Most of the clients who walk into our Essendon tattoo parlour already have a clear idea of what they want.

However, if you’re one of the ones that don’t, we’ve got some ideas to help you out!

Getting inked up is a big decision – you’ll want a design that you’re 100% happy with.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best tattoo ideas.

While there simply isn’t enough time to list all the types of small tattoos you can get, we hope they’ll help to get the ball rolling, or to inspire further ideas of your own.

You can pick any tattoo your like or get inspiration from these ideas. Don’t feel boxed in by the headings!

Whether you’re a tenderfoot looking for your first small tattoo idea, or a walking canvas looking to add to your extensive collection of tats, these 12 ideas are a great starting point…

Small tattoo ideas for men

Just to be clear, these small tattoo ideas aren’t solely for men – it’s your body, and your choice what you get inked with.

Having said that though, we know guys and girls are doing their research, looking up ideas and inspiration that could serve as their next small tattoo.

Bottom line: there’s no such thing as tattoos specifically for men or women, and whatever you choose to get tattooed is totally up to you!

However, we do see certain designs more often with one gender than the other. So to make this list a little easier to read though, we’ve split up our favourite tattoo ideas for men and women.

Starting with the lads…

1. Geometric 

Clean. Minimalist. Modern. Geometric tattoos are simple, but offer endless possibilities in terms of design.

Leaves, stars, patterns… you can do pretty much anything with these lines, from intricate MC Escher-esque designs to simple markings.

A word to the wise, however: since most geometric designs use a lot of straight lines, they can be affected by the natural curves of your body. As such, it takes a surprising amount of skill to create geometric patterns.

2. Landscape

We get a lot of requests for small landscape tattoos – and frankly, we love doing them!

The name pretty much says it all, really – it can be your childhood home, a mountain range or even a fantasy landscape. It’s completely up to you!

Landscapes – especially full-colour ones – are extremely challenging, and require a skilled artist behind the needle. Be sure to do your research and look at your artist’s catalogue first.

3. Roman numerals

Need small tattoo ideas? Interested in something simple and relatively low-key?

Roman numerals are excellent small tattoo ideas for men. They allow you to memorialise a specific day, time or other numeric event while keeping the details private.

small tattoo ideas for men

4. Traditional American tattoo

The traditional American tattoo originated with Sailor Jerry in Pearl Harbour during WWII.
The style is unique, easily recognisable and in terms of style, it’s one of the best small tattoos!

The traditional American tattoo is also extremely versatile, though the most popular images include:

  • Animals
  • Nature
  • People or characters
  • Ships
  • Skulls
  • Flowers
  • Hearts

Small tattoo ideas for girls

Now these aren’t just tattoo ideas for girls – as we’ve said…anyone can have these awesome tattoos.

We’ve simply put them in this category because we see a lot of women and girls coming in to request these specific styles…

5. Wine glass

Who doesn’t love a glass of chardy here and there?

We often see ladies coming into get a wine glass tattooed on their ankle, their wrist or even behind their ear! It’s a cute design, it’s unobtrusive and it positively oozes party girl personality. 

A wine glass is also a popular choice for besties coming in and getting a matching tattoo together.

You could also opt for clinking wine glasses, with bubbles rising out of the top.

6. Diamond

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend… so why not make a diamond your first tattoo?

Diamonds are one of the most popular tattoo ideas for girls for the simple reason that it represents strength – they are the hardest naturally occurring substance on Earth, after all.

As such, diamonds are the natural choice of ladies who want to remind themselves of their innate inner strength. 

This small tattoo isn’t just for girls, either –  we get a lot of guys asking for this one too!

Diamond tattoos can be done in colour (think icy tones of blue and grey), realistic, with effective black and grey shading, or as a minimalist, geometric design. 

7. Symbols

One of the best small tattoo ideas? A symbol that holds special meaning to you.

This could be anything, really –  a heart, a cross to remind yourself of your faith, an infinity symbol to symbolise your relationship… it could even be the SHIELD logo, or the emblem of your favourite Hogwarts house!

8. Animals

We love our pets – why not immortalise them with a small tattoos?

While we certainly get a lot of requests for them from women, we certainly see men getting small animal tattoos as well.

It doesn’t matter the real life size of the animal –  it can still be created into a small tattoo for you. From bumblebees to foxes and lions to elephants –  they all make excellent tattoos.

Popular small tattoo ideas: the all-time favourites

The following is a short list of the best small tattoos ideas that we hear people asking for over and over again!

9. Name 

There’s a lot of stigma behind getting someone’s name tattooed on you –  what if you stop talking to the person? What if you break up?

It’s a natural fear – should things go sour, you’ll be left with a permanent reminder of how things didn’t work out. You may even have to call a tattoo artist for tattoo removal or tattoo cover up.

However, name tattoos mean even more when they are of a family member or a lost loved one.

Choose a font that suits your style (or let our tattoo artists help inspire you) and create a permanent memorial or tribute to someone very important.

10. Semicolon

The semicolon is a small tattoo idea we see people getting more and more often.

Time for a quick grammar lesson: in the English language, the semicolon means that a sentence hasn’t ended yet, even though it appears to be the end; there is still more to say, so you add a semicolon to the sentence (see what we did there?)

And thanks to Project Semicolon, a semicolon tattoo can also serve to raise awareness for mental health. The conversation about mental health isn’t over and there is still more to say. 

11. Lyrics

Got a favourite song? Or a poem from your childhood that makes you nostalgic?

Lyrics are a very common tattoo for both men and women alike. We see people getting tattoos of lyrics that mean a lot to them, or which they relate to all the time.

Even a few shorts words or a song title – if the lyrics speak to you, or if they mean something to you, why not get them inked?

small tattoo ideas for girls

12. Flowers

In particular, roses. Whether it’s designed with a dark aesthetic in mind or a prettier one, roses are without a doubt the most common type of flower.

Other popular choices include sunflowers, forget-me-nots, daffodils, daisies and dandelions. 

Flower tattoos are great: not only are there so many different types of flowers, but so many tattoo styles that these flowers can be inked in! 

Get the best small tattoos in Melbourne

Visit Sin City Tattoos in Essendon!

The team at Sin City Tattoos are all about giving you the small tattoo of your dreams. 

We pride ourselves on the quality of our artistry – each of our artists has incredible skills and years of experience slinging ink. Between us, we can create mind-blowing pieces of bona-fide art on your body.

Our team understands that body art is a really personal experience and we will always listen to your ideas, inspiration, and vision when you’re in our studio.

If you are interested with us to get the best small tattoos you can, you can contact us at this link, or call us on (03) 9379 1181.

Alternatively, click here to make a booking online!