A guide to exploring Various Tattoo Styles 

It can be daunting to have so many tattoo ideas and inspiration accessible at your disposal. Locating the right artist is imperative to assist you with the tattooing process, however, deciding your preferred tattoo style and placement demands your personal input. To give you a head start, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the most common tattoo styles to pick from. Keep in mind: this tattoo style guide is a broad overview of the different tattoo styles. Knowing these terms will be of great assistance to you during the tattoo inspiration stage of your journey. This guiding tool will supply you with the best words to use when seeking out photo ideas or conversing with your tattoo artist to help you provide the detailed information needed to create your desired tattoo design. Take the time to do your own image research to find what designs, forms, colours and combinations inspire you.

American Traditional Style

The Traditional Style of Tattooing, or American Traditional Tattoo Style, is a well established form of body art. This style of tattooing is known for its vibrant colors, bold lines, and iconic designs. It is an enduring style that has been popular for decades.Norman Collins (aka Sailor Jerry) is credited for creating traditional style tattoos in the 1940s. This type of tattooing is characterized by its bold lines and bright colors, offering a two-dimensional, almost cartoon-like appearance. The ink is highly saturated and typically filled in with a black outline and little to no shading. These features make traditional style tattoos a great choice for all skin tones and they hold up well over time, resisting fading better than some modern tattoo designs.Anchors, skulls, swallows, mermaids, sails, roses, hearts, eagles, panthers and snakes are all frequent motifs in this type of tattoo art, which is commonly known as Old School style tattoos, American Traditional tattoo style, Classic tattoo style, and Western Traditional tattoo style.
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Neo-Traditional Tattoo

This type of tattooing is gaining popularity with its unique, bold, and colorful look. It is a combination of traditional and modern tattooing styles, incorporating bright colors and bold outlines. Neo-traditional tattoos are often seen as an updated version of the traditional tattooing style, and they can be used to represent various symbols, images, and ideas.The Neo-Traditional tattoo style is the modernized version of Traditional tattoos. While both styles possess similar traits (noteworthy linework and radiant ink colours), Neo-Traditional tattoos appear more like a painting and incorporate a broader range of symbols. These tattoos have an illustrative quality that is heavily inspired by Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. Nature-themed designs such as animals, flowers, vines, and portraiture are often seen in Neo-Traditional tattoos.
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Japanese Style

Japanese tattoos are renowned for their distinctive look which is heavily influenced by the country's culture. This style of body art has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way for individuals to express their individuality. The artwork typically features bold lines and vibrant colors, often with mythological creatures and religious symbols. Japanese tattoo designs often have a deeper meaning and can be used to represent life experiences, beliefs, and hopes.

Irezumi, otherwise known as Japanese style tattoos, have their origins in the Edo period of Japan (1603-1868). These tattoos are known for their vivid colors, illustrative linework, and use of negative space. Popular motifs include images of Japanese folklore, samurai warriors, Buddhist gods, dragons, tigers, snakes, koi fish, kitsune, phoenixes, and foo dogs. Such designs can be done alone or accompanied with natural elements like water and flowers.

When it comes to Japanese tattoos, they are usually bigger and are typically done on the back, arms, chest, or legs. It is not unusual to see full-body Japanese tattoos, yet they can also be applied as small tattoos to other parts of the body.

Blackwork Tattooing

This type of body art is characterized by its use of dark ink and intricate patterns. It is often seen as a more spiritual type of tattoo, with its origins being traced back to the ancient cultures of Europe and the Middle East. The style has seen a resurgence in recent times with the rise of modern tattoo art. The dark lines and bold patterns of blackwork tattoos are often used to create geometric shapes, tribal designs, and abstract patterns.

The Blackwork tattoo style is characterized by tattoos made with only black ink. These designs are usually composed of thick lines and negative space. Any tattoo made without the use of shading, grey, or coloured ink falls under this category. This style allows for a great deal of creativity and exploration, from tribal tattoos to illustrative, geometric, abstract, portraiture, and lettering tattoos.

Watercolors Tattoo Style

A guide to exploring Various Tattoo Styles 

This style of tattooing involves the use of a watercolour technique to create an aesthetically pleasing design. It is considered to be a more delicate and subtle type of tattooing compared to other styles. The end result consists of a design that appears to be as if it had been painted on with watercolours. This style of tattooing has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its unique and beautiful look.

Bright pigments are blended together to craft delicate washes of colour on the skin in Watercolour tattoos, which offer a refreshing change from the popular bold, dark linework seen in many other styles of tattooing. Creating a successful Watercolour tattoo requires a high level of technical skill, so it's important to do your research or view a portfolio of a prospective artist's Watercolour tattoos before booking an appointment. Although Watercolour tattoos are less painful to get due to the lack of pigment being injected deeply into the skin, they are more prone to fading faster than other styles such as dark, shaded or Blackwork tattoos.

Minimalistic Style

Marked by exquisite linework and intricate designs, the Minimalist tattoo style makes use of simple, clear patterns with little to no shading, a large amount of negative space and a restricted colour selection. Minimalist tattoos generally feature the essential aspects of a particular design, usually in black ink. At times, white ink with a few coloured details may also be included. Because they are done with small needles, using a bit of ink, and taking about 15-30 minutes to finish (unless it is a bigger piece), Minimalist tattoos are less painful and offer a more subtle look when compared to more traditional tattoo styles. Nevertheless, due to their lower ink concentration, these tattoos are likely to fade faster than tattoo styles with prominent linework. Endless Minimalist tattoo ideas are available, and some usual design themes and concepts include floral tattoos, Geometric, sun and moon, anchor and zodiac tattoos.
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Geometric Tattoos

A guide to exploring Various Tattoo Styles 

This distinctive style of tattooing is characterized by its use of precise, geometric designs. It is appreciated for its clean lines and the beauty of its symmetrical patterns. Often, the shapes used in this type of tattooing are inspired by traditional tribal tattoos, but the end result is quite different. This style of body art is unique in its own right, creating eye-catching and visually-appealing designs.

The Geometric tattoo style is renowned for its accuracy and is composed of various shapes such as rectangles, triangles, circles, squares, diamonds, and lines. These designs usually do not come with shading and were traditionally used to signify a spiritual meaning. Nowadays, they are used to provide a sense of equilibrium and balance. There are compositions which solely consist of a combination of these shapes and also those that reimagine existing tattoos with the addition of geometric elements, such as a lion tattoo with a diamond-studded face. They are able to add a modern, refined, and proportional allure to conventional tattoos and blend with other tattoo styles from Minimalist to Watercolour.

Trash Polka

In the 1990s, Simone Plaff and Volko Merschky created the Trash Polka tattoo style, merging surrealism, realism, and geometric, lettering, or graphic tattooing. These tattoos are usually done using black and red ink, with bold and fine lines of black, grey shading, and a splash of red. Common motifs in Trash Polka tattoos are animals, flowers, movie characters, and nautical designs blended with abstract shapes, dynamic linework, and ink splatters. They are usually large in size.
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The Realism tattoo style is quite straightforward; it is designed to appear as a realistic image. This trend has been popular since the 1950s and remains one of the most requested tattoo styles today. It can be inked in a range of hues and often has intricate detailing or shading. Popular selections for this tattoo style can include depictions of celebrities or family members, animals, a desired object or location, and nature-related motifs.

Portrait style

A portrait tattoo style is one that depicts a person, event, or other subject in a realistic manner. This type of tattooing is often seen as an artistic expression of an individual's life, memories, or beliefs. It is a way for the wearer to permanently display something special to them in a very personal way. The artist's skill comes into play when creating a portrait tattoo, as the facial features, clothing, and other details must be accurately rendered in order to create a lifelike image.Realism-style tattoos with a focus on photorealistic faces and figures are known as Portraiture. This can include celebrities, family, friends, or animals, and any reference photos should be ready for the consultation and tattoo session. As with any tattoo, especially a portrait, attention to detail is paramount for a successful result.
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The Surrealism tattoo style can be seen as a combination of Illustrative and Realism tattoo styles. These designs are inspired by the avant-garde art movement and feature faces, animals, scenery and everyday objects with a whimsical twist. Distorted figures, shapes, and illogical juxtaposition as well as dream-like symbols are incorporated to create a feeling of fantasy and hyper-realism. Usually Surrealism tattoos are done with black or grey ink, although coloured inks are not uncommon.

Linework style

This type of tattoo is known for its simplistic, one-colored and inconspicuous look. Line Art tattoos are identified as a fashion that uses crisp lines and a solitary ink color to form any pattern. Most of these tattoos are created using one continuous line with a lot of open space to make the details of the design stand out. The construction of a Line Art tattoo consists of many curves and overlapping details. The needle used may be of a different thickness, depending on how strong the linework should be. A lot of Line Art tattoos follow a minimalistic tattoo style with geometric or abstract shapes. Common elements include distorted faces or figures, animals, portraits and floral designs. The effortlessness of this tattoo style means that Line Art tattoos can be done in a shorter session and will likely be less painful to get than a traditional tattoo.

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