Anchor tattoo ideas

60 Best Anchor Tattoos – Meanings, Ideas and Designs

Anchor tattoo looks truly remind us of being on the sea, and being able to have a place to call home. Seamen used to identify so much with this symbol. Seamen included sailors, navy workers, and fishermen. This was the tradition of the seafaring ways where the men used to go out to sea and the women used to tend to the home and children. The symbol of the anchor is now reminiscent of the seafaring days, a return home, a stable and nice place to call home, and a sense of grounding amidst turmoil at times. In current times, this style of tattoo is actually becoming quite loved and very popular. The meaning has now become a symbol of strength and stability. Many women are also taking up an affinity to this seafaring tattoo.

Anchor tattoo ideas

Alongside skull tattoos, rockstars and teenagers in the rock and roll scene are loving this tattoo as a symbol of being cool, in the know, and being strong. Rebellion and avoiding persecution for standing up for beliefs was another popular meaning for this tattoo historically as it was believed that the holy cross was hidden within this tattoo symbol. As a result, this anchor tattoo was worn in subtle places like the ankle and wrist in small sizes in order to affirm their beliefs despite persecution. The younger generation is also loving this tattoo as it is just a pretty looking symbol that everyone can relate to at some level. It just looks cute and fashionable as well depending on the tattoo design. Some people enjoy wearing this because of it reminding them of safety under rocky conditions. Some example cool tattoo design options you can get include:

The Back Piece Anchor Symbol

This is a large anchor tattoo with dark shades, rope, and flowers coming off of it. This tattoo is large and it covers most of the person’s back. This is a strong association with the symbol that the person wearing this tattoo style has.

Twin Anchor Symbol

These tattoos are lookalike tattoos that are placed on either side of the legs or arms. They are quite big, and include intertwining ropes around the anchors to add design and style.

Feminine Tattoo

This tattoo is well designed for any female that would like to have a symbol of an anchor tattoo that is sweet looking. It has an intertwining rope like the other tattoos, but it has the colours of blue ivy and pink roses also intertwining around the anchor symbol.

3D Effect

This tattoo is great because it gives a 3D effect and shadowing to it, as if there was a small metal anchor sitting on top of the skin. It gives a visual perceptual effect that just looks quite cool!

Coloured Tattoo With Heart

This tattoo is an anchor that has multiple colours on its design. The rope is also a different colour, and a bright pink heart rests atop the centre of the tattoo.

Overall, anchor tattoo designs have had increasing popularity in the past few years for the rock generation, for young people wanting a bit of a fashion statement, and for traditional people who remember the seafaring days. There are so many different styles to choose from. Enjoy researching the many types of styles out there!

1. Basic Anchor


This is a basic anchor tattoo. It works great for individuals who want to get a very discreet tattoo, which doesn’t stand out in any way. This design is also great as a first tattoo. In this way you can get familiar with the whole experience.

2. Sharp Anchor

Sharp Anchor Tattoo

The shadows contained by this anchor tattoo idea make it remarkable. Though it is not a complex tattoo design, it manages to impress due to its aesthetic combination of shadows and light. It looks like an artistic drawing so this anchor tattoo design is by far a wise choice.

3. Roses On An Old Anchor Body Art


The interesting mix between a plain black anchor and colorful flowers sure draws attention when you see this anchor tattoo. It works great especially for women as it transforms the one of the oldest anchor tattoo ideas into a feminine and graceful one. Elegance can always find a place in art, and you can tell this design, one of the cute tattoos was created by a very experienced tattoo artist.

4. Love Conquers All Forearm Anchor Tattoo

Anchor Heart Tattoo

Here the anchor is used to draw an incomplete heart shape with a cross on its end. This is one of the anchor tattoo ideas that can have a very different meaning from one person to another. It’s intriguing and you can let people guess what it means for you.

5. Reinterpretation of Symbol

Beautiful Anchor Heart Tattoo

Though this anchor tattoo design is a small and simple one, it doesn’t fail to impress. It is a simplified version of the previous one, as it puts together three well-known universal symbols: the anchor, the heart and the cross.

6. Fading Away

Best Anchor Tattoos

This tattooed anchor fades away by transforming into flying birds. It is one of the best clear anchor tattoo ideas that symbolizes the desire to set yourself free and to start a new chapter in your life by forgetting about past anchors and moving away.

7. My Anchor


This might seem like one of the basic anchor tattoo options. But, despite its simplicity, it can be loaded with meaning. The owners might make a statement with it or start their journey into the fascinating and exciting world of body art.

8. Signature of An Anchor


This tattoo features the customized touch of the owner and a positive message (love life) that is shapes as a signature. Its appearance also reminds us of the popular infinity symbol. A good pick for cheerful persons who enjoy life and they are proud to show it the world.

9. Infinity Symbol


This example combines the good old anchor theme with the famous infinity symbol. It is a good choice if you want to create a meaningful mix without going for a complicated tattoo. This one is as simple as you can get and you can use it to start out with tattoos.

10. Forever Anchored


Unlike other similar tattoos that feature the infinity symbol and an anchor, this one aims for a very sharp approach Both symbols are very clearly defined and they blend in with one another almost without any interruption. If you are a perfectionist, this one is an ideal match for you.

11. Strength That Can’t Be Broken


There can be different meanings for an anchor, but this one is clear (‘never sink’). It contains a motivational message that clearly expresses the intention of the owner. This art is meant to always give strength. It works great both for strong people and for the ones who need strength.

12. Beauty Grows Everywhere


Usually there is nothing romantic or particularly beautiful about an anchor and its rope. But there are anchor tattoo options that manage to incorporate the beauty of flowers within rather basic items that don’t normally inspire feelings of awe.

13. Honor and Pride

Honor and Pride Anchor Tattoo

Such a tattoo is the perfect example to exemplify the skills of a tattoo artist. Here the anchor is just one of the key elements that are used to build a tattoo for a man that is proud of the United States Marine Corps – definitely a very precious body art.

14. Around the Globe


Though the colors stand out here, the three main elements of this tattoo impress as well. This is a perfect choice for a globetrotter. Whether you dream of being one or you are always on the road, this alternative will suit you nicely. It’s intense and it expresses a traveler’s feelings.

15. Anchored Pieces


Such a tattoo has an abstract touch and it can allow the owners to mark their body with a tattoo that has a profound meaning for them without revealing their emotions to everyone. It can leave most people wondering and guessing, while you share the truth only with a few.

16. You’re My Inspiration Not My Owner

Stylish Matching Tattoos

You can’t get more obvious than that. This sharp anchor tattoo idea is one of those that set boundaries and define life rules. Whether they are particularly referring to someone or they just make a general statement, they declare freedom better than anything: respect me or suffer the consequences.

17. Sailing Away


A ship’s wheel and the anchor are usually never found together. But when they include one another in a tattoo, you can bet that the person wants independence. You can express your desire to be free and to go on your own path using this cool tattoo.

18. Split Matching Symbols

Split Matching Symbols Anchor Tattoo

When you get a new tattoo, it’s not necessary to get all its elements together. You can split matching symbols like in this case, especially if you don’t have many tattoos. The ship’s wheel refers to control, while the anchor might refer to stability and certainty.

19. Smooth Sailing


This tattoo is nothing short of impressive. Despite the fact that it doesn’t use a multitude of colors, it is bold, striking and downright unforgettable due to the artistry used to create it. Whether you feel adventurous or you just want an amazing tattoo, this one will do just fine.

20. Journey’s Beauty

Journey's Beauty Anchor Tattoo

Things get personal when you look at such anchor tattoo ideas. It can have a different meaning for any viewer. But one thing is certain: it might not be a highly sophisticated one, but it can carry a lot of meaning for the owner. You can decide that for yourself.

21. Elegant Tattoo On The Thigh


This is a cool tattoo that is ideal for a lady since it is applied on the front thigh. The tattoo has a standard metallic anchor tattoo design, with a wooden stock that makes it unique and extra stylish. It also comes with some flower details and an encouraging quote saying, “Don’t Let Yourself Sink.”

22. 3D Feminine Anchor Tattoo Design

3D Feminine Anchor Tattoo Design

This one wraps around the left or right waist, with elegant 3D flower designs to make it more feminine. The flowers cover up the anchor on the stock and around the hooks. You can choose a top that flashes some details of the tattoo or wear one that will hide it.

23. Tiny Anchor On The Wrist


This is one of the small anchor tattoo looks that look elegant on the palm-side wrist. It has some beads that rotate the wrist, and the anchor hangs on to the beads like a cross. The beads are in red, and there is a tiny love sign at the intersection of the shank and the stock.

24. Anchor Tattoo Design With Birds

Anchor Tattoo Design With Birds

This is a classy anchor tattoo idea that is not very colorful but has more details. It has a basic design that is slightly above the right breast. A rope connects from the top of the anchor and extends towards the cleavage, then spreads out into little birds that reach out to the left shoulder.

25. Simple Wrist Anchor Design


This tattoo is basic and unique and doesn’t need much work. It entails a simple rope-like design that rotates all around the wrist, and then a small anchor is attached to the end and sits on the palm-side of the wrist.

26. Stencil Anchor Design


When it comes to uniqueness, this is one of the anchor tattoo design that comes with sophistication. It appears like a solid tattoo was placed on the arm, then black ink splashed on it. It spreads towards the top part of the inner arm in drops to make it extra art-like.

27. Floral Anchor On The Ankle


This anchor tattoo design is simple, but it comes with a spiral design that makes it basic and stylish. It goes well with a lady that desires the high heels. Ensure that you choose low-cut shoes to expose the elegant tattoo. Tattoo artists around the world would be proud of this work!

28. Musical Anchor Design


This anchor design tattoo comes with a basic design that is combined with the standard musical note. It is perfect for a guy since it doesn’t have a lot of details and coloring. It is a great choice if you need a special anchor tattoo design.

29. Splashed Anchor Design on Arm


The splashing ink that surrounds the blank design of an anchor makes this tattoo worth applying. At the biceps, the ink appears to splash in dots, but towards the wrist, the ink appears to spill. This is one tattoo that will look classy on a guy’s arm and tattoo artists will happily make.

30. Simple Anchor On The Thumb


This is a simple anchor design with a rope that is applied on the thumb. The tattoo is unique and simple to have if you want to enjoy the significance of the anchor tattoo looks. It is also among the simplest anchor tattoo ideas to apply.

31. Anchor At The Back Of The Ear


This tattoo is classy and applied at the back of the ear. It has a ring at the top of the anchor, with petal-like design on the hooks. The stock is wooden-brown, with a black shank, but it has hooks and base that are colored.

32. Anchor In The Flesh Tattoo


This is another unique anchor design that appears to have its hook dig through the flesh. It is a simple tattoo that is applied in black ink, but the left hook appears to dig through the skin. The tattoo has some red color at the section of the hook to look like blood.

33. Weed Design Courage Tattoo


This tattoo has the weed design at the top, and then it has the words, Sink or Swim, along the shank. The hooks and base are simply designed with a stylish color system. The weed and the text are meant to encourage the wearer to be ever-confident.

34. 3D Arm Tattoo


This tattoo comes with a 3D design, with a wooden stock, and a metallic shank and hooks. It is applied with an ink blend that makes it look like a shiny anchor, looking classy on the inner arm section.

35. Sin In The Anchor Design


This tattoo has an elegant blue shank that extends towards the hooks. The stock is a solid wooden design, and there is a rope that circulates the anchor. The text, Sin In The Anchor, is applied with an elegant calligraphy that requires talented tattoo artists.

36. HN Basic Anchor Design


This is yet another basic anchor that comes with a simple design and color theme. The black ink appears to have some fading effects all around the anchor to look like a shiny metallic anchor. It looks elegant on the inner arm section.

37. 3D Wooden Anchor


This tattoo comes with elegance and sophistication. The wooden aspect spreads all around from the stock, through the shank, and to the hooks. However, the hooks look sharp like a metallic hook but still has the wooden design, which makes it more elegant.

38. Word Anchor Design


This is a perfect love-based anchor design, which has the words dedicated to a special someone. The words read You be the anchor that keeps my feet on the ground, I’ll be wings to keep your heart in the clouds. It is one of the unique anchor tattoo ideas to apply.

39. Solid Anchor On The Cal


This tattoo is a classy design that has a wooden stock, and a metallic shank design. There is a rope that connects from the eye of the anchor and stretches through the shank to the hooks. It looks elegant on the calf.

40. Elegant Tattoo On The Back


This simple tattoo is applied at the base of the nape, just above the spinal cord. It is perfect for a lady, but you might have to tie your hair if you want to show it off. It is a great choice if you want a simple anchor tattoo idea.

41. Nautical Tattoo


Brave the stormy seas with this rugged nautical tattoo. This tattoo captures the perils of an ocean voyage and harkens back to the era of living life on the high seas. Complete with a scripted meaningful name. This tattoo embraces a man’s life on see while remembering the family back on shore.

42. Straight Forward Anchor Tattoo


This simple tattoo makes a strong statement. Anchored in the initials she included on her arm she pays homage to the person who always makes her feel safe and at home. The beveling in the shading allows for a more interesting anchor tattoo. The 3D effect brings this tattoo to life.

43. Anchor and Roses


Nestled in the roses of this tattoo lies an anchor adorned with leaves. Surrounded by clouds and stars, this tattoo has layered meaning for the client. Adding the bright bold colors of the flowers is offset by the grey clouds and sky. A deeper meaning is that when you are connected to yourself and bloom in who you are – the sky lights up around you. This is far from a simple anchor tattoo.

44. Sever the Rope


This tattoo has a literal and philosophical meaning. The words read “Sever the rope that holds my anchor”. The tattoo beautifully illustrates this message in the cut rope hanging from the anchor. The slight sepia color tone adds to the effects of the scroll while highlighting the depth of the message the scroll carries.

45. Watch and Anchor Sleeve Tattoo

Watch and Anchor Sleeve Tattoo

Time waits for no man in this tattoo. You can see the anchor chained from the pocket watch to the anchor as you get the feeling there is a much deeper message to this tattoo. The beautiful red color of the roses is amplified by the contrasting void of color in the other objects. This 3D tattoo really pops off the arm and reminds us that time is a fleeting thing.

46. Shark and Anchor


This shark and anchor tattoo is done in vibrant colors and brings about a feeling of the tough men who tackle the seas. The shark wraps around the anchor as a reminder of the peril one can face at sea. The red color highlights the blue of the shark while the brown in the rope and anchor pops and draws the eye in.

47. I am the Captain


This beautifully done anchor tattoo bears the message, “I am the captain of my soul”. Though a simple tattoo it carries a profound message. Designed to highlight the message, the anchor serves as a symbol of sailing out in to the unknown of life and really pursuing what the soul loves. A message of depth carried out wonderfully by the anchor design.

48. Tribute Tattoo


This tribute tattoo is an impressive display that will be sure to get people’s attention. The boldness of the lines gives a dramatic background to the anchor. The masterful shading of the anchor, cloud and seas give you the feeling of looking in to a complex picture. This is a brave tattoo, worn in honor of a brave friend.

49. Simple Lines


This tattoo embraces the beauty of lines. The tattoo artist here was very skilled to pull off such detail and line work. Though looking simple, this tattoo really embodies the tattoo artist’s proficiency. From the fraying of the end of the ropes to the shading using lines again, this anchor tattoo is a testament to expertise.

50. Palm Leaf Anchor


This palm leaf wrapped anchor evokes a feeling of peace and harmony. The shading of both the anchor and leaf complement each other while letting each object shine in its own right.

51. Lucky Anchor


The placement of this anchor adds to the boldness of the design. The dark coloring of the anchor is perfect against the paleness of the canvass. The exquisiteness of the design is sure to make a statement whenever it is allowed to be seen.

52. Delicate Flowers


The sweetness of this tattoo is held in the delectate flowers and baby breath surrounding the sturdiness and strength of the anchor. A beautiful way to commemorate a special person in their life designated by the initials found on the anchor itself.

53. Anchor on Ankle


An ankle found on the ankle has traditionally meant to symbolize faith. Here it can be either hidden or shown easily. This all depending on the wishes of the client.

54. Colorful Anchor Tattoo Designs

Colorful Best Anchor Tattoo Designs

This colorful tattoo is sure to get attention. The amazing vibrant colors bring a whole new life to the anchor tattoo. The colors make this tattoo a bit untraditional while holding true to the solidity of the anchor meaning itself.

55. Initial Anchor Tattoo Designs


The client here chose to have the initials boldly beside the anchor and the tattoo artist happily obliged. There is no mistake that the person has contributed significantly to their life. The care given to the initials and the script used brings more impact to this tribute tattoo.

56. Neck Small Anchor Tattoo


This is an excellent idea for placement. When placed on the neck, that tattoo can easily be hidden by wearing the hair down. When the hair is up, it’s because the client wants the tattoo to be noticed. This tattoo is kept to a simple and clean design.

57. Chest Tattoo


The anchor seems almost comforted and supported in the soft embrace of the roses. A feeling of calm assurance is found in this design. Strategically placed on the chest, this tattoo makes a statement of peacefulness amongst any storm of life.

58. Tattoo Side of Neck


This daring placement on the side of the neck shows the self assurance of the client. Firm in who she is, she boldly wears the anchor tattoo.

59. Pink Roses Anchor Tattoo Designs

Pink Roses Best Anchor Tattoo Designs

The vibrant pink in this tattoo draws attention right away. Both the bold colors of the flowers and the softness they imply is in stark contrast to the line work of the anchor. Yet the tattoo goes together like a beautiful symphony.

60. 3 Tattoos


This canvass spans across three different clients. Not only is it an impressive tattoo singularly, when shown together, the masterpiece is seen. This tattoo bonds the clients forever and is a bold statement of brotherhood and solidarity.

About the Author

Based in Miami, FL and I’m a tattoo artist. I work hard and learn new techniques every day to improve my tattooing skills.On my website, you will find an amazing tattoo collection which I use myself too for inspiration and help my clients to find the perfect piece of masterwork.