to their aesthetic. There are also several designs that are more popular with men than with women.
- Skull tattoos – The skull is a perfect choice when covering up the whole back or just smaller portion of the upper or lower back. Nonetheless, they can play with the design – give it a darker undertone, make it realistic, or add other subjects that will make it more thought provoking. Skull tattoos can be extremely versatile if you just know how to work with it.
- Geometric patterns – Geometric patterns can be found in tribal tattoos. However, tribal tattoos are more about bold lines and patterns based on Polynesian tribes. Geometric patterns, on the other hand, are simply about lines and shapes. They do not have meaning but are purely for aesthetics. Usually, men create a design that will complement their body and muscle mass.
- Bird tattoos – Bird tattoos are also getting more popular with men. They often choose bigger and stronger birds to represent their own strength and vitality. Common choices are eagles, hawks, owls, and even the phoenix. While the common placement for these designs are the chest, they are also great back tattoos that extend to the shoulders.
- Dragon tattoos – Dragons are manly and they are said to be bringers of good luck, especially in Asian culture. Men often get dragon tattoos on their back since they can dive into the details more. This is one element that really works as a big tattoo, therefore its best placement is on your back.
Popular Back Tattoos for Women
Women are getting more creative and bold with their tattoo designs. They aren’t just about making it look sexy anymore. Instead, they are getting more expressive with their body art and tend to get heavier designs as well. However, delicate and sensual designs are still not lost. Women often choose a design that goes well with their physique and choose a placement that makes them feel sensual and empowered.
Here are some back tattoos that are getting extremely popular among women:
- Mandala tattoos – Mandalas are a thing of beauty. They are complex but hypnotizing. There is no wonder it has gotten popular among ladies. It’s a great back tattoo design since they can choose to make it smaller or it can be a full back tattoo. This design also tends to be unique since they can go freestyle with the patterns.
- Floral designs – Flowers have long been associated with women. As tattoos, they have different meanings that can represent the wearer. Because of their beauty, it has become one of the main meanings. For a back tattoo, you can choose to incorporate more than one flower or a whole bouquet of one. The colors also tend to be more light than vibrant and bold.
- Dreamcatchers – Dreamcatchers are a popular part of Native American culture that the whole world has apparently adapted. Even the tattoo industry find dreamcatchers as a mainstream design, especially for women. They often choose a common dreamcatcher design and place it at the upper back. However, some go for bigger designs, with three dreamcatchers and with more feathers and designs.
- Quotes – Women are also in love with quote tattoos. They love creating or finding quotes that serve as their mantras and have it tattooed on the upper back or closer to the shoulders. However, spine quote tattoos are getting more and more popular. And why not? Those can get pretty delicate and sexy.
Back Tattoo Designs with Meanings
While there are some designs that are associated with both genders, men and women today are getting more open with their tattoo designs. That being said, some of the popular designs for men are also becoming popular among women and vice versa.
And so, here are a few back tattoo designs that anyone can choose from. The only deal here is what they mean as body art.
- Wings – Wings, especially angel wings, are popular back tattoos. The designs often make the wearer appear to have their own wings. As a tattoo, wings can have different meanings based on which creature or bird they were from. However, it’s general meaning is freedom.
- Trees – Trees are also great back designs that show a tree in its full glory. The tree of life is also a popular symbol that represents immortality and eternity. However, a normal tree symbolizes strength, stability, life, nature, and withstanding life’s challenges.
- Map of the world – The map of the world is also gaining more attention in the tattoo industry nowadays. While some choose a more minimalist approach for smaller designs, back map tattoos are often more detailed. Maps could denote the wearer’s love for traveling and adventures.
- Compass – The compass is another symbol that is best for adventurers and wanderlusts. However, a compass can also mean seeking guidance in life or in religion.
- Anchors – Those who get anchor designs for their back tattoos often include a background of the ocean or a ship. This is to enhance its aesthetic value as well as its meaning. Generally, an anchor is a symbol of hope, salvation, composure, and steadfastness.
Unique Back Tattoos for Men and Women
Anyone who wants to get a tattoo are often thinking about a way to make their design unique. For a blank canvas as your back, you can definitely create a more personal design that is unlike any other. Here are some subjects you can play with as inspiration for your ink:
- Octopus and squid – You can choose from either deep sea creature or combine them both on a quirky design. Or you can just use their tentacles as the main event. Perhaps a simple black ink and a sketch-like style will make it work. You can have eight big tentacles dangling on your back or even extend it to your shoulders or arms.
- Surrealistic approach – Anything surreal is unique. If you are an artist, you can definitely come up with a surreal or daydream (or even nightmarish) scene that best represent you or your story. Instead of having it on paper or cloth, you’ll have it on your skin. You can also work with your artist if they are open to the complicated but totally unique idea.
- Portraits – A portrait of your loved one can be pretty unique, since everyone has different faces. It’s also more personalized so you can have this deeper connection to your tattoo.
- Abstract – Modern abstract tattoos often include geometric patterns and surrealistic subjects. These designs often do not have meanings. They are merely for improving aesthetic. However, most artists who design their own abstract pieces give it a story that is close to their heart. Sometimes, it is even an expression of who they are as a person.
- Japanese traditional style – Japanese traditional tattoo designs are best known for their bold outlines, and even bolder and vibrant colors. There are many traditional tattoos, but you can turn your own subject into a Japanese traditional style tattoo by incorporating their techniques. It is best to find a tattoo artist that can assist you with the design.
Sexy Spine Tattoos
One of the more popular back tattoos are the spine tattoos or getting inked right above your spine. It’s becoming a craze among women since it’s pretty much a sexy kind of tattoo. The designs are often delicate and the area where it is tatted gives it an even sexier aura. Here are some suggestions for sexy spine back tattoos.
- Quotes – Quotes are sought after designs by women. They love the meaning behind the quotes and its versatility. They can add elements to make it look better. Or they can simply choose a fancy script or calligraphy font and go for elegance and delicateness. The latter is often the choice for a spine tattoo.
- Phases of the moon – The moon has long been associated with women. This is due to the moon’s cycle being similar with women’s monthly cycle. As a spine tattoo, the design simply includes the phases of the moon. The top is usually the new moon and the design comes down to the lower back with a full moon tattoo.
- Geometric patterns – Geometric patterns have this aura of being modern and cool. These are also very simple and yet hypnotizing. Spine geometric tattoos often include various shapes and a straight line down the spine.
- Spine – Getting a tattoo of your spinal cord as your spine tattoo is actually a pretty common design. They usually create illusions of skin being shredded to show the spinal cord. Some even go to surrealistic approaches.
- Floral – The spine would be a great place for a floral tattoo. You can have a long stalk of sunflower for a minimalist design. You can also choose other flowers such as rose or lily.
- Roman numerals – For those who want a tattoo of a special date or event in their lives, they choose Roman numerals to depict it rather than Arabic numbers. It has a certain kind of elegance and glam to it. It also has versatility when it comes to placement.
Full Back Tattoos
For experienced tattoo enthusiasts and want bolder and more creative designs, a full back tattoo is a great choice. Since they are now more accustomed to the pain and taking care of tattoos, they can handle sessions after sessions of grueling process of getting one. They can also be more creative and bolder with their design choices. It’s not just about getting one small tattoo now but a larger one that pretty much covers the entire back.
For some, a great back tattoo includes more than one element. For example, they create a scenery and add appropriate subjects. It could be a forest with massive trees and animals we often see in the wild. Suffice to say, it is a whole picture.
However, some decide on the more obscure masterpieces. Surrealistic 3D back tattoos are the rage now. People tend to create more thought-provoking designs that fit a museum. These designs do not just give the viewer something to think about, these also give them something to look at.
Since back tattoos are something you won’t really be seeing all the time, they are often made for others. That means they are created as pieces meant for others to look at and analyze. That is why back tattoos are usually made to look prettier than other designs.
The Process of Getting Bigger Tattoos
Getting big tattoos such as a full back tattoo would require more than one session. You will have to go to your tattoo artist on more than one occasion and usually, the gap between these sessions will be longer.
It depends on every artist but the initial phase would either be working on the outline or working on a certain segment first. Either way, they will have to work through the whole design in parts. But before they can do that, they have to make sure your first tattoos are partly healed. This means it could take weeks or months before a tattoo is officially done.