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25+ Most Popular Men's Back Tattoo Designs - 2023

Vanessa Pereira

Updated At  09 Feb 23


Do you need inspiration for a tattoo you’re planning to get? or Are you considering your back as a canvas for a tattoo design?

In that case, you’ve come to the right place; read on to take a look at the top men’s back tattoo designs we’ve got in store for you.

Firstly, have you considered the size of your design?

You must be wondering why does the size of a tattoo matter or if it impacts your design in the first place. The size of the tattoo not only impacts your design but also affects the price.


Size of the tattoo

It is impossible to capture a pattern with many details in a small tattoo, as the design may not turn out as the style intended, and last minute you would have to either comprise the look or the size. So, think about your back tattoo design, which will still look great even within the sizes below: 

  • A very small or tiny tattoo is one that fits under 2 inches
  • A small tattoo design ranges from 2 to 4 inches
  • A medium tattoo design varies between 4 to 6 inches
  • A large tattoo design is around 6 inches and more


Price of the tattoo

When it comes to price, artists usually charge an hourly rate or base their charges on the size that is a cost per square inch. If your decision is price bound, opt for a smaller tattoo or multiple sittings to complete a larger back tattoo design.


Now, let’s move on and get your inspiration kick started for the best back tattoo designs.


Top 25 Men Back Tattoo Designs


The back is the ideal canvas for tattoos as it is the smoothest and flattest area of the body. It is the perfect canvas to work with as one can incorporate a small or a large tattoo design or opt for a detailed and intricate design. A back tattoo design can easily be concealed with a shirt depending on one’s work environment or shown off when shirtless while enjoying the sun at the beach or relaxing by the poolside.


Explore the two categories that men's back tattoo designs are classified under:

1. Placement of the tattoo design on the back 

2. Type of back tatto0 design or pattern 


1. Upper Back Tattoos

Usually, an upper back tattoo causes a low to moderate amount of pain, as the skin there is thick with a few nerve endings. However, the shoulder blades are comparatively painful, and the pain may increase if the needle hits the bone at any point.  

Check out our guide to find the best tattoo designs for women as we cover all the trending ideas trending this year.


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2. Spine Tattoos

A spine tattoo may look bold and make a good statement piece. But you may need to brace yourself for the amount of pain you will experience, as tattooing the spine is very painful. Hence, be ready for an uncomfortable tattoo session. 

Do check out our guide to find the best back tattoos for girls as we list stunning designs and ideas for inspiration.


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3. Lower Back Tattoos

A lower back tattoo causes a low to moderate amount of pain. 

If you are looking for new tattoo designs, you may check out our guide on valknut tattoo as we explain its history, origin, meaning of the tattoo along with placement positions on the body and its significance.


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4. Full Back Tattoos

It’s better to get your whole back tattooed in smaller sittings, as getting a larger portion tattooed in one session may increase the level of pain experienced. If the spine area is a pain concern for you, check with your artist if it is possible to ink around the spine to avoid the same for a more comfortable process. 

Check out our guide to find the best thigh tattoos for women as we cover 50+ stunning ideas for your inspiration.


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5. Religious Tattoos

Religious tattoos show one’s devotion to the faith. These tattoos can vary in size and design and are great ideas for men’s back tattoos as the wearer has a choice of an upper back tattoo or a pattern covering the whole back. The designs can be a symbol, a sign that reflects one’s faith, a religious text, a religious figure, or a combination of it all to tell a story that is close to your heart. This can also be a good luck tattoo for a few as well.


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6. Tribal Tattoos

There are variations of tribal tattoo designs available, and it may vary from culture to culture. Tribal tattoos generally indicate the heritage and achievements of a person.

In recent times, when people refer to tribal tattoos, they mostly mean abstract patterns and bold designs of black lines, whereas other times it holds value spiritually and culturally.

Hence, if you’re considering a tribal tattoo for reasons associated with tradition and bloodline, continue your research and find one that expresses your feelings and connection to the culture or heritage. And if your decision for this pattern is mainly for aesthetic reasons, opt for something that is more abstract as it won’t hurt anyone’s feelings and can still look pleasing as a back tattoo design. 

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7. Profession Tattoo

Some best back tattoos are related to the passion for one’s work, whether it is something to represent one’s time in the Army or Police Force or a design that represents the love for your profession. 



8. Wing Tattoos

Wing tattoos can vary in size, and the designs can extend from the upper back to the arms, or a detailed pattern covering most of the back. These designs are a common upper back tattoo for men. It represents freedom or breaking free from the shackles of whatever holds them back. Spiritually it represents the passing of a loved one or the faith in one’s religion. However, the meaning may differ based on the elements the wings are combined with, color, and to which creature or being the wings belong.    



9. Wolf Tattoo

A wolf lives in packs, which symbolizes allegiance, loyalty, strength, and family. It is common for siblings, best friends, or even father and sons to get similar or matching wolf tattoo designs. 



10. Lion Tattoo

A lion tattoo symbolizes courage, personal strength, and power. It generally represents the bravery of the person and signifies the overcoming of a challenge or hardship. It can also be a design used to denote the zodiac sign of a person.



11. Owl Tattoo

An owl tattoo represents mystery, magic, wisdom, intelligence, and good judgment. An owl is known for its sharp vision and observation skills. If you possess similar skills or relate to its characteristics, then this is the design for you.



12. Dragon Tattoo

Dragon tattoos hold both good and bad meanings to the pattern, based on size, design, and color. This design generally represents power, passion, rage, courage, or wisdom.  



13. Zodiac Tattoos 

There are 12 different star signs, and each has its unique meaning and significance to a person. Hence, if you believe in zodiac signs and their values hold meaning to you, you can opt for a minimalist design and choose the symbol of your star sign or a design that symbolizes your zodiac sign.



14. Portrait Tattoo

These tattoos are unique and are a perfect idea for men’s back tattoos due to the large canvas available for an artist to work it. This kind of tattoo design denotes the love and admiration the bearer has in regards to the person. Portrait tattoos can be of loved ones, mentors, celebrities, or even fiction. 



15. Skull Tattoos

If you are looking to make a bold, rebellious statement, this art style will do just that. This pattern can vary in size, color, design, and meaning based on other elements included in the tattoo. A skull tattoo generally symbolizes overcoming death and other obstacles. But, it also reflects the strength and power of the wearer.  



16. Geometric Tattoo

A geometric tattoo has been gaining popularity lately due to its precise and detailed shapes and patterns that create a specific design. These are ideal as spine tattoos for men.   



17. Sports Tattoo

Use this tattoo design to show love for the sports your crazy about or the team and player you support.



18. Cartoon Tattoo

These tattoo designs can be in color or black and are a way to capture and preserve that childhood memory associated with the character.  



19. Nautical Tattoos

Nautical tattoos hold different meanings based on the design but, in recent times, symbols like the nautical star or the compass represent guidance and good luck. 



20. Nature tattoos

There is no doubt that nature tattoos look beautiful, but they are much more in meaning than just an elaborate design. Choose a symbol that best represents you; it can be the mountains or forests, ocean or waves, birds, or trees.



21. Music Tattoo

Music tattoos include musical notes, instruments, or lyrics of a favorite song, which denotes the love and passion one has for music.



22. 3d Tattoo

As most of the tattoos are 2-dimensional, 3D tattoos add a more realistic feel and are unique and eye-catching. 



23. Quote or Text Tattoo

It can represent the name of some dear to you, an important date, or a quote you live by; any of these text designs can signify something essential and meaningful in your life. The pattern can either be placed as a design by itself or hidden within another tattoo design. This art style is best as an upper back tattoo for men or as a spine tattoo for men.   



24. Symbol­­ Tattoo

A symbol tattoo maybe a minimal design. But, it represents a valuable meaning behind each pattern. It also maintains a sense of mystery as the message is not out there in the clear. 



25. Other Designs & Elements 

Don’t worry if none of these categories have sparked a liking; you can consider a back tattoo design that inspires you. You can even choose something that you are passionate about like cars, fitness, your profession, or anything else that sparks an interest; that would suit well as a lower back tattoo for men. You can get the artist to personalize a design to suit your interest and passion. 



Ensure you choose an experienced artist when it comes to your design as it is a lifetime commitment, and opt for something meaningful or a design that represents you. 




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