Should You Get a Small, Symbol Tattoo?
Symbol Tattoos. (Photo Credit: Instagram via @sue.real).


I want a symbol tattoo, but I am not sure what I’d like to have. I really like small black designs, geometric or script tattoos preferably. I also like interesting designs such as talismans and rune tattoos. I’ve also considered getting an astrological tattoo design. I want to avoid tattoo trends, but at the same time, I want something stylish. Do you have any ideas or suggestions for something a little different? Signed, Symbolic in Seattle

Dear Symbolic in Seattle,

I adore symbol tattoos as well for many reasons. Yes, they are all the “rage” on” Pinterest, but that’s certainly not why I like them. Symbol tattoos are unique because they have meaning significant and secretive to the wearer. This is why it’s actually important to avoid some of the common tattoo trends if you want something cool yet evergreen. (Otherwise, you’ll be left with an Infinity design that bears the mark of our era.) There’s nothing wrong with this if you happen to life trendy sorts of designs, but if you want something nobody else has, I suggest digging much deeper.

Your astrological suggestion is always a good one, especially if you have children who you can honor with their own zodiac tattoo. I’ve discussed Viking rune symbols in an article below. These sorts of ancient inscriptions have powerful yet discreet meanings for the wearer.

small symbol tattoos
Symbol Tattoos. (Photo Credit: Instagram via @ditcheyenne).

I also suggest looking at element tattoos such as water, fire, earth, and air. You can look at hieroglyphics for inspiration. Perhaps you are religious and might consider a tattoo symbolic of your faith? If you are of more spiritual faith, you would probably love something small such as a lotus flower or an om tattoo.

The best advice I can give you regarding your symbol tattoo is to make sure it is simple. (Unless it is going to be a larger design.) Small symbolic tattoos need to be very minimal in design. Otherwise, they will sort of form a “blob” of ink as it heals. You don’t want to cram too many small details into a minute space. If your symbol tattoo needs to be larger, then so be it. Your tattoo artist should guide you in the consideration process and help you make the best decision in regards to placement and the size of your tattoo symbol.

tattoo symbols for strength
Symbol Tattoos. (Photo Credit: Instagram via @tattooculturemag).

One last suggestion might be a jewelry-inspired tattoo design. Many women are starting to tattoo charm bracelets and ring tattoos. These small designs make the perfect alternative to the real deal, but they do come with their share of warnings. Unless you have a career where you can have a hand tattoo, you should think twice before getting marked in such a visible location. Many employers will not hire candidates with visible hand or face tattoos, so keep this in mind as you move forward selecting the perfect small symbol tattoo.

If you happen to love the idea of tattoos but don’t like commitment- no worries. A new temporary tattoo company named Flash created a line of small symbol temporary tattoos. Yes, they’re cool. They’re metallic. And they’re symbolic. (Of making a good choice.) After all, if you don’t know what to do…don’t do anything permanent.

Related: Inspiring Faith Over Fear Tattoo Designs for Men and Women

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