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Anchor Tattoos

Old School Cool - Anchor Tattoo Meaning and Ideas

The anchor tattoo is a time-tested piece of art that still holds its popularity today. Those who wear anchor tattoos often feel a special connection with the sea. If you are considering an anchor tattoo, read this guide to become familiar with the meaning of anchor tattoos, their history, and a number of popular designs to give you some inspiration. Tattoos represent a way for you to memorialize something important or that has deep meaning to you, to visually display your personality or style, or simply to show your appreciation for art. No matter what your reasoning, the talented artists at Chronic Ink Tattoo are here to help. If you live in or around the Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Kitsilano Vancouver area don’t hesitate to give us a call or drop by our shop today to explore tattoo designs including anchor tattoos. Black and Grey Anchor Tattoo by TK

The History of Anchor Tattoos

The anchor tattoo has been proudly adorned by sailors, fisherman, and others who make their living on the sea, as well as those in the Navy. That said, the anchor tattoo’s meaning has changed over time:
  • The U.S. Navy has recognized the anchor as an important symbol.
  • The anchor can be seen as a stabilizing factor in storms, also.
  • Lifted anchors can symbolize hope and letting go of obstacles.

Anchor Tattoo Designs

Placement is Important

One of the best parts of anchor tattoos is they can be extremely flexible. The design of the anchor is completely up to your personal style, being either simple and Spartan, or intricate. Here are some places you may find anchor tattoos:
  • Small anchors can be placed on the finger or the sides of the hand, even the wrist
  • Some prefer to have larger anchors on the shoulder
  • The forearm or the back of the arm are other popular areas for an anchor tattoo
  • Anchor tattoos can be placed on the heel of the foot
  • On the neck, an anchor tattoo placed behind and below the ear is a nice accent
  • The back makes a wide canvas for large anchor tattoos
Where you ultimately decide to place your own anchor tattoo is up to you, but depending on the style and size, your tattoo artist may also have some good ideas to help you decide. Anchor Tattoo with Chain

Design Options

The design of the anchor can vary widely. Some prefer their anchors to be black and white, while others include splashes of color or even to have the anchor as a centerpiece with other elements surrounding it (such as an octopus entangled around the anchor). Common design options often are represented by:
  • A simple anchor with an inspiration phrase beside it
  • Anchors with geometric shapes or compass inscriptions
  • A vine of flowers wrapping around an anchor
  • A dove with the anchor, for freedom at sea
  • Hearts on the anchor, to emphasize your love for the sea or show your sacrificial attitude in love
  • Eagles and globes can be combined with anchors to symbolize service in the Marines
  • Ropes and anchors are a popular way to symbolize service in the Navy
Anchor tattoos are popular with both men and women, so do not feel limited in your options when deciding what tattoo to get next. Anchor Tattoo

Combination Anchor Tattoos

Anchor tattoos can be combined with other tattoo styles, as well. One popular combination is tribal and anchor tattoos. Not only can you represent your love of the sea, but you can pay homage to your heritage or just enjoy the stylization that tribal tattoos have to offer. Tattoos and arrows are another popular combination. Arrows can stylize the anchor or point the way home. It is a gorgeous option for anchor tattoos.

Aftercare for Your Anchor Tattoo

Your tattoo artist will give you specific aftercare instructions for your tattoo. Be sure to follow these for a long-lasting, beautiful tattoo. Scratching, failing to follow care instructions, and removing your bandage too early can result in a tattoo that is not brightly colored or has a damaged design.

Our Favourite Tattoo Aftercare

After Inked

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer delivers effective skin moisturization and helps to preserve the colours of your tattoos. There's no petroleum so it won't stick to or stain your clothes. This moisturizing skin lotion, enriched with Grape Seed Oil, can also be used on any permanent makeup procedure on lips, brows, eye liner, and areola, as well as an after-laser tattoo removal moisturizing lotion. After Inked is Dermatologist tested, non-allergenic and non-irritating.

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PurSan Aftercare is a specially formulated Vegan skin cleanser used to clean and moisturize as part of an aftercare regimen for fresh tattoos and piercings. It revitalizes, refreshes and purifies skin without drying it out. Gentle yet effective, PurSan contains no parabens, fragrances, colourants or alcohol. Chloroxylenol (PCMX) is a proven antimicrobial ingredient shown to be effective against bacteria and viruses without burning or irritating the skin. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (Hypromellose) is an ultra-high grade lubricant ideal for sensitive skin.

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Why Anchor Tattoos are a Timeless Choice

There are many different types of tattoos to choose from and many different places to put a tattoo. When researching your next tattoo design, consider the anchor. The anchor represents many things to many different people, and it may be the perfect way to express your personality. This beautiful design can go just about anywhere on the body and can be adapted to you what you want in a tattoo. The anchor can be a simple of strength, service, love, and more. Before you get your next tattoo, research different meanings and decide what you would like to communicate to those around you through this beautiful art.

Ready to find your Anchor tattoo?

If you need help deciding, give us a call or submit your ideas through our website, and our staff will reach out!

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Tattoo Locations

Downtown Toronto

378 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1S6 Directions

Midtown Toronto

252 Eglinton Ave East, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M4P 1K2 Directions


7381 Kennedy Road, Unit #105, Markham, Ontario L3R 5B5 Directions


100 City Centre Dr., Unit #2-311, Mississauga, Ontario L5N 2C9 Directions

Looking for your next Tattoo Idea?

Browse our selection of one of a kinda tattoo designs created by our Chronic Ink artists. Each piece is individual and will only ever be tattooed once.

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