Neck Tattoos: Designs & Meanings!

An abstract neck and back tattoo

Neck tattoos are extremely popular right now, especially among girls. But don’t let that fool you – tattoos on the neck are not only for girls! The neck is a popular placement for all who love to ink.

What makes neck tattoos so popular? And what are the best styles to get inked on the neck?

Read on to find out!

Are you a girl who loves ink? Check out 70+ Tattoos for Girls – From Hand to Back Tattoos, We’ve Got Them All! and find your next tattoo!

Neck Tattoo Meaning

Neck tattoos are one of the most versatile placements for tattoos. Whether you’re a woman or a man, the neck is a great place to get inked because you have so many different styles and designs to choose from!

You can get a minimal or small neck tattoo, such as this simple Game of Thrones-inspired tattoo on the side of the neck:

A side of the neck tattoo of the direwolf, the sigil of House Stark on the show Game of Thrones
The pack survives!

or something more detailed, such as this neck and back piece:

An ornamental neck and back tattoo with mandala patterns
Mandalas represent unity and harmony

Neck tattoos can also be bold and loud, like this very cool chest and neck tattoo:

Blackwork neck and chest tattoo featuring a skull, a woman's face, and a stairway leading to a burning candle

or small enough to hide, such as this minimalist Wally tattoo that hides under your hair!

A new school tattoo of Wally, also called Waldo, on the side of the neck hidden under the hair
Where’s Wally?

While placements for a tattoo no longer hold specific meaning, since tattoos are now more a form of self-expression than a social or cultural symbol, tattoo placements do still hold meaning for some people.

Neck tattoos are thought to be an interesting and bold choice for two reasons – they are quite visible unless one gets a very minimal piece or has long hair that can hide it, and they tend to be quite painful to get.

The neck, especially the throat, is also often associated with communication.

So for some people, neck tattoos are a symbol of being open to new people and experiences, and might possibly even imply the person likes to take risks!

If you’re someone that likes to share who they are with the world and are not afraid of what people might think about you, the neck is a great place to get a tattoo!

Neck Tattoos: Designs and Meanings

Time to look at some designs! What’s your style?

Are you more of a minimalist or do you like making a bold statement? Are you looking for something delicate to place on the back of your neck, or maybe you prefer something more hardcore?

Or perhaps you’re not sure yet? Check out these amazing neck tattoos and get inspired!

Ready to get inked? Head on over to and book your appointment today!

Small Neck Tattoos

Small neck tattoos can be placed on any part of the neck, but they work exceptionally well behind the ear or on the side of the neck.

A minimalist silhouette tattoo of the characters from Peter Pan behind the ear
Peter Pan neck tattoo
A linework tattoo of a skull on the side of the neck
Skulls can represent both life and death
A watercolour tattoo of a fish behind the ear
Fishes symbolize clarity, rebirth, and serenity
A minimalist tattoo of a paw on the side of the neck
Paw print neck tattoo
A minimalist blackwork tattoo of three dragons on the side of the neck
Dragons represent balance, wisdom, protection, and raw power

Small tattoos also look great on the back of the neck, especially if you want to add more details to the piece!

Dotwork elephant on the back of the neck
Minimalist linework and origami tattoo of paper cranes on the back of the neck
Paper cranes are a symbol of hope and healing

Want to know more about animal tattoo meanings? Check out Animal Tattoos and their Meanings!

If it’s dragons you’re after, head on over to Dragon Tattoos and their Meanings for more!

Script Neck Tattoos

Script tattoos look stunning when placed on the neck. While the space to fit in a whole script might be limited, you can choose some powerful words and say a lot with only a few words!

A minimalist script tattoo that reads 'Be Brave' on the side of the neck
“Be Brave”
A script tattoo that reads 'patience' on the side of the neck
A script tattoo that reads 'be happy' on the neck
“Be happy”

You could also choose to get your name as a script neck tattoo – but be sure to consult your artist so you can pick a font that works beautifully with your name!

Looking for more minimalist inspiration? Visit Aliens Tattoo Studio: The Essence of Minimalism

Large Neck Tattoos

Large neck tattoos need a larger canvas, so they work well on the lower neck, whether on the back or the front.

A blackwork tattoo of birds flying from the shoulder up to the neck
Black birds represent being free of worry

These tattoos can be combined with back or chest tattoos to create some really extensive pieces!

An ornamental neck and back tattoo with a henna design
Each henna pattern is unique, which makes henna tattoos special to their wearers
A blackwork neck and chest tattoo of a spider weaving its web
Spiders represent dedication, skill, and mastery

Not sure what size tattoo to get? Check out our handy guide at The Jhaiho Tattoo Sizing Guide!

You can also get quite abstract with larger neck tattoos!

A 3D illusion tattoo on the neck and chest
3D illusion neck tattoo
An abstract neck and back tattoo
Abstract neck and back tattoo
An extensive blackwork abstract neck and back tattoo
Abstract neck and back tattoo
A blackwork neck and chest pendant tattoo
Pendant neck tattoo

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And there you have it! A tiny bit of tattoo inspiration to help you decide on what to get tattooed on your neck!

Know what you want? Head on over to and book your tattoo appointment today!

Be sure to follow us on Instagram to see what others are getting inked!


Looking for more inspiration? Check out our other posts:


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