Different Tattoo Styles

Tattooing has been practiced all over the world for centuries. Early evidence of tattooing has been found in Japan, Polynesia opens in a new window, China and Africa. While traditional tattooing methods can still be found today, many modern tattoo artists use sophisticated machines to create their lasting works of art. With so many amazing tattoo artists on the scene today, clients can pick and choose who they’d like to work with based on an artist’s specialty or style. But with so many different tattoo art styles available, it can be hard to know where to start! Luckily, with a great cosmetic tattoo studio and detailed tattoo artists, anything is possible when it comes to creating tattoos that are memorable for all the right reasons.

Explore the Many Different Tattoo Styles & Designs


This is the oldest form of tattooing aside from ancient tribal techniques. Traditional tattoo are defined by solid black outlines, a limited color palette and less detail. Popular designs feature roses, hearts, skulls, eagles, women’s heads, nautical themes and eagles.


Different Tattoo Styles

Source: Instagram (riccardo_mancanelli) opens in a new window

Nearly the polar opposite of traditional tattoos, watercolor designs are less structured and use splashes of color to recreate the impression of watercolor paint spreading across a canvas. Nature themes are popular opens in a new window with this style as well as a brighter color palette to show off the detailing.

Fine Line

Different Tattoo Styles

Source: Instagram (jakubnowicztattoo) opens in a new window

This specialization style has been gaining popularity lately and creates a more delicate, even feminine tattoo that leaves little room for error. It is a very simplistic style that is great for those who want a smaller tattoo.


Different Tattoo Styles

Source: Instagram (n8tattoos) opens in a new window

In order to produce realistic and beautiful portrait work, a tattoo artist has to be highly skilled. While many tattoo specialists and artists would like to try their hand at portrait work, a good artist knows that this specialization is one that shouldn’t be attempted by a novice. Portraits are created using the fine line style and can’t be completed properly by just any tattoo artist you find online or in the yellow pages as seen in the fix up above.


Different Tattoo Styles

Source: Instagram (gabetinotattoo) opens in a new window

Creating a piece that centers around lettering and fonts has always been a popular choice for modern clients. But with so many options out there, it can be tough to settle on a font that works well on certain areas of the body. Often, compromise between the client, the artist and the site of choice are needed for a tattoo featuring lettering to work out well.


Different Tattoo Styles

Source: Instagram (phetattooist) opens in a new window

This style gives off a “fresh from the drawing board” vibe and is ideal for artists and clients who want a more organic experience. By following a loose sketch and agreeing to a little bit of freedom on the final design, these tattoos can be a fun experience for everyone involved.


Different Tattoo Styles

Source: Instagram (manu_dermagrafics) opens in a new window

Modern tribal tattoos pay homage to the oldest tattoo style from ancient times. Typically, black and gray in color, tribal tattoos often feature symmetry and geometric designs. A good artist will take extra care with placement of tribal designs and has a delicate hand when it comes to highlighting the details of the often larger pieces.

Distinct Types of Tattoo Styles for Everyone

Just like the artists that create them, each new tattoo is unique. While many artists dabble in different styles and specializations, most will agree that they have a preference for a specific type of tattoo. Ranging from the highly detailed to the more abstract, some of the most common modern tattoo styles include:

  • Traditional
  • Watercolor
  • Fine Line
  • Portrait
  • Lettering
  • Sketch
  • Tribal
  • and More!

Interested in investing in a tattoo & body piercing insurance policy that is as versatile as your portfolio? At Marine Agency Insurance, we’ve been providing cosmetic tattoo insurance coverage to tattoo artists and shop owners since 1990. Call (877) 959-1197 or visit our team online today to explore our tattoo artist insurance coverage options. Make the switch to a more comprehensive tattoo liability insurance policy today!

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