Viking tattoos are quite uncommon, but to those who wear them, they tend to symbolize a certain brute strength that few other designs hold. They also frequently represent a trailblazing attitude, and a sense of mystical energy.
Many of the viking tattoos that you will come across bear a cartoon-like appearance. These designs tend to have bright — occasionally even neon — colors, bold lines, and fantastic scenes accompanying them. Many of these designs will show just the grimacing or yelling face of the viking with long, windswept locks, and a large horn or wing adorned helmet. You may also see full body designs in this style which show the viking wielding a bloodied axe, or climbing a mountain into the sunset. Some people prefer to use this style to create a more macabre image. Usually these depict a simple skull or skeleton dressed in the viking garb, and carrying heavy weapons.
Some people prefer viking tattoos that have a more realistic, or even fantasy inspired bearing. These designs depict a Norse or Celtic viking in more muted shades of red, blue, green, flesh tone, and occasionally in simple black outlines. These designs also depict the faces in a more portrait-like fashion, and tend to be more lifelike in their poses.
Although male viking tattoos are most common, you will occasionally see female viking designs. These usually show a pin up-style model, but you may also see a fantasy figure which is either delicate and fairy like, or tough and slightly muscular. These designs tend to show the female viking standing by herself, weapon in hand, and posing slightly; however, you might see her battling with another female viking, or overtaking a large male viking. In the latter instance, the symbology tends a great deal towards feminism, and is meant to show the strength and power of a bold female warrior.
Many people like to include symbols in their viking tattoos. For a Celtic style, this generally means the inclusion of ornate Celtic knots like the Dara knot (a symbol of endurance, power, wisdom and strength), or the quaternary knot (a symbol of all things in fours). These may be seen tattooed on to the warrior itself; however, it is most commonly depicted on the shields and armor of the viking. For the Nordic viking, you may see a similar design, but with rune symbols. Many of these symbols have great meaning behind them, others may be more negative and should be worn with caution.
Although viking tattoos are uncommon, these designs hold their own unique place, and can be a great expression of strength and power.