Rune tattoos have become increasingly popular over the past few years as more people discover the deep symbolic meanings behind these ancient Viking alphabet letters. Typically derived from Elder Futhark, the earliest form of runic alphabets, runes each represent a letter but also have a unique meaning ascribed to them. For example, the rune Fehu symbolizes wealth and prosperity, while the rune Algiz offers protection. This makes runes ideal for tattoo designs, as you can choose one or combine several that have significance to you.
Great locations for rune tattoos include the inner forearm, shoulder blade, or across the chest. Because most runes have straight lines and geometric shapes, they work well for these flat body parts. Expect a rune tattoo cost to be around $100-200 per hour, depending on the size and detail involved. Small individual runes may only take an hour or less.
Now let’s look at 30 amazing rune tattoo ideas and designs to spark your inspiration! From individual runes to combinations and incorporations with other Nordic tattoo elements, there are many artistic ways to integrate these powerful symbols into a meaningful tattoo. Scroll down to view the rune tattoo images.
1. Vivid Phoenix Tattoo with Runes
A vibrant phoenix is created using vivid colors, and surrounded by runes. The use of lively colors can make the phoenix appear even more dynamic and captivating, while the inclusion of runes adds a mysterious touch.
2. Dotwork Rune Sleeve Tattoo
Look at the abundance of runes adorning the scales of this tattoo sleeve inspired by Pangolin armor! Isn’t this tattoo quite masculine? Plus, the dotwork technique adds depth and texture to it, making the runes even more visually captivating.
3. Celtic Knot and Rune Tattoo
A stunning Celtic knot has found its home on the calf! Inside those intricate loops, The artist added some enchanting runes to give the tattoo that extra special flair! Get ready to show it off!
4. Minimal Rune Arm Tattoo
Get an aesthetic and mythological look with a rune tattoo that can be a source of inspiration for those who prefer a delicate and stylish appearance. It’s a perfect choice for those who appreciate both mythology and aesthetics!
5. Viking Shield Tattoo with Runes
This chest tattoo is shaped like a Viking shield, decked out with mystical runes and a cool ancient dragon. The mix of the Viking shield, runes, and dragon makes it a seriously powerful and eye-catching design.
6. Beast-Head with Runes Tattoo
For confident tattoo enthusiasts, a rune tattoo on the top of the head, blended with a monster’s head, is sure to grab everyone’s attention! Placing a tattoo on the head is a bold and unique choice, and when combined with runes and a monster’s head, it creates a striking and unforgettable look.
7. Viking Compass Rune Tattoo on Hand
Did you know that according to the Viking Sagas, the Viking Compass was like a super cool ancient Norse symbol? Vikings used it as a protective charm! These compasses were not typical compasses; they had eight staves, each pointing to a direction, and a special rune symbol that was like a magical protective spell!
8. Rune and Wolf Arm Tattoo
Let’s blend the ancient symbolism and the primal energy of the wolf, creating a captivating fusion of mysticism and nature. With the wolf embodying the untamed spirit within us and the runes guiding our path towards understanding, you’re gonna rock.
9. Sketchy Rune Tattoo
A simple yet elegant and eye-catching rune tattoo on the forearm sounds exciting. This vertical rune has also a sketchy appearance. Plus, the use of black ink adds a timeless quality to the design.
10. Colorful Raven Tattoo with Runes
A raven tattoo, done by using blue ink and blended with rune details, has created a fantastic and captivating image. The combo of several runes which are colored with light blue ink stand out on the raven’s body. Go and get it on your leg!
11. Fully Inked Forearm Tattoo with Runes
In this tattoo design, the forearm serves as a canvas for a rich tapestry of runic characters, expertly inked to convey a deep connection to ancient wisdom and the artistry of modern body ink. The background is super dark, so the runes stand out.
12. Nordic Knotwork and Rune Tattoo
Get ready to stand out with this tattoo design surrounded by Nordic knots! The dotwork details around the knots and the runic letters within the horizontal stripes above and below are simply amazing!
13. Rune Tattoo on Fingers
You can match different runes on each finger and create a cool vibe with them. Just be sure that you are ready to see your rune tattoos every day since they are placed on your fingers.
14. Lady Warrior and Runes Arm Tattoo
In this remarkable tattoo design, a warrior lady’s portrait embodies the timeless allure of human beauty, while the surrounding runic symbols serve as a canvas for the wearer’s reverence for ancient traditions.
15. Rune Stones Tattoo on Forearm
In this tattoo on the forearm, we see slender, long stones stacked on top of each other. Each stone carries ancient rune letters on it, giving it a really old-school vibe. It kinda feels like the Vikings were doing the same thing, doesn’t it?
16. Rune Tattoo Behind the Ear
This sketchy rune tattoo is a celebration of the profound and discreet nature of runic knowledge, reminding us that sometimes, the most meaningful connections are those hidden just behind our ears.
17. Nordic Priestess with Runes Thigh Tattoo
Looking for a unique Nordic tattoo? Here it is! It features rune motifs on the thigh accompanied by three priestesses and a vegvisir on top. It is quite big and gorgeous!
18. Blackwork Raven Shoulder Tattoo with Runes
These runes, accompanying the magnificent raven tattoo, enhance the overall appearance! As well as the raven’s portrait, the runes which are inked white take this tattoo to a different level. Also, the watercolor splash effect below rocks.
19. Nordic Sleeve Tattoo with Runes
This tattoo is a powerful reminder that the heritage of Vikings and the symbolism of runes are intertwined. The arm is covered with black ink as a background and different runes, nordic symbols and vegvisirs are placed inside. As a final touch, a dragon emerges on the chest.
20. Dotwork Munnin Tattoo with Runes
In this tattoo design, the clever raven Munnin, who’s got quite the knack for knowledge, stands prominently amidst a backdrop of meticulously crafted runic characters. It’s like having your very own wise advisor inked on your skin, a tribute to Viking heritage and wisdom.
21. Minimal Rune Tattoo Behind the Ear
Simplicity never goes out of style when it comes to tattoos! Let several simple rune characters find a hidden home behind your ear. It’s like having your own secret code of ancient knowledge right where you can feel it.
22. Spear & Shield Tattoo with Runes
In this remarkable tattoo, the spear and shield evoke the spirit of battles won and challenges faced, while the runic symbols provide a canvas for your reverence for ancient traditions and a source of strength.
23. Minimal Rune Wrist Tattoo
Looking for a cute and minimal tattoo? This design is perfect for enthusiasts who love simplicity! The charm of minimalistic tattoos is undeniable, and the use of three letters in this rune design is amazing.
24. Rune and Tiger Shoulder Tattoo
The rune tattoo surrounding the tiger face will look fantastic on your arm. Plus, the line detail extending from the upper arm to the wrist adds a unique touch! The combination of the rune design with the tiger face sounds like a wild idea.
25. Rune & Raven Head Tattoo
Wanna use your head as a canvas for the mystique of ancient runes and the vigilant gaze of the raven? It’s like having your own guardian of secrets and wisdom right on top.
26. 3D Rune Tattoo Behind the Ear
3D rune tattoos created using the dotwork technique will look fantastic behind your ear! It looks like there are three stones with different tubes on top of them. Little dots make them stand out too!
27. Magical Books with Runes Tattoo
Pile of rune books on your upper leg will create an esoteric and intriguing appearance! This tattoo idea sounds fascinating, with the stacked rune books giving it an element of mystique and depth. Plus, the blue and purple background effects are fabulous.
28. Octogram and Rune Tatoo on Forearm
The star octogram shines as a chemical superstar with its soulful symbol resembling a hook at its center. Derived from the ouroboros snake, a symbol of renewal and creation, this emblem serves a dual purpose as a Blood Rune or Blood Seal.
29. Gorgeous Rune Tattoo on the Neck
Imagine this cool geometric Nordic tattoo that resembles a snowflake! You can spot various runes in the design, adding a mystical touch. And guess what? The four corners are adorned with vibrant red ink! Give it a try.
30. Runes with Tree of Life Back Tattoo
Surrounded by ancient runes, this life tree with roots reaching in different directions presents a breathtaking sight! The intertwining of roots and mystical symbols creates a magical and enchanting scene.
31. Eagle & Rune Leg Tattoo
An eagle and rune tattoo on your leg sounds like a bold design! Go for this majestic eagle soaring through the air, with a magical rune seemingly passing right through its body, as if piercing through it!
32. Rune Tattoo with Trees on the Neck
A rune tattoo combined with black pine trees will look fantastic on your neck! This tattoo idea, blending runes with the imagery of black pine trees, sounds like it would create a striking and symbolic design.
33. Traditional Nordic Tattoo with Runes
In this tattoo design, the essence of the North, with its mystical runes and traditional Nordic patterns, finds its place on the inner arm.
With intricate symbolic meanings and an aesthetically pleasing geometric style, rune tattoos allow you to create deeply personal body art. Let the ideas and images provided help inspire your own unique rune tattoo design that speaks to your spirit. With the help of an experienced tattoo artist, you can get stylized runes inked on your body that will tell your story for years to come.