Tattoo styles are as varied as the individuals who wear them. In this article, we dive into the 18 best-known types. Remember, mixing styles is an option, too. Choose the one that speaks to you for your ink. Whether it’s the bold lines of Traditional or the precision of Geometric designs, there’s a style for every taste. Watercolor tattoos bring a splash of vibrancy, while Blackwork offers striking contrast. Dotwork tattoos intrigue with meticulous patterns, and Japanese designs tell timeless tales. Realistic tattoos capture life-like detail, and Tribal marks heritage with ancient symbols. Each style has its charm, awaiting your personal touch. Choose your canvas wisely; express your story boldly.

Black tattoo style

Tattoos where only black is used. Black tattoo style stands out with its bold simplicity. It uses stark black ink exclusively. Often, artists opt for high contrast and symbolic designs in this approach. This style emphasizes shapes, symbols, and sometimes text, offering a timeless look. Moreover, black tattoos can range from complex tribal patterns to minimalist geometric shapes. Indeed, they age well, holding their form for years. Thus, for those seeking a classic, enduring piece, black tattoo style is a stellar choice.

Black tattoo of a crow on the leg

Black and gray

Here, in addition to black, gray and white shading is used. Black and gray tattoo art uses subtle shading to create depth and realism. Starting with black, artists dilute it to various shades of gray, producing soft transitions and lifelike images. Consequently, portraits and nature scenes thrive in this palette. Indeed, for an elegant, detailed piece that ages gracefully, black and gray is unparalleled.

Black and Gray tattoo of female warrior with a sword on the right leg

Abstract tattoo style

A modern style of tattoos that is very difficult to describe. Abstract tattoo style defies convention, embracing a free-form approach. Artists blend shapes and colors creatively. As a result, each piece is unique, often embodying personal expression or storytelling. Moreover, abstract tattoos can evoke emotions without clear imagery. So, for a tattoo that stands apart, the abstract style is a truly distinctive choice.

Abstract color tattoo of the flower and triangle on a back


Do you want to look like a terminator? This is the style for you. Biomechanical tattoos merge organic and mechanical elements, creating a futuristic fusion on skin. Artists intricately weave human anatomy with machine parts, often resulting in a three-dimensional illusion. Thus, these designs can look like internal gears and wires, showcasing a blend of man and machine. Indeed, for those fascinated by the melding of technology and biology, biomechanical tattoos are a perfect fit.

Biomechanical tattoo on the left hand

Cartoon tattoo style

Cartoon characters and animals from animated movies. This tattoo style captures the playful spirit of animated characters in vibrant, whimsical ink. Bold lines and bright colors bring beloved figures to life, evoking nostalgia. Consequently, these tattoos often reflect a moment or memory, connecting deeply with personal histories. Indeed, for a dash of fun and a pop of color, cartoon tattoos are an excellent choice.

Cartoon Tattoo of evil Flanders on a leg

Color tattoos

Color tattoos shine with a vibrant palette, turning skin into a canvas of vivid artistry. They capture the full spectrum, bringing designs to life with dynamic hues. Consequently, color tattoos can convey moods or themes through their chosen shades. Indeed, for those seeking to make a bold statement, color tattoos offer an expanse of creative possibilities.

Color tattoo of a surrealistic face on the left leg


Dotwork tattoos stand out through their intricate patterns made from countless tiny dots. This technique creates gradient shades and detailed designs, often resulting in mandalas or geometric shapes. Moreover, dotwork offers a distinct texture that other styles can’t match. Indeed, for a tattoo with subtle detail and a unique handcrafted feel, dotwork is a compelling choice.

Dot work tattoo of a flying dragon with moon on the back

Geometric tattoo style

Geometric tattoo style is defined by its clean lines and crisp shapes, creating a modern aesthetic. This style often features repeating patterns, creating a sense of harmony and balance. Additionally, geometric tattoos can symbolize stability and symmetry in life. Indeed, for those who appreciate the beauty in simplicity and order, geometric tattoos offer a strikingly precise choice.

Geometric tattoo of a spiral on the left palm

Lettering tattoo

Lettering tattoo style showcases words with artistic flair, turning text into a visual statement. Fonts vary widely, from elegant script to bold block letters. Additionally, these tattoos can carry significant meaning through quotes, names, or phrases. Indeed, for a personal mantra or a tribute, lettering tattoos offer a direct yet creative form of expression.

Lettering tattoo of a "too much love will kill you" on the left shoulder

Mandala tattoo style

Mandala tattoo style features intricate, symmetrical designs that radiate from a central point. These tattoos often incorporate dotwork and fine lines, symbolizing balance and eternity. Moreover, mandalas can represent a personal journey or spiritual growth. Indeed, for those seeking art with depth and symbolism, mandala tattoos offer a mesmerizing and meaningful choice.

Mandala tattoo of a lotus flower on the back

Maori tattoos

Tattoos from Polynesia. Maori tattoos, known as Ta Moko, carry the ancestral lineage and personal stories of the wearer. These sacred patterns are traditionally carved, not just inked, into the skin. Furthermore, each symbol within a Maori tattoo holds deep cultural significance. Indeed, for those who honor heritage and identity, Maori tattoos offer a profound connection to ancestral wisdom and pride.

Maori tattoo on the left shoulder


Neotraditional tattoos blend old-school motifs with fresh, vivid detail and a broader color palette. This style evolves from traditional American tattoos, introducing more elaborate shading and dimension. Additionally, neotraditional art often features natural imagery and Art Nouveau influences. Indeed, for an update on classic themes with a touch of modernity, neotraditional tattoos are an impeccable choice.

Neotraditional tattoo of a dagger in a hand with blood and a olive branch on the left shoulder

Oriental tattoo style

Everyone knows it well, fish, dragons, geisha, etc. Oriental tattoo style, deeply rooted in Asian culture, showcases mythological creatures, flowers, and landscapes. It uses vibrant colors and detailed imagery to tell stories or convey messages. Moreover, these tattoos often cover large areas, flowing seamlessly across the body. Indeed, for those drawn to the rich narratives and aesthetics of Asian traditions, Oriental tattoos are a captivating and harmonious selection.

Big rriental tattoo of a dragon on the whole back

Realistic tattoos

Realistic tattoos mimic the precision of photographs, capturing lifelike details on skin. These pieces often portray faces, animals, and nature scenes with stunning clarity. Moreover, skilled artists master light and shadow to create depth and realism. Indeed, for those who appreciate art that mirrors life, realistic tattoos offer a strikingly authentic and visually impactful option.

Realistic tattoo of a dog head on the leg


Traditional tattoos, also known as “Old School,” feature bold lines and a limited color palette. They often depict iconic symbols like swallows, anchors, and hearts. Moreover, these tattoos are known for their durability and timeless appeal. Indeed, for an enduring design that echoes the history of tattooing, traditional style remains a steadfast and popular choice.

Traditional color tattoo of a girl on the hand

Trash Polka

Trash Polka tattoos blend realistic images with graphic elements, creating a bold, collage-like effect. Originating from Germany, this style combines black and red ink for a striking contrast. Moreover, its chaotic, yet coherent look often conveys a story or a powerful message. Indeed, for those who dare to make a statement, Trash Polka tattoos are an edgy and artistic choice.

Trash polka tattoo of a lion with horns on the right shoulder

Tribal tattoo

Tribal tattoos are renowned for their bold black lines and cultural significance. Rooted in ancient traditions, they symbolize identity and belonging. Moreover, the intricate patterns reflect a deep connection to heritage and community. Indeed, for those who value strength and simplicity with a profound personal touch, tribal tattoos offer a timeless link to ancestry and the collective human experience.

Tribal tattoo on right shoulder

Watercolor tattoo style

Watercolor tattoo style dazzles with its free-flowing, vibrant hues, resembling brushstrokes on a canvas. This method eschews black outlines for a splash of color that blends and bleeds artfully. Moreover, watercolor tattoos stand out for their artistic freedom and creativity. Indeed, for those who love a burst of color and a painting-like effect, watercolor tattoos are a beautifully fluid choice.

Water color tattoo of a flower on the right hand


In conclusion, each tattoo style we’ve explored offers a unique form of self-expression. Whether through the boldness of traditional, the precision of realistic, or the vibrancy of watercolor, these styles cater to diverse tastes and personal narratives. Indeed, tattoos are not just art; they are stories etched in skin, as varied and profound as the individuals who wear them.