Do you want to get a tattoo that symbolizes your love for your family?
Perhaps you want to prove to your family, in a permanent way, how much you care about them and how you will always be there for them.
This can be done in a sleeve or a large chest or back tattoo, or with something as simple as the word “Family” on your forearm.
Both men and women get tattoos in honor of their families, and we will show you a bunch of great design ideas with their meanings that you can potentially use.
Let’s take a look at what designs can represent family:
Elephant tattoos represent unity, loyalty, love, compassion, strength, and fidelity.
All of these meanings truly symbolize the essence of family.
This is a great tattoo to get in honor of the bond you have with your family and as a promise to always put them first.
This tattoo can be received by a man or a woman and has no specific gender attached to it.
Anyone can receive an elephant tattoo as a way of paying homage to their family.
Butterfly tattoos can symbolize freedom, fertility, joy, immortality, and the soul.
This tattoo is about the belief that you and your family will be together forever and that they bring your immense joy.
The Simplicity of the Word, “Family”
It may seem obvious, but having a tattoo of the word “Family” is an excellent way to prove to your family that you love and care about them.
Some people get this word tattoo in cursive, others in different fonts, but the meaning is always the same.
This kind of lettering tattoo means that you love your family unconditionally and will always be there for them.
Family Lettering Tattoos
Other than the word “Family,” there are many types of lettering tattoos possible to represent the love you have for your family.
For example, you could receive a tattoo that says, “You Are My Life Now,” or “One Love Forever.”
There are loads of other quotes, phrases, and words that you can get that symbolize family.
You could also receive the names of your immediate family members in a tattoo design!
There are a lot of options here, so choose wisely and pick a lettering tattoo that is close to your heart.
Sibling Lettering Tattoos
If you want to specifically represent your siblings in your family tattoo, you can get a tattoo that says, “Sisters,” or “Brothers,” and wear it proudly as a way of honoring your bond with them.
This is a blatant symbol of appreciation for your brother or sister, and one that can also work well as a matching tattoo.
Birthday Date Tattoos
A date tattoo signifying the date of a family member’s birth or death can illustrate a remembrance of them.
This date is usually accompanied by another tattoo symbol representing family love, such as a heart tattoo or an infinity symbol.
This tattoo design is an excellent way of carrying on that person’s memory and a way of you promising never to forget them or stop loving them.
People typically associate mom tattoos with the 1950s, where many American sailors would get a tattoo of a heart with the word “Mom” inside of it.
These tattoos do not solely belong in the past.
People still get “Mom” tattoos as a representation of how the mother of the household is often the heart of the family.
Without the mom, in fact, there would be no family at all.
This tattoo can show your recognition of your mom’s importance in holding the family together and creating you and your siblings.
Tallest to Shortest Tattoo
You may have seen the bumper sticker that has the tallest family member on the left, and a cascading image of each other family member ranked by height.
This is not only a popular bumper sticker but works as a tattoo, too.
This tattoo design is a cute way of showing you, your spouse, and your children in a tattoo that can represent each one of them and how much you care about them.
Infinity Symbol Tattoos
The infinity tattoo is the ultimate symbol of unity and eternity.
These are symbolic statements that are more than appropriate to represent family.
The Infinity tattoo symbol represents the eternal love that you share with your family and how you will never give up on them.
Family Sleeve Tattoos
There are many designs representing family that you can incorporate into a sleeve tattoo.
You can incorporate any of the tattoo symbols we have discussed so far with other patterns and decorative designs.
Receiving a sleeve in honor of your family means that you are dedicated to them for life and it is an extremely strong symbol of your love for them.
Rose and Anchor Tattoos
Rose and anchor tattoos represent on the one hand love, and on the other hand loyalty and safety.
The rose in this tattoo symbolizes the undying love that you have for your family and if part of your family involves a spouse, it also represents the romance bonding you two.
The anchor part means that you are bound to your family like glue and that if they are going down your going down with them.
This kind of strong loyalty is only found in the best of families and truly means that you will never let your family members down.
Rose tattoos by themselves symbolize intense love shared between family members.
Roses also can symbolize romantic love between two partners within a family.
Roses are often given as gifts of love and affection.
They can also be tattoos accompanied by other symbols that represent love or loyalty, or by lettering tattoos such as the names of your family members.
Anchor tattoos are great symbols for the meaning of loyalty.
Anchors hold boats in place and they are relied on by people to serve their purpose– a purpose which they succeed in fulfilling.
In the same way, families anchor together and are loyal in their job of being part of a family unit.
Therefore, anchors are an excellent tattoo symbol for families sticking together and being loyal to one another.
Russian Doll Tattoos
Everyone is familiar with the Russian dolls that each fit inside of one another.
These dolls can become tattoo symbols of the different members of your immediate family.
This tattoo represents how they all fit together perfectly and how you each need each other to complete a whole.
There are many ways, design-wise, that these dolls can be represented.
Each design, however, has the same meaning: this tattoo represents unity, togetherness, and family.
One can use a tree as a metaphor for the family: the branches represent each part of your immediate and distant family members, while the roots represent the bond that holds you all together and helps you all stay grounded.
Tree tattoos also represent safety, which is in many cultures held as special importance to the father of the household.
Many men do get tree tattoos, whether they know about this symbolism or not.
Both men and women can get these tattoos, however, to symbolize the unity and importance of family.
Another tattoo that you can get that represents family is a flock of birds that are flying.
Each bird tattoo can represent one family member in your immediate family, or a general flock could represent your family in its entirety.
Birds have great freedom, yet they choose to stay together when they travel.
These bird tattoos can represent the fact that your family members are growing in different directions, but they still choose to stay together at the end of the day as one flock.
Family Portrait Tattoos
You don’t have to receive the faces of all of your family members, but many people get the faces of their children tattooed in a sleeve, back, or chest tattoo.
This tattoo may just be the ultimate symbol of the family because you are tattooing your family member or members onto your body to be there forever.
Family is Forever
No matter what, strong families are bonded together forever.
Not only do you share the same name, but you share the same ancestors and the same spirit, too.
A tattoo that is aimed to represent family is a small way of strengthening that bond, and of proving to your family that you will never let them down.
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Alyssa Kucinski is a writer, curator, and photographer who publishes articles on the topics of the arts, culture, and social justice. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in fashion business and art history and museum professions. Her experience working with a variety of art institutions, her world travel, and her inquisitive nature provides her with a unique insight. Check out her about page, she would love to connect with you!