Are you considering a minimalist tattoo? Let’s start by understanding how this style began. Minimalism was born as an art movement after WWII. These works focused on form over substance. Or, to be more exact, art that strives to be no form at all. Artists like Donald Judd, Nairy Baghramian, Frank Stella, and Eva Hesse all created works of art that help define the movement. Today, minimalism has taken on a new meaning. It’s evolved into a lifestyle for some who choose to live with essentials and basics over complexity and clutter. Entrepreneurs like Marie Kondo are thriving in the minimalist lifestyle space because they promote simplicity and order.
We have seen the tag #minimalisttattoo used on social media often. If we were being true to the term, we’d see just a line tattooed down someone’s arm. But, the term is being used to describe simple, balanced designs without a lot of frills. We’re thinking of minimalist tattoos as “understated tattoos” without shading, stippling, dotting, or complicated figures. Designs that feature the least amount of visual information to convey their ideas are the name of the game here. Here are 25 minimalist tattoo ideas that do a ton with very little.
Check Out These Mesmerizing Minimalist Tattoo Ideas!
A Cup of Tea
Let’s kick things off with a minimalist tattoo of a cup of tea. No shading, no shadow, no fuss. Simple lines like these keep things crisp and minimal.
Rain or Shine
Less is more with these two minimalist tattoos on the backs of the legs. No colorful ink, just basic shapes are used to create the visual representations of a rainbow and a cloud.
When In Rome
Architectural elements are always welcome in tattoo form. We find a minimalist tattoo of a column with a simple green vine. This looks fresh, right?
Just a simple line drawing of a father and his child makes for a remarkably emotional minimalist tattoo design. A tattoo artist with a vision can make something feel alive with very little ink.
Dance It Off
We don’t know why this dancer is sliced in half and we don’t care! Simple black lines add movement to this minimalist tattoo design.
In one of our favorite minimalist tattoos on the list, we find an eye with a flower tear. This reminds us of pop art or comic book illustration.
This person clearly has a thing for pink flamingos and, honestly, who could blame them? Done with razor-thin lines, this tattoo really pops thanks to the hot pink ink used for the bird.
It’s amazing how we can get an impression of subject matter from just a few simple lines. We find lovers locked in an embrace in this minimalist tattoo that’s light as air.
She Carried the World
Do you ever feel like the weight of the world rests on your back? This minimalist tattoo is just for you!
How cute is that little curl that the tattoo artist has fashioned for the whale’s tail? This micro minimalist tattoo packs a big punch in a very small package.
We don’t have many minimalist tattoo designs that feature color on this list which makes this rainbow bar even more striking. Just blocks of color right down the spine certainly dazzle.
These line-drawing tattoos are a huge trend at the moment. They look elegant and haunting. We love how a single line connects these two faces, adding symbolism and romance.
If you’re a hardcore minimalist tattoo fan, this one should appeal to you as it’s a simple swirl. It’s not necessarily meant to be a specific thing and instead is purely visual.
We struggled with whether to add this particular tattoo to this list as there is more detail here than many of the other minimalist tattoos on this list. However, we found it so refreshing and cool that we had to share it with you. We find three flowers each done in a different style. Which one is your favorite?
Here’s another one of the single-line minimalist tattoos. This very small butterfly is so adorable and understated.
Wildlife and nature are endlessly inspiring and full of unparalleled beauty. We find this exemplified in this very minimalist tattoo of a sea turtle. How charming is this?
Two angles and two dots are all the tattoo artist needed to do to create this design and make a statement. We think these finger tattoos would look incredible on any hand.
Head in the Clouds
For a dreamer, we could think of no better minimalist tattoo. A simple face shape in clouds conveys the “head in the clouds” message splendidly.
Black & White
If you’re really living that minimalist lifestyle, some circles and lines are all you’re going to need. We like this placement in the middle back. What do you think?
For this minimalist tattoo, we find a clustering of dots and dashes that manage to look like the rays of the shining sun. Something similar would be a bright idea!
Share your love for plants with a leafy minimalist tattoo like this one. Simple flowers would also be a fabulous idea.
Cool minimalist tattoo designs that feature instruments are few and far in between. Celebrate your love of music and passion for guitar with a similar design.
One line is all it took for this tattoo artist to create a tattoo that evokes the shape of a bicycle. We are certain many other objects could be fashioned into a minimalist tattoo in this way.
A very thin line with a color gradient does not seem like it should be as appealing as it is. This is one of the most creative and minimal of minimalist tattoos on this list.
This very, very crisp tattoo seems like it’s related to mathematics. We’re not entirely sure what this symbolizes but we don’t entirely care. It looks fantastic.
We’ve shown you many minimalist tattoos that are formed from thin lines. This is the antithesis of those tattoos but it still feels minimal. Something bold like this will definitely make an impact.
Many flash tattoos and classic tattoo designs are very minimal in nature. We find three swords shoved through a heart in this clean tattoo.
You can have color and still maintain a minimalist look. These sequential dots down the neck look smart and offer a touch of color.
You can’t get more minimalist than three lines. Okay, you can but this is one very basic tattoo that still manages to inform viewers that they are seeing a kiss. It’s both sweet and a touch mysterious.
Keep Scrolling for Even More Minimalist Tattoo Ideas!
These three, very cute, dogs look great in very fine black lines. There’s nothing out of place or over the top here, just clean and simple designs.
We are big fans of astrology tattoos and this symbol for Aries is a great one. There’s no need to recreate the wheel with your design. Tried and tested is always a smart move.
One Line, Two Faces
This romantic design relies on the shape a single line makes to create two faces. This feels light, airy, and romantic. We very much love this.
The circle is an endless figure that represents continuity and foreverness. We love this design that uses overlapping circles to compose a unique and visually interesting design.
Don’t Let Go
This gorgeous friendship tattoo features two expertly tattooed hands with two fingers intertwined. Again, very fine, purposeful lines are used to convey the concept with little fanfare. A very elegant choice.
Two very basic lines are all the ink it takes to bring the idea of a cat to life. This is instantly recognizable without being in your face.
This is a machine-free tattoo done in the stick and poke style. Tattoos that are done by hand present their own obstacles, but they lend themselves well to minimalist design.
This super-fresh tattoo design of a sailboat is a breath of fresh air or a warm breeze, even. Using the silhouette of a figure is a great way to eliminate unnecessarily busy designs.
Here’s a hand with even fewer details than the last example we looked at. If you’re after a simple aesthetic as cool as your own personal style, consider getting a tattoo that isn’t louder than you want it to be.
These adorable potted plants are a dream. There are just enough details to help you understand the visual you are seeing. How cute!
A Touch of Color
Here, we find one of the only tattoos on the list that incorporates colorful inks into the design. The person clearly wanted the tattoo to convey warmth and you get that from the warm, orange, sun shape.
Kewpie doll tattoos are a genre of tattoo on their own. These very basic designs feature cute little baby motifs like this one, which is one of the most popular and basic. Another adorable design here.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg or “RBG,” as she’s known, has a large collection of decorative collars that she wears as part of her judicial robe outfit. Here, we’re treated to one such illustration of a collar with the judge’s initials.
This design is open for interpretation, but we see a human form obscured by a small branch. It’s completely wonderful in its mystery.
This cry baby design is bold. However, there’s very little to it. We love the way the bottom part of the image has waves to match the hair above it.
This adorable little bunny is a cutie to look at. We love the simple design. It’s proof that you don’t have to get a photorealistic tattoo of a rabbit to express your admiration for them.
The wading ibis is an unusual choice. As far as subject matter goes, we’re not seeing tons of ibises tattooed these days. Like the rabbit, this minimalist design gives you everything you need.
Here, we find a more conceptual design that incorporates elements of architecture. It’s okay for a design to be both abstract and minimal. We love this one!
This very fine line Monstera deliciosa leaf in a bottle is a dazzler. The ankle is a perfect spot for a tattoo and this is the perfect design for it. Bravo!
A delicate daffodil is a gorgeous flower that signals the end of winter and the beginning of Spring. It’s one of the reasons we absolutely love this tattoo. The flower symbolizes nature’s symmetry.
Again, we have a soft spot for pet tattoos and this black cat design is a dream. We imagine that’s a jug of milk next to the furry friend.
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This very fluid figure of a woman seems to float like a cloud. We love this weightless design.
We find another pop of color for this tattoo and in the sun. The simple leaves of the palm are transparent which allows for the circle design to shine through. A very thoughtful and handsome design.
The Pale Man?
This may or may not be a reference to the Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth. The artist who shared it makes no reference to the film, but it’s what the tattoo immediately made us think of. Either way, this chill, cheery design works well.
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Each one of these two shapes is composed of a single black line. The centers of the figs are stippled for shading and the pink color allows viewers to understand what they’re seeing a representation of. These are some fun fruits!
There you go! 25 minimalist tattoo designs that prove that you can do a lot with just a little ink. We hope you enjoyed these tats and feel inspired to create your own. Minimalist tattoo ideas can come from everyday objects to less concrete concepts. What’s most important is that you conceive of the perfect design for you that gets across your point of view!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 Check Out These Mesmerizing Minimalist Tattoo Ideas!
- 1.1 A Cup of Tea
- 1.2 Rain or Shine
- 1.3 When In Rome
- 1.4 Fatherhood
- 1.5 Dance It Off
- 1.6 The Eye
- 1.7 Flamingo’s World
- 1.8 The Lovers
- 1.9 She Carried the World
- 1.10 Tiny Whale
- 1.11 Rainbow
- 1.12 Two-Faced
- 1.13 Swirl
- 1.14 Mod
- 1.15 Baby Butterfly
- 1.16 Tortuga
- 1.17 The Angles
- 1.18 Head in the Clouds
- 1.19 Black & White
- 1.20 Simple Lines
- 1.21 The Sun
- 1.22 Sprout
- 1.23 Play On
- 1.24 A Spin
- 1.25 Gradient
- 1.26 Clean
- 1.27 Bold
- 1.28 Slayed
- 1.29 The Dots
- 1.30 The Kiss
- 2 Keep Scrolling for Even More Minimalist Tattoo Ideas!
- 3 Pups
- 4 Aries
- 5 One Line, Two Faces
- 6 Circled
- 7 Don’t Let Go
- 8 Cute Cat
- 9 Torso
- 10 Sail Away
- 11 Peace
- 12 Garden
- 13 A Touch of Color
- 14 A Doll
- 15 RBG
- 16 Form
- 17 Don’t Cry
- 18 Bun
- 19 Bird
- 20 A Mood
- 21 Monstera
- 22 Daffodil
- 23 A Treat
- 24 Floating
- 25 Leaf
- 26 The Pale Man?
- 27 Figs
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