40 Different Tattoo Styles – Which one is right for you? Meaning & Placement

40 different tattoo styles
This page may contain affiliate links. This means we may receive a commission for products we recommend.
Please read our disclaimer for more info.

40 Different Tattoo Styles – Which one is right for you?

If you’re considering getting a tattoo, you may be wondering about the different styles available. There are many different types of tattoos, each with their own unique meaning and symbolism. SO what are the different tattoo styles ?

There are over 40 different tattoo styles. Some of the most popular include, Japanese, black and gray, tribal, geometric, watercolor, traditional, fine line, blackwork, portraits, micro tattoos, Chicano, hyperrealism, trash polka, and lettering. Each style has its own history and meaning. 


Read on to learn more about the different tattoo styles and what they mean.

1 – Traditional Tattoo Style

The traditional tattoo style is one of the most popular styles of body art today. It’s also known as Old School or Classic American Tattoo.

Traditional tattoo styles are characterized by thick bold outlines and solid colors. Colors are generally limited to a simple palette. Red, blue, green, and yellow. These were the basic colors available to tattooists in the 1940s. Designs are simple and bold.

Traditional Tattoo styles were popular in the armed services during WW2. This is the kind of tattoo you would see on the arms of older gents who served in the navy or army. They were simple to draw and quick to tattoo, maximizing profits.

Traditional or classic American tattoo styles have had a major resurgence in popularity recently with people who like a classic retro look.

There are many different ways to go about getting a traditional tattoo. Some people like to stick to just one design while others prefer to mix up multiple designs. For example, someone might choose to cover their entire upper arm with a single design while another person might decide to put several designs together to form a larger image.

Traditional Tattoo Meaning

Traditional tattoos have specific meanings which were known to other sailors and soldiers wearing them. For example, a swallow on the hand meant the sailor had traveled 5000 nautical miles or thinking of home, an anchor meant the sailor had served on a ship for a year, and a hula girl might be given to sailors who had been to Hawaii.

Nowadays people often choose traditional tattoo designs because they like the classic look or because they have a personal connection to the meaning of the design.







FRIENDLY FACEBOOK SUPPORT GROUP FOR
TATTOO BEGINNERS - WITH A NO BULLYING RULE
CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE FREE GROUP NOW




Placement of Traditional Tattoos

Traditional tattoos are typically placed on the arms, chest, back, or legs.

Different tattoo styles American traditional tattoos

Different Types of Tattoo – Traditional or American Classic Tattoo

2 – Neo Traditional Tattoo Style

The Neo-Traditional tattoo style takes a lot of influence from traditional tattoos, however, it adds some twists. This includes fine lines being used to accentuate body parts or add detail to the design.

Bolder colors are often used to make the designs pop even further. And finally, the styles are very realistic looking, making them perfect for people who want something different from what you see every day.

Meaning of Neo Traditional Tattoo Styles

Similar to traditional tattoos, neo-traditional tattoos often have deep meanings. These can be things like love, loss, or strength. Neo-traditional tattoos can be designed for most meanings.

Placement of Neo Traditional Tattoos

Neo-traditional tattoos are usually placed on the arms or legs. However, they can also be placed on the neck, back or face.

Neo Traditional Tattoo Style - Bear

Neo Traditional Tattoo Style – Bear

3 – Japanese Tattoo Style

The classic Japanese tattoo style has a long history dating back to ancient times. This distinctive design style uses symbols to tell stories in ink. There are many different meanings behind each symbol, which makes them very versatile. Japanese tattoo styles are often used to represent the wearer’s personality, religion, family lineage, philosophy, occupation, and even love.

Japanese tattoos are incredibly popular all over the world and it’s not hard to see why. They are characterized by their intricate designs, often featuring different animals or scenes from natur

Japanese tattoo styles often incorporate a lot of different symbols which each have their own meaning. For example, cherry blossoms represent life and death, while koi fish represent good luck.

Getting a Japanese tattoo is a commitment as they often take many hours to complete. But the end result is always worth it.

If you’re thinking about getting a Japanese tattoo, be sure to do your research first. You’ll want to find an artist who is experienced in this style.

Japanese Tattoo Meanings.

Japanese tattoos often have different meanings depending on the symbols used. For example, a dragon tattoo might represent strength and power, while a koi tattoo could represent good luck, strength and stamina. The cherry blossom represents life and death and contemplation

Placement of Japanese Tattoos

Japanese tattoos are usually placed on the back, chest or arms. However, they can be placed almost anywhere on the body and often combine to create a whole body suit.

Japanese Tattoo Style

Japanese Tattoo Style back piece

4 – Fine Line Tattoos

Fine line tattoos are a relatively new tattoo style that has been gaining in popularity. As the name suggests, they are characterized by their small, delicate lines.

This tattoo style is perfect for people who want something subtle and timeless. Fine line tattoos can be very minimalistic or more intricate, depending on your preference.

They are often done in black ink, but can also incorporate different colors.

Fine-line tattoos are perfect for people who want a tattoo that is elegant and understated. If you’re looking for something different from the traditional tattoo style, then a fine line tattoo is definitely worth considering.

Fine Line tattoo meaning

Fine line tattoos often have different meanings depending on the symbols used. They can be simple and minimalistic or more intricate but always hold deep meaning for the wearer.

Placement of Fine Line Tattoos

Fine-line tattoos are usually placed on the arms or legs. These delicate tattoos look good on the forearm and wrist

Fine Line Tattoo Style

Fine Line Tattoo Style – Delicate line work

5 – Tribal Style Tattoos

Tribal-style tattoos are some of the oldest tattoo designs in the world. They were first seen on the Polynesian islands and have since spread to other parts of the world.

Tribal tattoos are characterized by their bold lines and geometric shapes. They often incorporate different symbols that hold meaning for the wearer.

Tribal tattoos are perfect for people who want a tattoo that is bold and eye-catching. They look particularly good on people who have spent a lot of time at the gym

If you’re looking for something different from the traditional tattoo style, then a tribal tattoo is definitely worth considering.

Tribal Style Tattoos Meaning

Their meaning can vary from person to person, but they are often seen as a representation of strength and power. Different traditional tribal symbols may represent family relationships, religious ideas or elements of the environment.

Tribal Style Tattoos Placement

Tribal tattoos look great on the top of the arm and shoulder. Many different patterns can link together to cover large areas of the body

Tribal Tattoo Style

Different tattoo types – Tribal

Tribal style tattoo

Red and black Tribal style tattoo on leg

6 – Watercolor Tattoo Style

The watercolor tattoo style began gaining popularity around 2010. This type of tattoo design is very popular amongst young adults and females. The look is very natural and soft. There is little to no outline, just pure color flowing over the skin.

This tattoo style is perfect for people who want something different and unique. Watercolor tattoos are also very personal, as they can be designed to represent different aspects of your life.

If you’re thinking about getting a watercolor tattoo, be sure to find an artist who is experienced in this style. If the design and execution aren’t done well, watercolor tattoos can fade away into a messy indistinguishable blob

Watercolor tattoo meanings

Watercolour tattoos often have different meanings depending on the symbols used. They can be simple and minimalistic or more intricate.

Watercolor tattoo placement

Watercolor tattoos can be placed almost anywhere on the body. They arre often best placed on areas that are less exposed to the sun in order to protect the delicate colors from fading.

Different tattoo styles -watercolour Tattoo

Different tattoo styles -watercolour Tattoo

7 – Blackwork Style Tattoos

Blackwork tattoo styles are characterized by their use of solid black ink. This type of tattoo can be very graphic and detailed, or more simplistic.

Blackwork tattoos are perfect for people who want a tattoo that is bold and eye-catching. They look particularly good on people with darker skin tones.

Some artists also black out a large area and then tattoo white ink into it. This can be very effective although it can be tricky and need multiple sessions.

Check out this post where I wrote all about this kind of white over black tattoo. Can you tattoo white over black ink for a cover up?

If you’re looking for something different from the traditional tattoo style, then a blackwork tattoo is definitely worth considering.

Blackwork tattoo meanings

Blackwork tattoos can have different meanings depending on the symbols used. They often represent strength and power.

Blackwork tattoo placements

Blackwork tattoos look great on any part of the body. They are often seen on the arms, legs, back and chest. Blackwork may cover up existing tattoos.

Blackwork style tattoo

Blackwork style tattoo – Lion

Blackwork style band

Blackwork style band

8 – Dotwork Style Tattoos

Dotwork tattoos are characterized by their use of small dots to create different patterns and designs. This type of tattoo can be very intricate and detailed.

Dotwork tattoos are perfect for people who want a tattoo that is different and unique. They often take multiple sessions to complete, but the end result is always worth it.

Dotwork tattoos are also one of the least painful tattoo styles you can get. I wrote a post about this which you can read here. Are dotwork tattoos less painful? 

If you’re thinking about getting a dotwork tattoo, be sure to find an artist who is experienced in this style. This type of tattoo can be very challenging to do well, so you’ll want to make sure you’re in good hands.

Dotwork tattoo style meaning

Dotwork tattoos often have different meanings depending on the symbols used. They can represent different aspects of your life or be more abstract.

Dotwork tattoo style placement

Dotwork tattoos can be placed almost anywhere on the body. They are often used as elements along with geometric and mandala tattoos to create a full sleeve or back piece.

Dotwork tattoo tiger

Dotwork tattoo tiger

9 – Realism Tattoo Style

The Realism tattoo style is based on realism art styles such as oil painting, watercolor, pencil drawing, etc. They are very detailed and realistic-looking tattoos. This type of tattoo style looks great on people who love being creative and artistic.

There are many different types of realistic tattoos including black and gray, colors, and even abstract realism.

Realism Tattoo Style Meaning

Realism tattoos often have different meanings depending on the symbols used. They can be a portrait of a loved one, an animal, or anything else you can think of.

Realism Tattoo Style Placement

Realism tattoos look great on any part of the body. They are often seen on the arms, legs, back and chest. Realism tattoos may cover up existing tattoos.

Realistic animal portrait tattoo

Realistic animal portrait tattoo – fox and bunny

10 – Trash Polka Tattoos

The Trash Polka tattoo style is a combination of blackwork, photorealism, graphic elements and additions such as lettering or geometric work. Trash Polka tattoos are typically done in black and red ink and feature intricate designs often inspired by nature.

These tattoos can include realistic-looking animals, flowers, faces, and many others. This type of tattoo is very eye-catching and unique.

Trash polka tattoos originated in Würzburg Germany and the tattoo style was created by tattoo artists Simone Pfaff and Volker Merschky.

Trash polka tattoos are perfect for people who want a tattoo that is different and unusual and possibly one that tells a story too.

Trash Polka Tattoo Style Meaning

Trash polka tattoos often have different meanings depending on the symbols used. They are often seen as a way to express your thoughts or feelings or tell a personal story

Trash Polka Tattoo Style Placement Ideas

Trash polka tattoos look great on any part of the body. They are often seen on the arms, legs, back and chest but can really be placed anywhere. Trash polka tattoos may cover up existing tattoos.

trash polka tattoo style

trash polka tattoo style by @cherisart

11 – Geometric Tattoos

Geometric tattoos are based on shapes and patterns. They can be very simple or very complex. Geometric tattoos can be combined together to create a stunning body suit and completed over time by adding more and more geometric patterns.

Geometric tattoos often have deep meanings and symbolism attached to them. Each shape and pattern can represent different things such as strength, balance, harmony, etc.

Sacred Geometry is a type of geometric pattern that is used in different religions and cultures. It is often used in tattoos as it is believed to represent different aspects of the universe. This tattoo style can have a deep significance to the wearer.

Geometric Tattoo Style Meaning

Geometric tattoos can have different meanings depending on the shapes and patterns used. They often represent different aspects of the universe or different religions and cultures. Or they can just be enjoyed simply for their beauty alone.

Geometric Tattoo Style Best Placement

Geometric tattoos look great on any part of the body. They can be small or large, simple or complex. Geometric tattoos are often seen on men and can combine to create a full bodysuit.

Geometric tattoo style

Geometric tattoo style – 2 full sleeves

12 – Black and Gray Tattoos 

The Black and Gray tattoo style tattoo uses different shades of gray to create a more subtle look. It basically utilizes different dilutions of black ink to create gray shades. This technique may be used for a whole range of tattoo types. Photorealism looks particularly good rendered in black and gray.

This style is often used for religious tattoo sleeves, photo-realistic and natural images, Japanese-style tattoos and floral tattoo sleeves.

Black and gray tattoos are perfect for people who want a tattoo that is subtle and not too over the top or in your face. They can be very detailed and realistic-looking.

Black & Gray Tattoo Style Meaning

The black and gray tattoo style can be used for different types of tattoos with different meanings. The meaning depends on your choice of imagery.

Black & Gray Tattoo Style Best Placement

The black and gray tattoo style works well across all body parts and placements.

Black and grey tattoo style -

Black and grey tattoo style – Ace of spades and chips design

Black and grey tattoo style -

Black and grey tattoo style – Gladiator and lion

13 – Micro Tattoos

These tiny tattoos cover just a few inches of skin. And while they might seem insignificant, they can actually add up to something big.

Micro tattoos can be used to create a larger tattoo design or they can stand on their own.

Micro tattoos may be done with a single needle, to create subtle shading effects or they can be simple outlines. Their tiny size gives them an impact and look that is different from any other tattoo style.

Micro Tattoo Tattoo Style Meaning

Micro tattoos are often seen as a way to express your thoughts or feelings or tell a personal story. The meaning is up to you.

Micro Tattoo Tattoo Style Best Placement

Micro tattoos can be placed almost anywhere on the body and are perfect for people who want a small and simple tattoo. The wrist, fingers, back of the neck, and hip are all popular placements.

Micro tattoo - tiny detailed whale tattoo

Micro tattoo – tiny detailed whale tattoo

14 – Abstract Tattoo Style

The Abstract tattoo style is based on different abstract art styles. These tattoos can be very colorful and creative. They are often done in a mix of different styles such as watercolor, etc.

Abstract tattoos can be of anything that the artist wants to create. The focus is on color and abstract shapes. There may be no outlines. There are no rules or guidelines to follow. The only limit is the tattoo artist’s imagination.

Abstract Tattoo Style Meaning

Abstract tattoos are often seen as a way to express your thoughts or feelings. The meaning is up to you.

Abstract Tattoo Style Best Placement

Abstract tattoos can be placed almost anywhere on the body. The best location depends on the size and design of the tattoo. However, the back of the shoulder is a good safe bet for this kind of tattoo.

Abstract tattoo

Delicate Abstract tattoo with watercolour effect

15 – 3D Tattoos

A 3D tattoo is a very interesting tattoo style because it uses 3D technology to make the design look like it’s floating in space. This type of tattoo is called a 3D tattoo because it creates the illusion that the image is three-dimensional. These tattoos are done with red and blue colored ink, offset so that when viewed through 3D glasses, the tattoo looks 3 dimensional.

There are also tattoos that use shadow and highlight to make the tattoo look 3 dimensional.

This is often utilized by tattooists who recreate nipples and areola for people who have had breast cancer.

3d Spider tattoo

3d Spider tattoo

3D tattoo style - 3d butterflies the neck. Cover up

3D tattoo style – 3d butterflies the neck. Cover up

16 – Portrait Style Tattoos

The Portrait style tattoo is a very popular tattoo style. As the name suggests, this type of tattoo is a portrait of someone. They can be done in different styles such as realism, watercolor, etc.

Portrait tattoos are often done of loved ones or people who have passed away. They can also be done of celebrities, animals, or any other subject matter.

Portrait tattoos can be very large or small. They can be done in black and white or in color. The level of detail in a portrait tattoo depends on the skill of the tattoo artist. You must go to a tattooist who specializes in portraits Just as not every tattooist can do them. One slip of the needle and the portrait looks weird! We’ve all seen some horrible portraits online.

Check out the artist’s portrait portfolio before booking. Most specialist portrait artists only do portraits so you know you are in safe hands.

Portrait style tattoo meaning

Portrait tattoos are often seen as a way to remember or honor a loved one. They can also be done for any other reason you want. The meaning is up to you.

Portrait Tattoo Style Best Placement

The best placement for a portrait tattoo depends on the size of the tattoo. Smaller portraits can be placed almost anywhere but larger ones are better suited for the back, chest, bicep. Basically, you need a good solid and easy-to-tattoo area of skin to get the detail in. Areas such as the ribs are NOT good placements for a detailed portrait.

Portrait tattoo style

Portrait tattoo style – beautiful portrait

17 – Pet and Animal Tattoos

Animal tattoos can be done in many different styles. From realistic portraits to cute cartoons, there are hundreds of ways to show off your love for animals. These tattoos are also a great way to remember a pet who has passed away.

Portraits and tattooed paw prints are both popular ways of remembering those pets we have loved.

Pet and animal style tattoo meaning

Pet and animal tattoos can be done for any number of reasons. They can be a way to remember a pet who has passed away or simply to show your love for animals. The meaning is up to you.

Pet and Animal Tattoo Style Best Placement

The best placement for a pet or animal tattoo depends on the size and style of the tattoo. Smaller tattoos can be placed almost anywhere but larger ones are better suited for the back, chest, calves or biceps.

Animal and pet portraits

Animal and pet portraits

Animal and pet portraits

Animal and pet portraits to remember loved pets

Animal and pet portraits

Animal and pet portraits

18 – Sketch style tattoos

A sketch tattoo is typically black and white like a pencil drawing. You can also do them in color, like a colored pencil. This style is perfect for almost any tattoo subject because it looks very authentic and natural.

It can also be rendered in a way to look like pen and ink or done with a single needle to give a soft and delicate effect.

Sketch style tattoo meaning

Sketch style tattoos can be done for any number of reasons. They can be a way to remember a time, place, or event.

Sketch style tattoo best placement

Sketch style tattoos have a lot of detail so need a good easily tattooed piece of skin. Try the inner forearm or back of the shoulder. Avoid under the arm or the ribs.

illustrative style tattoos

illustrative style tattoos fish

19 – Chicano style tattoos

The Chicano style has so many cultural influences that it has gone on into other styles as well. Steeped in the historical events of Mexico, the Chicano style has been influenced by the Mexican revolution, Los Angeles low riders, and Pachucos

This style of tattooing began behind bars where prisoners found ways to express themselves creatively while imprisoned. With little access to supplies, artists often used whatever they could find to create beautiful art.

Chicano tattoos are usually fine lines, black and gray, and wrapped up in Chicano culture.

Chicano style tattoo meaning

Chicano style tattoos often reflect Chicano culture and heritage. They may talk about the Mexican revolution and history. Love, life and lust as well as religion, street and prison life.

Chicano style tattoo placement

Chicano style tattoos usually work best on the arms, chest or back. They can be done almost anywhere but look best in larger spaces. Several pieces in the style can combine together to make an impressive bodysuit.

Chicano Style Back Tattoo

Chicano Style Back Tattoo

20 – Illustrative style tattoos

Illustrative tattoos are a great way to express your creativity. They can be found in all different styles and they never look boring because there’s always something new that inspires these artists!

A large variety of work could be called illustrative since so many techniques inspire it- from etching or engravings right on through abstract expressionism and even fine line calligraphic designs… but as long as you have an eye for beauty then any image that looks like it would be at home in a gallery will fit into this tattoo style perfectly well enough.

Illustrative style tattoo best meaning

Illustrative tattoos can be done for any number of reasons. They can be a way to remember a time, place, or event.

 

Illustrative style tattoo best placement

Illustrative style tattoos have a lot of detail so need a good easily tattooed piece of skin. Try the inner forearm, calf, lower arm, or back of the shoulder.

illustrative style tattoos

illustrative style tattoo

40 different tattoo types styles infographic

21 – Classic Americana Tattoo

The classic Americana tattoo design is one of the most recognizable tattoos around. This tattoo is often associated with sailors, cowboys, bikers, and surfers. It originated in the late 1800s, but it wasn’t until the 1920s that artists began creating versions that looked like what we see today.

This tattoo style is closely related to the nautical image, pinup girl figures, ferocious predators, and combinations of hearts, roses and daggers.

This style was popularised by Sailor Jerry in the 30s. He worked out of a studio in Honolulu Hawaii and created the pin ups and sailor tattoos we know and love today.

Classic Americana Tattoo

Classic Americana Tattoo – death

Classic Americana style tattoo meaning

Their meaning is deeply personal to the wearer, but often includes themes of love, freedom, and adventure with a retro vibe.

Classic Americana style tattoo best placement

Classic placements for these tattoos include the forearm, bicep, and chest. But they can really go anywhere you want! More commonly now people may place them on the neck or back of the hand.

22 – Stick and Poke style tattoos 

Stick and poke tattoos are done by hand, with a needle that is dipped in ink. They are usually small and simple tattoos. This style of hand poked tattoo has been around for centuries if not thousands of years. It is a popular choice for people who want a DIY tattoo or who want a small, simple tattoo.

The amazing tattoos of the Siberian Ice Maiden from 2500 years ago were most probably created with a stick and poke technique.

You can read more about the Siberian Ice Maiden and her incredible tattoos here.

Artist Emerik Derome is one of the most popular tattoo artists who works in this style today.

Stick and poke kits can easily be bought online. However, without understanding cross-contamination, they do pose a disease risk.

If you are going to get a stick-and-poke tattoo, make sure you do your research and understand how to minimize the risks.

stick and poke style tattoo meaning

Stick and poke tattoos are often simple designs such as suns, crescent moons etc.

Stick and poke style tattoo best placement

Anywhere! These tattoos are often done on the fingers, wrists, ankles or behind the ear. But because they are small and simple, they can really be done anywhere.

Different tattoo styles stick and poke

Cute micro stick and poke tattoo by @saaehae

23 – Biomechanical Tattoo Style

A biomechanical tattoo is a type of tattoo that incorporates mechanical elements into a human body. This style of tattooing became popular in the 1980s, thanks to artists like H.R. Giger.

Biomechanical tattoos often look like they were ripped straight out of a sci-fi movie. They are usually dark, gritty, and full of detail. They often look like the skin has been peeled back to reveal the robot within the human.

If you are looking for a tattoo that will make people do a double take, then this is the style for you. Just be prepared to answer a lot of questions about your new ink!

Biomechanical style tattoo meaning

Biomechanical tattoos can be done for a number of reasons. Some people get them because they love the futuristic way they look, while others get them to symbolize the strength and power of the human body.

Biomechanical style tattoo best placement

This style of tattoo looks best when it is done on a limb such as a thigh or top of the arm where the tattoo can illustrate the robotic inner workings.

 

Biomechanical tattoo style

Biomechanical tattoo style with ripped skin

24 – Surrealism Style tattoo

Surrealism is a type of art that explores the subconscious mind. Surrealist artists often use unexpected images and juxtaposition to create dream-like scenes.

This style of tattooing takes different ideas and brings them together to create something new.

The work of artist Salvadore Dali can be a big influence on this type of tattoo.

Surrealism-style tattoo meaning

Surrealism tattoos can be about anything. They often explore different concepts and ideas that the artist brings together to create a new image.

Surrealism style tattoo best placement

There is no one specific place where surrealism tattoos look best. They can be done anywhere on the body, depending on the size and design

Surrealist style tattoo religious tattoo

Surrealist style religious tattoo

 

25 – Minimalist tattoos

Minimalist tattoos are simple, clean, and elegant. They are often just a few lines or dots. This style of tattooing is perfect for people who want a small tattoo that is not too overwhelming.

It’s also a good tattoo style if you want something that is easily hidden.

Elegant lines and continuous curves and the use of negative space feature in this tattoo style.

Minimalist style tattoo meaning

Minimalist tattoos can be about anything. They are often used to symbolize important dates, initials, or words that may be of importance to the wearer. For example. I have 4 dots on my finger to symbolize family members.

Minimalist style tattoo best placement

Minimalist tattoos look best in places where there is less flesh. For example, the fingers, wrists, or behind the ear. They can also look good in clusters.

Minimalist tattoo

Minimalist tattoo of acorn

26 – Negative Space Style Tattoos

A negative space tattoo is one where the skin serves as the outline for the design rather than having ink applied to form the shape.

The concept behind negative space tattoos is simple: the tattooist draws around certain elements of the design—like facial features or body parts while leaving the rest of the skin uninked. In some cases, the tattooist fills in the blank spaces with color or patterns. On others, they leave those areas blank, allowing the skin to show through.

This type of tattoo requires careful planning and execution because there is no pre-existing pattern to follow. If done correctly, however, the end result can look beautiful.

Negative space style tattoo meaning

Negative space tattoos can be about anything. The meaning depends on the choice of image containing the negative space

Negative space style tattoo best placement

Negative space tattoos look great in any placement.

Negative space style tattoo

cool Negative space style tattoo of cat

27 – Lettering and Quotes Tattoos

One of the most popular types of tattoos is lettering and quotes. This can be anything from a simple word or phrase to a long quote from your favorite book. There are endless possibilities when it comes to lettering and quotes tattoos. You can choose any font, size, and style that you want. You can also add embellishments, such as flowers or vines.

Some artists specialize in hand-drawn script lettering which can create an amazing design. This looks perfect along the forearm or across the chest or back.

Just be sure to take your time in choosing the right quote or phrase. You want something that you will be happy with for years to come!

Lettering and quotes style tattoo meaning

Their meaning can be personal and a perfect piece of text can be chosen to represent something important to you.

Lettering and quotes style tattoo best placement

Placement options are endless with this tattoo style but some of the most popular spots are along the forearm, across the chest, or back. Anywhere you have a long area of skin. For a large area of text, the back is a possibility. You need enough area to ensure the text isn’t too small or it will close up over time.

Lettering script tattoo

Lettering script tattoo

28 – Floral and botanical tattoos

Floral and botanical tattoos are perfect for people who want a tattoo with a feminine touch. This style of tattooing often features different flowers and plants. But it can also feature trees, leaves, and other nature-inspired elements. Lotus flowers, roses, chrysanthemums and Peonies are a popular choice for floral tattoos. They symbolize new beginnings, purity, and strength.

Botanical tattoos can also be very detailed and realistic. Artists often base these on vintage botanical paintings and illustrations from the 18th and 19th Centuries.

This style of tattooing is perfect for people who want a tattoo that looks like a work of art.

Botanical tattoos are also amazing for covering scars.

Take a look at this post discussing how to cover self-harm scars. Can you tattoo over self harm scars? Yes. Heres how

Floral and Botanical style tattoo meaning

Their meaning can vary depending on the type of flower or plant featured. But they often represent beauty, growth, and new beginnings.

Floral and Botanical style tattoos best placement

Floral and botanical tattoos look great in any placement but some of the most popular spots are along the forearm, wrist, upper arm and flowing onto the shoulder.

Floral and botanical style tattoo

Floral and botanical style tattoo

29 – UV Glow in the dark tattoos

UV tattoos, also known as black light tattoos, are a type of tattoo that can only be seen under ultraviolet (UV) lights. These tattoos are made with special ink that contains pigments that glow in the dark.

Often the UV ink is a secret addition to a tattoo. During the day the tattoo looks normal but in a club, under blacklight the hidden elements come to life.

Early UV inks contained carcinogens. More recent formulations seem less toxic. However, the jury is still out on whether putting this ink in your skin is a good idea. It does look cool though.

UV style tattoo meaning

The meaning of a UV tattoo will depend on the design. It can be anything from a simple secret message to an entire hidden scene.

UV style tattoo best placement

UV tattoos can be placed anywhere on the body but are often done on the hands, neck, lower arms or face. This is because these areas are more likely to be exposed to UV light when you are out clubbing.

uv blacklight glow in the dark tattoo style

uv blacklight glow in the dark tattoo style

30 – Celtic Style Tattoos

Celtic tattoos aren’t just about ancient history. They’re also about modern culture and tradition. And like many other cultures, there’s no shortage of symbols associated with the Celts. From birds and animals to flowers and geometric shapes, there are countless ways to incorporate Celtic symbolism into your body art.

While you can’t travel back in time to see what Celtic warriors wore on their bodies, you can look at the artifacts and artwork left behind to gain some insight into the design trends. One such example is The Irish Book of Kells, which dates back to A.D. 800 and contains intricate drawings of Celtic knot work. Or the Lindisfarne Gospels which contain beautiful artwork.

See the beautiful Lindisfarne Gospels artwork

Another type of design that’s become increasingly popular among tattoo enthusiasts is the Celtic knot. These interlocked patterns are usually symmetrical and feature multiple interwoven layers.

A variety of animals are also frequently incorporated into Celtic tattoos. Eagles, owls, wolves, snakes, dogs and horses are just a few examples of creatures that are often represented in Celtic designs.

Celtic tattoos are a great way to express yourself and your heritage.

Celtic style tattoo meaning

Celtic tattoos can represent a wide range of different things from your heritage to your favorite animals or just beautiful curvilinear patterns.

Celtic style tattoo best placement

Celtic tattoos look great in a variety of different places but are often done on the arms, back, or legs, often combining to flow over both the arms and shoulders and across the body.

Celtic style tattoo with jewels

Celtic style tattoo with jewels

31 – Norse Tattoo Style

Norse tattoos have become really popular after the TV series “Vikings” hit the screens. The warrior style of Ragnar Lothbrok has influenced a lot of amazing Norse-style tattoo design work.

These tattoos often feature different Norse gods and goddesses, such as Thor, Odin, Loki, Freyja, and Tyr. They can also feature other elements from Norse mythology, such as dragons, wolves, ravens, and eagles.

Vegvisir, the Viking compass. Yggdrasil, the world tree and the Helm of Awe { Ægishjálmr in old Norse} are all popular designs.

Norse tattoos are usually very detailed and can be quite large. They often cover a large area of the body, such as the chest, back, or arms. They can include intertwined patterns and fretwork in a similar way to Celtic tattoo designs.

A Norse-style tattoo can be extremely flattering if you have a toned and muscular body and are looking for a modern warrior look.

Norse-style tattoo meaning

Their meaning often has to do with strength, courage, and protection.

Norse-style tattoo best placement

Norse tattoos often look best on the back, chest, or arms where they can be large and detailed. They can also look great wrapping around the sides and onto the stomach or legs.

Norse tattoo featuring vegvisir compass

Norse tattoo featuring vegvisir viking compass

32 – White Ink Tattoo Style

White ink tattoos are a beautiful and subtle way to express yourself. They can be very delicate and dainty, or they can be bold and dramatic.

However, many tattooists won’t do fully white tattoos. This is because they don’t last. White ink fades away after a few months. If it is done in larger areas it also can discolor and go a kind of nicotine stain yellow color which doesn’t look very nice.

However, white ink is used in tattoos to

  • Add highlights
  • As a block against color spreading

However, if you understand that a white tattoo won’t last and view it as a temporary tattoo it can look amazing in designs such as mandalas or lacework.

white tattoo of entwined snakes

unusual white tattoo of entwined snakes

33 – Mandala Tattoo Styles

Mandalas are a beautiful and popular tattoo choice for both men and women. They can be very simple or extremely detailed. The lacy beauty of mandalas can be entwined with other styles such as black line, dotwork and geometric designs but look amazing on their own too..

Mandalas can be tattooed anywhere on the body. However, they are often placed on the back or chest so that they can be seen easily.

Meanings of Mandala Tattoos

Mandalas often have a spiritual meaning and can be used as a way to connect with your higher power. They can also represent different aspects of yourself, such as your strength, courage, or wisdom.

Best Placements for Mandala Tattoos

Mandalas look great in a variety of different places but are often done on the back, chest, or arms. They can also be placed on the sides or stomach.

Mandala and geometric tattoo

Mandala and geometric tattoo

Mandala and geometric tattoo

Mandala and geometric tattoo

34 – Kawaii Tattoos

Kawaii is the Japanese word for “cute.” It’s a popular style of art that includes cartoon-like images.

Kawaii tattoos are often small and feature adorable creatures, such as animals or characters.

They can also include flowers, hearts, rainbows, and other cute objects.

This type of tattoo is perfect for people who want a tattoo that’s small and delicate. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking for a small tattoo that won’t be too noticeable.

Meanings of Kawaii Tattoos

Kawaii tattoos can represent different things, such as love, happiness, and childhood innocence. They can also be a reminder to stay positive and happy.

Kawaii Tattoos Best Placement

Kawaii tattoos are often placed on the wrist, ankle, or behind the ear.

cute. kawaii tattoo of kitty and penguin

cute. kawaii tattoo of kitty and penguin

35 – Glitch Style Tattoos

Glitch style tattoos are a new and unique tattoo style. They feature images that have been distorted or broken up into digital pieces. Like a malfunctioning TV set or digital image. It’s linked with punk subcultures.

Glitch style tattoos are perfect for people who want a tattoo that is different and unique and a bit edgy. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking for a tattoo that has a modern or futuristic look.

Meanings of Glitch Style Tattoos

Glitch-style tattoos can represent different things, such as technology, progress, and change. They can also be a reminder that nothing is perfect and that life is full of ups and downs.

Glitch Style Tattoos Best Placement

Glitch tattoos can be placed anywhere on the body. However, they are often placed on the arm, leg, or chest.

Glitch style Edgar Allen Poe tattoo

Glitch style Edgar Allen Poe tattoo

36 – Hyperrealistic Tattoos

Hyperrealistic tattoos are a type of realistic tattoo style that looks extremely true to life. It’s like a photograph or a painting transferred onto the skin.

The subject matter can be anything. Hyperrealistic color portraits of loved ones and celebrities are very popular. Detailed portraits of birds, animals and flowers all work well.

The tattoo artist will need a high-resolution photo of the subject matter to work from. They basically copy the image onto the skin.

Meanings of Hyperrealistic Tattoos

Hyperrealistic tattoos can represent whatever you want the subject matter to mean.

Hyperrealistic Tattoos Best Placement

Hyperrealistic tattoos are often placed on a large area of skin that can be seen such as the top of the arm or the calf.

hyperrealistic rose tattoo

Hyperrealistic rose tattoo. This tattoo will have taken a looong time to complete

37 – Polynesian Tattoos

Polynesian tattoos are a type of tattoo that originates from the Polynesian islands. They are one of the oldest forms of tattoo and the origins from which other tattoo styles came.

They often feature geometric shapes and patterns. The shapes and patterns are meant to represent different aspects of nature, such as the sun, waves, or birds.

Polynesian tattoos best placement

Polynesian tattoos can be very small or extremely large, covering entire areas and limbs.

They are often placed on the shoulders, chest, back, or legs and can cover a large area.

Meanings of Polynesian Tattoos

Polynesian tattoos often have a spiritual meaning and can be used as a way to connect with your ancestors. They can also represent different aspects of yourself, such as your strength, courage, or wisdom.

Traditional Polynesian Tattoo Style

Traditional Polynesian Tattoo Style

38 – Religious style tattoos

Religious style tattoos are a type of tattoo that represents different aspects of different religions.

This can include images or symbols that are associated with different religions, such as the cross for Christianity. Jesus and Mary Magdalene are popular images.

Religious style tattoos can also be mixed with quotes from religious texts, such as the Bible. Doves, rays of light and clouds are popular imagery to mix into this tattoo style.

Meanings of Religious Style Tattoos

Religious style tattoos can represent different things, such as your faith, your religion, or your spiritual beliefs. They can also be a reminder to stay positive and have hope.

Religious Style Tattoos Best Placement

Religious-style tattoos are often placed on the chest, back, or arm. They are usually done as a full sleeve on the arm incorporating a few different types of religious images.

Dramatic large religious tattoo style back piece

Dramatic large religious tattoo style back piece

39 – Blackout Tattoos

A blackout tattoo is a type of tattoo that is completely black. There is no color, shading, or any other type of design.

The entire area of the tattoo is filled in with black ink.

They are often done as a cover-up to get rid of a large area of unwanted tattoos.

Some artists tattoo white over black work which can result in an amazing and dramatic tattoo. However, this is difficult to do and needs multiple sessions to get the white to stay.

Meanings of Blackout Tattoos

Blackout tattoos can represent things, such as power, strength, or courage.

Blackout Tattoos Best Placement

Blackout tattoos can be small or large. They are often done as an entire arm sleeve or as a large chest piece depending on what needs covering.

Blackout tattoo style mixed with geometric works well

Blackout tattoo style mixed with geometric works well {image credit Nissaco}

40 – Cosmetic tattoos

Cosmetic tattoos are a type of tattoo that is used to enhance your appearance. This can be done in many different ways.

Some people get their eyebrows tattooed on so they don’t have to worry about drawing them in every day. Others use it to fill in areas of the eyebrow that are sparse.

Lips can also be tattooed to give the appearance of fuller lips or to even out the color.

This Semi Permanent Make Up {SPMU} fades away after just a few months and will need top-ups.

However, other cosmetic tattoos are done with permanent tattoo ink. Reproduction of 3D nipples and areola after breast cancer surgery should be permanent and can help people to recover after breast cancer treatment.

You can read more about 3d Nipple and areola Tattoos after breast cancer here

Tattooing can also help to cover scars and improve the cosmetic appearance in many ways.

Find out more about scar cover up tattoos

Meanings of Cosmetic Tattoos

Cosmetic tattoos can help people to reconnect with their beauty, femininity or sexuality.

Cosmetic Tattoos Best Placement

Cosmetic tattoos are often placed on the face, eyebrows, lips and breasts

Cosmetic tattoo of a 3d nipple after breast cancer

Cosmetic tattoo of a 3d nipple after breast cancer – this is created on flat skin and is just an image

Conclusion: 40 Different Tattoo Styles – Which one is right for you? Meaning & Placement

Tattoos have come a long way since their humble beginnings as simple markings on the skin. Today, tattoos can be incredibly intricate and complex, telling stories or representing important life moments.

There are thousands of different art tattoo designs available today, each with its own meaning and placement.

If you’re interested in getting a tattoo, it’s important to understand these different tattoo styles and what they mean. That way you can choose the right one for you.

Learn How To TattooFREE E-BOOK DOWNLOAD

20 Crucial Tips You Need To
Know To Enter The Tattoo Industry.

“Crucial Information if you are looking to
find an Apprenticeship or break into the Tattoo Industry”

Find Me
Table of Contents show