Trending Tattoo Styles of 2023: Stay Ahead of the Curve
Hey there, tattoo lovers! We’re excited to bring you the ultimate guide to tattoo styles, brought to you by the team at Panumart Tattoo – Thailand’s most-loved tattoo shop.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the different styles of tattoos, from classic and traditional to modern and innovative. You’ll learn about the meanings behind popular symbols and designs, and discover the latest trends in tattooing.
Whether you’re a seasoned tattoo enthusiast or a first-timer looking for inspiration, this guide has got you covered. So sit back, relax, and let us take you on a journey through the world of tattoo art as we go over 29 types of tattoo styles.
What Are the Different Styles of Tattoos?
3D tattoos are a type of tattoo that creates the illusion of depth and realism. These tattoos are designed to look like they are popping out of the skin, giving the impression that they are three-dimensional. They are created using shading and perspective techniques that make the image appear as if it’s actually there. 3D tattoos can be incredibly impressive and eye-catching, as they often feature intricate designs and vivid colors. If you’re looking for a tattoo that really stands out and catches people’s attention, a 3D tattoo might be the perfect choice for you. However, keep in mind that these tattoos require a skilled artist who can create the proper shading and perspective to make the tattoo look truly three-dimensional.
Abstract tattoos are a unique and creative way to express yourself through body art. Rather than depicting a specific object or image, abstract tattoos use shapes, colors, and lines to create a design that is open to interpretation. These tattoos can range from simple and minimalist to complex and detailed, depending on your personal style and preferences. The beauty of abstract tattoos is that they allow for endless creativity and customization, making each tattoo truly one-of-a-kind. If you’re looking for a tattoo that is both artistic and expressive, an abstract tattoo might be just what you need. Just be sure to choose an experienced artist who can bring your vision to life with precision and skill.
American Traditional Tattoos
American Traditional tattoos, also known as old school tattoos, are a classic and timeless style of tattooing that originated in the United States in the early 20th century. These tattoos typically feature bold, black outlines and a limited color palette of red, green, yellow, and blue. The designs often depict traditional American imagery, such as eagles, roses, anchors, and skulls. American Traditional tattoos are known for their simplicity, clarity, and strong visual impact. They are a popular choice for those who want a tattoo that is both bold and traditional. If you’re interested in an American Traditional tattoo, be sure to find an artist who is skilled in this style and can execute the designs with precision and expertise.
Aztec tattoos are a unique and striking style of tattoo that draw inspiration from the ancient Aztec civilization of Mexico. These tattoos often feature intricate and geometric designs that depict Aztec gods, warriors, animals, and symbols. The designs typically incorporate bold lines, sharp angles, and vibrant colors, making them visually impressive and eye-catching. Aztec tattoos are a popular choice for those who want a tattoo that is both culturally significant and visually stunning. If you’re considering an Aztec tattoo, it’s important to find an artist who is knowledgeable about the history and symbolism behind these designs, and who can execute them with precision and skill.
Black & Gray Tattoos
Black and gray tattoos are a popular and versatile style of tattooing that can create a range of stunning designs using only shades of black and gray ink. These tattoos are typically created using a single needle and require a high level of skill and attention to detail to achieve the desired shading and texture. Black and gray tattoos can be simple or complex, and can feature a variety of subject matter, including portraits, animals, and intricate patterns. One of the benefits of this style is that the contrast between the black and gray ink creates a soft and subtle look that can be very aesthetically pleasing.
Blackout tattoos are a bold and unconventional style of tattooing that involve covering large areas of skin with solid black ink. These tattoos can be used to create striking and dramatic designs, or to cover up existing tattoos or scars. Blackout tattoos can be designed to incorporate negative space and contrast, creating an abstract or geometric design, or they can be a solid black canvas. One of the benefits of blackout tattoos is that they are highly customizable and can be adapted to fit your unique vision and style. However, it’s important to note that the process of getting a blackout tattoo can be more painful and time-consuming than other styles of tattooing, and they require an experienced artist who can execute the design with precision and skill. If you’re considering a blackout tattoo, be sure to do your research and find an artist who specializes in this style and can create a design that meets your needs and expectations.
If you’re a fan of bold, eye-catching ink, blackwork tattoos are just the thing for you! These striking designs feature large areas of solid black ink, making them unapologetically bold and impactful. They often draw inspiration from tribal, geometric, or even illustrative styles, ensuring there’s something for everyone in this versatile genre. At Panumart Tattoo, we love working with clients who want to make a powerful statement with their body art. Our talented artists can help you create a blackwork masterpiece that’ll turn heads and leave a lasting impression!
Black Skin Tattoos
Tattooing on dark or black skin is a unique and beautiful art form that requires special attention to detail. The key to success lies in understanding how different colors, shades, and designs interact with various skin tones. Tattoo artists skilled in this area know how to choose the perfect hues and adjust their designs for maximum contrast and visual impact. Whether you’re after a vibrant traditional piece or a subtle, elegant script, it’s essential to work with an artist who’s familiar with the intricacies of tattooing on dark skin. This way, you’ll get a stunning tattoo that complements your skin tone and becomes a cherished expression of your personality.
Steeped in history and symbolism, Celtic tattoos are a fantastic choice for those looking to carry a piece of their heritage or connect with ancient wisdom. These intricate designs often feature complex knots, spirals, and interlaced patterns that weave together seamlessly. Some popular Celtic motifs include the triquetra, Claddagh, and the Celtic cross, each carrying its own unique meaning and symbolism. A well-done Celtic tattoo can be a mesmerizing work of art that showcases both the skill of the artist and the depth of the culture it represents. Embrace the mystique of this timeless style, and let your tattoo tell an enchanting tale of tradition and lore.
Born out of the Chicano Movement in the mid-20th century, Chicano tattoos are a powerful form of cultural expression that celebrates Mexican-American identity and heritage. This captivating style is characterized by its intricate black and grey fine line work, often depicting religious iconography, cultural symbols, and portraits inspired by life in the barrio. Chicano tattoos can range from the deeply personal to the profoundly political, embodying the pride and resilience of the community they represent. With their striking visuals and rich history, Chicano tattoos offer a unique and evocative way to express your individuality and honor your roots.
If you’re looking for a tattoo style that showcases finesse and precision, dotwork is an excellent choice. This technique uses countless tiny dots to create intricate patterns and designs, often resulting in an almost hypnotic, textured effect. Dotwork tattoos can range from bold geometric shapes to delicate, ethereal mandalas, making them a versatile option for many artistic preferences. The painstakingly detailed process may take longer than other tattoo styles, but the stunning, one-of-a-kind results are well worth the investment. Choose a dotwork tattoo for a truly mesmerizing piece that will leave people marveling at the artistry involved.
For those who appreciate the beauty of symmetry and balance, geometric tattoos are the perfect choice. This style focuses on shapes, lines, and patterns to create visually striking designs that captivate the eye. Geometric tattoos can be minimalist and subtle or complex and intricate, incorporating elements like sacred geometry, tessellations, or fractals. Often, these tattoos carry a sense of harmony and order, making them a fantastic option for those seeking to express their appreciation for the underlying structure of the universe. With a geometric tattoo, you’ll have a unique piece of wearable art that showcases the fascinating interplay between form and meaning.
Rooted in ancient spiritual traditions, mandala tattoos offer a visually stunning and deeply symbolic option for body art enthusiasts. Mandalas are intricate, circular designs that represent the universe, balance, and wholeness, often featuring complex patterns and geometric elements. Their mesmerizing, kaleidoscopic appearance is not only visually appealing but can also serve as a powerful reminder of one’s connection to the cosmos and inner self. Whether you’re drawn to the spiritual aspects of mandalas or simply love their intricate beauty, a mandala tattoo is a captivating choice that combines artistry with profound meaning, resulting in a truly transformative piece.
Small in size but big on impact, micro tattoos pack a lot of charm and personality into a tiny space. These miniature works of art are perfect for those who want to make a subtle statement or simply prefer a more discreet tattoo. Despite their size, micro tattoos can be incredibly detailed and intricate, showcasing the artist’s skill and precision. From minimalist symbols and delicate linework to tiny portraits and intricate patterns, the possibilities are endless with this versatile style. Choose a micro tattoo for a beautifully understated piece that speaks volumes about your individuality and style without taking up too much real estate on your skin.
Embracing the “less is more” philosophy, minimalist tattoos are an elegant and understated choice for body art enthusiasts who appreciate simplicity and subtlety. This style often features clean lines, geometric shapes, or small, meaningful symbols that convey a strong message or sentiment without being overly complex. Minimalist tattoos can be a reflection of one’s personality, an homage to a special memory, or a visual representation of a cherished value. Whether you’re a first-timer looking for a discreet design or a tattoo aficionado who appreciates the beauty of simplicity, a minimalist tattoo is a timeless and chic option that will never go out of style.
Negative Space Tattoos
Turning traditional tattoo concepts on their head, negative space tattoos are a creative and visually striking choice for those looking to push artistic boundaries. This innovative style uses the uninked skin as part of the design, creating contrast and depth by playing with the absence of ink. Negative space tattoos can range from minimalist silhouettes to complex designs where inked and uninked areas intertwine to form breathtaking patterns. This technique not only showcases the artist’s skill but also adds an element of surprise and intrigue to your body art. Choose a negative space tattoo for a truly unique and eye-catching piece that’s sure to spark conversation and admiration.
Neo Traditional Tattoos
A vibrant and dynamic fusion of old and new, neo-traditional tattoos combine the bold lines and classic motifs of traditional tattoos with contemporary elements, colors, and design sensibilities. This style often features detailed illustrations, rich color palettes, and a touch of whimsy, resulting in a visually striking and captivating piece of body art. Popular neo-traditional subjects include animals, portraits, and florals, but the possibilities are endless thanks to the style’s creative freedom. If you’re looking for a tattoo that pays homage to the past while embracing modern aesthetics, a neo-traditional tattoo is the perfect choice for a fresh and distinctive statement piece.
New School Tattoos
Bursting with color and personality, new school tattoos are a bold and playful choice for those who love to make a statement with their body art. This style is characterized by its exaggerated proportions, vibrant colors, and often humorous or cartoonish subject matter, resulting in a fun and eye-catching design. New school tattoos draw inspiration from various sources, including pop culture, graffiti art, and comic books, making them a versatile and imaginative option for creative expression. If you’re looking for a tattoo that’s full of life and exudes your unique sense of style, a new school tattoo is the perfect way to showcase your individuality and artistic flair.
Rich in symbolism and deeply rooted in tradition, Polynesian tattoos (also known as Maori tattoos) are a powerful way to connect with the culture and heritage of the Pacific Islands. These intricate designs often feature bold, tribal patterns, geometric shapes, and symbolic elements that tell a story or represent one’s ancestry, social status, or spiritual beliefs. Polynesian tattoos are more than just body art; they’re a reflection of a person’s identity and a way to pay homage to their ancestors. If you’re drawn to the beauty and significance of these ancient designs, a Polynesian tattoo is a meaningful and striking choice that will become a cherished part of your personal journey.
A true testament to the skill and artistry of a tattooist, portrait tattoos capture the essence and likeness of a loved one, celebrity, or even a beloved pet. This style requires exceptional attention to detail, as it seeks to reproduce the subject’s features, expressions, and emotions with remarkable accuracy. When done well, portrait tattoos can be incredibly lifelike and moving, serving as a tribute or a memorial to someone who holds a special place in your heart. If you’re looking to immortalize a cherished face on your skin, a portrait tattoo is a beautiful and deeply personal way to keep their memory close to you, always.
As close to a living, breathing work of art as you can get, realistic tattoos showcase the incredible skill and precision of an artist in replicating images from the real world. This style focuses on capturing every detail, shading, and texture to create a lifelike representation of a subject, be it a person, animal, or even a landscape. The result is a tattoo that almost appears to be a photograph etched onto the skin. If you’re looking for a tattoo that’s visually stunning and true to life, a realistic tattoo is an excellent choice that demonstrates the astonishing talent and craftsmanship of the tattoo artist while showcasing your favorite subject in all its glory.
Sacred Geometry Tattoos
Steeped in mysticism and universal symbolism, sacred geometry tattoos are a captivating choice for those drawn to the profound connection between art, spirituality, and the natural world. This style explores the intricate patterns, shapes, and proportions found in the building blocks of the universe, with designs often featuring elements such as the Flower of Life, Metatron’s Cube, or the Platonic Solids. Sacred geometry tattoos are not only visually mesmerizing but also carry deep, symbolic meaning, serving as a reminder of the interconnectedness of all things. For a tattoo that combines stunning aesthetics with spiritual resonance, sacred geometry is a beautiful and thought-provoking choice.
Sailor Jerry Tattoos
Paying homage to the iconic tattoo artist Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, Sailor Jerry tattoos capture the essence of classic Americana and the golden age of tattooing. This style is characterized by its bold lines, vibrant colors, and timeless motifs such as anchors, swallows, pin-up girls, and nautical stars. Sailor Jerry tattoos evoke a sense of adventure, rebellion, and nostalgia, making them a popular choice for those looking to honor the tattoo tradition or simply express their love for all things vintage. Choose a Sailor Jerry tattoo for a timeless piece of body art that carries a rich history and a touch of old-school cool.
Stick and Poke Tattoos
Hailing from a DIY ethos and rooted in ancient tattooing traditions, stick and poke tattoos offer a raw, authentic, and intimate experience for body art enthusiasts. This technique involves manually applying ink to the skin using a needle, without the aid of a tattoo machine, resulting in a handcrafted and unique design. Stick and poke tattoos often have a charming, simplistic aesthetic, featuring small symbols, linework, or geometric shapes. They can be a reflection of personal expression or a shared bonding experience with a friend. Embrace the beauty of imperfection and the spirit of self-expression with a stick and poke tattoo that tells your own unique story.
Trash Polka Tattoos
A bold and unconventional fusion of art styles, trash polka tattoos defy categorization and push the boundaries of traditional tattooing. This avant-garde style, originating from Germany, combines realistic imagery, abstract elements, and striking typography, often utilizing a limited color palette of black, red, and grey. Trash polka tattoos are characterized by their chaotic, collage-like appearance, blending various textures and themes into a captivating and visually arresting piece of body art. If you’re looking for a tattoo that breaks the mold and challenges convention, a trash polka tattoo is a daring and innovative choice that’s sure to make a powerful statement.
Rooted in ancient cultures and traditions, tribal tattoos are a powerful and visually striking form of body art that transcends time and geography. This style often features bold, black patterns, intricate linework, and symbolic elements inspired by indigenous tribes from around the world, such as Polynesian, Native American, or African designs. Tribal tattoos are more than just aesthetically appealing; they often carry deep cultural significance, representing one’s ancestry, social status, or spiritual beliefs. If you’re drawn to the timeless beauty and rich history of tribal tattoos, embrace this bold style to create a stunning and meaningful piece of body art that connects you to the past.
Steeped in history and evoking the spirit of the fearless warriors of old, Viking (or Norse) tattoos are a powerful and captivating choice for those looking to channel their inner strength and connection to their heritage. This style often features bold designs inspired by Norse mythology, such as the legendary hammer of Thor (Mjölnir), the Valknut symbol, or intricate knotwork inspired by Viking art. Viking tattoos are more than just visually striking; they often carry a sense of courage, protection, and resilience that embodies the values of these legendary seafarers. Choose a Viking tattoo for a striking and meaningful piece of body art that pays tribute to the rich culture and history of the Norse people.
A stunning and whimsical fusion of fine art and body art, watercolor tattoos are a breathtaking choice for those who appreciate a softer, more painterly approach to their ink. This style mimics the look of watercolor paintings, featuring delicate brushstrokes, vibrant colors, and dreamy, blended hues that seem to flow seamlessly on the skin. Watercolor tattoos can range from abstract designs to more recognizable subjects, such as florals, animals, or landscapes. Choose a watercolor tattoo for a unique and enchanting piece that captures the beauty and fluidity of this timeless art form, creating a masterpiece that adorns your skin like a living canvas.