Geometric Tattoo – Where Shapes, Lines and Points Meet Ink
The popularity of the geometric tattoo is not a mere trend thing – these tattoos hold great behind behind the simple lines and shapes.
These tattoos only look simple, even though their composition holds great beauty.
Geometric tattoos draw their simplicity from the use of common shapes – lines, circles squares, triangles.
However, these simple shapes joint together form beautiful and intricate patterns that adorn so many tattoo lovers around the world.
Geometric tattoos can be both abstract, as well as taking organic shapes, such as animals, to form renditions of them through geometric form.
Below we go further in detail about the different geometric shapes and their meanings.
Let’s dive deep into the world of geometric tattoos and see how we can get your custom tattoo design started.
What Does Every Geometric Shape Mean?
When thinking of shapes, geometric shapes are the first to come to mind. There are also organic and abstract shapes.
Geometric shapes featured in tattoos include:
These shapes are easily identified and have been given names.
The shapes with straight lines and angles usually symbolise structure and order, while the shapes with curves are softer and represent connection and community.
Geometric shapes mimic the structure of built environments and suggest pattern and order.
They can communicate efficiency, discipline, and solidity.
The 6th century BCE Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras believed that geometry was the rational understanding of God, man, and nature: Many of the shape meanings in western philosophies arise from his writings. Various meanings are commonly ascribed to these shapes, particularly when used in religious or magical contexts.
They can also direct the eye with strong edges that appear to point. Arrows and triangles are good examples of this.
Circle is one of the first geometric shapes that comes to the mind, even though perfect circles are most impossible to find in the natural environment.
Circles have the shape of life-giving elements like the sun and moon, which gives them the life-cycle symbolism.
This perfect round shape also has the sacred quality – it represents unity, wholeness, and infinity.
Different religions have intepreted the circle only slightly differently, but always tying to it to the most divine.
In the Zen Buddhist philosophy, a circle stands for enlightenment and perfection in unity with the primal principles.
Circles are sometimes symbols of the Judeo-Christian God and sanctity, appearing as haloes.
In Chinese symbology, the circle represents the heavens.
Circles are also often seen as protective symbols.
The circle is usually connected with the ouroboros (snake eating snake) or Celtic dragons, sun symbols, element of spirit.
Triangle is a geometric shapes consisting of three lines.
Due to its simplicity and connection to the simple number of 3, it’s a very common symbol in various cultures around the world.
In Judeo-Christian socities, equilateral triangles most often have Christian meanings in religious contexts.
Because the Christian God is a trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost united in a single godhead—he is commonly represented by a triangle.
Triangles and other three-part symbols may present such concepts as past, present, and future or spirit, mind, and body.
There is one thing to note with the triangles.
Depending on how their points are turned, they can have different meaning.
Point-up triangles represent:
- a strong foundation or stability.
- Earth and water symbols are formed from point-up triangles;
- pointing upward stands for the ascent to heaven
- male energy, and fire and air are masculine elements
The point-down triangle can represent:
- female energy
- water and earth are feminine elements
- symbols for air and fire are formed from point-down triangles
- the descent into the physical world.
When paired and presented as point-to-point, triangles represent sexual union and the principle of harmony.
Square and Rectangle
Pythagoras associated the square with the number 4, and that number in many cultures is commonly associated with material things—physical elements, compass directions, and seasons.
Thus, squares and crosses are often used as symbols of the material world.
However, squares have visual solidness that crosses lack. A square has volume; it contains space.
Squares represent solidity, a perfection that is static, dependable, earthly and material.
In Hinduism, the square represents cosmic order and the balance of opposites; in Native American religions, the square represents permanence, a safe place.
In Chinese symbolism, the square represents the earth. In many many cultures, a square is a meeting place, a plaza at the heart of a city.
Squares, with their rigid edges and even proportions, suggest stability and order. Square shapes are calming and pleasing to look at because they evoke a sense of conformity, honesty, and rationality.
Crosses are the result of two rectangles or lines intersecting, but can also be made up of intersecting triangles, circles, or ovals.
Traditionally symbolic of the meeting of divine energies, cross tattoos still retain their religious association, but also suggest healing and balance, making them a natural fit for medical-themed branding.
Geometric Tattoo Style – What Can You Combine It With?
Geometric elements have not only been the sole base elements of purely geometric tattoos, but have also been a staple of other tattoo styles.
The tattoo styles that often rely strongly on geometric tattoos are:
- Trash polka tattoos
- Watercolor tattoos
- Tribal tattoos
- Blackwork tattoos
- Dotwork tattoos
- Illustrative / abstract tattoos
- Mandala tattoos
The elements are as far reaching as their deep symbolism and their aesthetic addition to composition of other styles.
When going for larger tattoos, for example a tattoo sleeve, the geometric section can be a great tattoo filler or segway into organic shapes.
Sacred Geometry – Beyond Religion and Culture
Sacred geometry ascribes symbolic and sacred meanings to certain geometric shapes and certain geometric proportions. It is associated with the belief that a god is the geometer of the world. Geometry is often referred to as the “architecture of the universe”.
These patterns are said to satisfy both the left brain and right brain hemispheres simultaneously.
Apparently, the sacred geometry satisfies the left brains desire for logical, sequential and objective data. It also satisfies the right brains desire for random, intuitive and subjective data.
The graphic below taken from Pardesco.com shows all of the basic sacred geometry shapes:
- egg of life
- fruit of life
- Metatron’s cube
- Vesica piscis
- seed of life
- germ of life
- tree of life
- 64 tetrahedron
- flower of life
- vector equlibrium
How Will Geometric Tattoos Age?
Geometry tattoos are a rather new trend in tattooing, but the tattoo techniques they rely on are not all new.
Using of thick lines, heavy, filled out shading and basic colors is the staple of the American traditional tattoos, and as such build a base of many tattoo artists’ skills to use in this tattoo style.
Now, some may doubt of the finer lines and watercolor elements used in the geometric tattoo style, given that they are considered of somewhat of a shorter lifespan.
A good tattoo artist will know how to use all of these elements in combination and to the best effect.
They are also beautiful addition to feminine tattoos, especiall in the form of mandalas as a backdrop to flowers.
Granted, all tattoos will require a redone after decades have passed, so you should count on retouching your geometric tattoo, but as any tattoo once enough time has passed.
To ensure longevity of your tattoo, every tattoo lover must ensure their new ink is well taken for and healed properly.
Geometric Tattoo Ideas
To help you with your research for your next tattoo design, below you will find our best geometric tattoos from our tattoo guides.
Click on the headline to learn more about each tattoo symbol.
Take a look below to check them out all:
Are you looking for a custom geometric tattoo design? We got you.
Our expert tattoo artists will provide a quick initial draft to get you going.
Happy inking ❤
About the author
Milena has decided to start an organization that will create a safe environment for everybody to get their first, second or third tattoo and to encourage young people to transform their ideas into tattoos safely, with talent and vision.
You can find her writing about tattoos on Quora or updating our Pinterest profile with awesome tattoo ideas!