Pros and Cons of 5 Popular Tattoo Styles

Pros and Cons of 5 Popular Tattoo Styles

It’s said that variety is the spice of life, and it’s never been more accurate in the world of tattoos. With many tattoo styles to choose from, the inked adventurer is genuinely spoilt for choice. But how do you navigate this vast ocean of designs, colors, and techniques? 

Fear not, intrepid body art enthusiasts, for we have compiled a list of the pros and cons of different tattoo styles just for you. So, grab a comfy seat, and let’s get started!

For those looking for something a bit more classic, we have..

American Traditional Tattoo Styles

Characterized by bold lines and bright solid colors, often featuring an iconic image like a heart, eagle, or sailor’s anchor. This style has stood the test of time and is still popular today. While it may not be as trendy or unique as other styles, there’s no denying its timeless appeal.

Traditional tattoos are a style of tattooing that has been around for centuries. Bold lines, bright colors, and iconic motifs such as skulls, anchors, and roses characterize it. The style originated in the United States during World War II when Norman Collins, also known as Sailor Jerry, began to popularize it.

The traditional tattoo style is often referred to as “old school” or “American traditional” because of its classic look and feel. This type of tattoo typically features bold outlines and bright colors that stand out against the skin. Many traditional tattoos feature iconic symbols such as hearts, daggers, eagles, and ships with special meanings.

Traditional tattoos are still popular due to their timeless appeal and classic designs. They can be used to express patriotism or commemorate an event or person in one’s life. They can also show off one’s style or make a statement about who they are.

No matter the reason for getting a traditional tattoo, it is essential to research before getting one so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Be sure to find an experienced artist who specializes in this type of work so you can get the best results possible!


  • The bold lines and bright colors make for an eye-catching tattoo; this style looks good on virtually any part of the body; tattoos in this style tend to age gracefully over time.
  • Timeless appeal: There’s a reason traditional tattoos have endured the test of time. Their bold lines, bright colors, and iconic imagery make them a classic choice for anyone looking to get inked.
  • Easy to read: The simplicity and clarity of traditional tattoo styles mean they remain legible even as the ink ages, ensuring your body art remains a masterpiece for years to come.


  • It can be challenging for novice tattoo artists to master; it’s not as versatile or customizable as other styles.
  • Limited creativity: If you’re looking for a truly unique design, traditional tattoos might not offer the same level of personalization as some other tattoo styles.
  • Oversaturated market: Due to their popularity, it can be challenging to find a traditional tattoo that hasn’t been done before, potentially diluting the impact of your ink.

Japanese Tattoo Styles

This style has been around since the 1600s. It often features intricate patterns and images, with a heavy emphasis on symbolism.

Japanese tattoos, or Irezumi, are a form of traditional body art that dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868). The most popular motifs featured in Japanese tattoos are Koi fish, geishas, dragons, samurai, and tiger tattoos. These designs often have deep symbolic meanings and can be used to express one’s beliefs, values, and emotions.

The tattooing process is also unique. It involves hand-poking the skin with a needle rather than using an electric machine like modern Western tattooing. This method is said to be more painful, but it results in a bolder look.

In Japan, there are two main styles of tattooing: the tebori style, which is done by hand, and the horimono style, which uses an electric machine. Tebori is considered more traditional, while horimono is seen as more modern.

Japanese tattoos are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also carry a lot of cultural significance. They can be used to express one’s identity or even commemorate important events in their life.


  • The intricate designs can be beautiful and captivating; it is perfect for those who want to express their culture or beliefs through their ink; the symbolism associated with this style allows you to create a personal story within your tattoo.


  • It can be time-consuming and expensive to find a tattoo artist that is well-versed in this style; tattoos done in this style require frequent touch-ups as the colors tend to fade faster than in other styles.

Watercolor Tattoo Styles

Watercolor tattoos are a unique and beautiful style of tattoo that is becoming increasingly popular. Unlike traditional tattoos, which use solid lines and blocks of color, watercolor tattoos use a more painterly approach to create a soft, ethereal look.

The colors used in watercolor tattoos are often blended to create a gradient effect, giving the tattoo an almost dream-like quality. Watercolor tattoos can be used to create abstract designs or to recreate classic works of art. They also work well with floral designs and other nature-inspired motifs. Watercolor tattoos will stand out from the crowd no matter what design!


Artistic expression: Watercolor tattoos allow for a level of creativity and fluidity that other styles may not offer, enabling you to create a truly one-of-a-kind piece of body art.

Soft and delicate: The gentle gradients and ethereal quality of watercolor tattoos can create a more feminine and subtle look, perfect for those seeking a less aggressive aesthetic.


  • Fading concerns: Due to their delicate nature, watercolor tattoos may be more prone to fading over time, requiring more frequent touch-ups to maintain their original beauty.
  • Less legibility: The lack of bold outlines in watercolor tattoo styles can result in a less defined image as the ink ages, potentially making the tattoo harder to read.

Geometric Tattoo Styles

Geometric tattoos are modern tattoos that incorporate geometric patterns and shapes to create bold, abstract designs. These patterns can include simple shapes like triangles and circles to more complex designs such as interlocking lines and polygons.

One unique aspect of geometric tattoos is that they can be adapted to fit any body part. Whether you want a small tattoo on your wrist or an extensive piece on your back, the geometric style can be customized to fit your preferences. The designs are also highly stylized, often using negative space to create a striking visual impact.

Many people choose to get geometric tattoos because they are aesthetically pleasing and meaningful. Clean lines and bold shapes are often used to symbolize balance, symmetry, and order. They can also represent elements of nature, such as mountains or waves, or be inspired by cultural motifs like mandalas or tribal symbols.

Overall, the geometric tattoo style provides a modern take on the traditional art form and is growing in popularity among those seeking a unique and meaningful way to express themselves through body art.


  • Symmetry and balance: Geometric tattoos showcase intricate patterns and shapes, which can create a visually appealing and harmonious design that stands out from the crowd.
  • Versatility: Geometric tattoos can be easily incorporated into other tattoo styles, providing endless possibilities for creativity and personal expression.


  • Complexity: The precision and accuracy required for geometric tattoo styles can make them more challenging and time-consuming to execute, potentially increasing the cost of your tattoo.
  • Less room for error: Any mistakes or inconsistencies in a geometric tattoo will be more noticeable than in other styles, placing more pressure on the artist to deliver a flawless design.

Tribal Tattoo Styles

Tribal tattoos have a long and rich history that dates back thousands of years. They were used by ancient cultures to signify status, strength, and courage. In many cases, they were also used to mark important milestones such as coming of age or marriage. Bold lines, intricate patterns, and vibrant colors often characterize tribal tattoos. They can be found in various cultures worldwide, including Polynesia, Africa, Europe, Borneo, Cambodia, and Taiwan.

The designs of tribal tattoos vary greatly depending on their culture. For example, Polynesian tattoos often feature geometric shapes such as triangles and diamonds, while African tribal tattoos may include animal motifs such as lions or elephants. Some tribal tattoos may also feature spiritual symbols such as crosses or stars.

Tribal tattoos are still popular today due to their unique designs and symbolism. They can be used to express one’s identity or show allegiance to a particular group or culture. No matter what your reasons for getting a tribal tattoo may be, it is vital to research the design you want before getting it done so that you understand its meaning and significance.


  • Cultural significance: Tribal tattoo styles often carry deep cultural and historical meaning, allowing you to connect with your heritage or pay homage to a specific tribe or culture.
  • Bold and striking: The thick lines and heavy shading of tribal tattoos make for a visually striking design that will grab attention.


  • Potentially offensive: If you’re not careful, choosing a tribal tattoo without fully understanding its cultural significance could be disrespectful or appropriative.
  • Limited customization: Tribal tattoos tend to adhere to specific patterns and motifs, potentially limiting your ability to personalize your design.

Choose Your Ink Wisely

In conclusion, the world of tattoo styles is as diverse as it is beautiful. From bold and classic traditional tattoos to delicate and ethereal watercolor designs, there’s something for every ink enthusiast. Each style has unique pros and cons, and the choice ultimately depends on your preferences and aesthetic desires. So, weigh your options, find an artist who specializes in your chosen style, and embark on your tattoo journey with confidence, knowing you’ve chosen the perfect style to express your individuality.

Remember, tattoos are a lifelong commitment, so take your time, research, and let your skin tell the story you want it to. And most importantly, enjoy transforming your body into a living canvas that showcases the beauty and diversity of the tattoo styles you love.

We’re doing our best to categorize each listing within our local tattoo directory by the types of tattoos they specialize in as we recognize how useful that will be for those searching for an artist that can handle the job you have in mind for your next piece!

Need some inspiration? Check out this post from MrInkWells that showcases many of the most popular styles in use by modern tattoo artists.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *