“Go Big or Go Home” can apply to a lot of things, including tattoos, but it doesn’t always have to. In recent years, small, simple and, dare we say, subtle tattoos have become increasingly popular. Fine lines, detail work, and simple designs are hallmarks of small tattoos and can be just as attention grabbing as big ones.
There are many reasons for men to opt for a cool small tattoo. If it’s your first tattoo, a small design is a good way to test the waters. They’re also easy to fit almost anywhere on your body—wrist, hand, chest, arm, leg, you name it. They work especially well in an area with more negative space (and leave plenty of room for more later). But the coolest thing about small tattoos is that they’re more of a whisper than a scream—when people see them, they notice, but they can also be hidden easily if you want. If you want to go the small route, look for an artist that does a lot of small tattoos (some artists actually specialize in them). Like any design, choose an artist whose work vibes with the idea you have. And as for that idea, this list of the coolest small tattoo designs for men will help you get inspired.
Small doesn’t have to mean simple. Fine detailed pictures, like of a pet, are fitting tributes no matter what size.
Line drawings of anything make perfect small tattoos for men, and we especially love unexpected things like dinosaurs.
Trees look especially great when done in a fine, detailed style fitting for small tattoos.
Traditional style tattoos look great scaled down to a small size, like this tiny ship.
Small tattoos can go anywhere, even your chest, and simple shapes look cool no matter where you put them.
Portraits make great tattoos, but tiny, details ones look especially cool because they’re less common.
Anything can become a tattoo, even a beloved car.
Meaningful dates or numbers make perfect small tattoos because they’re simple and can go anywhere.
Trees of all kinds fit perfectly on your wrist or leg especially if they’re small.
Eyes might be the window to your soul, but they also make great small tattoos.
It doesn’t get much smaller and simpler than a single letter.
Skulls are iconic tattoo designs and look especially cool in a small, traditional style like this one.
You can’t go wrong with a classic rose or flower, and when it’s scaled down, it takes on a new look.
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