Heart Tattoos – Tattoo Designs, Ideas & Meaning

heart and flower tattoo

Heart and flower banner tattoo

Heart tattoos have always been depicted with the heart image that is not a true picture of any creature’s real heart.  You know the one I’m talking about.  The origins of this symbol are a subject of much debate and the truth is that it appears no one really knows for sure.  However many conjectures have been made.  Some of them are quite humorous, while others are sensible. Only one has some credible evidence.  Here we go; theories abound that the shape represents the sexual parts of the female and male bodies including breasts.  If you imagine the heart inverted or upright and let your mind play with this, you can see how these theories developed.  Breasts, buttocks, vulva, and testicles are all possibilities. There is mention of male association in Italy who used the inverted symbol as a representation of their manhood.  One other proposal is that of Swans courting, face to face, creating the heart shape, and hence the meaning of love developed.  For many thousands of years it was believed that the heart was the residing place of the mind and soul.

Types of Heart Tattoos

Black Heart Tattoos – Black heart tattoos are recognized to represent a very sad day in someone’s life. The meaning of black heart tattoos are of a personal nature. This design can be seen for reasons ranging from the loss of a friend or relative, end of a relationship, or even a memorial after a tragic event. This tattoo is a perfect way to remember someone in death. You may want to use their name under the heart, angel wings, cross or even flowers. The 9 -11 black heart tattoos are very popular as a memorial to that dark day in the history of the United States of America. There are many images to add to this black heart tattoo. A few are the Trade Center Building, American flag or an eagle.

Broken Heart Tattoos – Broken heart tattoos are seen often now days for a reminder of a lost loved one. Some may wear this tattoo for a failed relationship. As a memorial, broken heart tattoos can represent people or their pets. You can add a picture of the person or something they enjoyed in life to broken heart tattoos. For a memorial try adding your pet’s likeness or paw print to the broken heart tattoo.

Celtic Heart Tattoos – Celtic heart tattoos are a beautiful way to show strength and unity. Celtic heart tattoos usually consist of four different patterns. They are made of knots, crosses, spirals and/or step work. Most Celtic heart tattoos will have a minim of at least one of these styles in the heart.

Tribal Heart Tattoos – Tribal heart tattoos are well liked due to their great looks while displaying your personal message. As a plus to tribal heart tattoos; there are hundreds of designs for this tattoo for you to choose from. The tribal razor wire design looks very good. The razor wire design with its dark bold sharp edge look, works well with flowers, butterflies and the name of your loved one. It’s the contrast between the two designs that creates the extraordinary image.

Sacred Heart Tattoos – Sacred heart tattoos have a long history dating back to the 17th century in France. The sacred heart symbolizes love and compassion to all people. Now days there are many tattoo designs seen with sacred heart tattoos. They may have a cross, angel wings or a crown of thorns, but remember the sacred heart is dedicated to Jesus Christ. The sacred heart design is so personal that you need to talk with your tattoo artist and look at the galleries for that perfect sacred heart design for you.


small and simple heart tattoo

small and simple heart tattoo

Wings with Heart Tattoos –   Wings with heart tattoos can have many different meanings. A popular choice with this design is for the love you share with someone close to you. You may see other meanings associated with this tattoo also. Here are a few; for freedom, angels and fairies and as a memorial. Some ideas for wings with heart tattoos are; using tribal razor wire pattern for the wings or wrap the wings of your choice around the heart, this will give a comforting look. Roses are always an option here.

Lock and Heart Tattoos – Lock and heart tattoos have a great positive meaning. A person may wear lock and heart tattoos to represent their love for another, symbolizing that only that person can unlock your heart.  Sisters will wear lock and heart tattoos to share their life long bond in sisterhood. Lock and heart tattoos with a sisterhood design may incorporate items like; roses, diamonds, banners, hummingbirds or ribbons, for that special touch.  Lock and Heart tattoos are typically inked with a heart attached or linked to a lock.  This offers many design opportunities.  For instance, the type of lock that you choose and the item you select to link the lock and the heart.

Realistic Heart Tattoos – Realistic heart tattoos, while not commonly seen are becoming more prevalent.  They are full of color and are an actual representation of the real human heart.  Sometimes it is illustrated being held in a human hand.

Coloring of Heart Tattoos

All of the heart tattoos would present the best in color.  Where decisions will need to be made first, is in the genre of heart tattoos you choose.  For instance, design styles such as cartoon, fantasy, sci fi, or abstract may call for a heart of a different color. Additional items, almost always required in heart tattoos will require color as well.

Placement of Heart Tattoos

Heart tattoos are generally mid to small size and can be placed just about anywhere you want or worked into existing body art. They are very popular on the wrist, forearms, hip, and foot.  If choosing the realistic heart tattoos you will need some extra skin.  The amount of detail in this tattoo is somewhat extensive. If you’ve chosen this tattoo, you’ll want all that detail work and color to be seen.

More Heart Tattoos

Burning heart tattooheart tattooWinged Heart on shoulder

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Photo by Illusive Photography