Tattoo Styles and Meanings

Today wearing tattoos, whether big or small, seems to have become a trend that catches everyone alike, but did you know that there are different styles for each tattoo? Today we will tell you about the styles and meanings of the tattoos

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You may know that depending on the “tattoo” you decide to get, it may have one meaning or another, but also, depending on the design, the letter or the layout of the drawing, it may belong to a certain style. If you like tattoos and want to know more about them, we offer you all the information about the styles and meanings of the tattoos below.

The styles and types of tattoos

You may have thought about getting a certain type of tattoo, that you have decided on the design, how the letter and the color will be; So all that remains is to go to your tattoo artist and let him capture what you had in mind on your skin, but sometimes doubts can arise about how we want the tattoo or we only have the idea clear and we don’t know what drawing to make.

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Then the creativity of the tattoo artist comes into play, and of course, that he knows well the different styles and types of tattoos that exist. The training of the person who tattoos us will be decisive when we opt for a type of tattoo, so that we like the final result and above all, impress.

There are many styles and types of tattoos that we can find so if you don’t know them, or you think that your design perhaps belongs to one that you would like to know better, we present them below in detail.

The realistic tattoo

This style is perhaps one of the most fashionable at the moment. It is used to reproduce in the most realistic way possible an object or a subject, often it is a portrait.

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The tattoo looks like a real photo and although the black and white ones are the most performed, you can also see many realistic and full color tattoos.

Asian style

This style of tattoo is inspired by Asian motifs such as dragons, koi carps, Buddhas, kanjis, geishas, ​​samurai, lotus flowers…

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Not to be confused with Irezumi, which only refers to Japanese tattoos made in the traditional way as we now explain.

Irezumi/Traditional Japanese Style

This is the style as above, Asian themed tattoos frequently using koi fish, cherry blossoms, samurai or geisha occur but all of those elements combine to create a timeless piece of art. This type of tattoo is usually very detailed.

Irezumi style tattoos are usually quite large. The work is carefully planned before starting to tattoo on any part of the body. This style appears to be more two-dimensional or flat, almost like printing on fabric.

Old School Style

This style of tattoo is characterized by thick outlines, strong black shadows, and bright primary colors

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It is associated with the 50s, but who says that the Old School tattoo is only for bikers and rock’n’roll? It is for anyone who wishes to wear a motif related to that era, the most represented designs being pin-up dolls, eagle heads or marine anchors.

The New School Tattoo

Born in the 1990s, this tattoo style takes the Old School codes and modernizes them, the colors are more varied and there are more gradients. The plot is always thick and marked. Also, most of the designs are very much inspired by comics.

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Tribal Tattoo

Born in Polynesia, the tribal style is recognizable by its lines and thick patterns, filled with black (or sometimes gray gradient). Representing the oldest form of body art in the world, this primitive style was originally made to differentiate the social rank of the person who was going to wear it. So, according to the motives and location, those tattooed belonged to a certain social caste.

Nowadays, this style of tattoo is seen a lot on the lower back for women, and on the arms or legs for men.

Dotart style or dot art

This relatively recent tattoo style is on the rise. Try to create patterns by drawing small dots so that thanks to them, tattoos with all kinds of designs are created. This technique is particularly adapted to give very realistic material effects or to revive an old tattoo.

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Celtic tattoo

This style of tattoo is represented by Celtic crosses, the famous Triskel, the shield knot or even mythological creatures. It is usually a tattoo that is made only with black ink.

Biomechanical style

This style of tattoo incorporates mechanical, organic and biological components. It gives a torn skin effect, through which we see the mechanisms, like a robot.

Inspired by science fiction this type of tattoo is very present in the cyber punk community. The biomechanical tattoo is also widely used in coverage work (coverage of an old tattoo).

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The gothic tattoo

This style of tattoo is represented by very dark reasons, often macabre, and horror inspirations such as skulls, demons, fantasy creatures, or sometimes even uses religious images

Watercolor Tattoo

This emerging style is very fashionable.

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It is about making a tattoo in watercolor style, representing patterns with blurred contours that are also characterized by their wide variety of color.

Lettering Style

This style of tattoo is very widespread, the letters must be tattooed with a word, a sentence, a quote.

It is unique for everyone and personalized according to the history and meaning of it. The wide variety of sizes, font, and placement makes it very popular.

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Traditional Neo or Traditional Modern Style

The Neo Traditional style began in the 1980s and refers to a tattoo style that is bold and bright, has two-dimensional imagery, and less complexity.

The contemporary and fantastic designs combine multiple tattoo styles in one piece. It is different from the Old School style, as it contains more elaborate gradations of blending and shading with a more extensive color palette.

Graffiti Style

The Graffiti style, also known as New School, is a modern and current style that combines cartoons with street and urban style techniques and influences.

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It is characterized by its bright and striking colors, as well as its exaggerated lines. It is a groundbreaking graffiti that goes beyond what is established and is not suitable for any skin.


For some time now, arrows have become one of the most requested tattoos by men and women of all ages. Despite the simplicity of its stroke, several arrows can sometimes be joined to form a larger drawing.

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As for the meaning, the most common thing is that the arrow indicates the path to follow for the person who carries it. A path that usually leads to success in any of its aspects.


Another design that in recent times has grown in popularity unexpectedly are glyphs. More than anything, because they are decades old, coming from past cultures such as the Mayans, Greeks or the Egyptians, who really gave relevance to the glyphs.

Basically, they are the figures that were used for hieroglyphics, hence they can be tattooed on any area of ​​the body. In general, the size of a tattooed glyph is usually reduced or minimal

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Roman numerals

Roman numerals are one of those tattoos that come and go from time to time. Ideal to put on XS size, but also to make them bigger. They are usually used to mark memorable dates on the skin (birth of a child, date of a wedding…).

The only problem with Roman numerals, and it is quite serious, is knowing them well and, above all, that the tattoo artist does as well.


The tattooed representation of love has had, has and will have an overwhelming success.

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Is there a better way to say I love you than with a tattooed heart? The good thing is that a figure like a heart allows you to tattoo it in almost any area of ​​the body and at any size.


The blackwork are some of the most spectacular and striking tattoos you can get. Black tattoos, as they are known, cover an entire area with black ink. In fact, they are also ideal for covering up tattoos to regret.

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To accompany them, geometric figures are usually drawn. In fact, there are those who define it as neotribal. One of the most famous is the one Leo Messi wears on his leg. Of course, it is not the only one that carries. If you want to see them all, take a look at Lionel Messi’s tattoos. How many does it have and its meaning


The sketch is one of the most current and groundbreaking fashions of the moment. His inspiration comes from art on paper and consists of leaving the tattoo halfway, as if it were a draft, a sketch.

It is a draft of a drawing that would never arrive, and that is even seasoned with guide lines that help with the layout.

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The meaning of tattoos

Along with the different styles of tattoos that we can find, we also have to talk, of course, about the meaning of the tattoos, since depending on how they are or even where they are made, they can have one meaning or another.

There are many meanings that are given in tattoos, I would even say that we could find one for each type of tattoo but let’s see now what generic meaning the most popular have.

The meaning of geometric symbols

The triangular tattoo, favorite of geometric tattoos, represents what works for three: the body, the soul and the spirit, but also the man, the woman and the child, or the beginning, the middle and the end.

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In the same way, the square tattoo represents perfection and the opposition of opposites

If you bet on a diamond, you evoke purity, fidelity and eternity

The stars have many meanings depending on the number of the points. They symbolize truth, hope and light. The nautical star is a symbol of protection.

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The meaning of classic tattoos

If we know what the infinity symbol means, did you know that the number eight illustrates abundance, authority and power? But be careful, it can also evoke excessive ambition

The anchor, often seen on wrist tattoos, is a symbol of stability, security, and hope.

The meaning of animal tattoos

Do you want to tattoo birds? You should know that the dove is the symbol of peace, sweetness and innocence, while a pair of doves represents fidelity.

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It is more difficult to find the precise meaning of the swallow: it is a sign of hope and luck, but it also evokes freedom, escape, starting point and arrival.

If you choose a butterfly, know that they evoke happiness, grace, beauty but also resurrection, while fireflies represent fragility.

The elephant represents wisdom, strength, stability and patience, while the lion represents strength and determination and the snake represents danger.

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Tattoos on the hand or wrist

The hand and its extension, the wrist, are in some cultures the symbols of activity and spirit. The tattoo in this place is ornamental and meaningful, and is done by people who are not afraid of being seen.

On the shoulder, arm, forearm

The arms represent strength, balance and power. Possessing tattoos in these areas breaks the perfect balance of the body. The arms and forearms are the heart and lung meridians. Sometimes tattooing these hidden, sometimes exposed areas is showing your clan membership, parading, or outsourcing. The arms are the first parts of the body that relate to each other and touch each other.

On the neck

Sensual, the tattoo on the neck has a part of mystery. We must approach to find out, making a report of enmity. The hair can veil or reveal the inked pattern at will.

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On the sides

In general, the designs that are chosen for tattoos on the sides are larger and are more related to affection. The tattoo moves with the breath, evoking something deep in the person.

In the back or the fall of the kidneys

The back is the shadow of consciousness. It is also the largest smooth area of ​​the body, a popular and prime ground for doing impressive work. People who have tattoos in this place are more sensual and aesthetic.

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On the thigh, the legs

Far from the sexual connotation, the tattoos in this part are large enough but are easily hidden. People who take the step do ornamental work on their legs.

On the foot or ankle

Act of freedom. The foot and the ankle maintain the principle in the relationship between the earth and the sky. These areas are very sensual, and focus (mostly) on femininity.


Although increasingly popular, face tattoos have a connotation of an act of rebellion and a certain social demarcation by people tattooed on the face.

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