Minimalism started as an art movement after WWII that focused on form over substance. Or, to be more specific, 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 new meaning. It’s become a lifestyle for some who choose a life of 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 love tattoo design and we’ve seen the tags #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 “chill tattoos” without shading, stippling, dotting, or complicated figures. Designs that feature the minimum amount of visual information to convey their ideas are the name of the game here. Here are 25 minimalist tattoos that do a lot with a little.
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.
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.
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