The Different Types of Popular Tattoos
by on 21.05.2019

If you fancy getting your first tattoo then it is a good idea to do some research first, not just where to go and which tattoo artist you should put your trust in. But you need to learn the terminology so you can explain what exactly you are looking for. This will then not restrict you to the tattoo artist’s off the peg designs, and will allow you to create something that not everybody in the street is wearing.

There are popular styles such as Japanese and traditional, and here we show some pointers how distinguish new school from neo-traditional without breaking sweat.


Traditional tattoos are recognized by having bold and bright colors, the designs are famous such as beautiful women’s profiles, anchors, and flowers. These types of designs are really popular and are some of the most loved around the word by young and old. These types of tattoos are often full of history and exemplify what tattooing is all about, choosing this sort of design you can rarely go wrong.


Realism style uses classic art as its inspiration that can go back as far as the Renaissance period. But in the world of tattooing this style has only really shown its face. It was not until the late 20th Century that it started to become popular.

The designs can be monochrome or color and usually depict well known people, either celebrities or politicians or any other instantly recognizable person. There is a modern movement where this type of design can actually be surreal.


Irezumi, or Japanese style was developed in the early 15th Century at the same time as woodblock printing. Much of this style features age old icons from Japanese folklore, such as mythical creatures like phoenixes, kirins, and dragons. Nearly every Japanese-style tattoo has a story to tell, and they are all highly impressive with features like billowing smoke and crashing waves. Japanese tattoos are as powerful as they come, and definitely capture the imagination.


Indigenous body art or tribal as it is also known dates back thousands of years even though it is a mixture of multiple styles as it was developed all over the world. But if you study say Marquesan against Polynesian you will notice subtle differences. Mostly only in black and white these styles of tattoos are similar but at the same time unique.

New School

The term new school is a little misleading as this style of tattooing came to the fore in the late 1980’s. It became highly popular for a couple of decades following but now is on the wane a little. The designs of this style are highly animated taking on characters from popular American culture of the period. It is wacky, featuring exaggerated figures and caricatures often in comic book form.

Neo Traditional

An evolution of the traditional style, neo traditional features all the old core principles of its namesake with the addition of vibrant colors and more detailed line-work. The artists that prefer to work in this style have drawn influences from the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods. They are highly elaborate tattoos with creative use of animals and flowers. These are the most popular styles of tattoos that you can find all over the world, study them carefully and choose which suits you better.


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