Family is important. They are meant to do much more than provide for us; they are meant to teach us right from wrong, guide us, and above all, show us love and support. It is not hard to see why so many people want to honor the bond they share with their own family, and body art is a beautiful way to do that. There are various designs to choose from, whether you prefer a simple tattoo like a heart or anchor or something detailed like a family tree or crest. You can also ink your favorite animal, including the wolf or bear, which are connected with loyalty and protection, respectively. Family also isn’t reserved for those with who you share a biological connection, and there are also ways to celebrate those who don’t share your DNA.
1. Family Tree Tattoo
The family tree tattoo is one of the most beautiful ways to honor those closest to you. There are many different options, but the most common interpretation is a tree with branches and various family members’ names. It is symbolic of strength, connection, and love. In general, trees represent strong bonds, wisdom, endurance, and longevity, but each species is associated with something different. If you love the willow tree and the symbolism associated with it, hope, and stability, then you can create a design around its likeness. Or perhaps the birch is your favorite, representing new beginnings and life. There are so many ways to make this piece unique and meaningful to you.
2. Family Symbol Tattoo
Many designs can symbolize family, including the Celtic Trinity Knot or Triquetra. The knot features a series of interlocking symbols which represent eternity and an everlasting bond. Many people find this a beautiful way to celebrate family, and each of the three shapes can mean a different thing; for example, the father, mother, and child. It is also associated with life. The piece may be simple, but the rich symbolism connected to it makes it a popular choice for people to get inked. It may be even more meaningful if you have Celtic heritage, but this is most certainly not a requirement!
3. Matching Family Tattoo
Matching tattoos are an excellent way to show your shared bond with someone. It’s an act of love and loyalty and something beautiful for siblings or partners to get done together. A couple may choose to get matching ink that represents their relationship or honors their children in some way, while sisters may want a design that celebrates female power and unites them. There are so many different options to choose from. You can get a piece that says ‘family’ or pick something you all love, for example, a little elephant. It is essential to ensure you agree on your chosen tattoo beforehand to avoid hurting feelings or having regrets.
4. Family Over Everything Tattoo
What better way to prove what your family means to you than with a family over everything tattoo? The design is usually very straightforward, with many people choosing to spell out the entire phrase. However, you can also get a little more creative with it; for example, you can ink the word family, on top of the word, everything. You may also choose to use a font that is meaningful to you or even the handwriting of a loved one, but nothing stops you from taking a simple design and making it unique.
5. Family Tattoo with Quotes
There are many quotes about a family that can inspire your next quote tattoo. Perhaps there is a verse from your favorite poem, a dialogue from a movie you love, or a line from a song that moves you. Pick something that has meaning for you so that you feel that emotional connection to those words every time you see your ink. It can be about family specifically, or it could be something that makes you think of the bond you share and the everlasting love and support you receive from those special people in your life.
6. Family Chest Tattoo
If you are trying to decide on an excellent spot for your next design, consider a chest tattoo. The placement is large enough to allow for something detailed, but it is also fantastic for a piece that is particularly special to you, as this gives you the option to keep it close to your heart, quite literally. Many men and women pick tattoos of their family to honor them and remind them of the important role that their loved ones play in their life. You can choose a portrait and recreate the faces of those you love, or decide on something as simple as the word ‘family.’
7. Family Forever Tattoo
If you value family above all else, then a family forever tattoo is the perfect way to honor your loved ones. As the words suggest, this is an inking that indicates that your priority is those you hold dear to your heart. There are several interpretations of this design; you can either write out the whole phrase or choose an infinity sign representing eternity and join it with the word ‘family.’ It is such a beautiful and meaningful tattoo piece, often tattooed somewhere where you can look at it every day. Alternatively, you could ink it across your chest, so your loved ones are always close to your heart, quite literally.
8. Lion Family Tattoo
The lion is a mighty and fearsome creature often associated with strength, protection, and loyalty. A lion tattoo together with a lioness and a cub adds even more meaning to this design as it becomes a symbol of family and motherhood. If you want an inking that represents connection and a powerful bond but would prefer not to ink a portrait of your loved ones, this is a beautiful alternative.
9. Wolf Family Tattoo
The wolf is a symbol of family and loyalty, and opting to get a wolf tattoo is a fantastic way to show your feelings on these things. The animals live in close packs, which they rely on for hunting, protection, and companionship. This inking represents strength in numbers and how we need those closest to us to succeed in life. Family is there to protect us when we need it and to provide support for when times are rough. There are many different techniques and interpretations to choose from. For example, you can get a design with a wolf and her pups or ink a male and female to represent a romantic partnership.
10. Bear Family Tattoo
A bear is yet another fantastic animal to choose if you want to honor the people in your life or want a design representing protection and strength. It is well-known that a mother bear will go to great lengths to protect her cubs. Therefore, this is a fantastic tattoo for a woman who is protective of her children or wants to celebrate female power. It can be a way to pay tribute to that maternal bond and depicts family and endurance. For men, this piece is just as appealing as it can be a nod to the woman who raised him or his wife and their children. The bear is so symbolic that it is easy to find meaning that is unique to you.
11. Small Family Tattoo
You do not need a large design to be meaningful, and many people love small tattoos. One of the main reasons is their versatility, and they can be inked anywhere on the body. They are also easy to cover up, cheaper to get tattooed, and obviously will cause less discomfort during the inking session. Many tiny tats represent family, including words, phrases, hearts, and even your favorite animal. An elephant, for example, is associated with success, wisdom, and good luck. They are also symbolic of family and a strong connection because they live in herds.
12. Addams Family Tattoo
The Adams Family is a black comedy based on Charles Addams’ cartoons featured in The New Yorker. They are not your average family, but instead are weird and quirky, and that is why people love them. Despite their peculiarities, there is a strong connection between this unit’s members. Morticia and Gomez are also often considered one of the best film couples by fans. If you want a tattoo that expresses how all families are different and the bond we share doesn’t have to be formal or traditional, this is an excellent choice for your next inking. Or maybe you’re just a big fan? In which case, there is probably even more reason to want a design of this sitcom etched onto your skin forever.
13. Family Tradition Tattoos
Traditional tattoos refer to a very distinct technique that uses heavy outlines and a limited color palette. The shades used are usually black, as well as red, blue, green, and yellow. For decades, the style has been popular, initially being inked by sailors and those on society’s fringes. However, in modern times it has become a great way to get tattooed with a statement design. The bold and bright artwork demands attention, and if the subject matter is close to your heart, this is a perfect choice. Options include banners that read ‘family’ or another important word or phrase. Names can also be inked with other popular images, including daggers, skulls, and anchors.
14. Family In Japanese Tattoo
Family is incredibly important in Japanese culture. It is referred to as kazoku and consists of a series of different symbols. Some people also like to combine it with other words, like in this image — family is the first two. When getting anything in a language that you do not speak or understand, it is crucial to do your research beforehand. There have been many cases when people picked something, thinking it was one thing to find out much later that they had made an uncomfortable mistake. There is no reason that you cannot cover up your ink at a later stage, but it is best to avoid the embarrassment and the unpleasant experience altogether.
15. Tribal Family Tattoo
The term tribal tattoo is open to interpretation as there are many different cultures to consider, including Native American and Polynesian. In general, tribal inking is a way to show off the wearer’s heritage and personal achievements, and most pieces are deeply symbolic. They can also represent protection and strength. There may not be one specific design that necessarily represents family, but a series of ink can be a way to honor your culture and your roots within it. This is an acknowledgment about where you come from and can be a family-inspired piece. It is always best to do your research beforehand. This will ensure that you do not pick out anything offensive to others or seen as cultural misappropriation.
16. Family Anchor Tattoo
Anchor tattoos are often associated with stability and endurance. The heavy metal object is used at sea to prevent a vessel from drifting in a current. There are many ways to interpret the meaning behind this image, and for some, it represents the importance of family and how our loved ones can keep us grounded and support us during tough times. It is also associated with strength and a desire to stay on course. The anchor is a popular symbol to be inked using American Traditional techniques. If you choose to do this, including a banner with the word ‘family’ makes the inspiration behind your body art very clear.
17. Family Heart Tattoo
Your body art doesn’t have to be complicated to be meaningful. Some people prefer a straightforward approach to their design, and a family heart tattoo is just that. The heart is a universal symbol of love and connection, while family represents closeness, loyalty, and an eternal bond. Together, these two things have great meaning. Simple doesn’t mean boring either, and there are various techniques and colors to choose from to create a piece that is special to you but also looks great. Feel free to include other images, such as flowers and butterflies, or a phrase that moves you.
18. Names Tattoo
The appeal of a name tattoo is that there is so much variation in terms of the design. You can add names to anything. Do you love books, and does one have some special significance to your family? Great, then add their names. Or maybe you want an image of an anchor with a banner of your loved one’s name? That’s also a fantastic option! Etching someone’s name onto your skin forever is a very important decision that should not be taken lightly. It is also a fantastic way to show just how much that person means to you. Honor those you love the most with this beautiful tribute, which will likely bring a smile to your face and theirs.
19. Celtic Family Tattoo
Many Celtic symbols are associated with eternal love, connection, and family. You can pick a Celtic Knot, the Trinity symbol, or this beautiful mother and daughter tattoo. The style can be defined by a series of intricate patterns and knots that are interesting to look at and evoke calm. Various designs represent different things, but in general, the knots are connected to faith, friendship, and loyalty. This makes it perfect for someone who wants to honor the special bonds in their life.
20. Family Portrait Tattoo
A family portrait tattoo is a beautiful way to honor those you love and a chance to express the closeness of your bond. It can also show strength or be a reminder of a special event in the past. Your ink can be done in a variety of styles and using various techniques. Many people like to opt for a hyper-realistic design, showing a realistic image of their loved ones, which will forever be etched onto their skin. It is a great way to always look at their face and remember how much you care about them, wherever you may find yourself. Others prefer a more abstract approach, opting for a line art portrait or a simple outline.
21. Family Crest Tattoo
A family crest tattoo is an excellent way to honor your heritage. The crest, or coat of arms, has several elements included in it, most notably a shield and motto. These could be words that inspire you and have held significance for generations before you. It is a way to feel closer to your ancestors and acknowledge the importance of family and the bond you share. Not every family has a family crest, and you may wish to design your own with mottos that are more relevant or designs that are unique and symbolic for you.
22. Family First Tattoo
Family is one of the most important things in our lives. These are the people who are meant to love, guide, and support you through it all. The bond you share with those closest to you will impact who you become and, to some extent, how you treat others. There is great importance placed on family, and rightfully so. So, it should come as little surprise that many people want to celebrate this bond by permanently marking their bodies. A family first tattoo is a simple but expressive design. It will tell the world what you hold dear and where your priorities lie.
23. Family Forearm Tattoo
Forearm tattoos are one of the most popular locations for body art. This is because of the versatility of the location, making it easy to cover up your design but also show it off. You can also look at the forearm every day, reminding yourself of why you chose the tattoo. Forearm tattoos are low to moderate on the pain scale chart because of the thick skin, muscle, and fat in the area which creates cushioning. The size of the forearm also provides you with enough space for a detailed design.
24. Family Birth Flower Tattoo
There are twelve birth flowers for each month of the year. Each flower is different and has its symbolism. For example, January is the carnation that represents admiration while June is the rose and is symbolic of love. You can choose the flower based on the month you were born, or get it inked to honor the love you have for a child or romantic partner. This is a beautiful, delicate choice for a family tattoo and is rich in symbolism. You can also combine several flowers for a more detailed design, each representing a different person in your family.
25. Elephant Family Tattoo
Elephant tattoos will make a powerful statement because they are rich in symbolism. Elephants live in herds that have a matriarch and therefore an elephant family tattoo can be a way to celebrate powerful women in your life. Your tattoo can be associated with female power, strength, wisdom, and guidance. To make your design better reflect your own family, you can also give meaning to how many elephants you choose to include. For example, if you have three children, you can create a design with three baby elephants.
26. La Familia Tattoo
La Familia means Family First and conveys the message about how important family is. This means that in life, your family will always come first and you will do whatever you have to protect them and ensure they are loved and safe. This is a popular choice for tattoos because it can be a simple design but it says so much about who you are as a person and the values you hold. Most people choose to get it over their chest as a way to keep family close to their hearts at all times. You can also get inked on your hands or neck for a more edgy and rebellious finish.
27. Family Sleeve Tattoo
Sleeve tattoos are an excellent choice for someone who wants to make a statement. A sleeve design covers the entire arm, ending at the wrist. This gives you the space to get creative with your designs, seamlessly combining them to tell a story. The story is unique to the wearer, this could be a way to celebrate the things you love the most, or could be a more abstract approach; the choice is yours. A family sleeve tattoo can include the word “family,” the names of loved ones, quotes, birth flowers, and so much more!
28. Family Infinity Tattoo
Infinity tattoos represent the concept of eternity and forever. This can make a powerful statement, especially when related to love and family. A family infinity tattoo can show your commitment to your family and how you view them as your priority. Your design can be a standard infinity symbol or you can be more obvious with what it represents by including the word “family.” You may also wish to add to your design with birth flowers or an animal that will add to the overall meaning of your tattoo.
29. Faith and Family Tattoo
If your faith is at the center of your life and so is your family, then why not combine these two concepts? A faith and family tattoo will remind you of what is most important to you and the direction you want to go. It can honor your beliefs and serve as a reminder to stay true to yourself and uphold your values. There are several options for your design and you can experiment with the size and placement. However, most people choose to get inked somewhere visible so they can show off how much their tattoo means to them.
30. Family Shoulder Tattoo
Shoulder tattoos are a great option because they draw attention to one of the most attractive parts of the body. The shoulder is large enough to allow for some detailing, and you can expand on your design at a later stage if you wish, letting it cover your back or arm. The location is low to moderate on the pain scale, which adds to its appeal. It can also be easily covered up and shown off on your terms.
31. Family Cross Tattoo
Cross tattoos are commonly inked by Christians as a way to honor their faith and show their devotion. Crosses can be tattooed big or small and your design can be simple and minimalist or more detailed. Combining family and the cross into your tattoo shows the importance of both these things in your life. It could also indicate that you feel you are the child of God or be a way to honor Jesus for his sacrifice to save humanity.
32. Family Rose Tattoo
The rose is one of the most beautiful flowers and it makes for an excellent tattoo. The rose is often used as a filler for larger designs and can be easily added to your tattoo to make it look beautiful and delicate. It also adds to the overall meaning of the body art because the flower is symbolic. Rose tattoos represent love and sensuality, but they can also be associated with pain. This is a reminder of the importance of achieving a balance in life. The color of the rose is also symbolic, with red representing passion while yellow is for friendship and joy.
33. Chinese Tattoo Family
If you are Chinese or have Chinese ancestry then a way to honor your heritage could be with a Chinese symbol that represents family. The beauty and intricacy of the Chinese logograms have made them an appealing choice for people who do not speak the language, and this can come with complications. Before getting a Chinese symbol, you need to ensure the translation is correct and not offensive. Do your research beforehand to determine if this is a wise choice for you.
Family Tattoos FAQs
What is a good tattoo for a family?
There are many fantastic tattoo options to honor your family. You can pick from simple designs such as the word 'family' or ink one of your favorite quotes with personal meaning. You can also opt for various animals, including elephants, bears, and wolves, celebrated for their strong familial bonds. Family crests and name body art is another wonderful choice to celebrate the bond you share with those you love.
What are symbols that represent family?
There are various symbols to honor family. What you decide to get will depend on your personal preference and the message you want to convey. You can take inspiration from the Celtic knot tattoos, which are often associated with an eternal bond, love, and life, or you can ink a family tree.
What flower tattoo symbolizes family?
The gladiolus flower represents family, as well as strength and integrity. Another bloom connected to your loved ones is the bittersweet flower, which is associated with a platonic relationship and can be tattooed to honor either family or the friends you consider to be part of your inner circle.
What is a family tattoo?
A family tattoo can be one of several designs, but the main idea is to honor the bond you share with those you love. It does not have to be a biological bond, as blood does not always determine who you call family. Some popular designs include a family crest and a family tree. Another option is animals associated with protection, strength, and loyalty, including the wolf, bear, and elephant. There are also various flowers and symbols like the heart and anchor, which can be a beautiful tribute to your loved ones.
Cailyn Cox holds a degree in journalism and has been working with The Trend Spotter as a writer for over ten years. She has worked with some of the most prestigious women’s and men's lifestyle publications. For her, writing is not just a job; it’s a passion, which is why each article she writes is approached with such enthusiasm and dedication. She has extensive knowledge of hairstyles, tattoos, and beauty and has made a career out of creating informative articles that appeal to women and men of all ages.
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