A Quick Guide to 5 Popular Tattoo Styles

  1. artistic designs

Countless people around the world find tattooing to be their method of choice when it comes to body expression — in fact, demand is so universal that the U.S. alone is home to around 21,000 tattoo parlors. Fortunately for those looking to get new tattoo art, there is no shortage of artistic designs circulating. This is due to the fact that while new styles are constantly being developed, many people continue to choose older styles for their body art.


Whether you are looking to push the limits of creativity with a brand new type of design, or you want the rich history and associations which come with the representation of a more traditional style, you will likely consider one of these iconic styles at some point. These are 5 popular styles from numerous periods which are in use today.


  1. American TraditionalThese instantly recognizable tattoos were first worn by sailors, some of the only folks in the west in the 18th century who didn’t mind shirking social conventions and inking their bodies. Artistic designs in the American traditional style tend toward bold outlines and strong, vivid colors in a limited palette. These tattoos are typically done strictly in black, red, green, yellow, and sometimes purple ink. They often feature women’s heads, roses, and various nautical motifs.
  2. Japanese Traditional“Irezumi” in Japanese, tattooing on the island of Japan goes back thousands of years. However, the style that is considered to be traditional Japanese dates to the Edo period of the 17th-19th centuries. Traditionally, these pieces are applied using metal needles which are attached to wooden handles with silk thread. The artistic designs resemble popular woodblock prints, featuring mythological heroes and monsters.
  3. WatercolorThis recent design trend is prized for its highly unconventional appearance and difficulty of technique. While the results can be stunning, many experienced tattoo artists warn that the absence of outlines can make for poor aging.
  4. DotworkFans of Pointillist artwork will surely love dotwork tattoos. Just like their paint-based counterpart, these tattoos feature designs comprising numerous tiny points of ink. When viewed from a distance, these points blend together to form an apparently seamless image. This style is perfect for nesting smaller details within larger designs and makes for a highly dynamic viewing experience.
  5. Blackwork

    As the name implies, these tattoos are rendered entirely in black ink. What they lack in color they often make up for in stark, creative designs. Geometric forms tend to be especially well-suited for this style.


Whatever style you may choose, make sure to get your next piece at Elite Ink Tattoo Studios.

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