Earlier, the compass tattoo got inked only by the Navy personnel, but now this design can be seen on the bodies of the travelers, fishermen, explorers and, of course, average tattoo-lovers.
Depending on the components and number of the points, there are several kinds of compasses: the compass rose – a classic tool of the seamen with 4, 8, 16 or 32 points, the rustic or Vegvisir – the Vikings’ compass composed of the runes, the Luo Pan – an ancient 36-pointed Chinese compass, the North star compass – compass with the North star inside.
Compass Tattoo Meanings
Guidance – is a key meaning of the compass tattoo; it’s believed that the compass tattoo guides through the rough waters of the sea, and indicates the right vector to go.
Protection and safety – both seafarers and servicemen get tattooed compass as an amulet to come back home safe and sound.
Freedom and wanderlust – the compass tattoo is a sign of free-spirited natures and wanderers who can’t stand routine and are always in search of new destinations and adventures.
Loyalty – the compass tattoo is a wonderful design to express your faithfulness to the second half.
Friendship and unity – having the circle shape, the compass is reckoned to be a symbol of infinity, harmony, and everlasting relationships.
Good luck and positive energy – The followers of the Fang Shui practice believe that the compass is a bringer of fortune, good luck, and prosperity.
Memorial – some people opt for the compass tattoo design to immortalize important event, place or moment.
Overcoming hardships – the compass may denote a thorny life path and hard destiny of the bearer.
Compass Tattoo Features
The placement of the compass tattoo is up completely to the wearer, but the great locations on the male’s body are forearm, hand, back, shoulder, and half sleeve, whereas the females give the preference to the spine zone, thigh, quarter sleeve, forearm, and ribs. When it comes to the choice of the color gamut , the compass tattoo looks extremely winning in black ink , but the colorful designs have also cool appeal. You can get tattooed compass alone on the flesh, or customize it by adding some other elements like:
- Map – adventure, wanderlust;
- Anchor – stability, safety, and valor;
- Clover – good luck;
- Arrow – forging ahead, strength, friendship, boldness;
- Clock or Watch -time;
- Sailing ship – success, good luck;
- Rose -protection, love, safety;
- Pirate Skull – rebellion, freedom;
- Saturn – spirituality, wisdom;
- Sun – energy, power, and hope;
- Swallow – points out that the sailor crossed 5000 miles of ocean;
- Poppies – the honor of the dead;
- Palm leaf – triumph, peace, and eternity;
- Dreamcatcher – protection, sweet dreams.
Compass tattoo can be performed in various styles , but the most popular are:
- Black and Gray Realism;
- New School;
#1. 3D Compass Tattoo Idea in Black on Arm
Hyper-real blackwork compass tattoo with the map as a background is a common tattoo design among the globe-trotters and adventure-seekers.
#2. Divided Anchor and Compass Tattoo with Watercolor Background
Compass tattoo with an anchor is a clich?d nautical-themed design symbolizing stability and safety, but if you add some watercolor splashes to the motif, it won’t look so trivial
#3. Antique Blackwork Compass Tattoo on Hand
Infuse a tiny four leaf clover into the traditional black and gray compass tattoo, and you get a powerful good-luck charm.
#4. Broken Compass Tattoo with Ribbon for Men
Vintage-inspired compass tattoo with the broken coordinates is nicely entwined with the philosophical inscription which recommends us to look back at the past before we take a step forward.
#5. Unusual Simple Celtic Compass Tattoo Design
An enigmatic fine-lined Vegvisir compass tattoo with the mystifying characters along the forearm is a protective amulet of the Vikings.
#6. Black Minimalistic Clock and Compass Tattoo on Back
Superb compass-clock tattoo hybrid made in linework style reminds of the importance of the right direction in this fleeting life
#7. Classic Black-and-Gray Compass and Rose Tattoo for Men
When the guy places the rose- a symbol of love- inside the compass tattoo, it means that love leads him through his life.
#8. Cryptic Small Compass and Arrow Tattoo for Girls
An offbeat compass tattoo design with the upward arrow passing through the center indicates to keep moving forward through the challenges.
#9. Compass Chest Tattoo in Summer Mood
Lovely linear compass tattoo with the sailing ship and soaring gull is a typical motif of the seafarers standing for success, persistence, and luck.
#10. Original Female Compass Cross Tattoo on Back
Extremely elegant sketch-style compass tattoo with the anchor running along the spine will keep its bearer grounded in rough waters of this life.
#11. Perfect Inside Compass Tattoo Design on Arm
An awesome meticulously-detailed compass rose tattoo done in black and gray style won’t let you go astray in the high seas.
#12. Compass Hand Tattoo in Classic Style for Men
Why not showcase your love to the second half through the ink?! As a design, we offer you this sick traditional-style compass tattoo with “Love” inscription on the knuckles.
#13. Minimalistic Compass Shoulder Tattoo with Mountains
Fascinating linework compass tattoo with the set inside mountain ranges can serve as a visual metaphor for overcoming lots of difficulties on the way to success.
#14. Simple Compass Star Tattoo on Back for Ladies
When you coma across the girl with the North star compass tattoo on her back, you should know that this lady really knows what she wants from life.
#15. Cool Compass Tattoo with Octopus for Men on Side
The compass tattoo featured in the tentacles of the octopus speaks of the strong and resourceful personality who can adapt to any situation.
#16. Small North Star Compass Tattoo on Foot
The wearer of this all-black compass tattoo on foot is strongly convinced that every path leads home, do you agree?
#17. Retro Compass with Quote Tattoo Fully Covered the Leg
Inked in antique style, this leg piece with the loadstone and North star compasses lying on the map looks ultra lifelike!
#18. Teeny-Tiny Compass Wrist Tattoo Ideas
To take a snap of the compass tattoo on the background of the city you are traveling now around is the best way to prove your wanderlust.
#19. Amazing Feminine Compass Tattoo
What a beautiful New-School compass tattoo on the forearm with the ruby-red roses around! Romantic and adventurous gals will appreciate!
#20. Heart Compass Tattoo on Arm with Butterfly and Flower
Another ladylike tattoo with the heart-shaped compass signifying love and passion, lily conveying inner harmony, and butterfly representing freedom makes up an adorable 3-D composition on the quarter sleeve.
#21. Map & Compass Sleeve Tattoo for Men in Black-and-Gray Realism
Badass realistic ink depicts common attributes of the travel-lover: compass, map, and the loupe accenting the places the owner would like to visit. The rose is included here for good luck!
#22. Nautical Star Compass Tattoo with Map and Inscription
Embedding a mantra you live your life by into the compass and map tattoo design is an absolutely fantastic idea, isn’t it
#23. Old School Nautical Star and Anchor Forearm Tattoo
Classically, the seamen get inked their tattoos in traditional styles, and as a design, they choose compass coupled with an anchor, while such combo ensures a safe return home.
#24. Nice North Star Tattoo Designs on Hand
Rose is another frequent pairing for the traditional-style compass tattoo as it provides protection and safety during the journeys.
#25. Exclusive Compass Tattoo with Colorful Background
If you’re getting sick of the ordinary compass tattoo designs, how about getting inked this ingenious semi-abstract compass tattoo with the watercolor stripes?
#26. Male Old School Compass Tattoo with Italian Phrase
One more trad-style compass and rose tattoo with an Italian inscription on the quarter sleeve highlights the owner’s love and devotion to the marine life.
#27. Pirate Skull Compass Tattoo on Body Side
Even if you don’t belong to the piratic world, this macabre pirate skull and compass tattoo will reveal your rebellious and free-spirited nature in full.
#28. Memorial Realistic Half Sleeve Compass Tattoo in Dark Shades
Sentimental memorial black-and-gray compass tattoo depicting the walking father and son can touch the hearts of even the most impassive individuals.
#29. Cute Simple Saturn Compass Tattoo on Ankle
As a symbol of spirituality, this minimalistic Saturn-shaped compass tattoo will help you to find the right path not only in everyday life but in spiritual as well.
#30. Unusual Compass Tattoo with Global Map on Arm
Set off exploring the world, but firstly get inked this silhouette-based compass and map tattoo which will keep you safe and sound during the trip.
#31. Sun Compass Tattoo on Ribs for Women
Utterly exquisite sun-compass tattoo decorated with the chandelier accessory will lead you out of the darkness and point you in the right direction.
#32. Blackwork Compass Forearm Tattoo in Mandala Style
Gorgeous compass mandala tattoo design is meant to help people achieve inner harmony, balance, and peace of mind.
#33. Traditional Wind Rose Compass Tattoo with Flower Pattern
The wind rose compass tattoo complemented with the flowers and the rope indicates the Navy-affinity and conveys hope and safety.
#34. Mandala-Inspired Tribal Compass Tattoo Ideas
If you are an active practitioner of Buddhism, this intricate compass-Mandala tattoo will be your irreplaceable assistant during the meditations.
#35. Vintage 3-D Compass Back Tattoo with Anchor
While the 3-D compass tattoo will show you the proper course, the anchor and the Latin cross will provide you with stability and faith.
#36. Inspiring Never Stop Compass Tattoo in Watercolor
Need your personal travel-motivator? This marvelous watercolor compass tattoo with an inspiring inscription “Never stop” is the best bid.
#37. Black and Gray Compass Tattoo on Forearm
The compass mixed with the rope and map was earlier a mark of Dockers, but nowadays it can be applied by any enthusiast.
#38. Slouchy Fine-Lined Compass Tattoo with Roses
Despite being monochrome, this dainty compass in the roses tattoo with a meaningful travel quote looks so eye-pleasing, that you can’t take the eyes off.
#39. Neo-Traditional Compass Forearm Tattoo with Swallow
Swallow perching atop the compass tattoo is a sign of an experienced and trustworthy seaman who has sailed the seven seas.
#40. Impressive Unisex Compass Tattoo on Arm
This dotwork nature-inspired compass tattoo partnered with the mountains image can be a nice try to ignite your travel bug.
#41. Triceps Compass Tattoo in Black Minimalistic Style
Being combined with three bundled arrows, the compass tattoo design carries the meanings of power, unity, and friendship.
#42. Single Arrow Compass Tattoo on Body Side
Rocking a compass tattoo with a single arrow on the side, you accentuate your drive, determination, courage, and leadership qualities.
#43. Traditional Compass Tattoo for Men on Biceps
If you have a terrible sense of direction, this ornate North star compass tattoo will certainly help you to navigate a bit better in the world
#44. Fancy All-Black Compass Tattoo on Side for Boys
Except for protection and guidance, the nautical star compass tattoo may signify intentions to reach the dizzy heights in the maritime career.
#45. Mandala Compass Tattoo on Back with Map
This linework back piece encompassing the map of the Earth and Mandala-compass is the best portrayal of the wanderlust and ambition to travel all over the world.
#46. Back Compass Tattoo with Theatrical Masks and Cherry Blossom
Nice colorless compass tattoo accompanied by theatrical masks and vibrant cherry blossoms emphasizes the wearer’s dualistic and unpredictable nature.
#47. Tremendous Grey Compass Tattoo Design
Badass geometric compass tattoo idea consisting of the globe map and 8-pointed nautical star can suit the travelers of both sexes.
#48. Common Star Compass Tattoo with Watercolor Pattern
Scarcely-noticeable fleur-de-lis sign representing hope, wisdom, power and valor is a main zest of this watercolor compass tattoo design.
#49. Compass Tattoo with Geometric Elements on Arm
Combined with the various geometric glyphs, this wind rose compass tattoo looks sensational! The idea to inscribe symbolical meanings next to the motif is really great!
#50. Dotwork Mandala Compass Tattoo on Thigh for Women
Choose your own path and let this alluring dotwork compass Mandala tattoo be your ultimate guide through this path.
#51. Matching Friendship Compass Tattoos
The compass is considered to be a symbol of unity, connection, and strong relationships, that’s why it can be a perfect design for BFF’s or matching tattoos.
#52. Dotwork Half Sleeve Compass Tattoo Image for Men
Incredibly spectacular compass tattoo with the Mandala-flower towering over the rocky mountains illustrates the owner’s unquenchable hunger for risk and adventure.
#53. Old Black Compass Tattoo with Lasher for Boys
The coordinates carved next to the compass tattoo can help you to keep the memories of the fabulous trip or special place
#54. Compass Sleeve Tattoo with Poppies in Illustrative Realism
Fantastic radiant-red poppies symbolizing death and sorrow make this black-and-gray compass tattoo into a tribute to the passed away soldiers.
#55. Ideal Floral Compass Tattoo for Girls
Breathtaking sketchy compass tattoo embraced by the roses is a splendid decoration for the girl’s quarter sleeve outlining her passion for globe-trotting.
#56. Bright Compass Tattoo with Ship in Neo-Trad Style
A full-rigged ship in nautical-themed tattoo designs guarantees success and luck in the journey, while the sunflower-shaped compass serves as a guiding light.
#57. Epic Watercolor Compass and Clock Tattoo on Back
Totally unique watercolor compass and clock tattoo is nicely complemented with the meaningful English and German inscriptions about time, existence and feelings
#58. Detailed 3-D Compass Tattoo with Scissors on Forearm
Depicting the scissors in the middle of the compass tattoo means that the bearer wants to put the past behind him and starts a new life.
#59. Colorless Compass Tattoo with Gun on Inner Arm
This linework compass, gun, and roses tattoo is a typically masculine composition aimed at the confident and fearless guys who stay true to their principles.
#60. Fine Compass Tattoo on Thigh for Women
Nifty geometry-inspired compass tattoo made in a single needle reminds us that we are creators of our own lives.
#61. Stunning Watercolor Style Compass Tattoo on Arm
Stylized compass tattoo with the filigree arrows going around looks amazing along the arm! The blue watercolor smears, mimicking the waves effect, are worth special attention!
#62. Sketchy Watercolor Compass Tattoo on Back for Ladies
Vibrant watercolor smudges laid over the black-inked compass tattoo infuse not only the abstract feel into the design, but make it more striking and feminine
#63. Black and Grey Compass with Palm Leaf Tattoo Idea
Tight dotwork compass tattoo adorned with the delicate palm frond – a token of victory and triumph- will make you feel a winner in any situation.
#64. Dotwork Male Star Compass Tattoo on Arm
The tiny monochrome nautical star-compass tattoo is inked with the names of the fave places to always remember of them and return there again and again.
#65. New School Style Compass Tattoo in Black for Men
The hyper-realism of this forearm compass with the scenery tattoo overwhelms! Due to masterful shading and detailing, the piece looks so dimensional and lifelike that you can’t believe your eyes!
#66. Male Dotwork Compass Tattoo with Coordinates on Triceps
To remember constantly of the home, the sailors get tattooed its coordinates, and to find always the way home; they get inked the Nautical Star-compass as a navigator.
#67. Sophisticated Dreamcatcher Compass Tattoo on Forearm
Alluring dreamcatcher-compass tattoo with the map contour inside the hoop won’t let the nightmares and evil spirits bother you during the journey.
#68. Fab Colorless Compass Tattoo in Flowers
The tandem of the geometric style with the dotwork one makes this gorgeous floral North star compass tattoo really pop!
#69. Feminine Simply-Designed Compass Tattoo on Thigh
Flawless fine lines and tiny dots are what created this diamond-shaped compass with the roses tattoo out. Despite the absence of color, this design oozes elegance and sophistication.
#70. Traditional Compass Tattoos on Upper Back
Magnificent traditional compass tattoo made in sable ink on the upper back will fit the ladies who are feeling out of direction