Top 30 Tattoo Styles of All Time


From all over the world and throughout thousands of years, tattoos have always been a way to represent our thoughts, emotions and identities through art. Whether it was tied to religion, culture, community, family or important events, it has never ceased to be recreated with new and innovative styles from the time of ancient Egyptians to medieval branding of prisoners to the hip culture phenomenon of today.


1. Classic and Bold Tattoo

Classic and Bold Tattoo

These are the old school style for tattoos popularized in the US in the 30s which emphasize bold outlines and a clear and detailed yet simple image.


2. New Abstract Tattoo

New Abstract Tattoo

Recently, it's become more of a style to express your ideas more abstractly. Perhaps consider having a tapestry on your back to truly show off your uniqueness that no one else has.


3. Ambigrams Tattoos

this unique style of word tattooing involves using word designs and fonts that allow them to be read differently from different angles to represent taking in life experiences with a new and fresh experience.


4. Muscle and Bone Tattoos

Emphasizing the human body by using anatomy represents the starkest realism possible. These can range from broken bones to signify pain and revival or biceps to signify strength against adversity.


5. Black and White Tattoos

Black and White Tattoos

Going old school and not incorporating colors into your tattoos makes them stand out in today’s world of colourized tattoos. Maybe go for a black flower, a never ending labyrinth or the starry night sky.


6. Realism Tattoos

Realism Tattoos

If you want to capture the world, consider getting a tattoo depicting your favorite pet, your zodiac sign or some scenery you’ll never forget. Maybe you could go for a wide, open savannah or an endless desert, or perhaps a damp and vibrant jungle.


7. Geometric Tattoos

Geometric Tattoos

Derived from more ancient tribal tattooing, it is referred to as blackwork. Incorporating bold black lines in patterns of squares, triangles or circles to turn your skin into a winding tapestry of art of which only you know the true meaning.


8. Broken Glass Tattoos

Although it invokes a more “gangster-like” appearance, it can be a powerful symbol for inner strife and turmoil and sure enough, it stands in comparison to other styles making your tattoos unlike any other.


9. Paint Brush Tattoos

Paint Brush Tattoos

Unlike with the thick and bold tattoo styles of old, a wavy new tattoo style of curves and flows as if painting on a canvas has emerged in recent years. Due to its different variations in watercolor and radiant design, it can be near impossible to replicate leaving you as the master of your creation.


10. Celtic Tattoos

Celtic Tattoos

The Celts were known to be admirers of body paint and that style has translated into our modern day. The twists and turns, the knots and curves represented the tribe member’s origin and allegiance to their people.


11. Glow In The Dark Tattoos

Glow In The Dark Tattoos

Make your tattoos stand out 24/7 with our innovative glow in the dark tattoos which use dark ultraviolet ink to absorb light during the day and radiate it in the dark. A constant reminder to always be strong and see the light at the end of the tunnel.


12. Graffiti Tattoos

Graffiti Tattoos

If you’re a fan of street art and doing things unconventionally, this is the style for you. Your body is like a wall that is just waiting for its story to be told, all you need to do is work up the courage to tell it.


13. Inverted Tattoo

Not everything needs to follow the same standard conventions. In a black and grey tattoo, you would expect empty space to be lighter and the rest darker. Taking the inverted approach means adding a spookier side to your art style.


14. Japanese Tattoos

The Japanese innovated and created new tattoo styles involving mythical creatures, lotus flowers and elegant wording. Combine the vibrant hues of the flower with the dark waves of the ocean, your very own yin and yang.


15. Mandala Tattoos

Mandala Tattoos

This northern art style involves patience, love and mindfulness. Patterns, waves and curves slowly emanating outward across your body symbolize your spiritual journey, how you got through the challenges in life and how you ended up the way you are or maybe even, will be.


16. Mayan Tattoos

The Mesoamericans were big fans of tattooing, the Mayans employed it for over 3000 years! They tend to feature intricate designs of rows upon rows symbolizing myths and culture.


17. Minimalist Tattoos

Minimalist Tattoos

Something not saying anything at all might speak louder. In the case of minimalism, you are someone that doesn’t need to shout to feel like they belong. Maybe a small word or picture or perhaps a few shapes is enough for you to tell your story.


18. Norse Tattoos

The Vikings similarly to the Celts used tattoos very often in battle and were meant to represent their strength, power and control over their lives, and thus their destinies.


19. Cree Tattoos

The most populous First Nations group in Canada, the Cree’s style of tattooing was felt across the Prairies with their intricate facial markings depicting straight lines running down as well wrist and back art depicting beautiful patterns.


20. Optical Illusion Tattoos

If you like things freaky, optical illusion tattoos are great to have all eyes in the room turn towards you. People will need to do a double take to soak it all in and appreciate the mastery on display.


21. Outline Tattoos

Outline Tattoos

Similar to the minimalist, outlines of an object show that you’re not someone craving attention and are instead someone satisfied with their values and ideals that doesn’t need the extra effort to make themselves heard.


22. Pixel Tattoos

If you were ever a fan of video games or have nostalgic memories of the past with the 8-bit and 16-bit days of the 80s and 90s, get a piel tattoo to show your love for Mario, Sonic or whoever else made your childhood what it was.


23. Portrait Tattoos

Perhaps there is someone in your life that made an impact. Maybe someone you met who helped you through the toughest times in your life

a parent, a friend, a teacher or a partner. Immortalize them and make sure they’ll never be forgotten.


24. Quotes Tattoos

Quotes Tattoos

Words have a funny way of speaking to each of us differently. You are no different and what you choose to show to others is a good indication of who you are as a person as well as what you’ve gone through to get to where you are today.


25. Sketch Tattoos

Sketch Tattoos

If you find yourself to be the artsy type, you might appreciate the visually stunning yet at the same time, flawed nature of sketched images. The magic of sketch tattoos has a certain charm that is impossible to recreate.


26. Ripped Skin Tattoos

A surreal art form is one that seemingly reveals a tattooed image from behind your flesh being torn away. This is an advanced technique that seeks the secrets that illustrate what’s hidden within.


27. Polynesian Tattoos

The Polynesians were explorers that ventured out into the unknown seas to discover islands of paradise. Their tribal tattoos sought to pay homage to their ancestors which tend to act as full body covers and include objects that are metaphors for your actions in life.


28. Wood Carving Tattoos

The homey type of art made in carved wood is one that you can replicate with the right touches. With beautiful sanding and shading techniques, you can have intricate designs made on your arms, back or chest made to last.


29. Surrealism Tattoos

Surrealism Tattoos

This form of art seeks to represent the world we know by blending two or more aspects to create an image unlike any other. Think the works of Pablo Picasso or Rene Magritte.


30. Silhouette Tattoos

Silhouette Tattoos

If you feel like you’ll stand out too much with a fully coloured image, consider getting a silhouette. Its simplicity is striking since the human imagination runs wild when your eyes can be seen and as we all know, the human mind is capable of telling far more stories about what it doesn’t know than what it does.