Color Meanings And Symbolism In Tattoo Designs

Tattooed woman in orange dress on a peach colored background

These days, more and more men and women are getting tattoos. Tattoo symbols and designs have hidden meanings and more often than not, their colors do not really contribute to their specific meaning. That being said; the same color symbolism seen in everyday life can also be applicable to Tattoo deign symbolism. For example, a woman with a red rose tattooed on her arm usually represents a passionate personality. But, as already stated, it is the inherent design of the tattoo more than its color that carries more weightage as far as symbolic representation is concerned. So let us take a look at common Tattoo symbols and designs and what they represent:

The Anchor Tattoo (Blue or Black)

The anchor tattoo is usually black or blue in color though the user may choose any other color s/he likes. It is a Roman symbol that indicates anchored personality that does not waver no matter how stormy the sea is.

Anemone flower tattoos (Red or Orange)

The Anemone flower is generally red in color. The flower is associated with sleep and death thus the red Anemone flower tattoo symbolizes eternal life and death cycle.

Angel Tattoo (Predominantly black with little blue)

You could choose from Archangel or tiny cherubs, but all Angel Tattoos symbolize a message of Faith, guidance and protection.

Ankh Tattoo (Black and blue with 3 D representation)

The Ankh is an Egyptian symbol which represents Life. It is also used to represent fertility, while some people feel it represents sunrise and sunset. This is a powerful tattoo which is best done in darker/warmer colors.

Bird Tattoos (Blue and red)

Bird tattoos can be generally seen in cheerful and bright colors and they symbolize many things like Liberty, Grace, Beauty, Nature and even a person’s Soul. Many people choose to tattoo two birds above each breast to symbolize fertility and wisdom. Certain birds like raven and crow are entirely made in Black and these symbolize crafty and cunning nature.

Buddha (Red, Black, Dark Green etc)

Buddha tattoos can be made in any warm or neutral earthy colors. The tattoo represents meditation and detachment from self and materialistic things.The Buddha on a red Lotus flower is a popular tattoo which depicts the wearer’s search for a more meaningful life.

Butterfly Tattoo (Bright colors)

Butterflies are very feminine and are considered ideal tattoos for women. Different cultures across the world have different symbolism for butterflies. Young girls who select red or orange butterfly tattoos represent a ‘coming of age’. This symbol is ideal for tattooing on the upper back, the neck, the shoulder and the upper arm.

Zodiac Sign Tattoos (In colors of the Zodiac)

Different Zodiac signs have different colors associated with them that symbolize their nature and personality. Let us take a look at the various Zodiac signs and the colors they represent:

  • Aries- Red Ram– Represents high energy, passion and enthusiasm. You give fire away easily to others!
  • Taurus- Green Bull-Symbolic of earth energy, youth vigor and all matters close to the Green Chakra which is the heart chakra.
  • Gemini- Orange Twins– Diversity, social responsibility and inspiration- Orange twins are like a muse for the society. Orange is also the color of discovery and exploration.
  • Cancer- Violet crab- Violet color tattoos symbolize depth and the ability to go deep inside the realm of dreams. Violet is associated with the Crown Chakra- which is the supreme consciousness and connection to the Higher Power.
  • Leo-Yellow lion– What can be more symbolic of Inner Strength than a tattoo in Yellow color of a Lion. If yellow is not visible on your skin, go for a darker orange shade. This tattoo is also symbolic of courage, intelligence and humor.
  • Virgo- Blue maiden– Many people actually go for blue color Betty Paige tattoo. To those who do not know- Betty Paige is the symbolic girl next door deemed for having the most sensual figure. This tattoo is symbolic of gentility and femininity. Blue Virgo sign also indicates healing, diplomacy and the superior ability to communicate that comes with the blue Throat Chakra.
  • Libra-Green scales- Balance and justice are the two main qualities that are symbolized by this color and symbol. The Libra tattoo also facilitates growth and understanding as well as healing of the world.
  • Scorpio-Red scorpion– Traditionally, a Scorpion tattoo may be associated with gangs. The red Scorpio tattoo is however symbolic of Love and sensuality, magic and manifestation.
  • Sagittarius- Violet bow and arrow– The color of spirituality, this tattoo represents the fact that the wearer always sets sights high and has an intuitive understanding.
  • Capricorn- Indigo Goat– Symbolic meaning of this tattoo color includes an understanding and clarity that allows seeing through confusion. The indigo color is aligned with the Brow Chakra- the Third Eye which is associated with Intuition.
  • Aquarius- Water carrier-Sensitivity and high creativity are associated with this colored tattoo. You are an expansive and broad minded personality with heady insights and ideals.
  • Pisces- Blue fish- You are an emotional and highly sensitive person –you have an innate sense of perception which can help others realize their dreams and greatest potential.

Red cherry tattoo

Often linked with romantic feminism, cherry red tattoos are symbolic of playfulness and sexual allure. Cherries are also an ancient representation of fertility.

Daisy tattoo in various colors

Daisy tattoo in different colors is very popular and it symbolizes Innocence, Chastity and Childhood.

Death Demon or Devil Tattoos in dark shades

Many of these are associated with gangs. They come with exaggerated horns and features to scare people. The devil tattoo is an atheist’s symbol to show opposition to God.

Dolphin Tattoo (Blue)

Dolphins are known for their peaceful nature and higher intelligence. Some cultures worship them and consider them to be Messengers of God.

Dove tattoo (white)

Doves were released after the torrential floods in the Biblical tale of Noah and the Ark. They symbolize hope. White dove tattoos also represent a lost loved one.

Colorful Dragonfly tattoo

These are very popular among women. Like butterfly tattoo, dragonflies also symbolize free spirited animal. Get this tattoo done in red, blue, orange, green and yellow or any colors in between to inspire people.

Orange blue red Dream Catcher Tattoo

Dreamcatcher tattoos symbolize protection to the wearer.

Koi Tattoo color meanings

These colorful (usually red) tattoos are very popular. They are also elaborate and very intricate. Koi fish are considered as valuable Jewels –wise and loyal creatures-which are sold for high prices.

Red and blue Ladybug tattoo

Ladybug is a symbol of Good Fortune. These gentle creatures represent femininity. The Lady Bug’s red coat is considered as Virgin Cloak of good fortune by the priests.

Red lips

These are very popular among women and symbolize intimate contact during the sexual act. Red lips are also similar to the women’s genitalia and indicate fertility and the search for a mate.

Other than these, there are millions of tattoo designs in specific colors having very specific symbols. Naturally, we cannot cover them all here.