The Most Popular Tattoo Designs

Whether you are covered in ink, or still thinking of what to get for your first tattoo, you are probably familiar with the many different designs that exist. The content below not only lists out some of the world’s most popular tattoo designs, but it also serves as a guide for those looking to get some ideas.

1. Tribal



Serving as one of the most sought out, and highly recommended designs, Tribal tattoos are extremely popular, and a great choice for those looking to get an arm sleeve. 

Though Tribal tattoos are rather unoriginal, they are worn by many people all over the world, and since they are so easy to trace over, Tribal tattoos are rather simple for artists to draw out, and rarely require too many sessions to obtain. Though certain people dislike Tribal tattoos due to the overall simplicity, and unoriginality of them, they are still found in many tattoo books, sought out by many people, and given by many tattoo artists.

2. Traditional



Much like Tribal designs, traditional tattoos are very popular. In fact, many people swear by this design, and will never get anything else. 

Traditional tattoo artists are able to incorporate incredible imagery in a rather simplistic way, while also making sure the design they implement is extremely bold. By simply outlining each tattoo in the very precise manner that they do, these tattoos look incredibly original, clean and bold when finished. Though many traditional fans prefer their ink to be black and white, color-filled traditional style tattoos do exist, and do look great if done correctly.

3. Spiritual



Spiritual tattoos are some of the most frequently seen, especially amongst religious individuals. However, just because your tattoo is spiritual, doesn’t necessarily mean it is fully religion-based. In fact, many powerful symbols, such as the lotus, the dove, the triquetra, and even the semicolon, have spiritual meanings to them as well.

Though many of these symbols are difficult to fill up an entire human arm with (for those getting a Spiritually designed sleeve done), experienced tattoo artists are able to load up the gaps with color, shading, and sometimes even spiritual quotes as well.

4. Sailor Jerry’s


Sailor Jerry

Serving as one of the most popular tattoos/designs in the world today, and also one of the oldest and most respected styles, Sailor Jerry tattoos are a great choice for those looking to get some ink. Dealing with topics, and symbolistic imagery such as Swallows, Anchors, Sharks, Death, and Military, Sailor Jerry tattoos also present individuals with a surplus of different options.

Something that is unique, and very distinguishable about Sailor Jerry tattoo designs, is that most of the gaps are filled up with small, basic dots. Though this may sound like somewhat of a cop-out for tattoo artists, these small, solid dots look great, and are strategically placed throughout the skin, in order to give the tattoo a rather simplistic, yet high-quality look.

5. Dragon



Dragon tattoos have a wide-range of meaning behind them, and make for great tattoo designs. According to the Men’s Tattoo Ideas website, while some dragon tattoos symbolize greed, power, and intellect, others symbolize duality, dominion, and wisdom. Additionally, since Dragons are considered by many to be magical, infinitely powerful creatures, dragon-based tattoos can also symbolize limitless potential.

6. Oriental



Though some think these popular tattoos are strictly for the Japanese, Oriental based tattoo designs can be found on people of all races. According to the official Tattoodo website, symbols such as koi fish, geishas, dragons, tigers, snakes, and waves can be used when designing an oriental tattoo, and each of them represents something different. These popular tattoos also consist of an above average amount of color, causing them to look more realistic than most other designs.

7. Ocean/Water Oriented


Ocean/Water Oriented

For those who enjoy the beach, the ocean, and the nice weather, ocean/water oriented tattoo designs may be of high interest. Since ocean/water-based tattoo designs consist mostly of just bright blue water and sand, they are rather easy for tattoo artists to draw out, and rarely require an excessive amount of sessions in order to completed.

Ocean and water oriented sleeve tattoos are often found on surfers, vacationers, and beach goers, due to the care-free type of look and meaning that they give off. In fact, the only individuals who should refrain from getting ocean/water-based sleeve tattoos, are those who reside in cold areas, since the tattoo would look rather out of place.

8. Maori Tattoo Designs


Maori Tattoo Designs

Maori Tattoos are created through the repetition of prominent bold lines, and designs (specific to the Maori style) that are rarely seen in other tattoos. Mostly seen on men, these popular tattoos symbolize strength and the will to fight. In fact, many soldiers, MMA fighters, and wrestlers sport Maori tattoos for this exact reason.

9. Portraits



Though getting one of your significant other at a young age many not be too great of an idea, portraits are very popular tattoos, meaningful to fans or those who have lost a loved one. While the many portrait tattoos are of icons, such as Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Muhammad Ali, and Martin Luther King, others are done of parents, relatives, or loved ones who have passed away.

10. Fairy Tattoo Designs


Fairy Tattoo Designs

Though they are not often found on men, Fairy tattoo designs are incredibly popular amongst women. Since these popular tattoos symbolize youth, magic, wonder, and magical elements, they are also a huge hit with those longing to maintain their inner-child.


Though all of the tattoo sleeve designs listed above are visually pleasing, and very well done, it all comes down to your personal preference. Additionally, since there are so many different designs to choose from, it is important not to limit yourself to these choices. In fact, many people who go with the first design they like, or the first idea that they get, end up regretting it in the long run, which is why taking your time is so beneficial, and highly recommended when getting a  tattoo.


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