Small tattoos can be just as meaningful as large, but what if your tattoo isn’t just small but simple? There’s been a tattoo trend recently towards more abstract and minimalist designs. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re small, just that the design itself is minimal. Minimalist tattoo designs are like IKEA furniture – they’re simple, functional, and make an impact. Here are some of our favourite minimalist tattoo designs, we think would work for anyone looking for a quick tattoo fix that still makes a statement.
One of the most popular designs at the moment, sacred geometry, is based on a concept that dates back to Neolithic times, taking symbolism from a variety of religious structures and natural forms. Common ideas include the Fibbonacci spiral, the flower of life, and Agamas (stars). These tattoos are usually nothing more than linework and have a very pleasing design for any OCD sufferer.
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Arrows are a common cutesy and boho design that can still be recreated into new and unique artwork. The compass arrow, for example, compared to a linework design that includes a single line and point. The arrow is great for someone who wants a small design and isn’t sure what to commit to because it hints towards finding a “direction”.
Blackout designs are punchy, geometric and minimal in their own right, even if the tattoo itself is huge. People often black out entire sections of their body to create blocks or use blank skin amongst the black to create designs. Just because the blackout tattoo might be larger, doesn’t make the concept any less minimalist in its simplicity.
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Many minimalist designs take their inspiration from nature – the shape of a mountain range, the veins on a leaf, circles showing the planets, and even constellations. In fact, most of these can easily be made into a linework tattoo that is subtle and beautiful without the need to shade or color. The outlines of animals and dinosaurs are also popular.
Artists in Russia create designs which are an arrangement of lines over a large area of skin to create a simple, minimalist design. These are usually good for someone who doesn’t have a lot of other tattoos to interfere with the effect. It can make a stunning art piece overall.
Some people would consider this to fall under sacred geometry.
Unalome or Adinkra
This ancient language uses symbols to show the degrees of Buddhist enlightenment. There are several different Unalome designs which are made of dots and linework. These are small but also very meaningful, especially if you follow any of the teachings. Adinkra is an African version, unrelated to Buddhism, but the symbols vary in meaning and all have a simplistic design. This differs from Kanji because the designs are more pictures rather than a language.