Home » 30 Coolest Neck Tattoos Design and Ideas For Men & Women

30 Coolest Neck Tattoos Design and Ideas For Men & Women

The truth is out! Neck tattoos are no longer associated with gang culture. Today, the popularity is due to the powerful, bold, and masculine symbolism. However, you can’t hide your neck tattoo because it would get too uncomfortable to cover the whole expanse of your neck. So those that are the rebellious, bold type of enthusiasts will decide to showcase this permanent body art.

Specific body placements are more painful to tattoo than others; the neck is one of the most painful. That’s because there’s thin skin there. In this article, you’ll find trending, super cool neck tattoos for men and women. The artist/source is mentioned beneath each image, so you can explore more work by the artists.

Without further ado, here they are:

Neck Tattoos

#1. Floral + Geometric Skull Neck Tattoo

Floral + Geometric Skull Neck Tattoo
Source: @mm33tattooservice via Instagram

Skull tattoos are trendy now and always have been in the past. They’ve been on every tattoo lover’s radar because of the associated meanings: “death” and “being unafraid of death.” The above piece leaves onlookers in awe as they appreciate how elegant and artsy the placement and details are. There’s the use of multiple techniques at play, all of which make this a unique composition. You can see the skull depicted within triangles and amidst intricate flowers. The entire design is inked in black and grey, yet it looks vibrant and beautiful.

#2. Colorful Wolf Tattoo on Neck

Colorful Wolf Tattoo on Neck
Source: @chris_arroyo_tattoo via Instagram

The talented artist exudes years of experience by inking the above neck tattoo design. The use of vibrant, subtle, and bold colors alike has been accomplished with great care and perfection. The tattoo effect is ferocious, like the main element — the wolf. It’s the classic example of how just one side of the neck — top to bottom — can be inked for a splendid overall effect.

#3. Black Neck Tattoo

Black Neck Tattoo
Source: @vold_blaxk via Instagram

Once again, the side of the neck takes the cake. More than 50% of neck tattoos use this technique. This way you have a neck tattoo that isn’t too dense, painful, nor expensive.

A smaller, more subtle design like the above makes for the perfect first tattoo on the neck. The design is artsy and a visual delight. It’s a moth or butterfly representing transformation and change. That’s one heck of positive meaning associated with your tattoo.

#4. Tatak Neck Tattoo

Tatak Neck Tattoo
Source: @tatabyayla via Instagram

Tatak tattoos are a Filipino tribal art form. The use of tattoo machines may not be necessary for this free-handed style of tattooing. Above, you can see how aesthetically mesmerizing such a tribal art form is, especially inked around the entire neck. The art form is an ornamental, jewelry type of depiction. It can look great on both women and men. Typically inked in black or grey, this style has enormous popularity these days.

#5. Full Neck Tattoo

Full Neck Tattoo
Source: @kati_777_ via Instagram

A full neck tattoo wraps around your entire neck’s surface area. It can have a consistent pattern or multiple elements making up a composition— as depicted above. A cross is inked in the center of the neck in the above tattoo, almost like a necklace. The effect is fantastic! If you’re a man or woman that wants their ink to stick out in the crowd, a full-neck tattoo is your best bet. Of course, there’s no way in heck you’d be able to cover it completely, so you should ensure it’s what you want.

#6. Anarchist Symbol Neck Tattoo

Anarchist Symbol Neck Tattoo
Source: @carlton_customs via Instagram

Bam! Above, the anarchist symbol is right on the throat! Since the letter “o” stands for order, the “sign” taken in its entirety means “anarchy is order.” This symbol isn’t represented for everyone unless you love the philosophy behind it, the design, and the boldness of having it. Why? Anarchy is a philosophy or political belief that advocates the absence of authority, resulting in a state of chaos and disorder.

#7. Frontal-Neck Tattoo

Frontal-Neck Tattoo
Source: @tattoo.sal via Instagram

Are you looking for an eye-catcher tattoo? One that’s always visible to others? Well, if you want it to be on the neck, select the neck-front for the most significant visual impact. But where there’s gain, it is more often than not followed by pain. That said, the throat is one of the most painful spots to tattoo. The reason: there’s a dense, bony region with several nerve endings here, and the skin that covers it is super thin. By the way, the above is an anatomical sacred heart design.

#8. Rooster Tattoo on Neck

Rooster Tattoo on Neck
Source: @norbert.tattoos via Instagram

If you’ve been brought up in a village, you’d recall the rooster that woke you up before the alarm clock rang. A rooster tattoo on the side of your neck can symbolize that or think of it as a good omen (luck) as per Korean culture. Roosters fight to the very end, which is a mind-blowing quality.

#9. Subtle Neck Tattoo

Subtle Neck Tattoo
Source: @momomlynarska via Instagram

Some neck tattoo designs are meant to look beautiful. They don’t have to be bold, rebellious, or in your face. The neck, especially for women, is a show area for jewelry and beauty. Thus, having a neck tattoo here that is subtle, elegant, and feminine can look rather sexy. In the above image, the neck tattoo extends to the bottom surface of the chin. This adds to the uniqueness of this tattoo manifold.

#10. Jesus Christ Neck Tattoo

Jesus Christ Neck Tattoo
Source: @mikemoney909 via Instagram

The above Jesus piece inked on the side of the neck is in a realistic technique using black and grey shading style. It proves to the world your firm belief in Jesus. The neck tattoo implies the ink won’t ever be covered; you’re in it for good. You want the world to know the message of God. This tattoo is deep-rooted in your belief system and the strength you get from your religion.

#11. Year Tattooed On Neck

Year Tattooed On Neck
Source: @societiesnightmare via Instagram

A year significant in your life can be tattooed wonderfully, vertically on the side of your neck. The rear position of your neck (behind the ear) is an excellent placement for this. To make it more interesting, you can play along with different fonts until you select one that looks clear, bold, and visually appealing from a distance. Alternatively, you can decide to get the year tattooed in a small size if you wish. 

#12. Calligraphy Neck Tattoo

Calligraphy Neck Tattoo
Source: @afnn.inks via Instagram

Cursive calligraphy neck tattoos such as the one shown above look astonishing. You can choose your name or the name of a loved one for this purpose. These tattoos make for an excellent idea if this is your very first neck tattoo. Not much space is required, and it could be done where it shows less apparently. The side of the neck, beneath the ear, is a beautiful location.

#13. Rose Tattoo on Neck

Rose Tattoo on Neck
Source: @theofficalzacharyjames via Instagram

Who says Roses aren’t masculine! Well, they are feminine, too. But if you’re a muscle man with a macho-looking neck, the rose can be the ideal tattoo there. But, on the other hand, it shows you’re loving, romantic, caring, and have the strength of acceptance. In the above case, there’s a skull inked nearby the rose. So, there’s a balance there that looks astonishing!

Also Read: 30 Traditional Rose Tattoo Design Ideas

#14. Handpoked Neck Tattoo

Handpoked Neck Tattoo
Source: @laburnumtattoo via Instagram

Don’t you love the world of hand-poked tattoo designs? They are fantastic, unique, and take less time to do. They are also cheaper than the more dense machine tattoos. In addition, the neck is a painful area to tattoo. Thus, a small hand-poked design can be the ideal choice. In the above image, you can see the woman’s neck inked with one such technique. It’s simple, minimalistic, and symmetrical. Overall it looks impressive and incredibly eye-catching.

#15. Spider Design Neck Tattoo

Spider Design Neck Tattoo
Source: @thebrianpayne via Instagram

Nothing is cooler than the above spiderweb and spider tattoo on the neck. The creepy crawler is gigantic and drawn to a high magnitude of detailing. Moreover, the wearer has decided to look complete by getting the entire neck circumference tattooed. It shows the passion for spiders. Spider tattoos represent fertility, freedom, harmony, and balance. Furthermore, we all know spiders for their ability to create beautiful, intricate webs to catch their food.

#16. Lotus Tattoo on Neck

Lotus Tattoo on Neck
Source: @d.generate via Instagram

Lotus design tattoos have taken the world by storm. They’re flowers that emerge out of the most trying and filthy conditions to bloom to be the most beautiful creations of nature. The symbolism is incredible. It shows that we, as individuals, too, can emerge out of the most humble situations into anything we aspire to become. For this reason, this Asian flower has found a loving fanbase all across the world, especially among tattoo enthusiasts. The neck tattoo above looks breathtaking (no pun intended!). 

#17. Sad Lady Clown Neck Tattoo

Sad Lady Clown Neck Tattoo
Source: @bennymactattoos via Instagram

I love this tattoo for its beautiful association with inner reality. Each of us may pretend our best to be happy, smiling, and jovial. But many times, deep inside, we, too, are full of sadness. Life is just that. There is happiness, sadness, and all the other emotions along that spectrum. Such tattoos are ideally placed where they’re most visible. You are spreading awareness of the facts of life, how to move on, and how to regulate your emotions. Thus, the neck, a visible placement, is perfect for this choice.

#18. Jaguar Tattoo on Neck

Jaguar Tattoo on Neck
Source: @jakehodsontattoo via Instagram

Jaguar tattoos can be inked in many different sizes or styles. Among those, the black and grey realistic depiction is always in high demand. The above image shows a Jaguar tattoo on the neck side, inked using black and grey dot work technique. The primary meanings associated with Jaguar tattoos are inner strength, speed, humility, patience, power, and confidence.

#19. Dotwork Neck Mandala Tattoo

Dotwork Neck Mandala Tattoo
Source: @gordontattooer via Instagram

A mandala is an excellent idea for a neck tattoo associated with eternity. However, the meaning of a mandala design is not set in stone. Although in Buddhist culture, these designs do relate to the balance of body and mind. On the whole, each mandala design is all about aesthetic appeal, symmetry, perfection, and balance. A mandala is a geometric compilation of symbols commonly aligned within a circle.

#20. Owl Tattoo on Neck

Owl Tattoo on Neck
Source: @neckandthroat_tattoos via Instagram

Men and women both love owl tattoos. It’s the symbolism of this bird having a binocular vision that gets tattoo lovers hooked to it. An owl tattoo symbolizes what an owl symbolizes: a light shining through the darkest of times. The owl bird also represents hope and vision. Its large round head and upright stance are some standout features of this night creature. No wonder we’re all digging these designs.

#21. Dot Tattoo Lotus

Dot Tattoo Lotus
Source: @aleviuvanegra via Instagram

The above lotus in dot work looks like it came straight out of the digital printing press. But in actuality, it’s the work of a superior tattoo artist with an incredibly stable hand. The tattoo is small, subtle, and pretty. Unlike with larger neck tattoos, this one can be hidden with a collared shirt when needed.

#22. Ornamental Mandala Neck Tattoo

Ornamental Mandala Neck Tattoo
Source: @erod.tattoo via Instagram

Mandala art can never be underestimated, especially when it comes to the world of tattoos. Women primarily prefer this style as it radiates in a circular pattern and looks particularly lovely on curved body parts like the neck. However, the most significant benefit of having this design inked on your body is that the meaning isn’t set in stone.

#23. Butterfly Trail Neck Tattoo

Butterfly Trail Neck Tattoo
Source: @vizual.ink via Instagram

A butterfly trail tattoo represents freedom, faith, and transformation. Moreover, we all love butterflies for their beautiful variety, colors, and positive connotations. However, butterflies in grey ink are preferred for the neck because they look more subtle than colored ones.

#24. Fern Tattoo on Neck

Fern Tattoo on Neck
Source: @takeme2atlantis via Instagram

Want something that signifies your youthful side? Your new life chapter? What about a fern tattoo! This tattoo is also associated with great endurance. It looks perfectly inked along the side of your neck. Of course, the pain will be excruciating during the tattoo process, but the outcome is fantastic!

#25. Patterned Neck Tattoo

Patterned Neck Tattoo
Source: @redlipsandinkdrips via Instagram

Unique patterns look even more amazing inked on your neck. The effect of this style is beautified multifold when on either side of the patterned designs is bare skin. It brings out the tattoo. Pattern tattoos of various types have been growing in popularity. There are those with simple lines and others with complex designs. Also, patterns are super cool visually. Some of them can be dizzying, like the one above. The above tattoo also gives a futuristic look, which is a trending concept.

#26. Black and Red Skull Tattoo on Neck

Black and Red Skull Tattoo on Neck
Source: @terrancelessard via Instagram

A skull tattoo represents that death is inevitable and that you should live life to the fullest. To have a more vivid skull tattoo, you can ask your tattooist to incorporate color in it. For example, in the above image, the skull tattooed on the neck has red ink that abstracts nicely with the black and grey shading technique.

#27. Simple Neck Tattoo

Simple Neck Tattoo
Source: @doinktattoos via Instagram

There’s immeasurable beauty in simplicity. The neck tattoo shown above showcases that theory perfectly. Simple, hand-poked elements inked vertically along the neck side make for a beautiful idea.

#28. Red Rose Tattoo on Neck Side

Red Rose Tattoo on Neck Side
Source: @aurum_inks via Instagram

Tattoo artists find it challenging to ink neck tattoos. The neck area is a sensitive area that causes immense pain to the wearer during the tattoo process. In addition, a design like the large rose above requires an extended tattoo session due to the solid red color filling work. That means pain is unavoidable. But wearers that have the determination will go through the paint for the kind of results, which more than compensate for it.

#29. Heart Tattoo on Neck

Heart Tattoo on Neck
Source: @mat.blak via Instagram

Watch out! Your throat is about to get a heart! But that’s the beautiful thing about tattoos; you can express anything by making it displayed permanently. The above piece has intricate detailing, floral elements, and the perfect blend of dark and light to give you a visual masterpiece you can be proud of.

#30. Black Dragon Tattoo on Neck

Black Dragon Tattoo on Neck
Source: @tripp.tattoo via Instagram

Dragons are legendary creatures associated with the meanings: strength, intelligence, and grace. Black dragons, in particular, are associated with experience and wisdom. The dragon above is enveloping the guy’s neck and extending to the collarbone and upper chest. This is a masculine design if inked to that coverage effect. However, women, too, are passionate about getting dragon tattoos on their bodies.


Q1. How painful are neck tattoos?

Ans. The straightforward answer is “very.” Furthermore, they are also very challenging to tattoo. The reason for this is the vast number of nerve endings and the thin skin of the neck. As a result, the needle will feel quite close to the nerve endings. Also, the vibration can give you a headache. Finally, the awkward position of the neck can mean you’ll have to position your neck according to the tattoo artist’s requirements, which can cause strain and discomfort. The only quick and relatively pain-free way out is getting a small, simple neck tattoo instead of a dense, complex one.

Q2. Are neck tattoos risky to get?

Ans. Once again, there is a straightforward answer; it’s “Yes.” But that’s in a relative sense. Neck tattoos are more painful and riskier than most other body placement tattoos. They can be dangerous if not inked by a professional. The throat area and the proximity of the tattoo needle don’t go together as the safest combination. Hence, your artist needs to be very careful, and you should be aware of the safety measures before getting the ink. Further, the neck is seldom fully covered; hence, there is high exposure to the sun. Thus, dangerous UV ray exposure is another consideration that requires care and attention.

Q3. What does a neck tattoo symbolize?

Ans. If you’re opting for a neck tattoo, it speaks volumes about your boldness and risk-taking abilities. Those traits in themselves are a form of the symbolism of neck tattoos. Neck tattoos are visible at all times. This proves your confidence in what you believe in. The design you decide to get inked on your neck front, back, or side, will be available for the world to see, which is owing to your undying confidence!

Q4. Do neck tattoos look trashy?

Ans. A lot of people may think of them as trashy. Unfortunately, these same people are the ones that may not offer a job to a person having a prominent neck tattoo. Therefore, before jumping the gun to get one, you should consider the clash with your professional aspirations. That said if you are about to get a neck tattoo, ensure it’s done to perfection by an experienced artist. A neck tattoo, much like any other tattoo, can look fabulous and certainly not trashy if done well.


Whether it’s a beautiful dot work mandala, an intimidating dragon, or a sharp red rose, the neck can be the perfect showcase for your desired symbolism. But your neck tattoo is highly visible and exposed, so you should do the needful to ensure adequate aftercare.

The amount of visibility also means high exposure to the sun. However, you can keep your neck tattoo vibrant for longer using the best sunscreen for tattoos as a remedy.

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!