mens back tattoo designs

51 Most Popular Men's Back Tattoo Designs - 2023

Vanessa Pereira

Updated At  15 Oct 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 51 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 



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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. 




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. 




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. You can also get these symbols as neck tattoos and it will look equally good.




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. One of the best animal tattoos, 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. 


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26. Elephant Full Back Tattoo 

An impressive and meaningful elephant back tattoo for men, showcasing the majesty and strength of this magnificent animal. The design could incorporate intricate patterns, geometric elements, or tribal motifs to create a powerful and symbolic piece of body art, representing wisdom, loyalty, and a strong connection to nature.




27. Lion Full Back Tattoo 

A striking lion's back tattoo for men symbolises courage, power, and leadership. The design could feature a regal and fierce lion, adorned with intricate patterns, tribal accents, or geometric elements, creating a visually stunning and meaningful representation of strength and dominance, while paying homage to the king of the animal kingdom.




28. Tiger Full Back Tattoo

An awe-inspiring tiger back tattoo, symbolizing strength, ferocity, and bravery. The design could showcase the majestic tiger in a dynamic pose, incorporating intricate patterns, Japanese or tribal motifs, or geometric elements. This visually stunning and meaningful body art would represent courage and a deep connection to the wild and untamed.




29. Yggdrasil Back Tattoo Ideas

A mesmerizing Yggdrasil back tattoo, inspired by Norse mythology and the World Tree. The design could feature intricate roots, branches, and intertwining patterns, symbolizing life, death, and the interconnectedness of all things. This powerful and symbolic body art would represent the cycle of existence and a connection to ancient wisdom. If you check Hawaiian tattoo designs these look stunning and can be excellent back tattoo design options as well.



Geometric Full Back Tattoo Ideas


30. Geometric Full Back Tattoo Ideas

A captivating geometric tattoo idea for men, showcasing precise lines and intricate patterns. This contemporary style blends modern aesthetics with symbolic meaning, representing strength, balance, and personal growth. The design can be tailored to individual preferences, creating a visually stunning and meaningful piece of body art.




31. Minimalist Back tattoo

A striking minimalist back tattoo, featuring clean lines and simple yet powerful symbols. This timeless style embraces elegance and subtlety, representing a sense of sophistication and refined taste. This black and white tattoo design can be personalized with meaningful elements, creating a visually impactful and meaningful piece of body art.




32. Bear Full Back Tattoo 

A bold and powerful bear back tattoo for men, showcasing the majesty and strength of this iconic animal. The design could incorporate intricate details, tribal patterns, or geometric elements, symbolizing courage, resilience, and a deep connection to nature. This visually captivating and meaningful body art exudes masculinity and determination.




33. Realism Tattoo

A stunning realism art style tattoo, meticulously crafted to portray intricate details and lifelike imagery. This technique captures the essence of the subject with unparalleled precision and depth, resulting in a striking and emotionally evocative piece of body art that brings the tattoo to life.




34. Watercolour Back Tattoo 

A breathtaking watercolour back tattoo for men, blending vivid hues and fluid brushstrokes to create a masterpiece on the skin. This artistic style infuses the design with a sense of whimsy and emotion, resulting in a visually stunning and personalized piece of body art that leaves a lasting impression. 




35. Japanese Irezumi Tattoo

An exquisite Japanese Irezumi art style tattoo, meticulously crafted with traditional techniques and cultural symbolism. This ancient art form pays homage to Japanese heritage, capturing mythical creatures, floral motifs, and powerful deities. A visually striking and meaningful body art, reflecting honour, strength, and a deep appreciation for Japanese tradition.




36. Full Back Neotraditional Tattoo 

A captivating neo-traditional art style tattoo, fusing classic elements with a modern twist. This vibrant and expressive technique features bold lines, rich colours, and imaginative designs, celebrating a wide range of subjects from nature to pop culture. A visually stunning and unique piece of body art that stands the test of time.




37. American Traditional Full Back Tattoo Ideas 

A timeless American tattoo, honours the roots of tattooing. This iconic technique features bold lines, a limited colour palette, and classic designs such as anchors, roses, and eagles. Celebrating history, patriotism, and vintage aesthetics, this body art exudes a nostalgic charm that never goes out of style.




38. Phoenix Tattoo For Men

A mesmerizing phoenix art style tattoo, capturing the mythical bird's spirit of rebirth and renewal. This intricate design showcases vibrant colours, detailed feathers, and dynamic poses, symbolizing resilience, transformation, and triumph over adversity. A visually stunning and meaningful body art that represents personal growth and overcoming challenges.




39. Angel Wings Tattoo

An ethereal angel wings art style tattoo, symbolizing protection, guidance, and spirituality. This intricate design features delicate feathers, graceful curves, and an aura of serenity. The visually striking and meaningful body art serves as a constant reminder of divine presence and the pursuit of higher virtues.




40. Celtic Tattoo 

A captivating Celtic art style tattoo, featuring intricate knots, spirals, and interwoven patterns. This ancient and mystical design pays homage to Celtic culture and spirituality, symbolizing continuity, balance, and the interconnectedness of all things. A visually stunning and culturally significant piece of body art that embodies the beauty of Celtic heritage.




41. New School Back Tattoo 

A vibrant and imaginative new school art style tattoo, bursting with bold colours, exaggerated proportions, and whimsical characters. This playful and creative technique pushes the boundaries of traditional tattooing, featuring unique and quirky designs that express individuality and a love for pop culture. A visually captivating and original piece of body art.




42. Black Work 

A striking blackwork art style tattoo, using only black ink to create bold and intricate designs. This monochromatic technique emphasizes contrast and shading, resulting in visually captivating and powerful body art. From geometric patterns to detailed illustrations, blackwork showcases a wide range of artistic expressions in a timeless and impactful manner.




43. Trash Polka Tattoo

A dynamic and edgy trash polka art style tattoo, blending realism with abstract elements and chaotic splatters. This bold and unconventional technique embraces imperfection, creating visually intense and thought-provoking body art. With its unique fusion of contrasting elements, trash polka tattoos evoke emotions and challenge traditional aesthetics, making a striking statement.




44. Maori Tribal 

A powerful Maori tribal tattoo, drawing from indigenous Polynesian culture. This intricate and symbolic technique features distinctive patterns, spirals, and geometric shapes, representing ancestry, strength, and spirituality. Each design is customized, telling a personal story and honouring the rich heritage of the Maori people. Polynesian tattoos similarly have a deep meaning and showcase the rich culture.




45. Mandala Back Tattoo 

A mesmerizing mandala art style tattoo, showcasing intricate geometric patterns that radiate from a central point. This spiritual and meditative technique embodies unity, balance, and harmony. Mandalas are a symbolic representation of the universe and serve as a calming and meaningful body art that inspires introspection and mindfulness.




46. Chinese Calligraphy

An elegant Chinese calligraphy art style tattoo, showcasing the beauty of brush strokes and poetic characters. This ancient technique conveys deep meanings and captures the essence of traditional Chinese culture. Visually graceful and culturally rich body art that celebrates language, wisdom, and the artistry of writing.




47. Gothic Tattoo

A captivating gothic art style tattoo, featuring dark and intricate designs inspired by medieval architecture and symbolism. This macabre and elegant technique embraces themes of life, death, and the supernatural, creating visually stunning and evocative body art that pays homage to the dark and romantic aesthetics of Gothic culture.




48. Graffiti Tattoo

An edgy and expressive graffiti art style tattoo, capturing the urban energy and vibrant colours of street art. This rebellious and dynamic technique showcases bold lettering, abstract designs, and pop culture references, creating visually captivating and personalized body art that celebrates individuality and the spirit of the streets.




49. Meaningful Tattoos 

A thought-provoking deep thoughts abstract art style meaningful tattoo, featuring enigmatic symbols and surreal imagery. This introspective technique invites contemplation and reflection, expressing complex emotions and philosophical concepts. A visually captivating and intellectually stimulating piece of body art that leaves a lasting impression and sparks conversations about the mysteries of life.




50. Medusa Back Tattoo 

A captivating Medusa art style tattoo, featuring intricate details and an aura of mystery. This powerful and mythical technique captures the beauty and danger of the ancient Gorgon, symbolizing feminine strength and transformation. A visually striking and symbolic body art that embodies the duality of beauty and danger.


With a wide range of impressive ideas for back tattoos for men, there is a design to suit every preference and personality. From minimalist designs that celebrate simplicity to intricate masterpieces that push the limits of creativity, we have tried to include a wide range of back tattoo ideas. Take your time and try out the perfect geometric design that reflects your personality.