Tattoo ideas

20 inspiring tattoo templates and their meanings

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Regardless of whether it is about the first tattoo or you already have one, finding the right motif is usually not that easy. It is always recommended that the tattoo be designed individually. Even if you can’t draw well, you should already have a certain idea of ​​the motif you want. The respective tattoo artist will orient himself on this and can design a unique tattoo. Depending on the desired tattoo style, you can basically find inspiring ideas everywhere. Probably the most popular source for tattoo templates is the internet. In this post you will find a little more about the most famous tattoo styles and 20 of the most popular tattoo designs, as well as helpful information about them.

You can get a tattoo for several reasons: as an artistic body ornament or to remember special events in life. Each tattoo is individual and reveals something about its wearer. Therefore, not only the representation of the selected tattoo motif is particularly important, but also its symbolism for the respective person. When choosing a suitable tattoo motif, you should first decide on a tattoo style and then inform yourself about the meaning behind it.

Choosing a motif for the tattoo – styles, inspirational tattoo templates and their meaning

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The many different tattoo styles give you an incredibly large amount of design freedom. In this way, entire life stories can be mapped onto the skin. But if you are planning more than just a tattoo in the future, you have to consider whether the motifs would go together or not. Ultimately, each wearer gives their tattoo their own personal meaning. In addition, the selected motif must match the part of the body, because not everything that looks good on paper also appears as good on the body. Under the skin there are muscles and bones that make a subject look different than on a flat surface. Another important point is that the body does not always stay as it is now. Pregnancy or simply getting old change the skin and can leave visible marks. On the other hand, it is not uncommon for scars to be pierced over and thus nicely concealed. But this is a difficult matter and not every tattoo artist dares to tattoo a scarred skin.

You can first determine a body area and then choose a suitable motif or maybe you already have some ideas and desired motifs in mind that can be adapted to the respective body part. However, it is recommended to get an overview of the most popular tattoo styles before deciding on an exact motif. The different tattoo styles offer different design options and can also be mixed nicely, so that ultimately a unique tattoo is created.

A brief overview of the most popular tattoo styles

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old school also called American tradition is related to the idea for the tattoos of the sailors. Thick contours, bright colors and two-dimensional, decorative, relatively simple motifs mostly of swallows, stars, women, anchors and roses act as an ode to traditional body art.

New School or Neo Traditional is based on the techniques of traditional tattoo art and achieves a clearly realistic representation through more colors and shades, but still looks very decorative.

Trash polka combines photo-realistic images with geometric shapes and is mostly designed in black and gray. The use of color, mostly red or orange, sets accents.

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With Blackwork is actually used to describe almost anything that is stabbed on the skin with black ink. This also includes the high-contrast tribal motifs.

at Dotwork it is worked with black or colored ink in dot form on the skin. It is said that this method is less painful. Often beautiful, soft shades and color gradients are achieved with this technique.


Geometric Tattoos are currently very popular and especially popular with the so-called hipsters. Geometric shapes such as circles, triangles and others are extremely multifaceted and have a certain meaning in many cultures.

sketch Work or just sketchy and watercolor are particularly artistic tattoo representations that look spontaneous and unfinished. Most of the time, clear contours are missing and the work is done with speckled colors and lines.

Realistic Tattoos are really something for aesthetes. The motifs, mostly a whole picture, are engraved with image accuracy and convince with a realistic effect. Excellent painting knowledge and experience are important prerequisites for a successful tattoo.

20 inspiring tattoo templates and their meanings

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When choosing a tattoo motif, but also a tattoo artist who will apply it to the skin, the following generally applies: If you want to be beautiful forever, you have to research and have a good eye for aesthetics. Since a tattoo adorns the body forever, it is definitely worth learning a little more about the most famous tattoo motifs. Many of them can also be combined very well with each other.

Skull tattoo templates

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The skull motif is an absolute classic and mostly stands for religious belief and for the transience of life. The meaning of a skull tattoo doesn’t have to be as negative as you might think at first glance. Some have their skulls stung because they have completed a difficult chapter in their life. Skulls can also be real lucky symbols that are supposed to give strength to their wearer. On the other hand, a skull tattoo often illustrates belonging to a certain milieu. The motif is very popular with both men and women.


The Mexican skull or skull is primarily associated with one of the most famous celebrations in honor of the dead in Mexico: the Dìa de los Muertos, the day of the dead. Splendor of color and flowers adorn the skulls and it is more than just design. Additional elements and their meanings can be incorporated into the Mexican skull tattoo, for example:

Flowers – life

Cobwebs – death

Diamond – cycle of life and legacy

Candles – memories

Cross – protection

Rose / flower


Flower motifs are multifaceted as a tattoo and can mean a lot. Mostly they are preferred by women and express the bond with nature, playfulness and creativity. The flower can also represent youth and beauty.

The rose is one of the best-known and most popular tattoo motifs and symbolizes love in its use today. Mostly it occurs in combination with a key, lock or clock.



The swallow is a popular motif among seafarers and symbolizes freedom, as well as the solid land, home. Often two swallows are depicted, which significantly represent love and kinship.



A heart tattoo is a classic and very popular motif and usually represents love in a very classic way. Given a name, the tattoo reminds of a specific person.

Key / lock


In the past, the key was seen as a symbol of power. Today it has an individual meaning for everyone. For example, it can be seen as the key to the heart and worn by one partner while the other wears the matching lock motif as a tattoo.

Star tattoo templates


Stars often have an individual or a decorative meaning. Mostly stars can be engraved as symbols for loved ones and the motifs are often given their names.



A clock usually appears in combination with another motif such as a flower or angel and stands for immortality. But a watch can also show an exact time, which should remind of a certain event and is of great importance for the wearer.

Feather, wing


Feather and wings symbolize lightness and reveal through their wearer that they want to live freely and carefree. He can also use it to express his creativity.

Dream catcher

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A dream catcher catches the bad dreams and keeps them away from the sleeper. As a tattoo, the motif should also have a protective function. It also embodies the wearer’s sense of the spiritual.

Minimalist tattoo templates


Hipsters and young people who are at the beginning of their professional life often opt for minimalist tattoo templates and choose covered parts of the body. Mostly executed in black ink, the minimalist symbols have a very personal meaning.

Pin up girls tattoo templates


Pretty girls adorned American billboards, magazines, and packaging after World War II. Most of them are beautiful drawings of real people, others represent the perfect woman. Pin up girls represent the beauty and femininity of women and are therefore mostly preferred as tattoo motifs by men.

Decorative tattoo designs


Ribbons, infinity symbols and other symbols are usually cut into small pieces and above all have a decorative effect. They serve as delicate body jewelry and are particularly popular with women.

Animal tattoo templates and their meanings


Animal motifs are usually depicted realistically. They have an individual meaning for the wearer and serve more or less as a totem tattoo. For example, the snake is a symbol of temptation in the Bible, but as a tattoo it can also protect its wearer from danger.


In today’s life, a tattoo has the meaning that its wearer assigns to it. However, every symbol does not have a conventionally defined meaning. Nevertheless, tattoo templates and motifs have an origin and a social context in which they were created and undergo a new development. For example, jail tattoos are also preferred by hipsters today.