175 Simple Compass Tattoos to stay in right Path


A compass is known to be a popular tool used by travelers, especially those who journey across the sea or air. That’s because a compass can help them achieve a sense of direction. When the compass was first made, they weren’t used specifically for spatial navigation. Instead, people used them as a tool for divination – Guiding people spiritually, instead of physically. The compass was invented in China during the Han dynasty. But it was only until the 11th century that people started using it as an object to help them navigate things.

Apart from its utilitarian value, the compass also has a classy and cool look to it. So it’s not exactly surprising that plenty of people want to get a tattoo of a compass. No matter if it’s solely because of its looks or for utility purposes, the compass tattoo is very popular among people from across the globe. Compass tattoos first came into prominence in the Navy, but nowadays you can see this type of design on fishermen, travelers, explorers, and other tattoo enthusiasts.

Types of Compass Tattoo Designs

  • Compass Tattoo With Star: This tattoo design is utilized to represent the northern star, which was actually the first point of origin to guide people on whatever direction they may choose. People on the ocean and on land have utilized the north star as a guide to help them navigate the correct direction of their destination. There’s a lovely aesthetic appeal that adds in to the fondness of this type of tattoo design.
  • Compass Tattoo With Anchor: This combination of an anchor and a compass tattoo is great since both of them contain deep meanings. While a compass serves to provide people with a right direction, the anchor is a symbol of stability. And without both of them present, it was basically impossible for seafarers to cross the treacherous seas. This is the reason why a lot of tattoo fans choose to pair up these two when getting a design. If you do pick this combination, it’s highly suggested that you get it done on your back instead, or the thigh, or the chest, since it’ll provide the artist with enough space to incorporate both objects as artistically and as creatively possible.
  • Compass With Map Tattoo: People who enjoy travelling also decide to get themselves a compass tattoo on their bodies, to tell people that the entire world is their home. These designs are oftentimes accompanied by an element used for travelling, like a giant map, or a plane – Since this makes the meaning of the tattoo seem even clearer.
  • Compass With Plane Tattoo: Keep in mind that the compass is used as a tool for travelling, on both land and seas. This is a tattoo that is perfect if you love boarding planes and travelling from one corner of the globe to another, learning and absorbing as many cultures as you possibly can.
  • 3D Compass Tattoo: The look of the conventional compass has always fascinated people – Thanks to its rounded face and the pointy needle in the middle. This is known to be one of the best three-dimensional tattoo designs, since the object’s image can be tattooed with all dimensions, giving it a solid feel. An easier version of the tattoo would have to be four needles pointing in all of its directions. This tattoo has been painted with a singular color and its main goal is to create a contrast with your own skin. So this is the reason why you could pick any color for this type of compass tattoo.

Compass Tattoo Meaning

The compass tattoo is seen as a protective charm. It has been held in high esteem from so many people. People who have served in the military often utilize this compass tattoo as a sign of their loyalty and reliance to their branch or ranking. Compasses are also connected with religious symbolism as well. Since the compass has been used for centuries by all sorts of people, it’s regarded as an ancient symbol of security and safety. Boots, seabirds, anchors, and axes are all utilized to represent a hiking or naval background.

Compass tattoos are also a symbolic representation of a traveler, who loves to explore the globe. Sailors are known to possess compass tattoos, so they won’t get lost while they’re at sea. And in general, a compass tattoo can symbolize guidance, direction, safe journeys, and protection. A compass provides us with a sense of security when it comes to direction as well. We fully trust and know the magnetic guidance given to us by a compass. Plenty of people use the compass as a tattoo design, to represent staying on course when an obstacle arrives.

A compass could also be associated with the North Star, since its placement remains reliable and static. Home can be found with a compass too, and this is the reason why plenty of travelers equip themselves with compass when they’re out on a journey.

Compass tattoos can be decorated with globes and nautical stars to show off this meaning nicely.

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Compass Tattoo Placement

The positioning of a compass tattoo will depend on the wearer, of course, but the best locations are the forearms, the hands, the shoulders, the back, and the half-sleeve for men. Females, meanwhile, can put them on the spine, the thigh, the quarter sleeves, the ribs, and the forearms. And in regards to the assortment of color choices, the compass tattoo looks amazing in black ink. However, these designs can also carry a better appeal. You can get a singular compass tattoo on your body or get a customized by incorporating other elements in the design.

These compass tattoos can be worn on all parts of the body, such as the foot, the arms, the wrists, the ankles, and the chest. it’s always good to ensure that the design that you choose for a compass tattoo will go really well with the body complexion and must be worn in a place where it fits nicely.

Ranging from a small compass to a detailed nautical design, you can create a compass tattoo on just about anywhere you wish. A tiny sailor-inspired design works nicely on the ankles and the wrists, and it’s still trendy to include these designs in a half-sleeve or full-sleeve arm tattoo. A back piece often combines the compass with other tattoos related to travel, big enough to cover a large area, and you’ll end up seeing sparrows, knots, and anchors distributed across the wearer’s shoulders, especially those who can appreciate these tattoo designs.

Compass Tattoo Preparation Tips

Make sure that there aren’t any significant marks found on the skin. This includes thick or unhealed scars, scratches, and deep cuts. That’s because this can create an uneven patch of skin which makes it hard for the artist to work with. So try to make sure that the skin is in perfect condition, before you head on into the shop for your appointment. Moisturize your skin for a week or two, before the big day. This can help make your skin more supple and easier to work with.

Drink plenty of water on the night before the appointment. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the entire day, especially right before the session itself. The more hydrated your skin will feel during the tattoo, then the better it’ll end up absorbing the ink. Not only will this make the entire process go much faster – Resulting in a cheaper final price for your tattoo in the end – The overall experience will be so much better for both you and the artist.

It’s also important to eat a complete meal at least three to four hours before you can get a tattoo done, especially since you’ll be sitting for so many hours. Not eating enough food that’s high in carbs and protein could result in fatigue, or worse, vomiting and fainting in the shop. Eating a proper meal increases your immune system and can help your body deal with the amount of endorphins.

Are Compass Tattoos Painful?

Acquiring a tattoo will definitely hurt, and there’s no way of escaping that. But a couple of body parts are deemed very sensitive to pain, and only the bravest souls would even dare to get a tattoo on those parts. Our fingers, for example, have plenty of nerves in them. Touch is a highly important sense, and even the most delicate and fragile nerves in our body can be found on our hands. The hands also contain multiple joints which don’t contain too much muscle or fat in them, which can possibly add in to the amount of pain you would expect from a tattoo. Therefore, the hands are one of the worst spots to get a tattoo done, and it’s pretty likely that you’ll have to keep going through it each time you do a touch-up.

A lot of modern-day tattoo artists use precise and clean outfits to store dye, by mechanically driving one or dozens of needles grouped together in and out of your skin, around 150 times per second. And with every prick of a needle, the dye is injected right into the person’s skin, and their body’s immune system will respond to this by sending out white blood cells to handle the threat.

Frequently Asked Questions About Compass Tattoos

  • What papers are required to sign here?

A lot of tattoo artists will get you to sign a waiver. This keeps the artist protected from any possible lawsuits due to an allergic reaction or infection coming from the tattoo ink. Keep in mind that although getting a tattoo is safe when done in a clean and sanitized shop, there’s still a potential risk for infection.

  • Do you need my doctor’s approval?

In the excitement of picking a tattoo design and placement, you must never forget to check in with your doctor or an expert dermatologist, to make sure that your skin will be able to handle the procedure. A complication after getting a tattoo include a possible allergic reaction or worse, an infection. If you have any concerns or doubts about the procedure, then the shop will encourage their clients to go see a doctor first. Getting an allergic reaction to the pigment is still possible even weeks after the tattoo is done, and you have to find proper medical attention for complications like these.

  • Do I need a medical certificate before getting a tattoo done?

Because blood is involved here, each responsible tattoo artist has to ask their client for a medical certificate or a medical history, to make sure that the client won’t get any infections or bloodborne diseases from the session. They have to ask them just as many questions as the client would ask them in return.

  • Do you have to cover it up for work?

Before you can get a tattoo, you have to consider your career first. Keep in mind that there are still some companies out there who don’t allow visible tattoos – Or tattoos in general – In the workplace. This is important for the wearer’s career. You could be a student working part-time in a hip restaurant in which tattoos are accepted, but if you want to work as a top executive in an office, then a tattoo might not be the best idea to get. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t get a tattoo done. it just means that you have to consider where you want to place it, so that you can cover it up with professional attire in case you are required to do so by your employer.

  • When all is done, should you tip your tattoo artist?

Plenty of clients do leave tips for their tattoo artist. This is a service that is being provided, since a lot of clients will leave a tip after their tattoo is complete. To say whether an individual has to leave a tip after the session is really a personal choice, which they can make for themselves in case they aren’t contented with the shop’s service. There are plenty of varying opinions about who you should leave a tip for, and who not to.  It’s not uncommon to tip your artist.

How Much Does A Compass Tattoo Cost?

The average price of a tattoo all depends on the color, the complexity, the details, and how good the artist is. Other hidden factors, like increasing the cost, can also hike the final price of your ink.

Certain body parts out there are difficult to reach, and it could be challenging for a tattoo artist to do their job on that area. In certain cases, they are required to sit in an awkward position for so many hours, in order to finish the job. They also carry a very heavy tattoo machine. These things can result in muscle tiredness and eye strain, so it’s completely understandable if they are requesting for a huge final price even for just a simple tattoo.

A compass tattoo doesn’t have too many detailed designs. But it still needs plenty of time to finish even just one entire compass design. If you prefer to have a colorful compass tattoo, then this means you will be charged more than just a simple service fee. A compass tattoo is comprised of over 3.5 inches in length, and 2.5 inches in width. It can have an estimated cost of over $50 to $100. However, this will all depend on your current location.

Compass Tattoo Maintenance Tips

Be sure to follow your artist’s own advice. Maintenance and aftercare advice for tattoos will all depend from one shop to another, and sometimes two artists coming from the same shop will have different pieces of advice on how to take care of your new ink properly. So listen to the instructions that your artist will provide you with – Plenty of them will give you a leaflet with the advice before you leave the shop.

The aftercare process begins once the tattoo is done. The artist will give you a thin layer of petroleum ointment on top of the tattoo, then cover up the entire thing using a plastic wrap or a bandage. This covering stops the bacteria from reaching your skin. It can also protect the tattoo from getting irritated, or by rubbing on clothes.

You can now take off the bandage after a couple of hours. Clean your hands using lukewarm water and soap. Wash the tattoo gently using a scent-free mild soap and water, then pat the skin dry with a soft cloth or a dry paper towel. Place in a tiny amount of petroleum on top of the tattoo. Don’t rebandage your tattoo so your skin can breathe.

And during the first couple of days, the tattooed skin might feel warm to the touch and take on a red appearance. The colors might also look a bit bright against your skin. Your tattoo will start looking less vibrant while it heals.


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