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A Guide To Different Tattoo Styles.

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

A Guide To Different Tattoo Styles - Choosing Your Next Design.
Tattoo Styles

A Guide To Different Tattoo Styles - Choosing Your Next Design.

A Guide To Different Tattoo StylesWhether you’re getting inked for the first time or are ready to add another design to your body art collection, choosing the right style for you couldn’t be more important. There’s no such thing as a “standard” tattoo. Artists specialise in their own favourite styles, and with so many to choose from, it’s essential that you know the difference between watercolour, neo-traditional and dot-work designs. With this in mind, here’s a quick overview of some of the most popular options. 

Traditional/Old School

Traditional or old school tattoos can be identified by their bright colours, bold lines and iconic designs such as roses. These classic designs feature beloved aesthetics and are still incredibly popular, with a retro look that never disappoints.

Realism Tattoos

Realism has been part of the art scene for centuries, but it’s only recently entered the tattooing sphere. This refined style involves creating awe-inspiring portraits in colour or black and grey, often of celebrities, but also of family members.


Watercolour tattoos are very fashionable at the moment and are in high demand amongst younger tattoo afficionados. This style of tattooing has a modern look with pastel shades and the appearance of having been painted onto the skin.

Tribal Tattoos

The tribal tattoo style is the oldest type of body art in the world and dates back for thousands of years. These beautiful and diverse styles can vary from Maori to Polynesian with unique patterns that are elaborate and almost always completed in black.

The New School Style

While it’s called “new school”, this style of tattooing has been around since the late 1980s. It features a cartoonish, animated aesthetic that often features exaggerated figures and caricatures in a comic book style.

Neo-Traditional Styles

As you might guess from its name, neo-traditional tattooing is evolved from traditional style designs. Featuring all of its predecessor’s core properties such as vibrant colours and pronounced linework, it has a more illustrative quality thanks to the influence of Art Deco and Art Nouveau. Neo-traditional tattoos usually feature a wider choice of colours and more motifs as well as decorative details like animals, florals and other natural imagery. 

Dotwork Tattoos

Dotwork is well-known for the smooth, natural look that it creates and this is why it’s so often used for shading tattoos. This style has a long history in both European and Asian cultures and typically incorporate symbols into their aesthetic. This technique can also be used for accentuating the details of images as each dot is individual and extremely precise.

Choosing Your Next Design

Whatever style of tattoo you decide to choose, Hammersmith Tattoo artists can help you create the perfect body art for use. Using only the best technology paired with our extensive experience and skill, we’re proud of the wide variety of styles and designs that we can create. Check out our artists’ galleries to see some examples of their work and contact us today to find out more about how we can help you get the ink that’s right for you.


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