9 Epic Tattoo Styles

John Dietrich
As tattoos have made their way into mainstream arts, more styles have emerged. With a stronger demand on the tattoo industry, more artists are in the running, and creative motivation is at an all time high. When you’re trying to settle on a tattoo idea, knowing your style can be helpful. Often, artists are skilled in a particular style, and clients will select their artist based on this skill alone. Below, we’ve put together a list of the most epic tattoo styles out there today. Read on, and see which ones suit your preferences!

1. New School

Bat in a New School Tattoo Style Photo: Pinterest

This fun style makes room for the wildest tattoo ideas imaginable. These designs are animated and exaggerated, and they often feature personified objects as well as human-like animals.

2. Trash Polka
Arm Sleeve in a Trash Polka Style Photo: Richmond Tattoo Shops

Invented by the Buena Vista tattoo club in Germany, trash polka is a very unique style. The designs are strictly black and red, and the images are a collage of realistic and abstract designs. This style puts together a medley of tattoo ideas, creating a special ‘organized chaos’ look.

3. American Traditional

Various images in an American Traditional Tattoo Style Photo: Pinterest

Founded by tattoo artist, Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, American traditional tattoos feature bold black outlines and primary colours. Although American Traditional typically offers renderings of skulls, roses, and daggers, the tattoo ideas in this style are endless!

4. Traditional Japanese

Full Back Tattoo in a Japanese Style Photo: Tattoo Journal

Also known as ‘Irezumi,’ traditional Japanese tattoos were popularized by the criminal underworld in Japan. These designs are characterized by bold outlines and little shading, much like American Traditional. The tattoo ideas surround animal themes, like tigers, koi fish, as well as natural element themes, like the lotus flower plant and waves.

5. Polynesian

Polynesian Style Tattoo Photo: Piercing Models

Based on cultural traditions of Polynesian tribesmen, the Polynesian tattoo style is made up of tribal symbolism. These tattoos are usually done using a technique unique to the specific tribal culture.

6. Blackwork

Sleeve in a Blackwork Tattoo Style Photo: Next Luxury

Blackwork is a unique tattoo style that involves saturated colour blocking as well as intricate linework. Mandalas are a common choice, but there are many other tattoo ideas that come with blackwork style.

7. Dotwork

Dotwork Tattoo Style with a Minimalist Flair Photo: Pinterest

Made up of miniature dots, dotwork is an eye-catching tattoo style. Most tattoo ideas in this style revolve around sacred geometry and stipple portraits.

8. Stick and Poke

Stick and Poke Style Tattoo Photo: Tattoodo

This quirky style is endearing and simple. A single needle is dipped in ink, and then poked repeatedly across your skin to create a design outline.

9. Watercolour

Fox in a Watercolor Tattoo Style Photo: Tattoo Easily

These tattoos tend to lack black outlines and show an array of colours, mimicking watercolour paintings.

These days, there are plenty of styles from which to choose. Whether you’re charmed by the original styles, like Japanese and American traditional, or you’re drawn to the modern ones, like watercolour and trash polka, all styles have a unique creative edge. Next time you’re trying to decide on a tattoo idea, browse through these styles and go from there! If you know of any other outstanding tattoo styles, let us know about them in the comment section below!

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