The Semicolon Tattoo – A Creative and Inspirational Sign of Support

by John Griffith

Have you ever wondered why semicolon tattoo designs seem to be so popular at the moment? Suddenly, they can be spotted almost everywhere –  on celebrities such as Selena Gomez, across various social media sites, and even on random strangers walking down the street. Simple and delicate, semicolons make for a very subtle and chic tattoo design, yet their purpose is not simply decorative – they have a deep symbolic meaning.

Back in 2013, Project Semicolon, an online organization for the prevention of suicide, promoted its followers to draw a semicolon on their body, and share a photo of it on social media. The aim was to raise awareness and offer moral support to vulnerable individuals. According to the organization, the semicolon was chosen because it is “used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.” This idea became so popular, that many people decided to make the semicolon signs on their bodies permanent, giving rise to a vast array of beautiful and moving tattoos. In addition, the sign has proven to be more than just a symbolic mark of solidarity – it is also a great way to start a discourse on a complex topic, which has hitherto been considered mostly taboo. Whenever a person asks about the meaning behind the tattoo, the wearer can explain its significance and thus help spread awareness.

Delicate, beautiful, poignant – the semicolon tattoo is a great choice for those who want to make a difference

semicolon tattoo, young brunette woman, lifting her wavy hair to show a small, black semicolon tattoo, on the nape of her neck, pale gray top

In 2017 the trend became even more popular, thanks to the leading actors in the series 13 Reasons Why and Selena Gomez, who got matching semicolon tattoos in order to show their support for people struggling with crippling and dangerous thoughts of suicide. Gomez, who acted as producer on the show, appeared in a special feature after its final episode, encouraging those suffering from depression to open up about the problems that plague them. The young singer expressed her belief that the major causes of suicide ar treatable, and that life can, and will become better for those who seek help.

Selena Gomez, Tommy Dorfman and Alisha Boe show their matching tattoos

alisha boe standing next to tommy dorfman, and selena gomez, all showing their arms with identical, small black semicolon tattoo designs

If you have thought about getting a tattoo but feel unsure what to choose, or want something poignant and meaningful, why not consider opting for a semicolon design? Depending on your preferences, it can be small and barely visible, big and bold, or even cleverly hidden within a larger, more complex image.

To help you choose the perfect tattoo for your unique needs, we have selected 80 beautiful suggestions, which offer the most original and imaginative takes on the semicolon sign. Spread the message, and let those struggling with suicidal thoughts know that they are not alone – sometimes even the smallest signs of support can save a person’s life!

Suicide should never be considered as an option! Show your support!

pale white slim arm, with bold black wrist semicolon tattoo, dark nail polish, fabric with gray and white marble pattern in the background

Tattoos featuring supportive messages are very helpful for people suffering from depression – the key is to be reminded that even the worst kind of suffering is temporary, and that better times will soon follow

two arms with tattoos, featuring supportive messages, birds and watercolor-like details, semicolon tattoo ideas, beaded and woven bracelets

A lovely, subtle semicolon tattoo

pinkish-purple nail polish, on long oval nails, pale white hand, with silver thumb ring, small black semicolon tattoo on the wrist, black jumper sleeve

Can you spot the semicolon among the flowers?

elaborate floral tattoo, in orange and pink, blue and green, purple and black, with subtle semicolon tattoo hidden within, on a woman's arm

An image reminding us that we are the writers of our own story!

feather quill tattoo with black outlines, and blue and pink watercolor effect, near small black semicolon tattoo, on a woman's hand and wrist

Some people use semicolon tattoo designs to commemorate the loss of a loved one

wrist tattoo featuring a large bee, several orange flowers, with green leaves and thick black outlines, and a banner with the name tina written in black, the i substituted for a semicolon tattoo

Others add symbols with personal significance

semicolon tattoo meaning, pale white hand, with minimalistic black wrist tattoo, featuring a semicolon, arrows and circles

Still others opt for stylized representations of the semicolon sign

wave in blue, and clam with pearl in purple, with thick black outlines, positioned so as to form a semicolon, tattooed on a leg, semicolon tattoo meaning

Cont;nue – a powerful message, underlining the importance of perseverance 

elegant black font, spelling the word continue,but with the i replaced with a semicolon, tattooed on the inside of a person's arm, semicolon tattoo meaning, spreading awareness for suicide prevention

bracelet made from fresh daisies, woven in a chain, worn on the wrist of a pale person, with short nails and a small black tattoo, semicolon tattoo meaning, green field in the background

Some designs are so subtle, that spotting the semicolon can become a challenge!

hot pink and gold, long sharp nails, worn by tan woman, with a dark gray anchor tattoo, featuring a chain with a small semicolon, semicolon tattoo meaning, long striped black and white skirt

large semicolon in black, tattooed with the message and so i kept living, also in black with a splash of watercolor-like blue, semicolon tattoo meaning, on person's arm

rainbow crayon scribble effect tattoo, with black semicolon outline, semicolon tattoo meaning, on a slim person's wrist

We are in awe of this gorgeous and inspiring “warr;or” tattoo!

the word warrior, written in a fancy black font, with the letter i replaced by a green semicolon, tattooed on a person's wrist, semicolon tattoo meaning, arrow decorations in black, and light green

semicolon project tattoo, three black stripes, around a person's wrist, one punctuated by a full stop, on punctuated by a semicolon, and one unpunctuated

close up of a pale hand, with delicate folded fingers, and small black semicolon tattoo, on the side of the middle finger, semicolon project ideas

brunette woman with tied hair, looking to one side, with a small black semicolon project tattoo, behind her ear, seen from two angles

lifeline tattoo in black, punctuated by a small red semicolon, on the side of a person's lower arm, ideas for the semicolon project

Semicolon butterfly tattoos are a very popular choice

butterfly tattoo inspired by the semicolon project, with thick black outlines, a semicolon body, and wings decorated with purple, blue and white, on a person's wrist

heart tattoo in a smudged, watercolor-like style, decorated with rainbow colors, subtle semicolon project tattoo, on the side of a person's wrist

six orange roses with green leaves, near a large black semicolon project tattoo, on a person's upper leg, together with a message written in black

Ideas for matching couple tattoos:

matching semicolon project tattoos in black, on two arms with black sleeves, placed next to each other, one arm is tanned and the other is pale, with several bracelets

semicolon meaning, matching tattoo idea for couples, heart pierced with arrow, and decorated with semicolon, on two arms placed next to each other

male hand with large black semicolon tattoo, and female hand with small black semicolon tattoo, matching tattoos for couples, semicolon meaning

Choose red for a more striking, eye-catching tattoo

red semicolon tattoo, delicate minimalistic design, on a slim wrist, semicolon meaning and ideas, woman dressed in black leggings, ballerina flats and a plaid shirt

tiny black semicolon tattoo, behind a woman's ear, large pearl stud earring, blonde hair tied back, semicolon meaning and symbolism

Check out these beautiful and unique takes on the semicolon sign:

bow in violet and white, and bent silver spoon, positioned so as to form a semicolon, symbolic semicolon meaning, tattooed on the inside of a person's arm

paisley shapes and flower mandalas, in black ink, decorating a large semicolon tattoo, semicolon meaning and significance, on a pale person's back or side

mandala with floral patterns, tattooed over a paisley shape, forming a large semicolon, done in dark blue ink, semicolon meaning, on the inside of a person's arm

several tattoos on a slim arm, large pink rose with green leaves, heart-shaped lock in red and white, with a black semicolon keyhole, semicolon meaning, yellow key and purple ribbon

Your story is not over yet! Never give up!

what does a semicolon tattoo mean, my story isn't over yet, written in black, with a semicolon in black and dark blue, tattooed on a person's wrist

molecules and a semicolon, tattooed in black, on a person's arm or leg, and covered with protective clear cling film, what does a semicolon tattoo mean

Every person’s mind is a small universe which must be preserved! 

galaxy tattoo in blue, navy and purple, with white stars, and a heart shape in black, decorated with a semicolon, what does a semicolon tattoo mean, beautiful wrist tattoo behind the ear tattoo, of a small black semicolon, what does a semicolon tattoo mean, on a pale girl, with blond hair tied back

person's arm decorated with a red tattoo, resembling a blood splatter, with a black semicolon in the middle, what does a semicolon tattoo mean, unusual original design

Semicolon tattoos can be combined with other designs  

dark butterfly tattoo, with bold outlines, decorated with red, yellow and white, near a black semicolon tattoo, what does a semicolon tattoo mean, arm and wrist tattoos
purple fabric wristband, tied to a person's hand, what does a semicolon tattoo mean, the word continue tattooed in a black, typewriter style font, the i replaced by a semicolon

fresh tattoo in black, depicting the world continue, with the i replaced by a semicolon, what does a semicolon tattoo mean, black and white patterned fabric

Isn’t this little cat  adorable?

cat shape made from a semicolon, with whiskers and ears, tattooed in red, on the inside of a person's wrist, suicide awareness tattoo

suicide awareness tattoo, of a small black semicolon, on a person's wrist, hand with long nails, painted in dark blue sparkly nail polish

grayscale faded photo, of a person's wrist, showing a black semicolon tattoo, or suicide awareness tattoo, outstretched hand, resting on a table

Never lose your faith in the future!

ripped and distressed jeans, and pale coral red top, hand with the word faith tattooed on its wrist, along with a semicolon, suicide awareness tattoo, black flowing font

photo of a hand shaped into a fist, in black and white, several bracelets with studs and chains, wrist suicide awareness tattoo of a semicolon

human heel with a black semicolon tattoo, minimalistic design and small size, suicide awareness tattoo, extreme close up, smooth pale skin

Why not get a matching semicolon tattoo with your bestie?

bold matching tattoos of semicolons in black, on the wrists of two hands, placed next to each other, suicide awareness tattoo

woman with blonde balayage on brunette hair, styled in a messy updo, revealing a black semicolon tattoo on her neck, suicide awareness tattoo, pale gray and red jumper

Another gorgeous, subtle design

purpose of semicolon, minimalist back tattoo of a mountain, lineart in black, with a small, barely visible semicolon, tattooed near a person's shoulder

outstretched slim hand, with long slender fingers, and a tiny black semicolon tattoo, on the side of the wrist, black and white image, purpose of semicolon  person in patterned, short sleeve top, in red white and black, showing an outline of a semicolon, tattooed in black, on the side of their wrist

moon shape and semicolon, tattooed in black, on the wrists of two hands, purpose of semicolon, black and white photo, palms on top of each other

 You can choose to keep your tattoo hidden…

black bold semicolon tattoo, on the neck of a person, with short dark hair, wearing a black top, purpose of semicolon, symbolic tattoo ideas

young woman holding up her salt and pepper gray jumper, to reveal a minimalistic black tattoo, of a semicolon, on her side, purpose of semicolon, chipped pink nail polish

…or wear it where everyone to see:

ring finger with a tattoo of a semicolon, black outline not filled in, purpose of semicolon explained, hand with delicate thin ring, and light nail polish

image with pale pink filter, showing close up of a slim hand, black semicolon tattoo on the side of the ring finger, purpose of semicolon, thin delicate ring on the index finger

semicolon tattoo on wrist, black semicolon sign, inside a simple heart outline, on a scarred wrist

The important thing is to remind yourself that the world is not black and white…

semicolon movement tattoo, with rainbow colors, and a splashed watercolor effect, on the side of a smiling, young girl's neck

shoulder tattoo of a butterfly, with a semicolon body, and wings with watercolor effect, in blue and purple, green and yellow, orange and red, semicolon movement

turn the page, tattooed in a black font, near a stylized butterfly, with a semicolon body, and watercolor effect wings, semicolon movement, blue and purple, yellow and black

…and that better things will come!

contrasting tattoo of a butterfly, with blue semicolon body, and turquoise wings, with black outlines, on a grayscale image, with small splashes of color

birdcage with open door, containing a semicolon, tattooed on a person's arm, near two birds in flight, hand holds a white mug, with a comical cartoon and message, semicolon tattoo on wrist

don't panic tattooed in black, near a heart shape, decorated with a semicolon, semicolon tattoo on wrist, with some faded scars

Here are a few stylish, minimalistic suggestions:

white sheet with six semicolon tattoo designs, dot and heart, cross and musical note, cat and arrow, minimalistic and original ideas

friendship matching tattoos, on the back of the neck, semicolon movement tattoos, worn by two women, with hair tied up, blonde and brunette

ankle with bold black tattoo, consisting of two thick stripes, and arm with semicolon tattoo on wrist, also in black, sitting person in dark clothing

heel tattoo in black, depicting a small semicolon, close to the ankle, inspired by the semicolon movement, simple and minimalistic design

 nail polish in a dark color, on hand with folded fingers, with small black semicolon tattoo, on the side of the wrist, semicolon movement, black and white photo

Because we can never have too many butterfly designs:

a date tattooed in black, under an elaborate black butterfly, with a small semicolon body, semicolon movement, on a person's hand or leg

teal and black, tiny fresh butterfly tattoo, with a semicolon body, and white details, behind the ear of a woman, with dark hair and blonde highlights

finger tattoo with a simple and minimalistic design, depicting a small semicolon in black, on the side of an index finger

thick and bold cross tattoo, and fresh bold semicolon tattoo, both in black, on two arms, placed next to each other, semicolon tattoo on wrist, meaning and significance

scarred wrist with hand-drawn temporary tattoo, consisting of a black continuous line, and tiny semicolon, semicolon tattoo on wrist, in a black and white image

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our selection and have found the right semicolon tattoo among our suggestions!

long curly hair, and dark lipstick, worn by woman with lots of jewelry, and a semicolon tattoo on wrist, cropped greyscale photo

glossy optical illusion tattoo, depicting a black semicolon, with 3D effect, great example of a semicolon tattoo on wrist

thigh tattoo depicting a black outline, of a large semicolon, not filled in, bare slim female legs, black shorts and red jumper

white lace cutout top, worn by a girl, with brunette hair tied up, to reveal a small black semicolon tattoo, on the nape of her neck

cross tattoo in black, accompanied by a semicolon, near a person's wrist, minimalistic and simple design, tattoo with religious symbolism

hand-painted temporary tattoo, done with black marker, on a person's thumb, fingers with black nail polish, black jumper sleeve

man's ankle with a small, but bold black tattoo, depicting a semicolon, on shaved skin, with clear cling film in the background

John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.