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How To Choose The Right Tattoo Design

Getting a tattoo is an art form, which helps people to express themselves, perpetuate memories, celebrate friendship and love. Each tattoo itself is the reflection of personalization inked on the skin. If you want to get a perfect tattoo, you should choose wisely and carefully.

If you’ve decided to spice up your appearance, consider this a guide to tattoo styles and tips on how to choose the right tattoo design for you!

Popular Tattoo Styles & Designs

Before getting inked you should think about the tattoo style. Do you want to wear a monochrome tattoo or go for a watercolor design? Here is a guide for you, which describes the basic tattoo styles:

American Traditional

This style is known for its saturated basic color palette, bold outlines, and minimalist designs without fancy details. The most popular designs are roses, skulls, and daggers.

Roses are a delicate representation of love. If roses are depicted with thorns, it means that love cannot be saved without sacrifices. For sailors, roses represented femininity and motherhood.

Also, the rose is the symbol of balance and hope. On top of that, the color of the rose also carries symbolic denotations. A yellow flower indicates mature love, a white rose stands for spirituality and innocence. Red roses mean passion, pink roses show elegance. The image of a black rose is also popular, it signifies a farewell.

A skull tattoo has both positive and negative meanings. The skull means death, rebirth, remembrance, tough life, power, and strength. In Christianity, it means eternity and in Mexican culture it is the embodiment of people who’ve passed away.

A dagger design says about betrayal, fearlessness, and danger. Each variation has its own meaning. A combination of a heart and a dagger indicates a love betrayal. A skull and a dagger indicate danger, and a dragon and a dagger indicate the person’s ability to overcome obstacles.

american traditional

Japanese Style

This style has become popular in the Japanese criminal world. It incorporates black outlines and minimal shading. The images are inspired by creatures from Japanese folklore. The popular designs are a lotus flower, a Koi fish, and a tiger.

A lotus flower tattoo reflects a deep spiritual meaning. For the Buddhists, a lotus indicates the pureness of the soul. Egyptians see it as a symbol of reincarnation, whereas Chinese consider it as a sign of beauty. In Western culture, it denotes a new stage in life.

A Koi fish design has a rich symbolism. It’s been the symbol of emperors, so it’s been associated with wealth, luck, and power. Each color symbolizes different things. For instance, a red fish represents love, a black fish means success, a blue carp means power.

A Dragon Koi fish means inner strength because this fish swims against the flow. The Yin Yang Koi fish signifies the unity of good and bad things.

A tiger tattoo is associated with power, dominance, energy, royalty, and nobility. However, it also renders other meanings. In India, this animal denotes destruction, in Chinese culture, these animals are the protectors of the dead.



This style depicts things as close as possible to how they occur in real life. It uses contrasts and shading, but sometimes it has the lack of thick and bold lines. Almost everything may be depicted in this style, everything depends on your fantasy. Sometimes people choose the following tattoos:

Portraits are done both in black and white or colorful technique. These can be the images of close people to express love and devotion, or the pictures of role models, who’ve influenced on the person.

Animals are depicted to express the person’s personality, his strive for success, inner strength, power, and energy. Lions, tigers, elephants, zebras are popular.

Birds create another cluster of tattoo designs. They may be displayed in any color and with many additional details.

It is known that small bird tattoo designs on shoulder are especially admired by women. The sought after designs are swallows and sparrows, which indicate freedom and owls, which stand for wisdom and intelligence.

realism tattoo

New School Style

This style is animated style, which depicts objects in an exaggerated manner. Typically, all images are caricatured and the themes are various. You may put animals in fancy clothes or personified images. Generally, these tattoos ridicule political views, the behavior, accepted in society and the way of life.

new school style tattoo


Biomechanical Style

Another name for this style is Biomech. The tattoos, done in this style are free handed and they display mechanical, cyborg, alien mechanisms through the body. These tattoos demonstrate the person’s creative thinking.




This style features different fonts and techniques. It may be a free handed inscription or a clear inscription with definite outlines. People may choose quotes to express their views and values, names to show love for somebody, and Roman numerals to perpetuate special events.




It is influenced by Salvador Dali and it has unusual details and fantastic characters. The colors may be vivid or subtle, everything depends on the design. This style may be combined with a watercolor style to make the tattoo more unusual. Any image may be done in a surreal style and it will convey inner thoughts and worries of the man.



Trash Polka

This popular style combines black and red colors which create different images. They may be done with a touch of realism, abstract or geometric styles and placed anywhere.

The zest of this style is that it may be combined almost with all styles, which makes it a perfect choice for creative and daring people. This style features tattoos of music instruments to show passion for music and cheerful attitude towards life.

Trash Polka Design


Tribal Sytle

This style incorporates plain details and tribal motifs and is loved by many people. The designs are derived from the cultural traditions of tribes. They are done in black and gray shades and don’t have any additional details. Spirals, lines, triangles are common designs.

Tribal Tattoos



Totally black tattoos put on a large body areas are called Blackwork Tattoos. Thick and thin black lines are interconnected and they create a holistic picture. A common design is Mandala. It means the cycle of life and indicates the connection between the person and the outer world.




Dot Work

In this style, all images are done with the help of dots. Shading is created through the distance between dots. In most cases, geometric figures are displayed in this style. The most common figure is a triangle.

A triangle is a sacred figure in many cultures. Due to the fact and it has three corners, it is associated with Trinities. For Christians, a Trinity is the unity of the Son, the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

The triangle in Christianity is linked to the Eye of Providence. In Celtic culture, this symbol brings happiness and love to the marriage. It has the meaning of creativity and power.

Dot Work


This style doesn’t have clear outlines, it imitates the brush strokes and uses the colors of the watercolor palette. The most popular designs are animal faces, feathers, and flowers.



Now that we have been over your choices, here are some tips on how to choose the right tattoo!

 How To Choose The Right Tattoo

Think it over

Have you chosen the right design? Wait a year and think about it, don’t get a tattoo on a whim. If after 12 months you are sure about it, then go for it. Don’t listen to other people. Choose the design that you like and which has a significant meaning to you.


Choose a good tattoo artist

A tattoo is not only the adornment of your body, it is the reflection of your inner world so choose carefully. You should learn as much as possible about the tattoo artist, look through his portfolio, and read feedback. On top of that, choose the artist who specializes in the tattoo style you’ve chosen.


Choose a tattoo design

Let your imagination flow and think about the style, which reflects your thoughts and ideas. Explore as many designs as possible, think outside the box and find something exceptional which will have a deep meaning only for you.

You should choose colors, which flatter your skin tone. Also, talk to the artist as the professional will help you to pick the best combination.

Before getting the tattoo in a foreign language, check its meaning first. Also, be aware of the common meanings of the design you’ve chosen.

Choose the placement

Some people choose the body area, which is not usually seen by other people. Others choose highly visable tattoos.

Before choosing the place, consider the level of pain. If you have a high pain tolerance, you may consider getting a tattoo on wrists, knees, the neck, the head, the spine, the inner or outer thigh, or feet.

If you have a low pain threshold, then get the tattoo on shoulders, calves, forearms, or the lower back.


Pay attention to preparation and follow aftercare recommendations

The preparation for the tattooing session is as important as the process of tattooing. You should eat before the session and take some candies with you. Do not drink alcohol and do not take painkillers.

As for the aftercare, you should keep your tattoo wrapped for 24 hours. Then wash the tattoo twice a week to minimize the risk of the appearance of bacteria, but do not scrub the tattoo. Never expose a brand new tattoo to the sun and always give it enough moistening.


Think carefully before getting a tattoo, explore tattoo designs and meanings, find a good artist and then get a beautiful adornment of your body.

We hoped this help you if you are interested in a tattoo! Let us know your favorites in the comments below!