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Tattoo Styles

Updated on August 18, 2016

With so many different tattoo styles floating around, sometimes it's hard to decipher what's what. So in this article, I've taken a few of the most talked about tattoo styles and broken them down into bite sized, easy to understand, pieces.

Biomechanical tattoo
Biomechanical tattoo


Bioechanical tattoos are most known for their distinct look- human flesh mixed with mechanical or robot parts. These tattoos are usually placed on highly muscular parts of the body, as often they show case what the inside of the human body might look like if the wearer was a cyborg.

Asian tattoo
Asian tattoo


Oriental tattoos are usually bright and bold, not to mention large. They commonly cover a full arm or leg. Images that are often selected for oriental style tattoos include koi fish, dragons, and geisha.

Traditional tattoo
Traditional tattoo


Traditional tattoo are also known as "old school" tattoos. These types of tattoos are known by the distinct color palette in which they are shaded. Any tattoo design can be made into a traditional style, but popular traditional tattoos are light houses, ships, pin up girls, and anchors.

Neo Traditional tattoo
Neo Traditional tattoo

Neo Traditional

Neo traditional tattoos are based around the basics of traditional tattoos. They have similar line work and themes, but a wider and more vibrant array of colors.

Realistic tattoo
Realistic tattoo


This style of tattoos focus on real life images. They're often landscapes or portraits and have a great amount of detail and shading to give the artwork a realistic feel. Realistic tattoos are primarily done in black and white, as it takes a master tattooist to perfect realistic color portraits.

 Tribal tattoo (Hawaiian)
Tribal tattoo (Hawaiian)


Tribal tattoos date back thousands of years and are recognized as being a series or design of intricate black lines. Tribal tattoos aren't meant to look realistic in any way so they are drawn very simply and flat, without shading. Nearly any culture you can think of has its own tribal tattoo designs.

Watercolor tattoo
Watercolor tattoo


Watercolor tattoos are pretty much exactly what they sound like. They're tattoos that are done to look like a watercolor painting. They have been growing increasingly popular within the past year or so.

Blackwork tattoo
Blackwork tattoo


Blackwork tattoos are essentially blacked out pieces of skin- the parts of the skin that are left without black ink often create a design or image. Other times, a blackwork tattoo is simply a solid black area. These types of tattoos are sometimes used to cover up unwanted tattoos.

Geometric tattoo
Geometric tattoo


Geometric tattoos make use of shapes, patterns, and shading.` .

White ink tattoo
White ink tattoo

White Ink

White ink tattoos are drawn using white ink, either applied directly to the skin or on top of a base color. White ink tattoos fade more easily than other styles of tattoos, simply because the ink used has a unique chemical make up.

If you were to get a tattoo, which of the above styles would you consider?

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