There’s no denying that neck tattoos are the coolest. I mean, when was the last time you saw one done in taste that didn’t make you want to rush out to your local shop and beg them to fit you in that day? Okay, maybe we don’t all have the same obsession with risky tattoo locales, but it is infectious. So infectious in fact that by the time you’re done scrolling this list we’ll be two peas in one very small pod. Enjoy, and as usual, don’t forget to save and share your favorites!
This design gives neck tattoos a whole different meaning. While most of us dream of fancy scripts and butterflies, people are out there getting designs like this that literally put all other neck tattoos to shame.
The Creation of Adam
A popular concept made original by placement alone. Undoubtedly the most popular few feet of fresco in the world, Michelangelo’s masterpiece splashed across the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel inspires countless works of art all around the world on a daily basis.
Here we have an oldie but a goodie. When it comes to “cool” neck tattoos, it doesn’t get much better than this. Three skulls placed inside diamonds which seem to disappear into the darkness as they progress.
Creepy is cool. Cool is creepy. Notice the skull hidden in the spider’s abdomen.
An ornament on a moon
If you’re looking for a classy and elegant design, then something along the lines of this dangling ornament hanging from a crescent moon will do. This design mimics the appearance of the ear and earring which makes for a harmonious setting.
A floral pattern
Wallpaper for your neck? This floral pattern is a wonderful dose of pastel color and diverse variety, which would be right at home lining the walls of any foyer. Korean tattooist Sigak has created a number of designs similar to the one above which I highly recommend checking out.
Star tattoos come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. And in regards to detail alone, this design has to be one of the more interesting designs I’ve yet to come across. Originality, symmetry, and details that are so fine that they’re almost lost on the naked eye—what’s not to love?
From the looks of things, it wouldn’t be too off base to say that this individual has one big tattoo and this portrait is simply the portion that happens to be on the neck. How the face emerges from out of the darkness lends it a three dimensional effect.
Subtle brag, but who really cares if it’s true? Tiny little tattoos like these are super fun and easily accessible. I’ve always had a thing for scripted neck tattoos. Horizontal lines of text simply belong on the neck.
A cheshire cat
It takes a strong love for all things Alice in Wonderland to get something like this on your neck. But I’m glad that someone’s feeling Lewis Carroll’s most famous work so hard or else the world would be deprived of this beautiful work of art.
A grayscale rose
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, black and grey ink florals look awesome on men—no feminine vibes here. But I do have to admit, it’s not too often that you see any other flower besides roses on men.
An ornamental cuff
To decorate your back (and neck) in an extraordinary way, go big and bold with something so original that people will have to strongly resist the urge to copy it. You really can’t go wrong with layers upon layers of tasteful patterns.
A geometric flower
Tattoos that play off of the shape and location of the ear are popular these days. What once was relatively unheard of, has now become almost daily viewing on Instagram. If you’re unfamiliar with the work of Balazs Bercsenyi, let me just say that amazing designs like the one above are all but expected of him.
A space skull
An alien skull to be more precise. This design is cool in the way that all skulls are cool, but then when you take into account the whole extraterrestrial thing a whole new level of awesomeness gets introduced. The three-dimensional nature of the hands is really neat.
Classical art has influenced almost every artist on the planet no matter what medium they work in. Greek sculpture is instantly recognizable—and that’s pretty impressive considering that it’s been almost 3000 years since that particular period of art ended.
Little birdies are clearly having a moment right now. Whether they’re complex creations of realism or simpler designs like the one above, birds have and will always be a popular design choice among women.
A floral design
If you’ve got your mind set on a neck tattoo but not quite sure what to get, you really can’t go wrong with a beautiful bouquet of flowers—especially if you’re looking for something more feminine in nature.
A mesmerizing neck wrap
The man behind Lewis Ink is somewhat of a genius. He creates these mesmerizing works of magic that are anything but subtle and commonly occupy vast swatches of dermal real estate. His designs are almost always symmetrical and double as mazes for kids with Magic Markers.
Inal Bersekov is surprisingly good. And by surprisingly good, I mean that when you open his Instagram page, you’re instantly taken aback by how good his work is. If you’re not ready, it can be a little startling. Tattoos of eyes are always impressive when done well—if a little creepy.
A cherry blossom
Adding a little cherry blossom to your neck will instantly make you a more interesting person, and that’s a fact. This particular design inked by the much celebrated Mini Lau has been making the rounds for quite some time now so if you’ve seen it before I apologize.
A dotwork mandala flower
There’s a lot of dotwork mandala type designs on this list, which simply speaks to their popularity in general. Symmetry provides a pleasing aesthetic that makes these particular type of designs so prolific.
A mountainous moon
Mountains? A black crescent moon? Perhaps both. This inked necklace is just as decorative as any traditional necklace and you don’t even have to take it off when go through airport security.
When it comes to scripted neck tattoos, horizontal layouts are the most common. But just because something is common doesn’t mean it’s the best or only way to go about doing things. Depending on the script, a vertical orientation can be just as beautiful.
A hypnotic design
Dotwork gradients are so fun to look at—especially when they’re combined with a satisfying geometric pattern like this. Out of all of the designs on the list, this one is definitely my favorite.
There was once a time when pretty much every tattoo design represented some sort of animal or another. This owl design features what looks like another set of closed eyes toward the base of the throat.
A black and grey ink design
Here we have a gothic arched window interwoven into a semi realistic portrait of a woman who apparently has no pupils, which lend the design an eerie and creepy vibe. It would really be a shame if this fella isn’t covered in more ink of this style.
Phases of the moon
Oscar Akermo is one of those tattoo artists who can do no wrong. While most tattooists only have a truly great design every now and then, Oscar brings his vision and expertise to each and every design he creates. If you happen to be passing through Stockholm, you owe it to yourself to pay Oscar a visit.
I’m not going to lie, there’s more than a few floral neck tattoos on this list—it simply couldn’t be avoided. Pawel Indulski is another one of those artists that turns virtually everything he touches to gold. However, I have to say that this is one of his least impressive works, which says a lot because it’s still pretty good.
A stunning pattern
It’s hard to find words to describe a tattoo on this scale. I’ll just say that if you’re looking for a bold and in your face statement piece, then something along the lines of this all-encompassing radiating neck piece may be in order.
This skull has incredible dimension and depth to it which give the viewer a lot to take in. While putting this list together I came across countless examples of skull tattoos but this was by far my favorite and it’s easy to see why.
A little humor goes a long way in ink. And when combined with an elegant script like this, a truly special design emerges. I had always hoped that one day I would be lucky enough to work with Isaiah and have a little of this wonderful script forever emblazoned on my skin.
Dotwork floral designs
There are very few designs out there that speak to me. This is one of them. Mandala flowers are undeniably beautiful designs. But when they’re coupled with the visible dotwork technique, they take on an almost magical aura.
Oh look another rose. If you love these floral neck designs then you’re in luck. Because there’s plenty more on the list. If they aren’t your absolute favorite, then sit tight, because I’m sure you’ll come around by the time you’re done scrolling this list.
Peonies and roses are without a doubt the two most popular types of floral tattoos. In my opinion, peonies are quite beautiful and more desirable in almost every respect.
A train tunnel
An epic optical illusion if there ever was one, this train tunnel perspective is one of those designs that sticks with you forever. I mean seriously, how cool is this?
A bird of prey
Neck tattoos are a big commitment. But if you’re seriously considering getting one, this is probably something you are already aware of. To me, neck tattoos have always been sort of a catch 22; they’re some of the most impactful tattoo designs but they also require the most commitment.
A sketch style bird
Inez’s sketch style works make for great neck tats. This bird is a little difficult to distinguish but it’s that abstract nature that gives it its appeal. Inez Janiak is an uber talented tattooist that works solely in the sketch style of design. If you like what you see here, don’t forget to check out her full Instagram portfolio.
A textured rose
A major key to any tattoo design is ensuring you get your proportions right. As in, the size of the tattoo should coincide and compliment its surroundings. This design—as well as the one below—perfectly represents this principle.
A blue and pink rose
Sol studio is full of genius artistic minds. Literally everything that leaves that shop is of museum quality. Okay, maybe I’m a little biased but I’ve never heard anyone refer to Sol’s work as anything but top notch.
A wicked spider
For some reason spiders make for incredibly popular neck tattoos. I had to do everything I could to prevent this list from morphing into a list of spider tattoos, but I did include a few of the best examples.
A mandala flower
The more complex and intricate a mandala flower is the better. This is a beautiful example of just how beautiful these types of designs are when placed upon the neck. This design was laid around another work which makes things even more interesting.
Who says your tattoo has to be of anything in particular? These days abstract designs are all the rage. And these random painted lines are an elegant and creative way to express yourself.
A full moon
Every Korean tattoo artist has at least a few moon tattoos in his or her portfolio. I’m not sure why, but it’s a trend that swept through the peninsula with a gusto akin to that super annoying Gagnam Style song. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of whole “moon movement.”
A geometric pattern
This design is by far the most fascinating on the list. You can’t simply view this bad boy poking its head up out of its t-shirt and not wonder what else is hiding under there.
As this piece clearly illustrates, something as small as this little butterfly can have a huge impact. There’s something about a tiny neck tat that just instantly makes you a more interesting person.
A back neck tat
This is one of those designs that will give you somewhat of a celebrity status. If you’re not into attention, then steer clear of designs like these because I guarantee you that people will not be able to resist the urge to come up to you and comment on how cool your tattoo is.
A painted portrait
The way that this design hugs every contour of the subject’s neck is a breath of fresh air and a creative surprise that almost made my day. If you like this particular dark shaded style, check out Web MC’s Instagram because it’s practically all he does.
A radiating dotwork design
I know. Usually you’d be sick of a specific design after seeing it this many times. But since all of the designs on our lists are always so stunning, fortunately those feelings don’t come into play under these circumstances.
A beautiful bird
Looking for something small and elegant that goes with absolutely everything? This little birdie is all that and then some. Birds are a popular tattoo choice and of course they look amazing in this particular location.
Peonies will again be among the most popular floral designs this year. While black and grey ink peonies are always quite striking, it’s the way this design occupies only a certain portion of the neck that’s most impressive.