55 Gangster Tattoo Ideas That Break The Rules (2024)

Feeling a little dangerous? From Chicano art to pop culture gangsters, there are so many tattoo designs for you to choose from!

My dad is a huge Martin Scorsese fan so I grew up watching gangster movies. And when I discovered Guy Ritchie, my love for the genre only grew. This is why I love when clients come in for their gangster tattoos - we get to talk about our favorite real and fictional gangsters for hours!

In this post, I am going to introduce you to the top gangster tattoo ideas and show you the different concepts you can include in your own tattoo.

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The Best Gangster Tattoo Designs

Here are the top gangster tattoo concepts for you to choose from:

Chicano Gangster Tattoos

If you are looking for a more modern take on gangster tattoos, then you may want to consider the Chicano art movement and the Chicano tattooing style.

Now, this is an art style that was created by the Mexican American population. So, if you don't fall into this demographic, you do have to be a bit careful about cultural appropriation.

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Image by @dio_tattoo via Instagram

The good news is that such gangster tattoo designs consist of several categories. If you aren't a part of the Latinx population, it is best to stick to a gangster tattoo design that doesn't have the telltale signs of the Chicano art movement.

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Image by @wgtattoos via Instagram

Now, what do these kinds of gangster tattoos look like? Well, the older, more traditional tattoo gangster tattoo designs may consist of elements that were closely associated with Chicano culture at the time.

This includes beautiful women in bandanas, low-rider cars, and dogs. At the same time, this was an art movement that was adopted by gangsters and gangs in prison.

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Image by @guzmank13_tattoo via Instagram

Due to this, this kind of gangster tattoo design can include men in cargo shorts and wife beaters, teardrop tattoos, and looking at the outside of chain link fences. In short, this kind of gangster tattoo design depicts a more stereotypical version of gang members.

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Of course, there are plenty of other elements that can be added to such gangster tattoos. This includes money, a skull, and more.

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Image by @joedamianotattoo via Instagram

Mi Vida Loca Tattoos

If you have ever seen mi vida loca tattoos on someone, you probably wondered what it meant. Well, it translates to my crazy life, a phrase that is adopted by an active gangster who is a part of a gang.

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Image by @gsmoke_smoke via Instagram

In many instances, this kind of gangster tattoo design is to show dedication to their cause or their gang.

However, in recent times, this tattoo has been co-opted by people who aren't gangsters either. This kind of tattoo design can be a depiction of your personal feelings towards your unpredictable life.

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Image by @jonnybanxx via Instagram

If this kind of gangster tattoo feels a bit too big for you, then you can also get three dots in a triangular formation. This is meant to represent the same sentiment.

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1900s Gangsters

If you think about some of the biggest gangsters in history - John Dillinger, Al Capone, Baby Face Nelson - they all operated in the early 1900s.

Between the Great Depression and Prohibition, there were plenty of opportunities for criminal activities. So, these criminals flourished, making them household names.

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Now, these gangsters and gang members were certainly not nice. In fact, not only were they involved in dangerous criminal activities, but many of these men were cold stone killers.

However, their classic sense of style and old-fashioned guns have cemented them in the gangster hall of fame. This is why we continue to make movies about them and get them tattooed on our bodies!

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Image by @chrisdixontattoo via Instagram

Al Capone Tattoos

Even if you don't know much about history, it is quite likely that you have heard of the name Al Capone. In fact, he is known around the world.

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He is best known for the Valentine's Day Massacre but he ruled over many of the criminals and gangster enterprises in Chicago. Al Capone was unrelenting and created his bootlegging empire by increasingly brutal methods.

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Al Capone was so infamous that there was a special taskforce known as The Untouchables headed up by Elliott Ness tasked with bringing him down.

Interestingly enough, it was tax evasion that brought down this once notorious man.

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John Dillinger Tattoos

John Dillinger was also known as Public Enemy No 1. John Dillinger was yet another person who put gangsters on the map, largely due to a nonstop crime wave.

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He and his gang members were known for their bank robberies. But not even prison could hold these thieves. John Dillinger orchestrated daring and brutal jailbreaks. Even while he was on the run with the other gangsters, he continued to commit other crimes - they graduated from thieves to murderers.

His death eventually came at the hands of the FBI.

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The Godfather Tattoos

What is so epic about The Godfather movies - at least the first two ones - is that it gave a whole new meaning to the word gangster. Which is why getting a gangster tattoo based on this movie is an epic idea.

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These movies added an air of power, success, and distinction to the genre. And, it doesn't hurt that it is one of the most quotable series of all time, either.

As an added bonus, with The Godfather, you get to see the evolution of various gangsters, each with their own origin story as well as their own take on the role of being a gangster.

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This should be the only argument that you need to get a gangster tattoo of these characters.

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Scarface Tattoos

While real-life gangsters may have set the tone for everyone else, it is the pop culture gangster who lingers in everyone's subconscious.

And you will be hard-pressed to find a gangster who remained in your memory longer than Scarface! So, a gangster tattoo of this legend is very fitting.

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After all, you do have that iconic saying, Say Hello to My Little Friend that simply everyone knows and quotes.

So, if you are looking for a gangster tattoo design that has a slightly more fictional element to it, then here are the gangster tattoos that you should be considering:

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Good Fellas Tattoos

Of course, you can't talk about gangster tattoos and not talk about Good Fellas. This is arguably one of the best gangster movies of all time!

The cool thing about Good Fellas is that it has both style as well as substance. It is also a movie that has some great quotes that are sure to live on forever. In short, it made being criminals look pretty cool.

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Image by @stefansalamone via Instagram

If you are looking for Good Fellas based gangster tattoo designs, then you are in luck as there are quite a few for you to choose from!

Check out these really cool and complex gangster tattoo designs for your own artwork:

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Image by @fullcircletattoo via Instagram

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Image by @wyldesydes via Instagram

Peaky Blinders Tattoos

Although a lot of people associate America with gangsters, Britain has had its fair share. One of the most notable was the Peaky Blinders.

A notorious gang that used to sew razor blades into the peaks of their caps that they would then use as weapons.

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Of course, the Peaky Blinders really came to popularity thanks to the hit TV show. From the storylines and the fashion, there is a lot to like about this gang.

Here are the gangster tattoos that may inspire your own gangster tattoo design:

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Image by @peachy.tattooer via Instagram

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Image by @byarttattoo via Instagram

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Image by @8.cruz.8 via Instagram

Guy Ritchie Tattoos

Guy Ritchie movies walked so that Peaky Blinders could run. This legendary writer and director put an entirely different spin on the British gangster.

He made them suave, intelligent, funny, and incredibly three-dimensional. Not to mention, the plot lines of his movie are riveting.

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Image by @joshhobdentattoo via Instagram

If your love for the gangster was all thanks to Guy Ritchie, then here are the fitting gangster tattoo designs for you to choose from!

From Bullet Tooth Tony and Brick Top in Snatch to Lenny Cole in RocknRolla, there are so many gangster tattoos for you to choose from!

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Check out the most fun and interesting gangster tattoo designs for you!

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Image by @best_fine_line_bali via Instagram

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Image by @teri_tattoos via Instagram

Well, there you go - the top gangster tattoo design concepts for you to choose from. It doesn't matter if you are looking to immerse yourself in reality or escape from it, you will be able to find a gangster tattoo that is right up your alley!

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