Spine tattoos stretch the length of the back, forming dramatic designs that intrigue and surprise. Spine tattoos for women are much more popular than with men and this means you will find some truly remarkable designs that are as beautiful as they are inspired. For this placement, designs that are long and vertical will work best. For this reason, you will encounter many tattoos with elongated subject matter like snakes, swords, and even phrases.
We wanted to get a better idea of the trends with spine tattoos these days so we turned to social media to find the latest and greatest designs that people are getting inked on their backs. The most common spine tattoo is a phrase that stretches down the spine. So, if you’re considering a quote or saying for your tattoo, you will be in good company. Scroll through the spine tattoos below to get a better understanding of the possibilities and limitations of these sorts of designs.
Discover the Best Ideas for Spine Tattoos Below.
Violet flowers look fantastic centered on the spine. We find these florals accompanied by the message, “forever giving.” As we mentioned, text is very popular with this placement and you just might want something similar.
“Life doesn’t allow you to be weak,” this spine tattoo says in a beautiful font. This type of design is the most popular among spine tattoos and we saw it again and again while researching this piece. If you want something unique, we advise that you go with something different.
Big and Floral
Florals will always be a go-to for spine tattoos and tattoos in general. You can’t deny their beauty and they celebrate our natural world which is ideal. If you think you might want flowers, consider something similar. We’ll share a few more examples with you as this list goes on.
Small and Slithery
Snakes are wildly popular designs among spine tattoos. Of course, their long and narrow shape mimics the natural shape of the spine so it should come as no surprise that they make the most of this placement.
Red ink is always a great idea as it looks much more evocative than black ink for most skin tones. Here’s another floral example, a spider lily, that makes a huge impact. Bravo!
Ornamental designs with semi-abstract shapes are also a huge draw for spine tattoos. Work with a tattoo artist who has a point of view and you could walk away with something equally as stunning.
Spine on Spine
Spine-on-spine tattoos are mildly popular today and we encountered them on women as much as men. They make for very dramatic designs and present a sort of twisted beauty that appeals to many folks.
Ornamental Spine Snake
Here’s another example of a snake spine tattoo. This one has been tattooed with botanical elements inside the body of the snake. Shapes like this one that stretch all the way up the spine are going to be your friend for this placement.
Similar to snake spine tattoos, dragon tattoos make very good use of the space. If you’re not married to the use of black ink, we highly encourage you to consider red. Doesn’t it just pop?
Here’s a very cool Asian-inspired charm that sports blue ink. Your favorite color will make your tattoo even more meaningful and special. Don’t be afraid to give it shot.
Florals work splendidly for spine tattoos and we think colorful ink is a great idea as well. Most spine tattoos are done in black and grey so it would be refreshing if you went full-color for your own design.
That’s not to say that black ink does not have its virtues. It’s simple, elegant, and impactful. For these butterflies, we’re treated to come classic shading techniques that offer texture and visual interest.
In this very fine, delicate tattoo we find the phases of the moon mixed with some symbols and ornamental elements. It’s so balanced and sophisticated. You can get there too by working with a tattoo artist you trust.
As with the previous spine tattoo, this one also boasts extremely fine lines that are sharp yet delicate. There’s so much detail in this particular design that it can mesmerize you for a few minutes while you get lost in it.
If you’re interested in going a different route, think of abstract designs that will make the most of the placement. This vaguely tribal-inspired design works extremely well because it’s been applied with a steady hand with clean lines that stretch up the distance of the back.
Here’s an abstract one that seems to be inspired by the spinal column. Even if that’s not the case, it’s a very interesting design that works well.
Pretty and Purple
If you’re not trying for photorealism, you can always go 2D and understated with the design. It pays off as you can see in this purple tattoo.
A flower that seems to grow up the spine is going to be a winner. This person chose peony flowers and it proves a romantic and attractive choice.
Swords are very popular among spine tattoos due to their long, straight shape. You could go with a simple sword or build it out for a bigger piece with florals as this person has chosen to do.
“The centipede design represents safety and longevity,” the artist who shared this image writes. “The sun and moon designs represent life.” Celebrate your heritage for an even more meaningful design.
This was an interesting choice that we think could be done slightly differently for a brilliant tattoo. We think the shading on the faces is a bit overkill, but if it speaks to you, go for it.
A line of planets down the spine is a mildly popular option for spine tattoos. We feel you and your artist can really riff on this idea for a tattoo that’s very special.
The only goose tattoo we encountered happens to be one of our favorite tattoos on this list. There’s just so much movement and life in this design that makes it stand out among the other nature-inspired designs.
One Long Line
Simplicity is bliss and this singular line that ends in a simple, ornamental lotus shape really delivers. It’s mysterious yet straightforward in a truly refreshing way.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Cool Back of the Neck Tattoos That Make a Statement
We all express ourselves in different ways and if you want a giant centipede down your spine, by all means, live your life. It clearly is the right shape for this placement even if it does creep us out a bit.
Any natural element that is long and rather straight is going to look great down your spine. This column of leaves tapers as it goes up which proves for a winning overall shape.
Here’s another one of the abstract spine tattoos that we really loved. Hundreds of little marks that look almost organic prove to be an amazing idea. There’s so much texture and visual interest in this understated design.
Watercolor tattoos are wildly popular these days. Hallmarks of the effect include “splatters” and
pigments that seem to pool and flow. If you’d like a tattoo that imitates another art form, you should definitely consider this trendy application.
Okay! Tattoos are all about self-expression and we can say with confidence that this is a bold way to do so. We love this design because it was unlike any others we saw. Think outside of the box for something equally as bold.
The phoenix has been a symbol of rebirth and endurance ever since the Ancient Greeks began creating myths around it. We find the watercolor effect employed again for this tattoo that make a big impression in purple and red.
This is more of a backpiece than a spine tattoo but it was so well-done we felt we had to share it with you. Take a look at all of those tiny dots that have been used to create ghostly shapes. What a dream!
Here is one of the smaller spine tattoos that still takes advantage of the body’s natural shape. We find a dragonfly with some decorative elements that reads clean and meditative.
Again, you don’t have to get a huge design for your spine tattoos. In fact, smaller designs like this one are just as gorgeous. We love this semi-abstract square that contains a branch and a red dot. It is so sophisticated in its simplicity.
How good were these spine tattoos? We hope you found some ink inspiration for your next spine tattoo. As you’ve seen, there are a variety of ways to go about a tattoo down your back and you should always go with your gut when considering what sorts of design are going to work best for your own personal style. Happy tattooing!
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
- 1 Discover the Best Ideas for Spine Tattoos Below.
- 1.1 Forever Giving
- 1.2 On Life
- 1.3 Big and Floral
- 1.4 Small and Slithery
- 1.5 Spider Lily
- 1.6 Ornamental
- 1.7 Spine on Spine
- 1.8 Ornamental Spine Snake
- 1.9 Red Dragon
- 1.10 Charmed
- 1.11 Roses
- 1.12 Black Butterflies
- 1.13 Phases
- 1.14 Fine Lines
- 1.15 Abstract
- 1.16 Something Different
- 1.17 Pretty and Purple
- 1.18 Peony Power
- 1.19 Sword
- 1.20 Kalinga-Inspired Talisman
- 1.21 Surreal Faces
- 1.22 Cosmic
- 1.23 Good Goose
- 1.24 One Long Line
- 1.25 Creepy-Crawly
- 1.26 Growing Strong
- 1.27 Markings
- 1.28 Teal Flower
- 1.29 Redefining Goth
- 1.30 Phoenix
- 1.31 Remember
- 1.32 Dragonfly
- 1.33 Minimalism
Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.