For the most part, neck tattoos are placed at the nape or along the side. Very few tattoos are seen on the front of the neck and with good reason – due to very little fat in this area and thinner skin, the needle hurts more.
Regarding placement, an important consideration is how often the area is seen and how this may affect future employment or military service opportunities. Body art along the side of the neck is very difficult to cover up without wearing a turtleneck, so it will always be highly visible.
Photo by “joelogon” on Flickr
Healing is another consideration. Because you cannot keep your neck immobile, tattoos here will take longer to heal.
What about design? When it comes to neck tattoos, you are well advised to pick an image that you really, truly love or that so epitomizes your personality that you want it constantly on display. Many people opt for Kanji, or Chinese lettering, or regular English words or phrases. Astrological signs or a small cluster of stars are popular with women. Some women choose a permanent “necklace” that encircles the neck.
Photo by “kvangijsel” on Flickr
Men seem to be more extreme when selecting their neck tattoos, getting everything from a city skyline to a map to bleeding bullet wounds inked across the area. Still others choose to take a tribal design that starts on their chin and extends down the neck or further, across the shoulders and chest. Many times they denote a negative aspect, such as membership in a gang or a design created in prison.
Photo by “SharonaGott” on Flickr
The basic thing to remember with a neck tattoo is that it is going to be visible much of the time and unless you are totally comfortable with your body art, you may want to consider placement elsewhere on the body.