I have found such a beautiful and varied collection of letter tattoos for you! From a single, minimalistic letter to exotic foreign phrases, there are tons of designs for you to choose from.
I love designing and inking all kinds of letter tattoos. This is because there is usually so much meaning behind these tattoos. I get to listen to the wonderful stories that my clients tell me as I help them commemorate important people and moments in their lives.
Not only have I found dozens of letter tattoo ideas for you, but I have also included design variations and the significance behind these designs too!
Before I show you the different letter tattoo styles that you can choose from, I do want to clarify something.
There are technically two types of letter tattoos. The first is the single letter tattoos. As the name suggests, these tattoo designs include a single letter of the alphabet. This is typically in reference to someone's name so it can also be considered an initial tattoo.
Then you have the lettering or word tattoos. This is where the tattoo design is made up of a single word or multiple words. The multiple words can be a phrase, quote, etc.
To make it easier for you to decide whether you would prefer a letter or lettering tattoo, I will have two separate sections for each tattoo type.
Here are the top single letter tattoo design ideas for you to consider:
If you are someone who wants to keep it as simple as possible with their tattoo design, then a minimalistic letter tattoo is the best option for you.
Image by @Letter N Initial Tattoo via Instagram
For this kind of simple letter tattoo design, all you have to really think about is tattoo fonts and the size of the letter. As you have just a single letter, you actually have a lot more options with fonts. This is because you don't have to worry about problems like letters sloping together or the tattoo design appearing too crowded.
Image by @tattooist_dea via Instagram
So, you can feel free to choose a bold font or go with a more flowing script. If you would like a wispier tattoo, such as for a finger tattoo, then you can make the outline as fine as possible for a beautiful letter design. In case you want to make more of a statement, then opt for a thicker outline.
Image by @wittybutton_tattoo via Instagram
Now, a lot of people will opt for uppercase letters as these letters are typically meant to represent initials. However, if you would like to do something a little different with your tattoo design, then you may want to consider a lowercase letter.
These are really cute and delicate and they also help your tattoo design to stand out as it is pretty unusual.
Image by @petite__dino via Instagram
Many of these minimalistic letter tattoo designs are done in black ink. Now, this is perfectly fine but can feel a little somber or even a little bland. So, if you want to spice up your body art a bit, then you can consider a different color.
Image by @megababeink via Instagram
Keep in mind that color can add a lot of character to your tattoo design. For instance, a light blue letter can invoke a sense of calmness. A red letter, on the other hand, can depict fire and passion. You may also want to consider your skin tone and undertone when choosing the best shade for your tattoo.
If you would like to add some decorative elements to your tattoo design, then I have to say that a heart is the perfect way to go. This is especially true if the letter is meant to denote a loved one.
Now, the cool thing about a letter tattoo design such as this is that there are so many different options to choose from!
Image by @black.pearltattooparlour via Instagram
If you want to keep things simple or go with a tiny letter, then simply add a heart at the end of the letter or as a subscript or superscript. This kind of tattoo design also works well if you would like your tattoo to have a more whimsical air.
Image by @inkwellstattoo via Instagram
In case you want the heart to garner a bit more attention, then you can have the letter inked inside of the heart or within the outline.
Image by @h.j.tattoo via Instagram
Are you someone who likes to go all out with their tattoo design? If so, you may want to get a letter inscribed inside a heart locket. Sure, this kind of tattoo is far from simple but it is beautiful and has a deep meaning.
Such a tattoo can be a wonderful way to keep a beloved someone as close to your heart as possible.
Image by @aron.g_13tattoo via Instagram
If you are a parent or a sibling, then there is a chance that you may want to get more than one initial tattoo. This may also be true if you are getting your friends' initials inked on your body.
The good news is that there are plenty of letter tattoo designs for you to choose from here.
Image by @globaltattooindia via Instagram
If you do want to keep things basic, then you can simply choose a font. You can decide to choose a single font for all the letters or you can choose unique fonts for each person. This can be a great way for you to inject some personality into your tattoo design.
Image by @ibrowjunkie via Instagram
For instance, as a symbol for someone who is the leader of your group, you can consider medieval fonts. On the other hand, for someone who is a bit more sensitive, you can choose a flowing script.
Image by @audtats via Instagram
Of course, with such body art, there is no need for you to settle for a simple tattoo. You can get a beautiful and customized tattoo design if you want. Take the above tattoo, for instance, where the letters are engraved on the face of two rings.
This can be a beautiful gesture for partners or spouses.
Image by @ajtattoopune via Instagram
Image by @thebuckarootattoo via Instagram
Image by @rai.tattooer via Instagram
Image by @thelittleroseroom via Instagram
These are some of my favorite letter tattoo design ideas. Here, you include a flower in the tattoo design.
The flower can sit atop the letter if you like or the letter can be a part of the flower stem. This is a great option for a small tattoo design.
Image by @handitrip via Instagram
Of course, you can choose a more complex floral design if you like. I love the tattoos where the letter and the flower are entangled together. These look especially nice as a hand tattoo.
Now, you may want this kind of letter design because it is pretty. However, you can also add a great deal of meaning to your letter tattoo design with the help of a flower.
Image by @noul_tattoo via Instagram
See, flowers tend to be associated with meanings. For instance, red roses are linked to passion and romantic love. Sunflowers, on the other hand, can symbolize loyalty and happiness. There is also the fact that each person's birth month has a particular flower.
Image by @wildflowers.tattoo via Instagram
So, if your tattoo design is based on someone's initial, then you may want to think about which flower represents their personality or your relationship to one another.
Image by @lynzentattoos via Instagram
Image by @1920tattoozhub via Instagram
Image by @wildflowers.tattoo via Instagram
This letter tattoo design is another great way to commemorate a loved one in your life. Adding a crown to an initial tattoo can be your way of elevating a parent, partner, or other loved one to a position of honor in your life.
Image by @vinay_dut via Instagram
It can be your way of saying that that person is the king or queen of your heart or life. You can choose to get a simple crown tattoo or to go with a more elaborate design if you like.
Image by @tamilatattoo_ via Instagram
Now for this kind of letter tattoo design, you don't have to include just one initial. It is rather common to have two initials - one for you and your partner or an initial for each parent. Under these circumstances, you can choose to have just one crown for both initials or have a crown for each one.
Image by @tattoomaki via Instagram
In case you are considering the latter tattoo design, you may want to customize the crown for each person. Perhaps add design elements that are suited to each person's style or personality. This can be a lovely way to add a personal touch to the tattoo design. Also, this tattoo shows your relationship with one another.
Image by @tattoo_club_dhruv via Instagram
Here are the top lettering tattoos for you to choose from:
When it comes to lettering tattoos, you may want to start off with a single word. Now, for this kind of tattoo design, the first thing that you need to consider is the tattoo font that you are going to use.
Image by @ink_b_nyc via Instagram
There are plenty of lettering styles to choose from and it can be a bit tricky to narrow down your options. One way to select tattoo styles can be to consider the meaning or the vibe behind a word and to choose a font that matches it.
Image by @perm_art via Instagram
For instance, for a more whimsical word like dream, a flowing script may be more appropriate. On the other hand, a word like strength or courage may work better with a block script.
Image by @karstudioakademie via Instagram
Of course, if you want to break the rules when it comes to your lettering tattoo, then you may want to choose tattoo fonts that are contrary to the words. Therefore, for something cheerful, you can choose black ink tribal designs.
Image by @axis_ink via Instagram
There are new tattoo fonts and lettering styles being created all the time. For example, you know have the blurring tattoo design. As the name suggests, this is where the word looks blurred and like it is jerking around.
Image by @melted.w0rds and sorrymomla via Instagram
While this effect is really cool, it isn't an easy tattoo design to execute. So, if you do opt for a tattoo such as this, make sure that you utilize the services of a professional tattoo artist for the best results.
Image by @ericwei_tattoo via Instagram
It is always a good idea to see what the word may look like in several different types of fonts before you settle on one. This way, you can ensure that you end up with a design that feels right for the word as well as your own sense of style.
Image by @idont_inkso via Instagram
Keep in mind that just because you are getting a word tattoo doesn't mean that you just have to stick to a script design alone. You can add other elements to the tattoo if you wish. It can be as simple as a butterfly or a flower or as complex as an intricate image.
Image by @analauradm via Instagram
If you want, the design elements or images can be related to the word tattoo or they can be completely independent of this tattoo design. The choice is up to you
Image by @angelichelltattoo via Instagram
Image by @hikaru.t.t via Instagram
I do feel like name tattoo designs do deserve a category all to themselves. This is because name tattoos can feel more meaningful than another kind of letter or lettering tattoo design.
Image by @genos_rm via Instagram
A name tattoo can feel like a declaration or symbol of love, loyalty, and even devotion to another person. It can also feel like an act of courage if you are getting your spouse or partner's name inked on you. To some, this kind of tattoo design can also be a sign of belief in your relationship.
Image by @tattoozby_jayb via Instagram
For this type of tattoo, you can choose from the many lettering styles available to you. However, if you would like a more personalized tattoo design, you can also consider getting the tattoo done in the person's handwriting!
Image by @tattooist_hei via Instagram
Now, a lot of these tattoo designs are done in black ink. And, this can be a great choice, particularly if you want a more elegant or sophisticated design for your tattoo. That being said, you don't have to go with the more traditional option.
Image by @district36_tattooparlor via Instagram
This is especially true if you are getting your child's or children's name tattooed on you. In this case, adding color can really help the tattoo to look more fun. Also, it can be a great way to inject some additional personality into the tattoo design as well.
Image by @riseinktattoo_and_nailart via Instagram
And, you don't just have to stick to one color either! From rainbow colors to a watercolor effect, there are so many different options to choose from here! So, make sure to do your research and discover all the creative and stunning designs available to you.
Image by @space.mage.art via Instagram
Another way to spice up such a tattoo can be to include other design concepts in the name. If you want a more delicate approach, then flowers and butterflies are always a good option. Crowns are a popular add-on too.
Image by @epale.tattoo via Instagram
Still, you may want to add designs that are in line with that person's interests, hobbies, goals, or personality.
Image by @ler.1990studio via Instagram
Image by @the_darkstar_tattoo7 via Instagram
Image by @craig_tattoo82 via Instagram
Phrase tattoos can refer to tattoos that contain two or more words. Now, these tattoos can consist of any words at all.
Image by @wood_minimalism via Instagram
Some people choose words that are a declaration. This can include something simple like I am loved or I am good enough. Such ideas are great if you would like to ink positive affirmations on your body or simply remind yourself of good things.
Image by @jola.tattoo via Instagram
Then there are the tattoo ideas that can consist of song lyrics or quotes from your favorite book or movie. You can even get quotes from important people as your tattoo - there really are no limits here. Of course, in the case of such tattoos, it is a good idea to double-check that the phrase that you are using is accurate.
Image by @yunlongtattoo via Instagram
There are also people who choose random statements as they can appreciate the sentiment behind them. If you want to do something rather unusual, you can make up a sentence or passage for your tattoo.
Image by @thatboyvince via Instagram
Once again, there are just so many fonts and styles to choose from for such a tattoo design. You can go with a more traditional calligraphy if you want to keep things elegant. However, if you want to make a statement or to have more standout writing, then you can get something quite different, like a graffiti tag!
Image by @matteonangeroni via Instagram
When choosing the font, you should consider the words included in the phrase. For instance, if these words have a lot of consecutive vowels, you may want to stay away from a script that flows too loosely. Otherwise, you do run the risk of the letters looking remarkably similar to one another. In such a case, the tattoo may not be easy to read.
Image by @maro.washere via Instagram
That being said, the tattoo and its words are meant just for you. So, you can choose any script that you like as long as it feels right for the statement that you want to make with your design.
Image by @ via Instagram
When it comes to longer passages, you also have to think of orientation and placement options. Naturally, if you want a long phrase tattoo in a single line, then you will need to choose somewhere like your back, spine, or just beneath your collarbones.
Image by @teapigtats via Instagram
On the other hand, if you want a more compact tattoo or want to place the tattoo on your side, near your ribs, or your upper arm, then you will need to have the phase broken up into two or more lines.
Arrange the phrase so that the flow of the sentence isn't lost along the way. This way, the phrase will sound just as meaningful as it is meant to be.
Image by @onedimpletattoo and okayspacelondon via Instagram
Image by @shan.6tattoo via Instagram
While there are a lot of letter and word tattoos in English, there are just as many that can be done in other languages. So, if you want to get foreign writing as your tattoo, then you are certainly free to.
Image by @tattoo_objet via Instagram
Now, if you are getting your tattoo in a language that you aren't fluent or very familiar with, then I will urge you to be cautious. This is because it is easy to mistranslate words, particularly if you are dealing with an alphabet or grammar structure that is quite different from what you are used to.
Image by @charles_mateus_flow via Instagram
The results of such mistranslations can range from embarrassing to downright rude and offensive. Due to this, it is a good idea to always go to a professional translator. After all, your tattoo is permanent and it is worth it to invest some money in a proper translation.
Image by @bloody.benci via Instagram
Keep in mind that even with foreign languages there are a lot of beautiful fonts and styles for you to choose from. So, if you are looking to add more design or decorative elements to your tattoo, you certainly can do this.
Image by @po.tattoo.studio via Instagram
Of course, with certain languages such as Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, etc., it may be better to rely on shading to get different patterns, in order to avoid altering the meaning of the tattoo.
Image by @digotattoo_13 via Instagram
Image by @po.tattoo.studio via Instagram
Image by @aliciatattoo via Instagram
Image by @nate_lights via Instagram
Image by @inkbykris_micro via Instagram
Image by @lto_ink via Instagram
Well, the short answer is - anywhere that you like! The great thing about a single letter tattoo design is that it can be small enough to fit anywhere. This includes your finger, behind your ear, or any other spot, really.
That being said, some people do prefer their single-letter tattoo designs to be larger and they may want to add other decorative and design elements. In this case, you may need a larger surface area for your tattoo design.
Another thing to consider with this tattoo design placement is how visible you want your tattoo to be. If you don't mind it being visible, then your neck, arms, legs, etc. are a good spot for you. If not, then you should choose a place on your body that tends to be covered by clothing.
Technically, there is no bad font for tattoos. From calligraphy to manuscripts, there are so many cursive fonts for you to choose from - and when you consider computer-generated fonts, there is an even greater selection.
The only thing that I feel that you should be mindful of is how the font will translate onto skin. After all, when inked, letters appear to be a bit more crowded and flow into one another. So, make sure that the font that you use allows your letter or word to be legible even on the skin.
Well, this all depends on the font or the script that you are choosing. If you choose something simple, then the tattoo is fairly easy to ink on the body. On the other hand, if you select something like a brushstroke tattoo design, then it is going to be far more difficult for your tattoo artist to do.
Well, there you have it - all the letter tattoo designs you could possibly hope for! With so many options available to you, you should have no trouble figuring out which concept or design is just right for you. Good luck with the selection process!