Welcome to another blog post. In this article, we will discuss the most popular tattoo styles. We have also gathered many images for these tattoo styles, so you have an easier time finding what you like and create your next tattoo.
Without further ado, let’s dive into our list of the most popular tattoo styles of all time.
At number one, we have the realism tattoo style. There are two basic styles of it. There is black and gray realism, which only uses black and gray ink, and we have colored realism which uses a wide variety of color palettes to capture the full and realistic color of the object.
One characteristic that sets realism apart from many traditional tattoos is the lack of bold outlines. Instead of bold lines, realistic tattoo designs prioritize shading and contrasts.
Another major thing to note is the specific techniques that make realism tattoos look true to life. The same traits make them susceptible to fading. So if you are getting a realism tattoo, you will need to get your tattoo touched up after five or six years.
It can be disastrous if done by an inexperienced artist or an artist who hasn’t trained in this particular style. So choose your artist very wisely.
Trash polka is a very cool and unique tattoo style. It is a style of tattoo that originated in Germany and used collages and chaotic designs to tell a story.
Trash polka tattoos are most often abstract with elements of realism, so there’s a lot of juxtaposition going on with these tattoo designs. The tattoos are confusing and yet very beautiful.
Red and black is the trademark of a traditional trash polka tattoo, often with splatters and smudges in and around the design. However, the bold appearance and stark contrasts that make them stand out do not last forever. So getting touch-ups after a few years is a great idea.
Now let’s look at Japanese style, aka Irezumi. It is a whole different world of tattooing and has a rich history behind it, dating back centuries.
For simplicity, we will categorize traditional and neo-traditional Japanese tattoos in the same group. For centuries, Japanese tattoos served as symbols of societal prestige and spirituality. People used them as a charm for protection.
Though in recent days, tattoos are synonymous with criminals, and the Yakuza in Japanese culture, it is still one of the most popular styles. Japanese tattoo designs incorporate oriental objects and mythical creatures like the Dragon and the Phoenix.
Japanese tattoos are 2D designs, heavy in line work, high contrast, saturation in color, and incredibly detailed. Irezumi is traditionally done by hand using wooden handles and metal needles attached to silk thread.
A typical geometric tattoo has several lines or geometric shapes that form an even bigger shape. In ancient times, people used these shapes and patterns in spiritual and religious practices. However, in today’s world, they symbolize balance, symmetry, stability, intelligence, mystery, and much much more.
The linework is very important for this style of tattooing. When choosing an artist for a geometric tattoo, make sure you pay close attention to their line work. There is nothing worse than having a triangle on your body that has squiggles on it instead of a straight line.
Up next, we have Chicano tattoo style. Made in the 1940s, they were prevalent in New Mexico, Texas, and California. They can represent many different things from family, neighborhood, culture, emotions, and memories. The characteristics of the Chicano tattoos are black and grey color, fine lines, detailed and soft shading. As for the lettering often uses bold fonts to create impact or elegant scripts to add softness. These letterings or words used in the tattoo designs can be stand-alone behind portraits or incorporated in the grand design.
It is a tattoo style in which a tattoo artist designs a piece based on the client’s body part to recreate a robotic or cyborg-like aesthetic to the skin. It is the intricate designs and creative applications of colors that make biomechanical tattoos so fascinating and captivating.
When choosing an artist for this particular tattoo style, make sure they’re good at giving depth to the tattoo. If done right, these 3D tattoos should look like they pop out of your body or a part of your body.
Traditional American tattoos have bold lines and bright solid colors. These tattoos are not overly detailed like realism tattoos. There should be minimal shading on traditional tattoos to make them easy to see and understand. American traditional tattoos focus heavily on black as the primary pigment, with yellow, green, and red colors.
When choosing an artist for this style, make sure their work isn’t patchy. Instead, they should have solid colors with clean and smooth line work.
Tribal tattoos came from ancient tribal art. In many tribal cultures, getting a tattoo was a rite of passage, social status, and family identification. Some tribes still carry that tradition.
Tribal tattoos only use black ink, and they tend to age very well. However, at the same time, for that same reason, these tattoos are difficult to remove and cover them up, mainly if they include thicker lines and a larger design.
Tribal tattoos used to be a trendy choice for first tattoos. However, these days, not so much. Polynesian style of the tribal is becoming the more popular one these days.
This style looks very similar to old-school tattoos to the average person who doesn’t know much about tattoos. But they are quite different.
Neo-traditional tattoo style originated as early as the 1970s and was influenced by some features of the old-school tattooing in the United States. They often have a broader color palette and a broader range of motifs.
Neo-traditional tattoos are known for their lush decorative details, natural imagery such as floral and animal, and exaggerated depictions of the subject.
Watercolor tattoos have recently become extremely popular. It is a unique style, and the tattoos look like they were literally made out of watercolor. These tattoos are usually bright with vivid color markings of several subtle color gradients and techniques that create a more gradual color fade out.
However, watercolor tattoos may fade slightly quicker than the other ones. A slight touch-up here and there will keep your tattoo looking fresh and alive.
Most people will have specific words that inspire, encourage, or remind them of someone or something special. These are words that you might not want to forget, and you will want to see and have them with you all the time. Whether these words are from the Bible or a quote in a foreign language, script tattoos ensure that you will never forget them.
It’s important to know that because of how bold and deep the ink is going to penetrate your skin, removing these tattoos will be extremely difficult. So be mindful of what script you choose to put on your body.
Blackwork tattoo style is a fascinating and unique approach to tattooing. The first impression of the tattoos looks like some old body paints. A lot of people often think of them as cover-up tattoos as they sometimes cover a large area of skin. It is not always the case.
The origin of Blackwork tattooing goes back millennia. The “black” actually refers to the material used in the history of tattooing of thousands of years. People have been using charcoal to make black pigments for more than 7000 years.
So basically, any tattoos that use only black ink for shading and line work are considered Blackwork tattoos. This style of tattoos are distinguished for their bold lines, dense black shading, and the perfect use of negative space.
Stick and Poke
Stick and poke tattoos is also known as hand tattoo, DIY tattoo or homemade tattoo. Anyone can do Stick and Poke tattoo on their own in the comfort of their own home with some inexpensive tools. Basically you just poke your own skin with a needle and some ink.
This method of tattooing was once popular among the prison inmates and now the trend has spread around the world where people wants to create their own DIY tattoos.
You may not create a masterpiece but stick and poke method works very well for small and simple designs. I have seen some amazing tattoos people have done by themselves by using tick and poke technique.