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17 Black & White Tattoo Ideas For Simple, Sweet Ink

When it comes to tattoos, I'm a big fan of simple are done in black and white. Although not all tattoo designs will stand the test of time, I do think that black and white tattoo ideas tend to have a little bit more of a lifespan in them. Plus, when you stick to black ink, you run less of a risk of needing to get your ink touched up over the years. The best part about a black and white tattoo is that you can pretty much get anything done in greyscale. Whether it's a flower, a design, a quote, a lyric, or something else — just about everything looks good in black ink.

No matter what design you're looking to get inked on your body for the rest of life, consider getting it done in black and white — the options for shading are endless, and you'll never have to worry about the colors in your tattoo clashing with anything at all. Don't write off the simplicity of a black and white tattoo because you think it's not beautiful enough, or not intricate enough. The following tattoos will prove those theories wrong in every way, and leave you wanting your next piece of ink to be done in black and white.


An Irish Blessing

As an Irish girl, this one tops my favorites. This tattoo is of a claddagh ring, a traditional Irish ring that represents love, friendship, and loyalty.


A Sign of Life

A simple little line can mean so much. A beautiful, permanent reminder of just how alive you are.


A Path Forward

If there was anything that shot straight ahead on it's path, it's an arrow. Follow it's lead.


Here Comes The Sun

Simple, small, and a ray of light reminder on cloudy days.


A Universal Tattoo

What could be cooler than the planets tattooed on your arm? Imagine how many people will ask whether or not you've got Pluto on there.


A Stunning Design

Designs, designs, designs for days. Black and white designs keep things clean and beautiful, no matter how intricate the design.


A Molecular Print

For science lovers everywhere, tattooing your favorite molecules on your body is the next step in your relationship with particles.


An Ode To Nature

Simple, sweet, and very pretty, this minimal floral number is a stunner.


But First, Coffee

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe I've found my next tattoo. This glorious number is what I'm all about. Those nails, that mug, that coffee. Hallelujah.


An Intricate Mandala

A spiritual and ritual symbol in Indian religions, a mandala represents the universe in its entirety. Often used as an aid in meditation, imagine how centered you'd be if you carried your mandala around with you all day.


A Traveler's Dream

A beautiful outline of the continents, simple and sweet. Anyone who dreams of traveling the world would be proud to wear this on their shoulder.


An Ornate Design

Yep. Pretty much mesmerized with these stunning black and white design pieces.


A Sense Of Direction

Now, if only this could actually tell me which direction I'm headed in.


An Ode To Hogwarts

I'm still devastated that I didn't receive a letter to Hogwarts, but I like to think that Hogwarts would still welcome me home.


A Black Raven

This may not be a three-eyed-raven, but it's still a pretty awesome looking raven. The shading on those feathers is so hardcore.


A Harry Potter Tribute

You just can't go wrong with Harry Potter tributes. This one is a special mix of Harry's scar and the deathly hallows.


An X-Files Masterpiece

Scully and Mulder would be proud to rock this number. Well, Scully would probably rock it. Mulder's would just say, "I believe."