Just like the Japanese style, Tribal is one of the most ancient design styles. Typically it is black and is used for symmetry and geometrical designs. The difficulty of this design requires an artist with good line work and steady hand.
Japanese design style tattooing is one of the most ancient, making it extremely sacred and traditional among the styles. It uses a hand-carved technique (also called tebori) and was made popular in Japan by the Yakuza, the Japanese criminal underworld. Similar to American traditional, it uses bold black outlines and minimal shading. Most often, these designs are meant to cover a whole limb, back or body suit.
The American Traditional tattoo design style originated in the 1930s on American military bases. It became associated more with sailors when tattooist Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins popularized it. This style of tattooing is based on big and bold sections, with solid and clean black outlines and a minimal (mainly primary colors) well-saturated color palette. Traditional imagery is often maritime in nature, celebrations of love or reflections on love lost.
The Trash Polka design style was popularized by the Buena Vista Tattoo Club. It uses a black and red color scheme illustrated with collage-like images. Trash Polka includes a combination of realism, lettering/script, and geometric shapes.
Watercolor is a design style that consists of abstract tattoos. It takes a lot of skill and artistic ability to design a watercolor style successfully. It uses extreme amounts of color and less of lines and black color to create the effect that it has been painted on your skin with watercolors.
When choosing a tattoo, considering the many different tattoo design styles can seem to be a time-consuming task. Here a list of popular design styles to help narrow your list of options.