...
Korean Tattoo Ideas

20 Awesome Korean Tattoo Ideas for Your Next Ink

Along with the invention of tattoo machines and new techniques, the tattoo styles are also evolving. Nowadays, you can find different styles of tattoos and not limited to certain styles only. The possibilities in tattoos are now almost limitless with a wider variety of styles and colors. 

One of the new styles that gained massive popularity and fans all across the world is the Korean tattoo style. It is interesting because tattooing in Korea is still considered as an illegal practice. However, the tattoo artists who work underground have managed to create a distinct and unique style that has become a new trend. It is getting even more popular with the rise of ABG (Asian Baby Girl) popularity who are known for their beautiful delicate tattoos. 

If you are not familiar with the Koprean tattoo style, they are usually recognized by the delicate style with fine lining that can be achieved by using the single needle tattooing technique. If you are interested in getting a Korean tattoo yourself, the following is a list of cool Korean tattoo ideas to inspire you. 

1. Korean Name Tattoo

Source: Pinterest (@tattoogrid.net)

You can get your name personalized in Korean and get it tattooed in your body forever. Or if you are not as narcissistic, you can also get your loved one’s name tattooed on you. But remember that it will be a forever piece in your body so you need to make sure that the person’s name is someone that is actually important in your life and not just a temporary passerby. 

2. Korean Lettering Tattoo

Lettering is one of the most common styles that appear in body art tattoos. Lettering can be a safe option when it comes to Korean tattoo ideas for guys as well as for girls since letters are very neutral and easily personalized. You can play around with the ink colors like this tattoo and get a custom Korean lettering if you don’t speak Korean yourself. Just make sure that the translation is legit so you don’t have any typos. 

3. Doodle Style Tattoo

Source: Instagram (@02percentof02)

Along with the development of tattoo style, so many new styles have occurred including so-called ignorant style tattoos and doodle tattoos. You can see this style all around the world including the South Korea tattoo scene. The main characteristics that set aside Korean style doodle tattoo from the others are still the subtle color used so it still embraces the playfulness but remains delicate at the same time. You can customize your own doodle tattoo design if you also want to take part in this trend. 

4. Wildflower Tattoo

Source: Pinterest (@asia.be.com)

Wild flowers, along with other types of flowers, often appear on top of the Korean tattoo designs first. This is because the nature of wildflowers goes along very well with the delicate aesthetic. Small wildflower tattoos are very popular because they can be easily placed on almost every body part. Not ready for the real deal yet? Get a temporary wildflower tattoo to try on. 

5. Cute Colorful Tattoo

Source: Pinterest (@twitter.com)

This one is probably a little bit less popular but still has a decent amount of fans in Korea, especially the youth who are careless about the social norm and want to do whatever they want. It takes nerves to do this tattoo because it usually consists of bright colors that will stand out. If you don’t think that this Korean tattoo design is not a good idea for you but are still curious on what it looks like on your skin, you can get cute colorful temporary tattoos instead.  

6. Minimalist Line Tattoo

Source: Pinterest (@weheartit.com)

Tattoo inspiration can come from different places. It can be a personal experience or a popular K-pop group album like this one. Whichever you draw the inspiration from, minimalist line tattoos are also pretty much popular in Korea. The designs also vary from portraits, doodles, to abstracts. You can get your hands on minimalist liner tattoos by trying these abstract minimalist temporary tattoos. 

7. Arm Flower Tattoo

Source: Pinterest (@mail02.orange.fr)

Asian Baby Girl (ABG) is a term used as an alternative to Instagram baddies and used specifically for Asian girls. They are known for having a distinct style that is characterized by a certain makeup style, dark clothing, and for having delicate Korean flower tattoos on their arm. If you want to turn yourself into an ABG, you can get these temporary flower tattoos to put on your arm and you are ready to get your boba tea. 

8. Watercolor Flower Tattoos

Source: Pinterest (@inkppl.com)

Aside from minimalistic style, Korean tattoo artists are also known for their colorful mixed shaped tattoos. The colors on these tattoos however, are still not overly saturated. They still hold onto that delicate characteristic and the tattoo is usually done in more subtle ink to create a watercolor effect. Before commiting to the permanent ink, you can try to get these temporary watercolor tattoos and see if it’s going to look good on your skin. 

9. Tiny Flower Tattoo

Source: Pinterest (@readinsideout.com)

Another style that appears a lot in Korean tattoo style is tiny weeny flowers. These mini tattoos have become popular and people love it because it is easy to conceal and hide. These small Korean tattoo ideas are ideal if you want something that is truly subtle and pretty. These tattoos can be done through a single needle tattoo technique which requires a specific skill set. If you want to get them just for fun, you can opt for the tiny temporary tattoos instead. 

10. Minimalist Line Tattoo

Source: Pinterest (@🌙𝒮𝓊𝓃𝓃𝓎✨)

If we learned something about Korean tattoo style this far, it is that in Korean tattoo, less is more. Unlike other tattoo styles that require intense pigment and high contrast, in Korean tattoo style, we find a lot of simple line works, which are very difficult to achieve and will not look good if not done properly. You can get a similar look with much simpler steps by using this semi permanent Korean flower tattoo that looks just as realistic. 


You might also like:


11. Hyper Realistic Micro Tattoo

Source: Pinterest (@boredpanda.com)

Micro tattoos, especially the one with hyper realistic ones are still a hot topic in between tattoo artists. This style is still relatively new compared to other tattoo styles and gained massive popularity in such a short time. The reason is due to the beautiful imagery it is capable of bringing. We found this style a lot in Korean tattoo designs. This tattoo can only be done by a highly skilled tattoo artist to ensure high-quality results. 

12. Mini Planets Tattoos

Source: Pinterest (@dicasdemulher.com.br)

Still falling into the fine lining tattoo category, this tattoo is also pretty popular in Korean tattoo ideas search. It usually incorporates pastel colors instead of high-contrasting rainbows. Even though this fine lining technique might make the tattoos fade a little bit faster compared to the high contrast ones, this tattoo will remain its main shape for a long time because it doesn’t incorporate too much shading and focus mainly on the lines. 

13. Small Neo Traditional Tattoo

Small Neo Traditional Tattoo
Source: Pinterest (@tattoodo.com)

Neo-traditional is a tattoo style developed from the traditional tattoos that is usually limited to certain color palettes. The difference between the OG traditional tattoo and neotrad is that netrad usually features a more realistic approach. This Korean tattoo artist did such a good job by tackling all of the requirements. Even better, they did it on a small scale and still give the tattoo enough contrast so the tattoo won’t lose its shape easily. 

14. Hyper Realistic Small Tattoo

Hyper Realistic Small Tattoo
Source: Instagram (@studiobysol)

There are a lot of talented Korean tattoo artists who do this style lately. It focuses on creating a realistic portrait tattoo that is micro size. The tattoo will look so cute and you can make it as a memory of something that is truly meaningful. Even though a lot of tattoo artists disagree with the single needle tattoo practice because its quality still needs to be tested, you can still get this tattoo style as long as you are sure that the artist is capable of what they do. 

15. Zodiac Sign Tattoo

Zodiac Sign Tattoo
Source: Instagram (@studiobysol)

Zodiac signs are the perfect tattoo idea to get if you want to rock the delicate Korean tattoo style. It can be done beautifully in a delicate way whether a fine lining, a colorful watercolor, or the others. Since zodiac signs are often associated with spaces and stars, it can also be created into one whole design that goes together with each other. 

16. Monochrome Oriental Tattoo

Monochrome Oriental Tattoo
Source: Instagram (@studiobysol)

Tired of black ink? Then try a monochromatic tattoo in other colors such as blue, or red. Oriental tattoo is a tattoo style that originated and developed from Asia, therefore it makes sense if this style also appears a lot in Korean tattoo design. The use of limited colors (usually only one or two) aside from black also gained more and more popularity lately. Monochromatic palette still offers simplicity and delicacy. 

17. Flower Frame Tattoo

Flower Frame Tattoo
Source: Instagram (@o.ri_tattoo)

Flower frame tattoos that usually feature a shape and othe image inception are also very popular. It is not limited to flowers only, but also sceneric scenes or vintage paintings. These tattoos are unique because they are both delicate and bold at the same time. This is the one to get if you want to get something small but speak loud. 

18. Bracelet Tattoo

Bracelet Tattoo
Source: Pinterest (@eslamoda.com)

Due to its delicate design, it is appropriate to get a Korean tattoo style in the form of a bracelet both for your ankle or wrist. It will look super natural and not distracting but still serve the function of body art tattoos. It can also easily be covered with socks and shoes. 


You might also like:


19. Flower Flag Tattoo

Flower Flag Tattoo
Source: Pinterest (@instagram.com)

Do you know that Korea is associated with flowers? If you are looking for Korean tattoo designs and meanings, you may find that flowers represent immortality. Something soft but its beauty lasts forever. If you are a Korean away from home, you can get this Korean flower flag tattoo to remember your homeland. 

20. White Ink Tattoo

White Ink Tattoo
Source: Pinterest (@wattpad.com)

Some people may say that white ink tattoos are useless. They are not entirely wrong since white ink will heal in a way that makes the design not clearly visible. However, if delicacy and minimalism is what you are looking for, it can be a perfect idea to get. The white ink is usually used as a highlight in tattoos to add details and contrast. It can also be incorporated to complete a minimal tattoo design with more interesting variations without ruining its simplicity. 


Latest Post:


What is a Korean style tattoo?

Korean style tattoo is a tattoo style developed by Korean tattoo artists with a distinct style and technique. They are usually delicate with fine lines that are achieved through a single needle tattooing technique. Korean style tattoos usually appear more subtle and pretty in their own way giving a delicate vibe that is enough for body decoration but doesn’t look heavy. 

What do tattoos mean in Korean?

Tattooing in Korea is still considered as a social norm violation, Hence, people who get tattooed in Korea are viewed as rebels who are against the norm. It is often associated with gang members and certain subcultural groups. The meaning of the tattoos then depends on the tattoo the people choose. For example, floral tattoos symbolize immortality, tigers symbolize guardians, and dragons represent gratitude, kindness,and devotion. 

At what age can you get a tattoo in Korea?

Since tattooing in Korea is still considered as illegal, there is no actual legal age to get tattooed. However, tattoo artists in Korea might still apply the minimum age standard applied in other countries like the US which is 18. This rule comes from an ethical code the artists follow not to tattoo minors. 

Can foreigners get tattoos in Korea?

Yes, foreigners can get tattoos in Korea. Tattoo artists in Korea are usually open for foreigner clients so you can get tattoos in Korea. You may think that you will be banned from getting a tattoo in Korea, but no, the tattoo itself is legal. You won’t get arrested for sporting your ink. WHat’s illegal is the tattoo practice. So you need to get direct contact with the tattoo artist and make an appointment to get a tattoo in Korea. 

How are tattoos viewed in Korea?

As mentioned before, tattoos are viewed as a social norm violation. Hence people with tattoos in Korea are considered as the rebels who simply don’t care about the norm anymore. Tattoos in Korea are still viewed as taboo to the point that tattoos will be blurred or pixelated on public broadcast to avoid offending the audience. This is what the Korean youth try to challenge by sporting their ink in public. 

Scroll to Top