145+ Wonderful Back Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women

There are only a few places on the body that make tattoo artists overly excited. Your back is one of them. Your back offers a lot of space that allows the artist to really flex their creative muscles. Your back is also one of the few parts of the body that allow for intricately detailed tattoos that are simply massive in scope.

While getting back tattoos can prove to be too much of a commitment and investment for most people, both in terms of finance and time they will take, the end result of the tattoo is nothing short of spectacular. So, if you are someone who is still looking to get a good tattoo or are a veteran enthusiast who is looking for that one tattoo that is sure to complete them, here are some unique ideas for back tattoos that are sure to grab anyone’s attention.


Back Tattoo Ideas


Back tattoos are some of the best tattoos to get, other than the fact they are very detailed. If you are someone who has a more traditional job or wishes to pursue a career, a back tattoo will not interfere with your professional life. In other words, your back is possibly the best place to get a tattoo especially when you don’t want to show it off at every occasion. With that said, here are a few unique designs that will sure help you spread your creative wings.

  1. Angel Wings Tattoo

Speaking of spreading your creative wings, one of the most famous back tattoos that people get is without a doubt the angel wings tattoo. These tattoos not only make for an amazing spectacle, but they also hold great symbolic meaning for the person wearing the tattoo. Some interpretations of the wings can take a very literal meaning of flight or speed, but some can also take a very spiritual meaning and can represent one’s faith in god and can be a religious symbol.

The angel wings tattoo is simply massive and spans throughout your back and doesn’t take more space than it needs. The wings tattoo carries a very realistic style that also compliments its choice of color with white and gray.

  1. Tribal Markings

Tribal tattoos are a very common tattoo style among men and make for very impressive ink that often compliments their muscular build. Tribal marking are also one of the few tattoo styles that go very well on various parts of the body, making for very cool tattoos that connect from one part of the body to the other.

This tribal markings tattoo is especially amazing to look at seeing how it goes from the shoulders all the way to the biceps. The deep and vibrant black color compliments the edges and the markings of the tattoo. Best part about the tattoo is that it is only on the back of your shoulders and leaves the rest of your back empty.

  1. Dragonfly Tattoo

Dragonflies are some of the most beautiful insects that translate extremely well to various forms of art, especially tattoos. These tattoos are very common among women for their incredibly artsy and colorful design, as well as their symbolic meaning. Dragonflies represent freedom as well as someone who is accepting of and easily adapts to change.

Dragonfly tattoos often carry a very realistic art style or a traditional art style that makes them brim with very bright and vivid colors. Dragonfly tattoos allow for a lot of customization what style and size you want, making them the perfect tattoo for creative people.

Dream Catcher Tattoo on back

  1. Dream Catcher Tattoos

Dream catchers are part of some Native American cultures and are sometimes called sacred hoops, as they protect people from nightmares and bad dreams. Their design and their craftsmanship not only make for great decorations but also very beautiful tattoos. Dream catcher tattoos symbolize their real world use, where people use them to protect themselves from bad dreams.

Very few dream catcher tattoos take on a colorful aesthetic and instead opt for a more monochrome color scheme. Some artists, on the other hand, do tend to give the feathers of the dream catcher a splash of color to really add to the beauty of the tattoo.

tattoo on back  

  1. Phoenix Tattoo

It goes without saying that if you asked a friend that knows about tattoos what back tattoo should you get, a phoenix tattoo definitely would have made its way at least once in that conversation. Phoenix tattoos are simply too beautiful to ignore and they also hold powerful messages. Phoenix tattoos signify rebirth or a new beginning, this tattoo can also symbolize people who have been through rough times but have come out of it stronger than before.

Phoenix tattoos are also some of the easiest tattoo to get as they have appeared multiple times in various works of fiction. You can either get a replica of that, or you can get a phoenix tattoo that carries a neo-traditional, new school, or even traditional art style. Most phoenix tattoos will only be on your shoulders, so if you aren’t looking to get a full back tattoo, this might just be the thing for you.

  1. Holy Cross

Tattoos are not just a cool way of showing off your ink, but they are also great ways to show your faith and your beliefs. People who find Christianity very commonly get tattoos to show off their faith with religious tattoos, like the holy cross. Cross tattoos symbolize struggle in the name of god as well as faith in god.

Cross tattoos very commonly take on a more monochromic aesthetic, and rarely involve much color. Most cross tattoos also carry Chicano art styles or neo-traditional art styles, which make them all the more expressive without the use of any color. Some cross tattoos also make good use of blackwork, as it matches the monochromic aesthetic.

  1. Mandalas

Another very popular design among women, Mandalas are quite the common sight among women that get tattoos. Mandalas are spiritual and ritual symbols in various religions, but they also hold great symbolic meaning. Different mandala symbols represent different things like the sun, the stars, and the universe.

However, other than its symbolic meaning, mandalas are very beautiful and make for great body art. Most mandalas are black but some artists tend to give color to the mandala, which adds to the beauty of the ink. Some artists also give the mandalas water color splashes that make the ink more aesthetically pleasing.

mandala tattoo on back

  1. Day Of The Dead Skull

Day of the dead is one of the biggest festivals in the United States and features heavily colorful skulls and skeletons. Not only does the festival make for great make up but it also inspires countless people to get day of the dead tattoos that look simply stunning.

These days of the dead tattoos are incredibly versatile in that they can go on any part of the body. And one place in particular that is popular among most women is the back. The best placement of the tattoo is on the spinal cord at the upper back or the lower back. Most tattoo also feature incredibly bright and vibrant colors that fit with the festive theme.


  1. Roses

This couldn’t be a list about tattoos without mentioning roses, possibly the most famous tattoo among both men and women. Roses are a symbol of love, hope, promise, and new beginnings, making them quite the emotionally and symbolically significant tattoo.

Most rose tattoos are in a realistic art style and have very vibrant and sometimes dark colors. The most optimal placement for these roses is at the middle of the back, on the spinal cord. The placement also compliments the size of the roses, as they can be as small or as big as you want.

  1. The Clenched Fist

The clenched fist is a tattoo for the rebel in all of us. The clenched fist is a universal symbol for defiance, resistance, and unity. It is a very common symbol used in various movements to show defiance to a certain cause, so it only makes sense that this symbol be adapted to a proper tattoo.

The tattoo is often in blackwork and does not contain any color other than black, but some have also colored the fist red, which is also the color of rebellion. Other variations of this tattoo include the fist with wings, and a clenched fist with various tools and diagrams to show support for different movements.

libra scale tattoo back

  1. Libra Scale

One of the more unique tattoos that you can get is of the Libra scale. The Libra Scale is of course a zodiac sign, but the tattoo is both incredibly stylish and symbolic. The tattoo stands for justice and harmony, is sometimes also the balance that Lady Justice holds.

The Libra scale ink makes for an amazing tattoo on the back, especially when both the arms of the scale are spread across the shoulders. The back is possibly the only place on the body, other than the chest, that has enough space for the tattoo without compromising any of the detail. You can get the Libra Scale with the neo-traditional or the black work art style.

  1. Wolf Tattoos

Wolves are without a doubt some of the coolest that you can get. The sheer spectacle of a wolf tattoo and its symbolism make it the perfect combination for any tattoo enthusiast. Wolves symbolize power, loyalty, and perseverance; these qualities make them the perfect tattoo for both men and women.

Wolf tattoos very commonly take on an ultra realistic art style that makes them absolutely breathtaking to look at. The colors are up to you, as there are many portraits of wolves with both color and without color. As for placement, wolf tattoos look best when they are massive portraits at the back, seeing how they will be able to take advantage of the immense amount of space.

Tattoo Placement

Tattoo placement is a very serious thing that people have to consider when they are getting their favorite tattoo. This is mainly because sometimes where you get your tattoo can say a lot about you as a person than the tattoo itself. Popular places for tattoos like the forearms neck, and chest can give off a lot of information of what kind of person this is, which is why it is always important to take into consideration where you plan on getting your tattoo.

Even though we are currently talking about the back, there are various places on your back where you can get tattoos. From the upper back the connects to the shoulders to the lower back right beside the hips, you back has a large array of places where you can get tattoos and each place tells a different story about you.

For example, full back portraits mean that you are someone who wants to keep their traditional job but still wants to flex their creative muscles. Lower back tattoos are often a very sexy place to get a tattoo, and often reflects how you are fearless and don’t mind unnecessary attention. The upper back is a place that most people who work out get a tattoo to compliment their muscular build; if you have a tattoo there, chances are you are someone who takes fitness very seriously.

So other than choosing the right tattoo for your back, you should also choose the right place on your back that reflects who you are as a person. But other than where you want the tattoo to be, you should also ask the question “what does this tattoo mean?”

Tattoo Meanings

Tattoos are a work of art, and much like every work of art tattoos hold a deeper meaning than what the surface lets on. What makes a tattoo infinitely better is not how visually amazing it is or the amount of detail that it has, but rather the meaning behind the tattoo and what it represents.

Tattoos can hold two different meanings, one can be the tattoos symbolic meaning (What the tattoo itself represents), and the other can be its emotional significance (what it means to you). These are two very different meanings, and most people aren’t able to take both into consideration so they take one; either the symbolic meaning or the emotional one.

An incredibly descriptive and well made tattoo of a wolf might hold great symbolic meaning to you or may represent you in some way, but may have no emotional value to it. Whereas a minimalist tattoo of a bee buzzing can hold immense emotional weight for you, but may have no symbolic meaning what so ever.

So when you are looking to decide what kind tattoo you want, even if it is a simple one, you can make it infinitely better by finding the emotional or symbolic meaning behind it.


  • How Much Does Getting A Tattoo Hurt?

Everyone feels and reacts to pain differently. Everyone also have different tendencies to pain, so it is very difficult to say just how much getting a tattoo will hurt you. That said, if it’s any consolation the needles will feel ticklish at best when you’re under anesthetic. 

  • Do Back Tattoos Hurt More?

Yes they do, but not very significantly. Your back has many sensitive spots, so you may feel pain there more than any other place. 

  • How Do I Prepare For A Tattoo Session?

Take a shower before every session and wear something comfortable when you go to get a tattoo as well as something you wouldn’t mind getting blood on. Although artists are very careful not to get blood on the client’s clothes, mistakes can happen. 

  • Why Should I Be Careful When Choosing My Artist?

Other than the obvious reason that each artist’s skill varies significantly from the other, sanitary standards, equipment, experience, and price all vary from artist to artist. So choose wisely. 

  • How And How Much Do I Pay For A Tattoo?

All artists prefer to be paid with cash, but some studios will also accept your debit or credit cards. Some studios will also allow you to opt for installments of a more expensive tattoo. As for how much to pay for a tattoo, the price can vary on location, studio, and artist (even within the same studio). 

  • Do I Tip The Artist? If So, How Much?

Tipping is a good gesture and means that you are grateful for the work and effort that the artist has put in your tattoo. That said, if the artist didn’t quite meet your expectations, you can skip on the tip. You can pay your artist 10-20% of the total bill or come to terms at a pre determined amount with the artist. 

  • What Is Tattoo Etiquette And Is It Necessary For Getting A Tattoo?

Tattoo Etiquettes are basically certain mannerisms that you have to follow when getting a tattoo. There are proper lists that dictate just what you should keep in mind; and yes they are very important because an artist can refuse to give you a tattoo if you don’t comply with the etiquette.


Back tattoos offer you true luxury when it comes to number of options and designs. Since your back provides maximum amount of space for a tattoo, it is natural to go overboard with what type of tattoos you want to get. Of course, you can always get improvised and edited versions of these tattoos on your back.