35 Amazing Compass Tattoo Designs To Try In 2023

Whether spiritually inclined or a wandering soul, compass tattoos are a great choice.

By Nisha BaghadiaNisha Baghadia  • 

Compass tattoo designs are gaining massive popularity among travel enthusiasts, and anyone who loves exploring new destinations can’t resist trying this design. They are meaningful and can be drawn in both minimalistic and intricate ways. If you are travel savvy and love moving around, this tattoo speaks your personality for you.

A compass tattoo is not just for the wandering souls; it carries a deeper spiritual meaning. Earlier, the compass was not just used as a navigation instrument, but it was believed to connect people to their spirituality. Hence, a good leader can wear this tattoo with pride.

protip_icon Did You Know?
The first use of a compass dates back to the Han Dynasty in China (20 BC – 20 AD). It is celebrated as one of the Four Great Inventions of China, along with printing, papermaking, and gunpowder.

Here are some compass designs you can draw inspiration from. Keep scrolling to check them all out!

Beautiful Compass Tattoo Designs With Meanings

1. Anchor Compass

Anchor compass tattoo design

Image: richardlnagy / Instagram

The anchor is a common symbol of the Christian faith and represents holy guidance.

2. Celtic Compass

Image: frankink13 / Instagram

A Celtic compass expresses one’s pride in their ancestry.

3. Heart Compass

Image: bryink / Instagram

This tattoo design portrays one’s willingness to let their hearts guide their actions in life.

4. Map Compass

Image: gedesony / Instagram

For the adventurous souls out there, this design symbolizes a passion for discovery and travel.

5. Nautical Compass

Image: risingdragontattoos / Instagram

A nautical compass tattoo meaning: peace and harmony.

6. Rose Compass

Image: ayse.yetgin.96 / Instagram

The rose compass tattoo denotes a passion for romance and a search for true love.

7. Star Compass

Image: jathemountainlion / Instagram

A star compass tattoo, based on the North Star, represents those who seek guidance.

8. Vintage Compass

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The vintage compass tattoo is best suited for those who have a passion for History. If you’ve spent time in the navy, it also symbolizes ‘protection.’

protip_icon Fun Fact
The earliest compass systems were made of a central body of water surrounded by spherical shapes to indicate celestial positions.

From tiny direction arrows to a deep-shaded, realistic-looking design, compass tattoos come in a variety of different styles. Below is our list of trendy compass tattoo designs to fill you with ideas and leave you inspired.

1. Feet Compass Tattoo

Feet compass tattoo design

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Get inked on your feet with this traditional compass tattoo that is paired with an anchor. This trendy design is simple yet attractive. A little shade work on the monochrome design gives it a quirky edge.

2. Chest Compass Tattoo

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This one’s a beautiful design that can be etched above your upper abdomen. The monotone tattoo is a perfect fit under the chest cavity. The mandala design circling the compass is a flawless example of intricate geometric design.

3. Celestial Compass Tattoo

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This beautiful design is a masterpiece in itself – a compass in the middle is surrounded with soft smoke and dotted geometric flowers. The solar system around the compass adds a unique touch to it. It fits the back of the neck and upper back beautifully.

4. Butterfly Compass Tattoo

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Here’s a chic angle to the regular compass tattoo. This design consists of a bold black compass surrounded by a scenic landscape that’s enclosed in the wings of a majestic butterfly. Your upper back is certainly a great location for it.

5. Abstract Compass Tattoo

Image: fifiloutattoo / Instagram

This compass tattoo on forearm is an innovative design is inspired by the Viking’s traditional art form and marks eight sub-directions with tridents of different designs. The center of the tattoo is a hollow sphere, which gives it a magical appeal.

6. Back Ear Compass Tattoo

Give yourself a trendy treat with this tattoo etched behind the ear. Its colorful design has a set of thin-lined compass arrows in the middle, accompanied by a fiery blaze of a purple and blue hues in the background. Pair this quirky design with a pixie haircut, and you’re all set to rule the world.

7. Lower Back Compass Tattoo

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Check out this tattoo design that tastefully fills your lower back. The design plays with colors in the background with blue waves hitting a bold black compass. The flowers on the top left also add a distinct contrast to the design.

8. Animal Compass Tattoo

Image: open_mind_tattoo_club_ / Instagram

This turtle sketched at the back of a compass is the ideal tattoo for your arm. Symbolically, the turtle signifies strength and stability. Its intricate design is an unquestionable eye-catcher and is also regarded as a mark of good luck.

9. Thigh Compass Tattoo


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Flaunt your thighs with this fashionable crescent-shaped tattoo. This design has four roses encircling a compass. The latitudes and longitudes of the place that means most to you inked beside the compass provides an added charm.

10. Compass Tattoo Behind The Arm

Image: mr.jones.tattoo / Instagram

Designed with ultra-thin strokes, this tattoo represents an uphill scene with pine trees and a ridge below. It is topped with a compass that is encircled with sub-divisional strokes. The wolf above the mountains only adds to its uniqueness. The placement of the tattoo behind your arm signifies the memories you leave behind.

11. Side Body Compass Tattoo

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This beautiful design for your waist represents an adventurous soul. Its semi-colorful style has a distinct design in the middle. Along with the splashed watercolor pattern in the background and its abstract concept, this tattoo will certainly stand out when you flaunt your body in crop tops.

12. Neck Compass Tattoo

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This simple yet attractive compass tattoo design looks perfect just below your neck. The classic layout of the compass bounded by a circle of tiny drops and traditional waves adds to the serenity of the look.

13. Spiral Compass Tattoo Design

Image: d_art_tattoo_ / Instagram

This compass tattoo is ideal for your calves or arms. It consists of a compass, a direction star at the bottom, and a rope going around your arm. The background is a cartographer’s map. If you are a traveler, this is the perfect tattoo to express your love for adventures.

14. Dreamcatcher Compass Tattoo

Image: melily95_ / Instagram

This unique design combines a dreamcatcher and a compass. Fitted in the web of the dreamcatcher, the compass has its spokes pointed at directions represented in Roman numbers. The dreamcatcher is in a simple shade of black, and surrounding the web is the quote, “Not my will, but your will be done.” The two seagulls at the bottom represent the ability to adapt to different situations in life.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Compasses have been a symbol of direction, limitations, and were a guiding tool in ancient cultures. A compass tattoo can be a meaningful reminder of your purpose and goals in life and motivate you towards accomplishing them.

15. White Compass Tattoo

White compass tattoo design

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The best way to make a tattoo trendier is to get it in white. This simple design of a compass surrounded by two radars and a tiny silhouette of a plane is not only cool but also very classy. If you are blessed with dusky skin, this is a great way to flaunt your skin tone and stand out from the crowd.

16. Bicep Compass Tattoo

Image: bigbad_kenn / Instagram

Bicep tattoos are a blessing as they do not hurt as much as tattoos in other sensitive locations, all thanks to the fat and muscle padding. Give yourself a treat with this pretty compass design that is adorned with a flower circle. It is perfect for flaunting on a cold shoulder top.

17. Illuminati Compass Tattoo

Image: carenetattoo / Instagram

Teaming the concept of the eye with a compass adds a touch of mystery to your tattoo. Its semi-realistic design and spectacular shading effects are amazing.

18. Stylish Compass Tattoo

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A compass design right above your ankle will definitely make you stand out in the crowd. This design flaunts a simple round compass in monotone with the world in the background – the perfect match to your quirkiness.

19. Embellished Compass Tattoo

Image: ink.life / Instagram

This tattoo in oil finish and hyper-realistic colors portrays a bronze compass and a peach-colored rose. No matter where you get it done on your skin, this will be the focal point of everyone’s attention.

20. Tell A Story With A Compass Tattoo

Image: baldytattoo / Instagram

Make your tattoo speak your stories out loud. If you love traveling and solving puzzles, this is the perfect option for you. This design flaunts a well-shaded vintage compass as a focus, and in the background are pieces of a puzzle waiting to be put back together.

Tattoos help express your personality, likes, character, and emotions, and tell stories that stay close to your life. Compass tattoo designs too help depict your love for traveling and exploring. Your love for traveling, seeking new places, and finding new ideas about life can be easily represented through these compass tattoos. Besides, these tattoos will also help connect you with the spiritual meaning of life. You can get these tattoos in both minimalistic designs and intricate patterns. The list mentioned above may help you choose the one more suitable for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which way should a compass tattoo face?

Most compass tattoos point towards the north. It is believed that they symbolize guidance.

What does a broken compass tattoo mean?

A broken tattoo symbolizes a turning point in a person’s life. It also indicates the change of a path or tribute to a significant one who has passed away.

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