The Grateful Dead was a popular American rock band. They are also known for their extended, improvisational concerts that critics described as “a unique kind of aural drug experience” when they disbanded after Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995.
In honor of their 50th anniversary, we have compiled a list of the best Grateful Dead tattoos designs for you to consider getting ink on your skin, showing your love and appreciation for this legendary group.
There are plenty of other popular and well-known artists who have been inspired by the Dead, including Keith Haring, Shepard Fairey, and Robert Crumb.
So whether you want something simple or intricate, or something relatively obscure or original, you can look for the perfect design to match your style, your senses of humor, and your personal creative flare. Whether you are a hardcore Deadhead or a casual observer, there is something here for everyone.
1. Black & White Skull Tattoo
This design is an awesome way to pay homage to the classic name of the band: the Grateful Dead. Using black ink and white lines, this simple yet striking design features two skulls and nothing else. The minimalist style makes it easy to read while also keeping it in line with the band’s legacy of being authentic and friendly to all races.
2. Skull With Roses Tattoo
Another genius way to pay tribute to the Grateful Dead is with this simple design that features a skull with roses. The roses are surrounded by a vine on either side of the skull, which gives it a rose-like appearance, though it is actually just a decal or sticker. This design would be the perfect way to show your love for the band, as well as your appreciation for flowers and other beautiful parts of nature.
3. Skull With Acorns Tattoo
Another good way to pay tribute to the Grateful Dead is with this simple design that features a skull with acorns. The acorns are surrounded by a vine on either side of the skull, which gives it a rose-like appearance, though it is actually just a decal or sticker. This design would be the perfect way to show your love for the band, as well as your appreciation for nature.
4. Skull With Skulls Tattoo
This awesome design features two skulls with roses and lemons that are inside the rays of the sun. The design is striking and bold and would take up a large portion of the upper arm or thigh. Because it features multiple elements, it is likely that this tattoo would cost more than others in this article.
5. Skeleton Hand Tattoo
This simple black and gray tattoo feature a skeleton hand with a set of headphones, as well as the abbreviated name for the band: Grateful Dead. The design is simple but also very striking and would certainly be eye-catching.
6. Skeleton Hand Holding Roses Tattoo
This stunning design features a skeleton hand-holding roses that are in full bloom. The design features a beautiful use of black and gray, which adds a nice contrast to the design. The hand itself is delicate looking, as well as the roses.
7. Climbing Dead Hand Tattoo
This fun-looking design features two blue hands with red roses that are in full bloom. Inside each hand is the logo for the band: Dead, while the name itself appears on the back of each hand. The pattern and colors are very striking and, again, would be eye-catching on many people’s bodies.
8. Dead Hand Tattoo
This is a simple and elegant design that features a black hand holding a rose, along with the abbreviation for the band: Grateful Dead. If you are not into such bright colors, this design would be easy to tweak to fit your personal tastes.
9. Acorn Skull Tattoo
This simple design features a wooden skull that has an acorn placed on top of its forehead. The design is simple and keeps the focus on the skull itself, but it still looks tough and almost scary. This would be a great way to show your love for nature while also having a tattoo that you can use in jest whenever someone tells you that your tattoo looks like a real skeleton hand.
10. Colorful Skull & Roses Tattoo
This colorful design features a rainbow skull with roses and lemons inside the eyes. The tattoo uses vivid colors and is striking to look at. The design would be great when done in color but also just as stunning when created in black and gray.