Line tattoos amaze thanks to their simplicity. Basically every tattoo is made of lines, but there are those that aren’t clothed in pretty colors and shading. This category comprises armband tattoos, heartbeat tattoos and a few couple tattoos. In addition, you’ll also see abstract tattoo designs or drawings made of one cursive line.
Visually speaking, line tattoos represent minimalism. However, their symbolism and personal meaning reach high odds. You’ll see that most of them are about mourning, suffering or about how fragile life is. Not many such tattoos are positive or referring to happiness. Even so, you’ll also gaze at cute animal outlines and abstract ideas that are purely aesthetic.
Since most tattoos consisting of lines are small, the pain factor isn’t an issue. Those who get tattooed will feel e slight discomfort. The tattoo artist will use thin needles in order to obtain the desired result, so your skin will sting a little, but that will be all. Things are different in case of armband tattoos. Those might hurt more because there’s a lot of filling to be done.
The following 80+ tattoo designs will definitely arouse your interest and they might inspire you as well! Some of them look meaningless and there’s no way for us to know if they really are. So, it could be fun to assume what their significance might be on your way to finding a perfect fit!
1. Forearm as fingerboard
I’m no expert in musical instruments, but this tattoo looks like a fingerboard from a guitar or a bass-guitar. Inking such long and straight lines isn’t an easy job!
2. A multidimensional and abstract bow
An upper back tattoo, this one looks line a styled and multidimensional bow. It consists of 15 lines that meet in a common point.
3. Armband tattoos placed on forearm
Line tattoos are often armband tattoos. They replace the physical armband with a permanent mark. The purpose of armbands is to show that you’ve lost someone dear and you are mourning.
4. A pretty and minimalist shell
The outline of a shell is a very feminine and discreet tattoo. It could be related to the fact that shells may be filled with pearls. Is there a woman who doesn’t like pearls?
5. The outline of a cute bear
Situated on the opposite side of realistic tattoos, line tattoos are so simple that they only involve outlines. When they are used right, a few simple lines can create genius silhouettes.
6. A tattoo for a hometown
This wrist tattoo could mean that this person’s heart is beating for a certain city. A hometown or not, it has conquered his or her heart permanently!
7. Straight and skew lines
These straight and skew lines look fabulous in a very interesting way. They don’t make me think of anything in particular, but my mind is curious because it’s not something you don’t see everywhere.
8. In the memory of a lost pet
Armbands don’t have to be singular in case of one person’s loss or thick either. Each individual can personalize this symbol so that it also fits his or her physiognomy and maybe other existing tattoos.
9. Four thin lines on forearm
Forearms are common body parts for line tattoos. Few people choose to get them inked on their ankles, but that’s a used spot as well.
10. Dotwork on thick line
Pointillism has grown in popularity lately and it is often merged with other tattooing styles. In this case, it is incorporated in a thick, black line positioned along the spine of a woman. A nape of the neck tattoo, it is definitely intriguing.
11. A ring for the pinky finger
Decorating your little finger with a tattooed line could be an inspired idea if you particularly like accessories and you think you won’t get bored of it.
12. A line becomes a circle
Circles are all about cycles, while lines aren’t. However, when you turn a line into a circle, your perspective may change drastically.
13. A discreet bracelet for your wrist
Just like some women prefer permanent makeup because they’re always ready to go out, some women prefer permanent accessories because of the same reason.
14. A combo of armbands
Regardless of their number or thickness, armbands mean the same thing. Even so, some might just get one inked because they like how it looks.
15. The preciousness of life
Love for someone or the preciousness of life may be expressed and displayed on the wrist. This two-lines tattoo is an alternative to simple heartbeat tattoos because it also comprises the shape of a heart.
16. EKG tattoo on finger
A one-line tattoo inked in green, this one is a typical EKG tattoo. This is how human heartbeats are represented on medical equipment.
17. Bar-code tattoo on neck
This type of tattoo was very popular during year 2000. However, it isn’t anymore. A perfect example of line tattoos, this one may refer to consumerism or that everyone has a price.
18. Crazy love on forearm
“L’amour fou” comes from French and it means crazy love. Together with the heartbeat symbol, it could be a tattoo meant to show love for a special someone or a bff or a family member.
19. Heartbeat for family members
Showing love through a tattoo isn’t something that everyone would do. It is special, personal and highly emotional. This ribs tattoo consists in one single, cursive line that takes the shape of a heartbeat and forms two female outlines.
20. Circuit as a tree
A multiple line tattoo, this one connects circuits with nature. It combines technology with nature. Considering it’s located on the spine, it might hurt considerably.
21. Dragon-fly like a bow
In case of this tattoo, we’re dealing with curved and straight lines too. It isn’t quite representative for minimalism, but it doesn’t really fit in any other category either. It is graceful and feminine if you ask me.
22. Faith, hope and love
Heartbeat tattoos are sometimes accompanied by writings. Lettering tattoos go well mixed with line tattoos, don’t you think?
23. Six same-sized armbands
I can’t deny the visual effect of these armbands. Could they be meaningless and just ornamental? I guess that would be better than a symbol of commemoration.
24. Showing love for a kitty
Heartbeat tattoos play the same role as heart tattoos. In this case, incorporating the outline of a kitty means love for said kitty.
25. Thin armbands for commemoration
Dealing with loss by tattooing yourself might actually work. Since there are so many people doing it, it might be something you can try as well!
26. Armbands made of dots
Dotwork or pointillism is a tattooing technique used for shading and partial filling. It creates a less dense effect that doesn’t divide the tattooed surface as harsh as lines do.
27. Modern Aztec armband
When they aren’t fully black, symbolizing mourning, armbands may be tribal, Aztec and so on. This one has a certain Aztec air added to it, but in a modern version with fewer details.
28. A golden W armband
Sign of royalty, a superhero or something else, this W armband is not typical because it is golden.
29. Decorative bracelet with spirals
Line tattoos contain curved lines besides the straight ones and when they do, they result in beautiful, decorative bracelets for both men and women.
30. Pointy waves of black and white
Armbands can be worn symbolically or aesthetically. In this example, you can see an abstract design consisting of curved lines and black filling.
31. Geometry tattoo for math lovers
Geometry and sacred geometry are topics for tattoos. They were always popular, but these days they became even more popular.
32. Arrows from the Native American culture
Unlike other arrows you’ll see in this list, these ones aren’t minimalist, but featuring a look taken from the Native American culture.
33. A simple, black armband
Located on the upper arm, this simple armband is more special because of its diverse location. Most individuals get it inked on their forearms.
34. Ornamental hand line tattoos
Despite all the meanings of the three dots that you will find all over the Internet, I don’t think they have anything to do with this tattoo. Most of them refer to three dots placed in the shape of a triangle, so this is definitely not the case.
35. Long rectangles are masculine
As far as symbolism goes, this tattoo doesn’t have an obvious meaning. It is made of two black rectangles locate on a man’s back. I think they look very masculine and go well with his other tattoos.
36. A different type of pet portrait
Man and dog are supposed to be best friends, so getting a tattoo of a dog makes total sense. What’s interesting about this portrait is the way it was build, using outlines only.
37. A green-eyed kitty cat
Smart use of thick and thin lines results in outstanding outlines of animals, humans and objects too. Adding a splash of color doesn’t hurt either. It contributes to this kitty’s personality and individuality.
38. Geometric pattern in red and blue
Line tattoos are easy to achieve in black and also in dense colors like red and blue. They are implicit parts of geometry tattoos, so that’s why this combination is so striking!
39. Thin bracelets as reminders
Chic or not? Even if these two bracelets aren’t reminders or totems, they look quite nice. She is also wearing two real, black bracelets so maybe they’re something she likes.
40. A sensual approach of kissing
In order to express sensuality there’s no need for more than a few lines. This thigh tattoo is out of the ordinary not because of its design, but because of the design’s simplicity.
41. Native American symbols
Not really arrows, these three arrowheads pointing down don’t have a certain meaning. In general, arrows mean power, flight, strength, direction and so on.
42. Three line tattoos as armbands
Not a new design, this one is important because it speaks of variety. There are multiple ways you can combine armband tattoos.
43. Minimalism at its best
The wrist is a narrow body part, so imagine how tiny this tattoo is if it is placed on one side of the wrist.
44. Two arrows pointing down
If these two arrows were pointing away from each other, than they would’ve been symbols for war. In this case they are pointing in the same direction.
45. Fighting for life
As soon as life starts, we have to fight for it and nurture ourselves. Life involves a lot of fighting and I don’t mean this in the literal way.
46. A simplistic diamond tattoo
Simple and extravagant girls like diamonds, but not every girl likes tattoos.
47. A symphony of lines for the upper back
The way these curves lines spread all over this man’s upper back and arm looks so fabulous that it makes me think of an unseen symphony of lines that are gold for our eyes rather than our ears.
48. A combo of mathematical signs
These signs can’t be incomplete triangles, can they? I think they are mathematical signs that look surprisingly good as tattoos.
49. Life can only go forward
The heartbeat combined with the arrow sign means that life can only go forward. An inner arm tattoo, this one must’ve hurt since the skin is really sensitive in that area.
50. Heart beating for family
A nice and meaningful way to express your love for your family would be to get a tattoo like this one. It incorporates the outline of a heart, the heartbeat itself, the word family and an initial I think.
51. Heartbeat sign on heart
What better place to get the heartbeat sign inked than above your physical heart?
52. The symbol of friendship
These two crossed arrows are the symbol of friendship. As you can see, the lines are not perfect, but the emphasis is on the meaning.
53. One heartbeat for the wrist
Besides fitting nicely on the wrist, heartbeat tattoos make sense there because that’s where you can feel a person’s heartbeat easily.
54. Thin lines across the forearm
For a man’s forearm, these are thin lines. They are parallel and have the same length.
55. Armband doubled by thin red line
Besides having a thick, black armband tattooed on his or her forearm, this person chose to get another red armband that is disrupted by a red dot. This could have different meanings.
56. Inked rings for couples
If you are certain that you share a long lasting love with someone, then you can opt for wedding rings inked on your fingers rather than wear conventional rings.
57. Anchor made of a single line
A few tattoo artists are specialized in creating minimalist art with the help of a single line. Line tattoos like this one are often one of a kind.
58. The illusion of a pyramid
Is it just me or this tattoo looks like a pyramid? Of course this is not a conventional pyramid, but it appears to be one if you look at it from the right angle.
59. Heartbeat on inner arm
The inner arm is a very sensitive area to get inked on. Line tattoos tend to hurt even more because the tattoo artist uses few needles.
60. A combo of armbands creating art
These five armbands are strategically placed in order to look good. I doubt anyone would get an armband for every person he or she loses. This is art.
61. A different kind of flower
Lines can’t create realism alone, so this is a different kind of flower that finishes by fading away.
62. Two armbands on a thigh
These are thigh-bands to be specific. The thigh is not a common place for this tattoo design. However, it looks interesting, doesn’t it?
63. An armband for masculinity
When armbands are as thick as this one and they are placed on a man’s forearm, they contribute to his masculine look.
64. Closed and open circles
An armband is basically a circle, so here are two complete ones and a disrupted one.
65. Constellation or abstract design
Constellations are usually tattooed with the help of dots, but this design looks like a constellation. It could be just an abstract tattoo idea though.
66. A symmetrical design made one lines and dots
What it looks like a Native American tattoo design, is actually a symmetrical drawing made of lines and dots.
67. What a triangle becomes
If you look closely, you’ll see that this tattoo starts with a triangle and then it becomes an irregular geometrical shape. Isn’t that fascinating?
68. Tiny finger heartbeat
Getting a tiny tattoo on your finger involves little to no commitment and it means so much!
69. Another armbands tattoo idea
There are numerous ways you can combine thin and thick armbands in order to look appealing.
70. Bracelet with a bow
This is no doubt a sort of bracelet that has decorative purposes. I can tell because of the tiny bow.
71. Geometrical design across the spine
Nature itself can be explained through geometry, so getting a tattoo across the spine with trippy geometrical shapes is a great idea!
72. A triangle that doesn’t end
Made of three thin lines, this triangle is open to expansion.
73. Irregularities in lining
I have no idea what that shape is supposed to be, but we should congratulate this guy for making us wonder!
74. The cutest penguin ever
Another one-line masterpiece, this is the cutest penguin ever!
75. Fresh heartbeat tattoo
Red and sore skin indicates that a tattoo is fresh. I bet this person was so excited that he or she couldn’t wait any longer before taking a picture of it. I’d do the same!
76. Thin and thick perfectionism
It’s said about circles that they represent perfection because they are perfectly round. Maybe people who get them inked are also perfectionists.
77. An adorable doggy outline
This looks like a small-sized doggy, such as a pug. It is adorable and has personality too!
78. An armband with a forest design
Now this is a dreamy design, right? How meticulous could one be to tattoo something this nice? Impressive!
79. A delicate poppy flower
Placed on the ankle, this delicate poppy flower is so fragile that it blends with this person’s skin.
80. A lovely rabbit grayed out
This rabbit isn’t in its natural position and it is grayed out, which I’m sure it is a style choice. It involves a little more than just lines.
81. The sweetest bird tattoo
Birds are generally sweet, but baby birds are just irresistible!
82. An elephant portrait made of lines
Part of the less-realistic tattoo category, this elephant portrait could turn any fan of hyper-realism to minimalism in no time!
83. A simplified whale design
Line tattoos have the power to bring out the nicest and cutest features in animals! Placed just above the hand, this animal tattoo has the same value as any other, more complex drawing.
84. This too shall pass
The heartbeat design is versatile enough to include writing. If you take a moment, you notice that it says “This too shall pass”. This can be considered a motivational tattoo.
85. Line tattoos as wedding rings
Married or not, couples can get tattoos like these. Instead of wearing a real ring, you can commit to wedding ring tattoos that are more intense and include the feeling of complicity and also a lot of trust.
86. Arrow tattoos on man and woman
She is a pacifist and he is not. I can tell because they way his arrows are placed means war. I like how she picked different designs for the arrowheads.
87. Finger decorations made of lines
If you particularly like to wear jewelry on your fingers, you’ll find that finger tattoos can save you a lot of trouble and accompany you everywhere you go. Not to mention that they can actually signify something profound.
88. Red, blue and in between
Let us wonder what the red line, the dotted line and the blue line means. The “&” sign is not a mystery though. They are obviously connected, but not in any way I can think of right now. Do you want people to be intrigued by your tattoos? Then pick a design that is tricky to interpret and have fun explaining what it’s really about if they dare to ask!