Family Tattoo Designs & Their Meaning

Love your family and want to immortalize that love with the ultimate gesture? How about a family tattoo? 

Family tats are an eminently popular tattoo form and with good reason: these designs hold special significance to the wearer. People of all ages sport family tattoos. Teens and grandmas alike are proud to emblazon their bodies with odes to loved ones.

For many, family tattoos express their respect for and closeness to loved ones. Or remind them of family members who have passed. Perhaps a family tattoo encourages the wearer to keep going, no matter what. Or strive to be their best self always.

Family tattoos have no gender, both men and women sport them with pride. Want to learn more about family tattoos? Read on for everything you need to know.

The Meaning of Family Tattoos

Family tattoos are not a new concept. Early cave paintings mostly showcase families and communities. In the past, family tattoos were used to make it easy to identify people belonging to individual clans and communities. This is still practiced by certain tribes in the Amazon jungle. 

A family tattoo can also be a symbol of:


Family tattoos represent love and honor for anyone close to your heart. It is commonly done for children, spouses, or parents. Some people also get a family tattoo as a permanent reminder of someone who has passed.

Love and Devotion

As this tattoo is permanent, it shows your devotion to your family. It is a sign that you are committed to them for eternity. A family tattoo is simply one of the best ways to show anyone how much you love and honor them.

Culture and Religion

Various family tattoo designs have special meaning. Getting a family tree tells your history and where you came from. It can also symbolize homage and respect to your elders. 

Some families align themselves with cultural and religious symbols. Getting these tattoos can convey religious belief and ethnic heritage. For instance, a cross tattoo or a crescent moon can show your family’s belief system.

Common Family Tattoo Designs

Some famous family tattoo designs include:

A Heart Family Tattoo

The heart is a universal symbol of life and love. What better way to express love for your family than to place their names or faces inside a heart. 

Heart tattoos can be done in various sizes and forms. A small heart tattoo on your ring finger symbolizes your love for your partner.

A heart tattoo with an outline and initials or the name of your loved one is also a great idea to convey your love. 

Not keen on inking your partner’s name on your skin? Fair enough because love, after all, can be fleeting. Try matching heart tattoos in the same place or stick to your children’s names. 

A Family Tree Tattoo

This tattoo involves a traditional ancestral family tree with the names of family members. You decide how far back into history you want to go. Honor your great-great-grandparents or stick to immediate family.

You can include additional details such as initials and birth dates. Alternatively, small images of relatives also look great when well executed. Choose your tattoo artist carefully!

Infinity Tattoo

Famous as a symbol of eternity and endurance, the infinity sign is infinitesimally popular. Infinity is a symbol for anything that is never-ending so infinity tattoos symbolize infinite love and care for your family members.

Infinity tattoos look gorgeous with just a black outline. Using hearts on the exterior or adding the word ‘family’ underneath makes this sign more family-oriented.

Matching Theme Tattoo

This matching themed tattoo is popular among both lovers and family members. If you and your family member (or members) want a tattoo to commemorate each other but don’t want them to be exactly the same, themed tats are a great option. 

Does your family love to travel to warm, tropical places? Consider a beach, waves, cocktails, palm trees. Each family member who wants a tattoo can choose what they like best. Add ‘love’ ‘family’ or another word that means something special.

A Flower Tattoo with Initials

Flower tattoos are beautiful and represent family love. Adding family initials as Greek letters give this tattoo an arresting antique look.

Animal Family Tattoo

Just as human beings, the bond shared by animals, especially between the mother and her babies is special and serene. Animal family tattoos include animals that are found in groups, such as wolves, elephants, and flocks of birds.

A pride of lions is a common animal family tattoo example and symbolizes fierceness, strength, authority, and courage. You can also get a group of elephants to display care and strength.

A tattoo of two cubs with a black outline and intricate shading looks gorgeous and can symbolize a bond between siblings.

Footprint Tattoo

This is a great idea to express your love for your kids. You can use multiple footprints and write the name or initials of your child or children beside each tiny footprint.

Popular Family Tattoo Body Placements for Women

A family tattoo can look beautiful on any part of the body. However, the best place is somewhere that is visible when you want it to be and hidden at other times. Consider the leg, wrist, lower arm, or chest. 

The placement also depends on the size and type of the tattoo you are planning to get done. Chat with your artist and see what he or she recommends for the design you have in mind.

For small tattoos like minute hearts or flowers, the ideal body parts are the wrist, fingers, ankle, or behind the ears. 

Popular Family Tattoo Body Placements for Men

Although men can also get a family tattoo on any of the body parts, they usually tend to go for the chest or arms, which signifies strength and courage. Another ideal place for getting a larger family tattoo is the back. 

But if you want to be visible at all times, the wrist, ankles, or fingers work well.

Family Tattoos: Color and Meaning

Using colors is another way of expressing meaning in a family tattoo. Some common colors and their meanings are:

Red is symbolic of intense passion and love. A red rose is usually preferred by couples. 

A yellow tattoo represents joy, friendship, and happiness. Getting a yellow tattoo of any shape is a great idea for family members who want to get a matching or matching theme tattoo.

Orange represents joy. It also symbolizes emotional energy and creativity. 

Pink tattoos offer connotations including romance and gentleness. It is also linked to feminine energy. 

White tattoos symbolize peace, purity, and innocence. Perfect if children are immortalized on your body.

You can use multiple colors to enhance the beauty of your tattoo and show various values such as purity, love, care, strength, and joy.

When it comes to family tattoos, the options are myriad and pretty open-ended. Think about what signs or designs hold significance in your family or to you personally and you can’t go wrong. After all, what could be more important than family?

Best Family Tattoos