50+ Amazing Skull Tattoo Designs You Will Definitely Love

By Jason Hamilton / June 8, 2018
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Skull tattoo ideas are one of the industry’s classic designs. Alongside other traditional tattoo designs out there, they have dominated the body art industry and tattoo community for numerous decades now despite its evil-looking design. But behind the horrific image a skull tattoo offers is a rich and meaningful definition for its wearer.

In this article, we will be giving you a rich and colorful gallery of skull tattoo ideas. We will be sharing with you the designs you can make with skulls and the meaning of this old but wonderful design.

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Why A Skull Tattoo?

The skull is one of man’s oldest and most powerful symbols. It has a long and varied history of use with multiple overlapping interpretations. Most commonly it is seen as a representation of death and mortality.

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Part of the visual appeal of a skull comes from the fact that it is so easily recognizable. Humans can often recognize the buried fragments of an only partially revealed cranium even when other bones may look like shards of stone. The human brain has a specific region for recognizing faces and is so attuned to finding them that it can see faces in a few dots and lines.  And, with its large eye sockets, the human skull displays a certain degree of neoteny or childlike appearance.  This same technique has been utilized by illustrators and animators for a long time because of it’s strong visual appeal.

What Does A Skull Tattoo Mean?

A skull tattoo could mean a lot of things for different people. Oftentimes, tattoo artists and tattoo enthusiast have differing interpretations for a skull. Here are some of the definitions of a skull in the tattoo industry:

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  • To invoke fear or caution.
  • To celebrate the memory of the dead.
  • To celebrate life.
  • As a symbol of vanity.
  • As a symbol of life after death.
  • As a symbol of change.
  • As a means of obtaining good luck or avoiding bad luck.
  • As a symbol of toughness, machismo, courage, bravery or indifference to death and danger.
  • As a symbol of nonconformity, free-thinking, and rebelliousness.
  • For cute appeal and fashion.
  • As pure decoration.

Skull Tattoo Designs Out There

There are a lot of designs for skull tattoos out there. From the traditional skull tattoo to the newer watercolor skull tattoo, the skull tattoo has continuously morphed itself to fit with the times.

Here are some of the skull tattoo designs we saw on the internet that really captured our attention:

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Traditional Skull Tattoo

This tattoo design has got to be one of the oldest designs out there. Traditional skull tattoos have gained prominence when biker gangs in the US started using it as a symbol of their gang.

Here are some of the traditional skull tattoos we think would be perfect for you:

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1. A sleeve tattoo of a traditional skull tattoo design.

2. A side tattoo of a traditional skull tattoo design with artsy blue embellishments.

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3. A leg tattoo of a traditional skull tattoo design with red flowers and leaves.

4. Another leg tattoo of a traditional skull tattoo design with a gold tooth and a cowbow hat and bandana.

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5. A colored leg tattoo of a traditional skull tattoo design with a Tudor headpiece.

6. A colorful full back tattoo of a traditional skull with a woman holding a scythe.

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7. A traditional skull tattoo on the leg.

8. A traditional skull tattoo inked on the arm with a comic like appearance.

9. A colored traditional skull tattoo on the ankles with a deformed skull and red insides.

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Neo-traditional Skull Tattoo

Neo-traditional skull tattoos are relatively new as they are just a few years older than watercolor skull tattoos. This specific tattoo design features a traditional skull tattoo but incorporates neo-traditional tattoo design elements for an updated visual look.

Here are some of the tattoo designs we saw on the internet that will definitely stir up your curiosity:

1. A neotraditional skull tattoo inked on the leg.

2. A neotraditional skull tattoo on the leg with a traditional Native American headpiece.

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3. A colorful neotraditional skull tattoo on a theme with the skulls at Coco, Disney’s 2018 film.

4. A vibrant and colorful neotraditional skull tattoo with red and maroon detailing.

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5. A very colorful neotraditional skull tattoo with fire as an additional embellishment.

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6. A neotraditional skull tattoo with a purple pirate hat and a banner beneath.

7. A neotraditional skull tattoo with fire coming out of its eyes.

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8. A neotraditional skull tattoo on the leg with a butterfly.

9. A colorful and vibrant neotraditional skull tattoo with a a traditional skull.

10. A red neotraditional skull tattoo on the leg.

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Tribal Skull Tattoo

Tribal Skull tattoos are one of the older classic designs out there alongside the traditional skull tattoo. This specific tattoo design almost always incorporates the traditional skull tattoo but with additional tribal tattoo design elements.

Here are some of the tribal skull tattoo we saw that would be perfect for you:

1. A traditional skull tattoo on the leg with tribal tattoo design elements.

2. A beautifully crafted tribal skull tattoo on the sleeve.

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3. An intricately designed sleeve tattoo of a tribal skull tattoo design.

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4. A leg tattoo of a tribal skull tattoo design with the skull itself containing the tribal detailing.

5. A leg tattoo of a traditional skull tattoo with tribal tattoo design elements to improve its visual impact.

6. A chest tattoo of a skull with tribal details on the skull itself.

7. A back tattoo of a traditional skull tattoo with a tribal tatoo design element as its background.

8. A tribal skull tattoo design idea wherein the tribal details form a Sun like shape.

9. An awesome tribal skull tattoo design idea.

10. Another awesome tribal skull tattoo design idea with the skull itself having the tribal detailing.

Watercolor Skull Tattoo

The watercolor skull tattoo is the newest addition to the skull tattoo design family and is the most colorful among the bunch. This tattoo design is vibrant and has this modern touch to it.

Here are some of the watercolor skull tattoo we saw on the internet:

1. A pink and purple watercolor tattoo on the arm of a skull.

2. A colorful watercolor leg tattoo of a skull with yellow as the main color and with other colors as additional detailing.

watercolor skull tattoo leg 7

3. A vibrant and colorful watercolor tattoo of a blue skull with a pink rose on the side and other colors for additional detailing.

4. A watercolor leg tattoo of a skull with various colors used as an additional embellishment to the overall tattoo design.

5. A  leg watercolor tattoo of a skull with a blue flower on top and black watercolor tattoo design elements for additional visual impact.

6. A thigh watercolor tattoo of a pink skull with the upper half of the heart as its head while being wrapped around by laurel leaves and a pink rose as a base.

7. A very colorful and vibrant watercolor tattoo of a skull on the leg.

8. A beautifully crafted arm tattoo of a skull with blue and purple flowers with watercolor tattoo design elements as an additional embellishment.

9. A large sleeve tattoo of a skull watercolor tattoo with a green butterfly and red roses as additional detail.

10. A beautifully crafted skull watercolor tattoo with various colors used as additional detailing to improve its overall visual impact.

Men And Skull Tattoo Designs

Generally speaking, this tattoo design is dominated by a male clientele. A good majority of those who get this tattoo are men because it has this masculine look to it. Male American bikers are definitely digging this tattoo design despite its age and it has indeed aged well.

Here are some skull tattoo designs inked on male skin:

1. A colorless neotraditional skull tattoo with roses and leaves.

men skull tattoo arm 1

2. A traditional skull tattoo on the arm with feathers and a rose.

men skull tattoo arm 3

3. A skull tattoo on the sleeve with an old style aviator helmet and goggles.

men skull tattoo arm 4

4. An intricately designed skull tattoo on the leg with various lines and heraldic symbols as an additional embellishment.

men skull tattoo arm 5

5. A skull tattoo on the leg with a gold crown with rubies.

men skull tattoo leg 1

Women And Skull Tattoo Designs

Women are slowly entering this tattoo design market with the introduction of neo-traditional and watercolor tattoo variants of the skull tattoo. Truth be told, these tattoo designs were made for women to also have a skull tattoo.

If you are interested, here are some skull tattoo designs that we think would be perfect on your skin:

1. A skull tattoo on the arm with the half as a skull and the other half as a red headed Marilyn Monroe.

women skull tattoo arm 1

2. An artsy back tattoo of skull with the Ankh and roses as an additional detail to the overall design of the tattoo.

women skull tattoo back 1

3. A skull tattoo on the arm with an owl as a helmet.

women skull tattoo leg 1

4. A thigh tattoo of a skull with a large red rose on the head.

women skull tattoo thigh 1

5. A thigh tattoo of a skull with the first half as a skull and the other half as a blonde Marilyn Monroe.

women skull tattoo thigh 2

Skull Tattoo Body Placement

There is no perfect body placement on tattoo designs. We think we made this pretty clear in all other articles because we believe that you have the creativity to think where to perfectly place this tattoo design. If you need an advice though, most skull tattoos we have seen are inked on the legs and sleeves area.

If these areas are not to your liking, we

Now that you have a basic grasp of skull tattoo designs, go out there and ponder for a bit if you really want this tattoo design on your skin. If you decided yes, go ahead and indulge yourself in the tattoo design.


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About the author

Jason Hamilton

Jason has been an avid fan of tattoos for over 13 years now. He is currently 35 years old, and he got his first tattoo at the age of 22. Since then, he has added over 20 tattoos to his collection. He is also into writing, which is why he decided to celebrate both of his passion and hobby through tats ‘n’ rings. Jason dreams of having his very own tattoo parlor soon. Jason would be very happy to answer any questions about tattoos that you may have! Leave a comment below and he’ll answer it for you right away!

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