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Tattoos: What’s Trending and How to Choose the Right Design for You

Bay Ink Tattoo

October 24, 2023

Trending Tattoos 2023: From Neo-Traditional to Minimalist

We’ve all seen the #tattooregret memes. But how do you avoid becoming one?

Much like the ebb and flow of pop culture and fashion, tattoo trends are constantly changing, making it challenging to select a design that will stand the test of time. While the choice is ultimately up to you, we can guide you in finding the right artist, tell you what designs are trending, and help you make a choice that aligns with your individuality and personal style.

It All Starts with the Right Artist

A skilled tattoo artist will ensure that your design is executed with precision, attention to detail, and just the right artistic flair.

Begin your search by asking friends for recommendations. Read online reviews and browse portfolios. Visit several studios to assess their professionalism, cleanliness, and ambiance. This will give you a better sense of the environment where the work will be done.

Also, schedule consultations with potential artists to discuss your design and ensure they understand (and can execute) your vision.

What’s Trending?

If you want to stay in the loop with the latest tattoo trends, here’s what we’re seeing:


Traditional tattoos originated in the United States in the early 19th and 20th centuries, but they’ve stood the test of time. You can easily spot these tattoos because they use iconic imagery like anchors, pin-up girls, and nautical symbols. They typically favor bold outlines, limited colors, solid and flat fills, and embrace simplicity and minimalism.

Neo-traditional tattoos are a modern twist on a classic design. They blend the classic elements of traditional style with contemporary techniques, color palettes, and subject matter.

Unlike traditional, neo-traditional tattoos favor bold, well-defined lines, vivid colors, and shading and make a bold visual impact. Neo-traditional is the perfect blend of modern and vintage, so we suspect they will stand the test of time.


Small tattoos have been trending for a while, and we don’t see them going out of favor for a few reasons.

First, they are ideal starter tattoos that require minimal commitment. People hesitant to get (and pay for) large tattoos often opt for something small to test the water. Second, micro tattoos are more discreet, making them ideal for people who prefer to keep their ink to themselves!

While small, microrealistic tattoos contain intricate details. The artist aims to replicate real-world objects, portraits, or scenes with remarkable detail and precision. A good artist will use fine lines and expert shading techniques to achieve high levels of realism. In short, microrealistic tattoos are big gifts that come in small packages.


Like microrealism, minimalist tattoos remain popular for their subtlety and elegance. They’re great starter tattoos.

Minimalist tattoos use clean lines, simple shapes, and uncluttered designs. That simplicity makes them timeless. Plus, they’re understated. Minimalist tattoos can convey profound messages without any intricate detail, making them appealing to folks who want to “say a lot with a little.”

And because they are minimal, these tattoos can be placed almost anywhere, including small and delicate areas like the wrist, collarbone, or behind the ear. Minimalist tattoos typically require less maintenance and touch-ups over time—so they are cost-effective, take less time to ink, and continue to maintain vibrancy over the long haul.

Your Vision, Our Ink

Ready to discover tattoo options that defy trends and stand the test of time? Look no further. With convenient locations in Bay Park, Hillcrest, and La Jolla, our experienced tattoo artists are here to turn your vision into an enduring work of art. Contact us now to schedule your consultation!

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