25 Brilliant Elephant Tattoo Design Ideas & Meanings

Elephants are famous for their massive size yet calm demeanor. They are rapidly becoming a more popular tattoo design among men thanks to their rich symbolism. As one of the most well-known animals on earth, images of these gentle giants can be adapted to suit an array of tattoo art styles. In this post, we will explore some of the best elephant tattoo designs that can inspire your next piece. 

Elephant Tattoo Meaning

What does an elephant tattoo mean? Research shows that as compared to other animals, elephants are sensitive and emotional beings. They feel compassion towards their young ones and even mourn for them when they die.

One of the most common motifs in elephant tattoos is the one where two elephants are standing together with their trunks entwined. This is a symbol of love and friendship, which shows that these mammals have a very strong bond with each other. It speaks about how much they care for each other’s feelings and how they would go through any length of trouble for their loved ones.

In some cultures, elephants are very highly respected and revered animals that symbolize good luck and wisdom. In fact, in Hindu culture, Elephant god Ganesha is one of the most worshipped deities who blesses his followers with prosperity, fortune and good luck. If you identify with these traditional values and feel a connection to the elephant, it might be the perfect tattoo design for you.

1. Mandala Elephant Tattoo

A Mandala elephant tattoo symbolizes the intertwining of two spiritual worlds; Buddha and Hinduism. Hindus believe that elephants are symbols of power, prosperity, fertility, while Buddhists view them as symbols of peace and wisdom. The asymmetry of this body art is representative of these two different cultures. The design can be worn to show pride in one’s culture or religion; however it does not always represent this. It can be worn for other reasons such as the design being aesthetically pleasing or simply an expression.

2. Elephant Outline Tattoo

If you’re looking for a simple yet eye-catching tattoo, consider getting an elephant outline tattoo. These are great for people who have not yet decided on a specific image. For instance, you can go for a cartoon elephant outline tattoo or geometric shapes for a more modern look.

3. Simple Elephant Tattoo

A great thing about elephant tattoos is that they can be as complex or as simple as you want. So, if you like keeping things subtle, settling for a traditional black-ink elephant tattoo is an excellent choice. There are several ways to incorporate these, including line drawing, silhouette, or cartoon. 

4. Elephant Family Tattoo

Elephants are known to be family-oriented gentle giants, similar to humans. These animals live together with their offspring for years, forming unbreakable bonds, unlike most wild animals. Elephants visit the graves of deceased family members. Because of these unique qualities, getting an elephant family tattoo is a great way to represent the strength of your family bond.

5. Small Elephant Tattoo 

Although elephants are considered some of the largest animals in the world, they can look incredibly cute as a small tattoo. You can place small elephant tattoos anywhere on your body, ranging from your wrists down to your back — making it a flexible choice. 

6. Black and Gray Elephant Tattoo

Elephants usually lend well to traditional black-ink and gray-ink tattoos since their natural color is gray, making for a fantastic tattoo. However, whether you’re aiming for a realistic interpretation of the gentle giant or a complex or culturally significant tattoo, you can get an incredible amount of detail from this limited color palette. If you’re looking for a realistic portrait, this format is the best choice. 

7. Baby Elephant Tattoo

A mommy and baby elephant tattoo makes for an adorable piece. Every elephant herd, no matter the size, consists of mothers and their babies, making this a great elephant tattoo for women. Additionally, it would make an excellent choice for new dads looking to pay tribute to their partners and children. 

8. Tribal Elephant Tattoo

If you’re looking for a complex piece, getting a tribal elephant tattoo is ideal. That’s because tribal art tattoos often use blank ink, curved lines, and unique patterns, creating striking, appealing, and meaningful pieces. In addition, these designs often are abstract since tribal tattoos are inspired by nature. A tribal elephant tattoo is a perfect choice for those who want to express their connection to the wild. 

9. Elephant Head Tattoo

An elephant head tattoo symbolizes the power of compassion. It also signifies the incredible depth to which they are able to see. Those who have an elephant head tattoo are open-minded, caring, intelligent, and wise. They are able to keep things in perspective by remaining calm amidst tumultuous times. The unique ears and trunks of the gentle giant make this piece instantly recognizable, helping your tattoo stand out more. Since the tattoo artist only needs to work on just the head, you can get them to place more emphasis on detail and color.

10. Elephant and Flower Tattoo 

Although flowers are often associated with femininity, they look equally good on a powerful man. That’s why combining flowers with elephants can be a great way to add a pop of color to your tattoos. These pieces are often filled with bold and bright designs — packing a visual punch.

11. Indian Elephant Tattoo

In Indian culture, elephants are hugely respected, with the country homing thousands of native Asian elephants. Conventionally, kings rode atop elephants that were decorated with jewels and expensive fabric. To get the most out of this tattoo design, take cues from traditional Indian art and implement its unique and decorative pattern and symbols into the tattoo. 

12. Elephant Heart Tattoo

One of the many reasons elephants are beloved and respected is that they show a deep sense of love and loyalty to their family. They are also known to express grief when one of them dies. Therefore, an elephant heart tattoo can have numerous meanings depending on the wearer’s choice. It can be worn to illustrate your love for people, especially those who are close to you or simply to show that you value them in your life.

13. African Elephant Tattoo

The African Elephant is the biggest living land animal on earth. From earliest times, these animals have held a fascination for humans, who believe that the elephants possess magical strength and supernatural powers. If you are fascinated by them or want to pay homage to these beautiful giants than this tattoo design might be perfect for your body art portfolio. Although there are many styles to choose from, the most popular option is an elephant profile with the African savannah as the background. It’s best to have this tattoo inked with color to bring it to life. 

14. Watercolor Elephant Tattoo

A watercolor elephant tattoo has a very artistic feel to it. The masterfully done design is extremely gorgeous and can be worn by both men and women alike. Remember to choose your watercolors carefully and make them as unique to you as possible. But generally, it’s best to pick bold hues like magenta and turquoise.  

15. Geometric Elephant Tattoo

Incorporating geometric elements into tattoo designs has been a growing trend for a while, and it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. That’s because the angular shapes, sharp lines, and other symbols add a modern and futuristic touch, making them especially striking when paired with animals, like an elephant. There are many geometric elephant tattoos to explore, so make sure to give your inking a fresh and unique twist.

16. Realistic Elephant Tattoo

As tattoo artists gain more skills and styles to explore in recent years, realistic tattoos are becoming more popular. This tattoo design is the best choice for those looking to get an elephant tattoo as close to real-life as possible. However, remember that photorealistic tattoos are more challenging and technical to make than other kinds of tattoos. That’s why when getting a realistic elephant tattoo, go with an experienced artist — and have a clear reference photo for full impact. 

17. Line of Elephants Tattoo

An increasingly popular elephant tattoo design is the line of elephants concept, which usually features 3 to 4 elephants — or even more. It’s worth noting that elephants are family-oriented creatures, similar to humans, making this piece a perfect choice if you’re looking to immortalize your love for your family. A tattoo like this usually consists of one adult elephant trailed by their kids. 

18. Elephant Watercolor and Geometric Tattoo

This elephant tattoo design combines two intricate techniques, watercolor, and geometric styles. Because of their complexity, you’re given the flexibility of creating unique templates unique to your taste. Geometric tattoos are guaranteed to provide any tattoo a cool and artsy vibe, making it the perfect design for sophisticated men. Adding a splash of color through watercolor styling is a great way to make the tattoo feel and look alive. 

19. Monochrome Elephant With Flowers Tattoo

Although many assume flowers to be feminine, meaningful floral and bloom tattoos like daisies and chrysanthemums have been a popular tattoo design choice among men for centuries. That’s because these flowers not only look appealing and striking in traditional black ink, they’re also rich in symbolism, representing different concepts, ranging from life itself to death. It’s best to pair your elephant tattoo with a flower such as a lotus or a daisy.

20. Fading Elephant Tattoo

This tattoo design is an excellent piece for men looking to add more mystery to their ink. Usually, the left or right of an elephant’s head will fade perfectly on the wearer’s inner arm, making it look like it got painted directly on your skin. The fading elephant tattoo design follows a realistic and detailed illustrative style. 

21. Elephant Skull Tattoo

One of the most incredible and eye-catching tattoo designs is an elephant skull tattoo. It is cool and masculine, boasting large curved tusks, which can look menacing. Similar to other skull tattoos, the elephant skull tattoo doesn’t necessarily represent death or bad luck. Instead, it shows that you have no fear of mortality. It can represent other things as well, like loss of innocence or wisdom, or strength in life that is gained through loss. One of the most popular skull tattoos amongst men, an elephant skull tattoo can be worn by either women or men.

22. Elephant Back Tattoo

As the name suggests, an elephant back tattoo is a great way for those who love elephants to show their admiration and respect by getting it inked on their back. The design is usually large as well as intricate as compared to other forms of body art. It requires extreme accuracy and precision, and will take several sessions to complete. In this form, the elephant is usually used as a symbol of pride and strength with its head held high.

23. Elephant Thigh Tattoo

The thigh is another place where you can get an elephant tattoo inked. It looks best on the outer side of the legs or even higher up, on the hips. The reason why many women wear elephant tattoo designs here is because it resembles an hourglass figure which accentuates their curves nicely. This unique body art looks very classy, sexy and elegant when placed on the right parts of the body.

24. Elephant Foot Tattoo

The meaning of an elephant foot tattoo is different for men and women. For men, this tattoo represents strength, courage, integrity, honor, power, wisdom and loyalty. It can also be viewed as a sign to show that one has overcome some sort of life-changing incident or hardship successfully. However, for women, an elephant foot tattoo symbolizes fertility and motherhood.

25. Elephant Hand Tattoo

An elephant hand and arm tattoo design can look very interesting as your artist will be able extend the design all the way down to your finger. An elephant tattoo with its trunk wrapped around your hand is symbolic of strength and protection. It grabs onto the one who wears it like a bracelet, making them powerful enough to protect themselves in every situation. 


Where should I put my elephant tattoo?

The choice is yours, but the most popular places for an elephant tattoo are the shoulders, forearm, legs, or chest. These areas are most visible and so can succesfully show off the detail of your tattoo. 

How much does an elephant tattoo cost?

Simple elephant tattoos can go for around $70 to $80. But that price range significantly varies per tattoo shop and artist. The price will also be affected by the tattoo’s style, design, and size. 

What do elephant tattoos mean? 

Elephant are associated with love and friendship, but also power, luck and wisdom. For this reason, an elephant tattoo is an excellent option for people who want to express these traits. 

Are elephant tattoos bad luck?

Elephants are considered lucky as many associates these gentle giants with prosperity. So, they’re far from being bad luck.