Home » 25 Cool Compass Tattoo Ideas and Designs

25 Cool Compass Tattoo Ideas and Designs

Have you decided on getting a tattoo inked on your body? Well then, first of all, congratulations! But have you decided on what type of tattoo you actually want to be inked on your body? Deciding what type of tattoo you want on your body is a very personal choice. And it requires them to think about the most important things to them. Most people choose tattoos based on someone they love or something they feel closely associated with. For example, if you love traveling, then a compass tattoo might be one of the tattoo designs that you could opt for.

But a compass is not just a tool for navigation. It was, in fact, used as an instrument to guide an individual spiritually. So, if you are opting for a compass tattoo, it does not only have to represent your traveler’s spirit. A compass has been used throughout human history as a tool for divination, fortune-telling, and geomancy. However, in the early 15th century, the compass came to be used as an instrument for navigation. The reason behind their use? Because they standardized the navigation system and added a measure of reasonableness. This is because the arrow is always pointing to the north.

What Does It Signify? 

What Does It Signify?

A compass tattoo can also signify independence and the wearer’s ability and desire to move out of their comfort zone.

But while it is perfectly alright for one to get a compass tattoo inked on their body, they would have to answer another question before they book an appointment with their tattoo artist. The question is, ‘what type of compass tattoo do I want?’ So yes, while it may seem like a simple enough choice to pick a compass tattoo, it is due to its huge popularity and symbolism. You will find hundreds if not thousands of compass tattoo designs available online for you to choose from. And while having options is generally good, so many options could easily confuse you as well. That’s why we have compiled this list of best compass tattoo ideas and designs in one blog for you to decide the same easily.

Bonus Read: Beautiful and Elegant Sunflower Tattoos Idea and Designs

Cool Compass Tattoo Ideas and Designs

Here are some of the most popular and cool compass tattoo ideas and designs.

#1. Watercolor Map Compass Tattoo

Suppose you are looking for a minimalist tattoo design that not only displays your travel-loving side but without only using dull black ink. In that case, Watercolor Map Compass Tattoo is the way to go for you. Compass tattoo does not have to be all black and uninteresting, and this watercolor map compass tattoo indicates that. You can overlay the compass onto a watercolor ink map and add a bit of color to your design for the compass to pop against the light color.

Watercolor Map Compass Tattoo
Source- https://nextluxury.com

#2. Squiggly Line Compass Tattoo

Another great option in the list of excellent minimalist compass tattoo options that one can go for. Squiggly Line Compass Tattoo is one of the simplest designs that one can opt for. In such a design, only the dots and directional lines of a compass are inked on the body. But that is not all, as the directional arrows have a fold overlook that only adds to the aesthetics of the design of this artistic yet minimalist compass tattoo idea.

Squiggly Line Compass Tattoo
Source- https://nextluxury.com

#3. Two Arrow Design

What is the purpose of a compass? No matter how they were used, a compass is now used as a navigational tool. It is a tool for adventurers and travelers. And if you are looking for something to resonate with that part of your personality, then why would you want to overcomplicate things when you can ink a two arrow design compass tattoo on your wrist. These two arrows indicate the four directions and give a sense of personalization by breaking down the idea of a compass to its base elements.

Two Arrow Design
Source- https://99designs.com

#4. Symbol Compass Tattoo

A compass tattoo design does not have to be one-dimensional and only has arrows to denote various directions. If you are interested, you can easily jazz up the typical design by adding a bit of personalization to the mix. You can spice up the old tested and perfected compass tattoo design with a new twist and add anything you like as the doodle. It’s only if you add small doodles next in each direction. It is an excellent compass tattoo design idea if you want to go creative.

Symbol Compass Tattoo
Source- https://www.menshairstylesnow.com

#5. Minimalist Compass With a Map Tattoo

One of the things that go with a compass is a map – they are completely in sync as there is no point in using one without the other. That is the case with compass tattoos as well. So, if you want to add something to your minimalist compass tattoo design, you could not go wrong by adding a world map at the max. In this design, the world map should be inked extremely thin and, in the background, to keep the focus on the compass tattoo.

Minimalist Compass With a Map Tattoo
Source- https://www.menshairstylesnow.com

#6. Map With a Tattoo

This is another map with a tattoo design, and this would not be the last one you would find on the list. As mentioned previously, compass tattoos can be a bit dull, and if one wants to add a little spice to them, they can add a world map and the compass. While the previous example was more for your wrist, for your shoulder, a world map inked with dark black ink and compass design would be the best combination. You only need to ensure no contrast between the world map design and the compass tattoo.

Map With a Tattoo
Source- https://www.menshairstylesnow.com

#7. Shaded Compass Map Tattoo

If you are looking for a darker compass tattoo idea on your back, then a shaded compass map tattoo would be the perfect choice for you. You can ink just below the neck for a shaded compass map tattoo, an ideal place unless you have any other tattoo inked on your back. You can use the available space for long ink arrows through each axis, and some precise linework stands out marvelously.

Shaded Compass Map Tattoo
Source- https://www.thetrendspotter.net

#8. Geometric Compass Tattoo

Suppose a world map and compass combination tattoo are not your thing. In that case, you could be interested in getting a geometric compass tattoo. However, this is an excellent tattoo idea if you are a constant traveler, always looking for a new adventure and places to travel. And the best part about it is that you can ink geometric compass tattoos on your wrist as well as on your ankles. In addition, it has space to add a destination code as well for a place that you feel particularly attached to.

Geometric Compass Tattoo
Source- https://www.thetrendspotter.net/

#9. Floral Compass Tattoo

Compass tattoo ideas do not have to be all one-dimensional, especially when there is a lot of possibility of creativity with them. And one such excellent way you can create something special for yourself is by using a floral border on your compass tattoo. This floral border symbolizes peace and nature. The best part about it is that you can use any of your favorite florals here in a floral compass tattoo. So if you opt to ink a floral compass tattoo on your body, the options are endless.

Floral Compass Tattoo
Source- https://favim.com/image/6459182/

#10. Four-Leaf Clover Compass Tattoo

No rule book says that a compass must be a round metal structure with arrows depicting the directions. So would it let you stop from getting the right tattoo inked on your body if that was the case anyway? It should not. And in your search for a unique compass tattoo design, a four-leaf clover compass tattoo could be the final destination. Why use flowers to adorn the compass when you can make it yourself. And exactly, that is what you can get with the four-leaf clover compass tattoo idea.

Four-Leaf Clover Compass Tattoo
Source- https://stylemann.com

#11. Wispy Compass Tattoo

Are you looking for some light that will blend with your skin color easily? If that is the case, you could not go wrong with the Wispy Compass Tattoo. It is the perfect blend of light and dark pink with a minimalist design. Leaving large patches of visible ink creates an airy and dainty design that adds a beautiful look to the tattoo. It is filled with diamonds and dark, crisp outlines that strike perfectly against the wispy outlines and strike the tattoo’s perfect tone.

Wispy Compass Tattoo
Source- https://tattooblend.com

#12. Geometric Floating Tattoo

Expanding on the previous point, you should ensure that the compass does not have to be round or in a fixed shape. They can be anything you want, which is exactly the case with geometric floating tattoos. Geometric floating tattoo adds to the minimalist feel that is commonplace in many compass tattoos, with a lot of sharp lines and dots in the background that mimic constellations. This tattoo also has shading on the edges, which naturally makes it feel like the tattoo is floating above the skin.

Geometric Floating Tattoo
Source- https://nextluxury.com

#13. Small but Detailed Compass Tattoo

If you are looking for a small compass tattoo design inked on your wrist, then you will find a small but detailed compass tattoo design that you could not help but love. You would be extremely impressed with the amount of detail that goes into creating this masterpiece, and you would not be the only one impressed by such a tattoo. The thick shadows add a dimensional impact coming out from another minimalist compass tattoo design. It has a delicate feel to it. 

Small but Detailed Compass Tattoo
Source- http://www.wristtattoopictures.com

#14. Air Travel Compass Tattoo

Substitute your traditional compass design with a globe at the center, and you would open yourself up to a lot of interesting possibilities when it comes to compass ideas and designs. One such design is an air travel compass tattoo. Here, you can use dots to denote different directions on the globe. You can even ink a small airplane going from east to west, leaving a trail of beautiful dots that give this whole tattoo a sense of movement. This is an excellent tattoo design if you travel a lot, especially on an airplane, and do quite a bit of international traveling.

Air Travel Compass Tattoo
Source- https://www.askideas.com

#15. Outline Only Compass Tattoo

Are you looking for a striking design that is instantly recognizable by anyone who even takes a glimpse of it? Then, it comes into the picture the beautiful outline, only a compass tattoo with a design that leaves no one guessing. The center of the tattoo can be modeled in a lot of different ways. Suppose you are looking to go somewhat ethnic in your tattoo design and symbolism. In that case, this tattoo is one you should think of. It is a simple artistic and clean tattoo design that everyone can get behind.

Outline Only Compass Tattoo
Source- https://thestyleup.com/compass-tattoos-meanings/

#16. Basic Compass Tattoo

If you are not looking for something too hi-fi or fancy in design, you can always go back to the basics in the compass tattoo design. Sometimes less is more, and that is exactly the inspiration behind going back to the basics: creating a design that is simply two lines with the directions marked on each quadrant. It is simply taking the compass design back to its root, and if you dig minimalist or practical designs, this is the one to go for.

Basic Compass Tattoo
Source- http://www.wristtattoopictures.com

#17. Colorful Traditional Compass Tattoo

Suppose basic compass tattoo design is not your thing. Instead, you are more interested in colorful combinations to express your personality. In that case, colorful traditional compass tattoo designs should be at the top of your considerations. They are heavily inspired by the idea – the more, the merrier, and it can be easily seen in their design. One will find heavy work within the design of colorful traditional compass tattoo, especially in the center, with the outermost outlines remaining clean and simple, giving the tattoo an excellent contrast and not overwhelming the tattoo design.

Colorful Traditional Compass Tattoo
Source- https://nextluxury.com

#18. Ankle Compass Tattoo

Your wrist is not the only place on your body that can have a compass tattoo inked, although it is an excellent place for the same. But if you are looking for something intimate and personal, then getting a tattoo on your ankle might be what you have been looking for. A minimalist compass tattoo design would do wonders on the ankle, with its thick outlines making it stand out from the skin. There are several compass tattoo designs you could choose from. The only trick you need to keep in mind here is to get only a small minimalist tattoo on your ankle.

Ankle Compass Tattoo
Source- https://www.askideas.com/

#19. Whale Compass Tattoo

If you are a sea lover, why not opt for a whale compass tattoo on your arm. The tattoo design is extremely simple here; besides a compass (any minimalist compass would do well here), you add a whale at the bottom. Here the whale is the focal point and not the tattoo. The whale in this tattoo design has a thicker black ink and has some shading done to emphasize that it is the focal point of the tattoo.

Whale Compass Tattoo
Source- https://www.pinterest.co.kr/pin/339036678200666379/

#20. Back of The Neck Compass Tattoo

Another area that might not have been considered is getting a compass tattoo on your neck. You can get a compass tattoo, especially on the back of your neck, which is quite a shame as it is an excellent place to get a compass tattoo. The design here is quite simple and minimalist in nature. This is an intimate tattoo, so it does not need heavy artwork to stand out.

Back of The Neck Compass Tattoo
Source- https://nextluxury.com

Also Read: 30 Coolest Neck Tattoos Design and Ideas For Men & Women

#21. Detailed Compass Tattoo

You can even add a compass tattoo on your biceps. Yes, you read that right; your biceps are an excellent place to add a compass tattoo – especially a detailed one. This tattoo design has different levels of shading and other heavy artwork done, including filling up of the arrows, which make them feel like multidimensional arrows and not simply an inked design on a tattoo.

Detailed Compass Tattoo
Source- https://www.savedtattoo.com/compass-tattoo/

#22. Overlaid Compass Tattoo

Are you searching for an excellent way to incorporate a map into the compass design? And that is, too, without pushing the compass from the center of attention of your vision? Then you could not go wrong with Overlaid compass tattoo design. In this idea, the wispy lines make it feel that the map is freshly drawn and accent the compass, and all that without overshadowing the focal part of your compass tattoo – the compass.

Overlaid Compass Tattoo
Source- fotokolekcija.blogspot.com

#23. Line Art Compass Tattoo

If you are a student of geometry or someone who loves geometric arts in general, then a line art compass tattoo might be the one for you. This tattoo design has a structured feel because it incorporates geometric designs like near-perfect lines and dots from a central point. This tattoo’s central focus is the arrow that passes through everything and has a sharp tip on the front. The arrow is darker in the shade than the surrounding details.

Line Art Compass Tattoo
Source- https://www.thetrendspotter.net

#24. Filled in Map With Compass Tattoo

The compass does not have to be the focal point in your compass and map tattoo. For example, suppose you love to travel and plan the whole world or have done it already. In that case, you can commemorate your journey or aim to do so by getting a filled-in map with a compass tattoo with a special focus on the map section and not on the compass. Going by the name, such a tattoo design would display a map. The compass is inked with a lighter shade as a part of the background. And the best part here is that you can fill each continent when you travel there. It is simply a marvelous design.

Filled in Map With Compass Tattoo
Source- https://positivefox.com

#25. Map and Compass Tattoo With a Script

What about adding a script at the end of your compass and world map tattoo? Here the continent is lightly shaded around its edges, giving it a three-dimensional feel.

Map and Compass Tattoo With a Script
Source- https://positivefox.com


If you are looking to get a compass tattoo inked on your body, you certainly have many options. Now, pick any from the above-listed compass tattoo idea and enhance your look immediately. 

About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!