How To Decide On Tattoo Placement

After reading this post, you should have a better understanding of tattoo placements. With the knowledge, try to narrow down the possible tattooing locations. When you do this, you’ll eventually limit the available choices and will find it easier to finalise the location of the tattoo.

Blog author
Ink Public Team
August 9 2022

Are you thinking about getting your first tattoo? Then, you’ve probably thought about all the possible locations on your body to get it. Without question, it’s a nightmare to decide. Well, after all, it’s something you want to get right the first time.

As people say, the body is a canvas, and they’re right. But having such a large surface area doesn’t make it easy to make the first tattoo decision.

Statistically speaking, most women (27%) have tattoos on their ankles, while men are more fond of upper back tattoos (34%). However, the “ideal” location for one person might not be the same for another.

Therefore, how do we find your picture-perfect place? In this post, we’ll be detailing everything you need to know about achieving this.

Three things you should know about the first tattoo


Before getting into this, there are a few things you must be aware of before finalising the tattoo location.

1. Pain

All tattoos have some level of pain, with some areas hurting more than others. The first tattoo will likely hurt the most as you’ve never felt this type of sensation. To deduct the pain felt, you may want to use a Tattoo Numbing Cream.

2. Become open-minded
With tattoos, people can be really picky. Without question, it’s understandable. However, it would help if you took advice from your tattoo artist – the professional.

Although you might have planned out the perfect design and placement, you’re unlikely to have any previous tattooing experience. Therefore, it could be the wrong design for your type of placement.

If the tattoo artist suggests another design or perhaps a different placement, be open-minded about it. After all, these people have years of experience and only want the best for you.

3. Always prepare

Always prepare, don’t walk into a tattoo shop not knowing anything. Have an idea of the design, placement, colour, size, etc. From here, the artist can elaborate on your thoughts, and together, you’ll create a tattoo design that works.

You’ll want to consider these three things when getting the first tattoo. It might not seem much, but even considering these can go a long way.

How to find the best place for your first tattoo


Throughout the web, we see this repeatedly – “pick the least painful spot for your first tattoo”. Although it seems like excellent advice, it isn’t. Basing your tattoo placement on this isn’t sufficient. Instead, you should think about all three factors below:


The first consideration is the design. Not all designs suit placements, and not all placements suit designs. After consulting with a tattoo artist, they’ll probably need to make amendments to the design or placement to allow it to work.

Typically, bony areas, like a wrist or ankle, look better with swirling designs (like snakes) rather than portraits. Therefore, design plays a huge role in where the best placement is for the first tattoo.

Pain threshold

After thinking about design and placement, you’ll want to revert back to pain. Around the body, there are more painful areas than others. As a rule of thumb, the four most painful areas are the rib cage, ankles/shins, groin, and behind the knee. So, avoiding these certain locations might be a good idea. Instead, go for somewhere like the thigh or upper back.

Scale and size

To conclude the best location for your first tattoo, the last thing that needs considering is the scale and size – for instance, a tattoo of a detailed rose wouldn’t look great on your big toe. Instead, a more suitable location might be the thigh or forearm.

Ideally, larger, more detailed pieces want more tattoo surface area. Therefore, consider this and choose a suitable location for your desired scale and size.

When you think about these three factors, it should be possible to narrow down the potential tattoo locations. If you can do this, it makes the location ideas smaller and easier to decide.

The most optimal way to achieve this is by first building up an idea of the location. Once decided, or you have a few ideas in mind, consult a professional tattoo artist. Here, they can tell you what they think and offer expert guidance.

Where do we recommend it?

Despite all the preparation in the world, choosing a tattoo location is still remarkably hard. To make this process somewhat easier, we thought it’s best to mention our top recommendation. Don’t use these as permanent guidance, but more for inspiration.

Wrist – A super popular location among both genders. People like this area as it can get covered easily by a shirt, watch, or even bracelet if needed.

Hip – If you want to ramp up the size, the hip is an excellent tattoo placement. The surface area is large and quite fleshy, meaning less painful if you decided to not use a Numbing Cream For Tattoos.

Ankle – For smaller tattoos, the ankle is another excellent place. Like the wrist, it’s easily coverable and has room for tattoo extensions.

Forearm – Perhaps you want a larger tattoo than only on the wrist. In that circumstance, expand over to the forearm. It’s a popular location for tattoos; you can even begin a sleeve here.

Upper arm – If you want to wear short-sleeved t-shirts with no tattoo exposure, then the upper arm is an ideal location.

The above is some of the more favourable options to select when choosing a location for your first tattoo. Use these as inspiration and determine whether they’re suitable based on your pain tolerance, tattoo design, and size.

© Ink Public | 2024
United Kingdom