A Quick Guide to 10 Popular Tattoo Styles

Although tattoos were a taboo subject in most communities just over a decade ago, they're now just casual dinner conversation for all but the most conservative groups. Gone are the days of ink being only for bikers and outlaws, with nearly every soccer mom and barista sporting back pieces and full sleeves.

With that boom in popularity came an explosion of tattooing styles, so here's a quick guide to 10 of the most popular styles. 

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American Traditional
When you think of old-school tattoos, you're probably thinking of American traditional (often just referred to as "traditional" or occasionally "trad") tattoos. They're the anchors, daggers, pinups, snakes, and everything else that dot just as many millennials today as they did sailors in WWII. The hardcore traditionalists will only use a color palette of black, brown, green, yellow, red, and blue, and they'll rarely do pieces you wouldn't see in a book of Sailor Jerry or Owen Jensen flash. They're bold, bright, and will hold up for longer than you'll be alive if done correctly.

If you understand the English language and read the previous paragraph, you should be able to guess what neo-traditional (although no one is too sure about the hyphen, so you'll see it as "neo traditional" and "neotraditional" as well) tattooing is. Neo-traditional tattoos have the same bold look and clear designs of American traditional pieces, but they offer a little more flexibility. Nearly any subject matter can be turned into a neo-traditional tattoo, more details are often included, and there's no limit to how many colors can be used. On the other side of neo-traditional is the land of illustrative tattooing, but those lines tend to cross and mingle more often than not. 

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Josh Chesler
Contact: Josh Chesler