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Top Trending Tattoo Types in 2020

The use of ink as a form of self-expression has been used for hundreds, if not, thousands of years now. And ever since then, humanity has come up with some creative ways to express themselves, and one of it is to permanently in their flesh with artistic markings or as they call it – Tattoos. 

There are different tattoo types, each with a different kind of meaning. It can be totems, tribal figures, the name of your loved ones, sacred images, maybe an image that has a special meaning, or why stop there when you can turn your whole body into a work of art. When it comes to Tattoo’s the sky is the limit.

A Tattoo has many types and forms – but selecting the right type isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s imperative that you know what Tattoo you want the moment you set foot inside a shop. Why? Because a tattoo is a lifetime commitment and will forever be etched on your skin. To aid you with your decision, we’ve decided to share our knowledge and insight about the different types of tattoo styles. 


Table of Contents


Abstract art has been around since the dawn of time. From the very first human down to the latest generation – we have used abstract art. Abstract tattoos oftentimes are free form tattoos – with images that are not found in the real world. An abstract tattoo is like an open ended book – it’s up to an individual on how they’ll interpret the tattoo. 

Abstract tattoos are considered to be one of the most artistic types of tattoo – not that the others aren’t. But Abstract tattoos require a great deal of creativity and imagination from the artist and the canvas in order to pull it off perfectly.

Abstract Girls tattoo in chest

Irezumi or Traditional Japanese Tattoos

You may have seen some traditional Japanese tattoos in movies already. Irezumi tattoos are often represented with the images of a Koi fish, cherry blossoms, Samurai’s, Geisha’s, the Buddha, lotus, a dragon, and many more oriental images. These images are used to express stories and the timeless traditions of the Japanese culture.

Getting a traditional Japanese tattoo often requires a tremendous amount of preparation is it involves tons of details and will more than likely cover your whole body. So unless you’re ready for that kind of commitment – you might rethink your decision on this one.

Floral Snake Japanese Style tattoo in arm

Black and Gray

Black and Gray – as the name implies, this type of tattoo only uses the color black and white ink. This type of tattoo relies on heavy shading and varying shades of the color black to create that illusion of a 3-D image. While the white ink is used for highlights or to smoothen out the transitions between various shades.

Black&Grey Tiger tattoo in arm

Fine Line

Fine Line tattoos are one of the newer trends that you’ll find amongst many tattoo artists because it wasn’t achievable until now. Due to the advancements and improvements in technology – better and more accurate machines have been made. This latest improvement to tattoo machines, needles, and inks have allowed artist to be more precise with their work. 

Fine Line tattoos – as its name suggests, uses fine lines either curved or straight to create the image. You can easily spot a fine line tattoo with its detailed and crisp look – it’s as if a pen was used to draw on the skin.

If you’re a minimalistic kind of person – a fine line tattoo is often the way to go. 

Fine Line Cup&Ball tattoo in leg


For those who are looking for a tattoo with a lot of symbolism – a Celtic tattoo may be more up your alley. Celtic tattoos have long been used by Celtic warriors to intimidate and scare their opponents in the battlefield. Celtic tattoos have this timeless and elegant design to them which made it very popular as tattoo art. 

Knots and trinities are the most popular Celtic design because of their design and the meaning behind it. Celtic knots represent the flow of time, the wind, and nature.

Another popular Celtic tattoo design is animals because Celts believed that animals represent ferocity, tenacity, courage, and security.

So if you want to intimidate someone – you know what to get.

Black Celtic Tattoos in arm

Gray Wash

A gray wash tattoo utilizes various black or grey inks to create different contrasts for a tattoo. Black is primarily used to outline the tattoo while the color gray/white ink is used for pigmentation. Even while only using two colors – artist have managed to create the most amazing tattoos out of them.

Gray Wash Girl&snake tattoo at the back


Are you into native Indian folklores such as totems, spiritual elements, spirit animals, and the likes of it? If yes, the Haida style of tattooing is the perfect fit for you. 

A Haida tattoo that features rich aboriginal designs and is considered to be one of the most elegant designs in the tattoo world today. One can easily distinguish a Haida tattoo from afar, especially with its trademark design – the spirit animals. But besides animals – Haida tattoos can also take the form of family crests and other mythical beings in the Haida folklore. 

Imagine how awesome it would be to have your family crest in your chest.

Red&Black Haida tattoo in leg

Religious Tattoos

It’s no surprise that you would see this kind of tattoo style – after all, religion is one of the driving forces of our lives. For many, Religion is what defines them. It’s one of the most important aspects of their lives. It’s what affects their every decision throughout the day. And it’s understandable why one would want to push it a step further and have it etched in their body forever. After all, having a religious tattoo is a gesture – a way to show your respect, faith, and appreciation for your religion. 

Religous Jesus & Mary tattoo


If you want a fun tattoo, going full color is the way to go. It allows the artist to impress his/her creativity more through the use of various colors – and as a result, you get yourself a vibrant and brightly colored tattoo that can get someone’s attention in an instant. 

For color tattoos, it’s important to approach a good artist with experience. Why? Because certain colors wouldn’t work well on certain skin tones – and it’s up to the artist to guide you as to what works well with your skin type.

If you’re someone who likes to be constantly under the sun, then a color tattoo isn’t recommended for you because the sun will cause the color to fade. And because of the level of detail a color tattoo has, you’ll likely have more than 1 session to complete the piece.

Color Traditional tattoo at the back



A memorial tattoo is what you get if you want to memorialize a person or an event by putting it on your body permanently. It’s a way for one to express their deep feelings towards said person or event – a way to honor those who passed. Memorial tattoo designs often are original and some have their interesting twist to it – all conveying the feelings of the person wearing it.

Memoriam Style Jimi Hendrix tattoo in arm


Tribal Tattoos

Tribal tattoos have been around for centuries and has been passed down from culture to culture including the native Americans, Micronesia, and Polynesians. During the old days, getting tattooed was a rite of passage – and it’s still being done up to now.

For those who’re interested in getting their first tattoo, many artists have recommended to get a tribal tattoo. Why? Because most tribal designs are simple yet beautiful all the same. It also holds-up well overtime.

Tribal Style Polynesian tattoo in arm


Old School Tattoos

Old school tattoos, also known as American traditional tattoos features heavy and bold outlines – as well as a limited color palette, usually only involving yellow, green, red, and black. It became prominent during the 1800’s – often associated with nautical images such as a ship, mermaids, anchors, sparrows, and more. Think of pop-eye the sailor man, he himself have a tattoo of an anchor on both his fists.

Old School Style Skull tattoo in chest

Stonework Style

Before inking their bodies – our ancestors first carved and used stone to create beautiful pieces of art. They have built temples, decorated palaces, carved mountains, and turned any stone into a work of art. And since art have gone a long – why not do the same to our bodies? 

The Stonework style of tattooing utilizes heavy shades of black to produce that cracked stone effect throughout the tattoo. Stonework styled tattoos often take a long time to complete as it has a lot of intricate details – but the result will always be amazing.

Stone Work Style of a woman Praying tattoo in arm


All tattoo types require a certain amount of skill in order to pull it off – but portrait tattoos are in a league of its own. The artist must be incredibly skilled and experienced to capture the likeliness of the subject and draw it on someone’s skin.

A portrait tattoo isn’t just about the details in shading – it goes way beyond that. The artist must all take into account the lighting to make the image as close to lifelike as it can be.

Portrait tattoos may be complicated, but the intention behind as to why someone would get it is always the same – to show respect or memorialize someone who’s made an impact in your life. 

Portrait Style of Lady with Fire tattoo in arm

Cartoon or Anime Tattoos

Do you remember your uncle’s Tasmanian devil tattoo? Well, that’s one of the earliest form of a cartoon tattoo – and it’s now making a huge comeback due to how popular cartoons and anime are. Cartoon or Anime style tattoos often involved vibrant colors, bold outlines, and tons of detailing to create that 3-D effect that an anime or cartoon character has.

Overall, a cartoon or anime tattoo is very fun to have. Some even have a full sleeve of all their favorite anime and cartoon characters.

Cartoon Style of Joker Tattoo in arm

Polynesian Tattoo

The term Polynesian includes the tribe of Samoans, Marquesan, Tahitians, Hawaiians, and more. Back then, there were no writing in their culture – so what did they do? They used tattoos. Their tattoos would show their rank, genealogy, and even sexual maturity.

In a sense, Polynesian Tattoo falls under the tribal tattoo category. Polynesian tattoos have tons of geometrical shapes involved, often with the use of dark and heavy highlights.

Polynesian tattoo has grown in popularity due to how effective it is in telling a story. It may look as if the designs are just random geometrical shapes – but in Polynesian culture, it just doesn’t look call, it also depicts a story.

Polynesian Style tattoo in arm

Cover-Up Tattoo

If you have a tattoo that you regret – there’s only two things you can do about it. Either get it removed or replace it with a better one. Replace it? How? By getting a cover-up tattoo. Many people opt this method rather than getting their current one removed as it’s much cheaper.

The candidates for a cover-up tattoo are those tattoos that are faded, poorly executed, or one that badly healed.

Depending on the artist, a cover-up tattoo can completely hide the existing one and replace it with a new and much better design, all while incorporating the elements of the older design. And since you’re trying to cover-up an older tattoo, the new one will be significantly bigger than the old one.

Cover-Up Style of Blue Cube tattoo in arms

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