90 Neo-Traditional Tattoo Ideas – The New Trend Is Taking Over

2016 was a great year for the development and growth of the neo-traditional tattoo trend. Men from all over the world have adopted this trend and are continually searching for new, innovative tattoos that would set them apart from other guys.

If you are here to discover more about this trend of neo-traditional tattoo and you are eager to find the right tattoo for your own personality, you have landed on the right page. Keep reading to find out more about traditional vs neo-traditional tattoos, discover the best technique & motives of neo-traditional and find out which type of tattoo suits your needs.


Traditional vs Neo-Traditional Tattoo

Despite the misconception that traditional and neo-traditional are similar, these two tattoo styles are quite different. While traditional tattoos feature solid colors and dark, heavy lines that come together in certain patterns, neo-traditional tattoos use the same lines and styles, but with many more new colors and patterns.

Traditional tattoos come from a time when the designs were simple and the color palette was limited, consisting of mainly green, red, yellow, blue and brown. The tattoo culture in the past has not yet gone mainstream and has not yet managed to get the credibility it has today. Instead of being considered a fine art, tattoos were associated with rough guys, sailors, drug lords, gangsters, and inmates. Most traditional tattoos were not custom but were standardized.

Neo-traditional tattoos were born out of a desire to remember the past while looking forward to the future. While the traditional style has been around for more than a century, the neo-traditional style has been alive for around a decade or so.

Neo-traditional tattoos are generally more diverse, including a wider range of colors, imagery and designs. Also known as a “purely American tattoo style”, neo-traditionalism includes objects like hourglasses, candles, diamonds, skulls, coffins and lighthouses. When talking about neo-traditionalism, it is important to not confound it with new-school, which is an exaggerated, cartoonish style preferred by youths. Neo-traditional is a revival of the old-school, a modern celebration of the origins.

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A Short History of the Neo-Traditional Tattoo

In the past, artists such as Herbert Hoffman, Amund Dietzel or Bert Grimm were the promoters of the old school tattoos, back in the 1900’s. Some of their favorite motives were eagles, horses, ships, roses and daggers. Paul Fulton, Cassandra Frannces, Florian Santus, Paul Dobleman, Moira Ramone and Maura Quaresima have taken the old school trend to a whole new level, designing wild, color-infused tattoos that brought a new style to the market, where tradition meets creativity.

Back in the 90s, the biomechanical trend started to grow exponentially, taking over the traditional one. The tattoos resembled bio-mechanical parts that were literally fused with the human flesh. The illusion was real – these tattoos looked like being carved in an actual body. Of course, we also have to mention the Japanese tattoos, which are unique in the history of mankind. Some of their themes include tigers, demons, dragons, masks and other similar designs.

After 2000, most tattoos have morphed into realism. From the perfect reproduction of a picture to portraits and custom pieces, almost everyone went with realistic tattoos. Andrey Lukovnikov and Simone Pfaff are two promoters of this unique style. Soon after that, the neo-traditional style was born, bringing several other unique tattoo styles along with it: illustrative geometrical, sketchy, 3D, engraving, photoshop and lettering.

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Traits of Neo-Traditional Tattoos

The neo-traditional trend is a true sign of evolution. The subject matter pool is basically endless, with numerous motives and designs. Of course, each artist is different, coming with his or her own style and using their own color palettes. However, there are certain aspects or traits of neo-traditional tattoos that can be found at all artists.

First of all, neo-traditional is all about the bold lines, with various definition and weight, complemented by crisp, accurate images. All neo-traditional tattoos have a strong texture and use a certain amount of shading. They are the exact opposite of blurry. Images are crisp and the message is clear.

Secondly, new traditional tattoos distinguish themselves from any other style introducing new, unexpected styles. Every single tattoo can send a clear message and can spike the interest of the viewer. In simple terms, having a neo-traditional tattoo can definitely draw other people’s attention and can put you in the spotlight.

Additionally, the new style has introduced new aesthetics. For instance, styles such as water colors are introduced as main subjects. Every single object or idea can be the main focus. Hence the diversification and the variation of neo-traditionalism in tattoos.

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The Neo-Traditional Tattoo – Techniques & Motives

In 2016, neo-traditional tattoos are extremely widespread, not just in the United States, but all around the world. Here are some of the most impressive techniques and motives used in neo-traditional tattoos:

Hourglass: the hourglass displays the negative side of death. Although scary, this motive is a source of inspiration for the wisest of us, enabling us to make the most out of each day and treasure the time we were given.

Floral compass: the compass is a famous traditional American motive. By introducing a very colorful flower in the background, the old becomes new and new motive is born.

Sugar skull: the neo sugar skull: this intriguing motive could become a beautiful motive and could express your deeper feelings. Of course, most girls might not love you for going with it.

The portrait: this is one of the latest motives in neo-traditionalism. It usually takes a very skilled artist to draw. If you get one of these, consider yourself lucky.

Having a neo-traditional tattoo is definitely something that can boost your self-esteem and make you some new great friends. Capitalize now on this amazing trend and choose your favorite tattoo that inspires you to live each day at its fullest. Whatever your choice, rest assured that your new neo-traditional tattoo will make a great impact in the society.

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