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You may or may not know this, but we love tattoos so much over here that we got ourselves inked recently. So, when doing our research, we needed to find out what kind of design and style we wanted.

If you go on Instagram or Pinterest, you’re likely to see all sorts of tattoos, especially delicate, minimalist style tattoos that are popular among women.

Tattoo Styles Minimalist-n

Photo sources: Blurmark, Her Campus, @stephen_doyle_tattoo on Instagram

But did you know that that isn’t the only tattoo style that’s trendy? There are many popular tattoo styles out there, and we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourites so you can get inspired for your next ink session.

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1. Traditional Americana

Tattoo Styles Traditional Americana

Photo source: Tattoo-design.net, Honey Bramble, Inspirationfeed

Old-school Americana tattoos are known for bold black outlines with highly saturated colours. These designs typically feature roses, animal heads, pin-ups, symbolism, and military-related signs.

2. Neo Traditional

Tattoo Styles Neo Traditional

Photo source: Entertainment Mesh, @daragh_locke_tattoos on Instagram

Neo traditional tattoos are heavily inspired by the traditional tattoo style, but have finer lines mixed with more bold and non-traditional colours, giving them a classic feel with a taste of the new.

3. Tribal

Tattoo Styles Tribal

Photo Source: Asian Arts Craftsmanship on Pinterest, East Javanese Blog

If you’re familiar with Malaysian culture, you may have seen the tribal tattoos adorned on the people of Borneo. Various indigenous tribes call the island their home and have their own distinct tattooing culture.

4. Watercolour

Tattoo-Styles-Watercolour-n

Photo Source: Klaims Street Tattoo, georgiagreynyc on Instagram

Watercolour tattoos mimic the style of translucent paint splattering or flowing across the skin. They have minimal or no outlines and tend to appear delicate and beautiful due to their light washes of colour – it’s no wonder they’re gaining popularity recently.

5. Blackwork

Tattoo Styles Blackwork

Photo source: Inked Way, @jackpeppiette on Instagram

These are tattoos done entirely in black and tints of grey. They’re often composed of abstract patterns and geometric shapes, and there are some that feature scenes and subjects.

6. Realism

Whether in colour or black and white, realistic tattoos capture a picture of anything in high detail. It’s an art form that can be difficult to perfect, so it takes a skilled artist to create a truly realistic piece.

Tattoo Styles Realism

Photo Source: Next Luxury, @arlotattoos on Instagram

7. Portrait

Tattoo Styles Portrait

Photo Source: The Trendspotter, eddy-lou-tattoos on Tumblr

Portrait tattoos tend to be realistic, but we’ve also seen those done in a different style altogether. Typically of famous people or someone you love, these tattoos can range from simple to complex.

8. Pets/Animals

Tattoo Styles Pet

Photo source: @hi_imfromyesterday on Instagram

Sometimes we just want to remember our furry partner forever. It’s extra special to have your dog or cat on your arm, especially in a familiar pose or with a favourite toy.

9. Surreal

Tattoo Styles Surreal

Photo source: @oozy_tattoo on Instagram, Alex Young on Tattoo Filter, victortattoo on Tumblr

Described as a mixture of dreams and reality, surrealism is always an interesting genre of art. There seems to be no limit with these types of tattoos, as each one looks like visual poetry.

10. Biomechanical

Tattoo Styles Bio Mechanical

Photo source: Positivefox.com

Ever secretly wanted to be Iron Man, or consider yourself part Cyborg? These futuristic-looking tattoo designs adapt to the flow of your body, so you’ll look as if you’re fused with machinery under the skin. It’ll make someone look twice, for sure.

11. Trash Polka

Tattoo Styles Trash Polka

Photo source: The Wild Trends, Styles At Life.com, beunavistatattooclub on Instagram

Originating in Germany, this tattoo style is collage-like, with sampling from printed materials such as photography, handwriting, paint splashes, and typewriting.

12. Geometric

Tattoo Styles Geometric

Photo source: @fedornozdrin on Instagram, Elennemay.com

Centred around lines and shapes, this tattoo style has been slowly gaining popularity because of the contrast between sharp lines and the curves of the body.

13. Traditional Japanese

Tattoo Styles Japanese

Photo source: Tattoo Easily, @horitaka_tattoo on Instagram

Japanese traditional tattoos are also referred to as Irezumi, a tattooing technique that is ancient and rich in symbolism. The body art usually involves several different themes, often inspired by folklore or tradition, with common imagery including koi fish, dragons, geishas, and flowers.

14. Stick-and-Poke

Tattoo Styles Stick-and-Poke

Photo source: Tattoo Me Now, @strikethepoke on Instagram, @thecamilomd on Instagram

Also known as hand-poked tattoos, these are known for the way they are made. Stick-and-poke tattoos are a form of non-electric tattooing – that is to say, there’s no tattoo machine used.

Traditional tattoos use a tattoo pen machine while stick-and-poke tattoos use an analog tattoo machine, which is made by attaching a needle to a rod-like contraption.

15. Floral

Tattoo Styles Floral

Photo source: @7thday_studio on Instagram, Cute Hostess, Trending Tattoo

Floral tattoos are very popular among women because of their range of designs and meanings. Each flower tells its own story and aesthetic value, and can be easily incorporated into most designs.

16. Words and phrases

Tattoo Styles Words and Phrases

Photo source: Tattoo Easily, Yahoo News, sirokyis on Reddit

We all have that special word or phrase that means a lot to us. Why not memorialise the thought forever with some ink on your skin? Here are some designs we thought looked beautiful.

Featured image credit: TattMag and Vice

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