Tattoo Trends for 2017

Tattoo Trends for 2017

Tattoo Trends for 2017

Tattoo trends last for a little while, tattoos last forever.

As an artist you are probably known for a signature style and look for your body art creations, but that doesn't stop the customer from bringing their ideas to the table. As an artist it is important to do what you do best, but as a business person you must also balance that with customer wishes.

To do this, you must be prepared for whatever request walks through the door. As soon as you got used to the influx of geometrical designs and double exposure requests from last season, 2017 will bring new trends – and your customers are going to want to be trending.

In preparation, we have compiled a list of trends we will most likely see in 2017. If you know what to expect you can be ready for the "conversation."

Freehand Artistry

This is one trend for 2017 that’s both interesting and worthwhile. Freehand tattoos mix artistry with traditional tattooing. Many high-quality, professional tattoo artists are working without a net to create incredible tattoo artwork that permanently captures a single moment in time on the skin.

Tattoo customers are more and more concerned with getting ink that’s truly unique. That’s why freehand is trending – it’s the ultimate one of a kind tattoo style. As tattoo artists become more skilled at their craft, look for this trend to continue in the years to come.

Tattoo by: Jay Freestyle

Morphing Tattoos

Two become one in morphing tattoos, a tattooing trend that you can expect to see a lot more of in 2017. Often these tattoos are very personal, adding in a passion that the individual has with something beautiful or striking. These kinds of tattoos tend to be deeply symbolic, but they can also be a simple design choice.

As with freehand, one of the driving forces here is the "unique factor." Plenty of people have rose tattoos. Plenty of people have clock tattoos. How many people have morphing clock/rose hybrid tattoos? More of them will in 2017, that’s almost certain.

Tattoo by: Andres Acosta

Complex Geometry

We’re not talking basic squares and triangles here – look for intricate geometric patterns that create unreal shapes or invoke natural imagery. Think origami. We expect more color, as well, in geometric designs this year, even in subtle ways.

Patterns help people to make sense of the world around them, and geometric tattoos offer a calming sense of control in the midst of chaos. Geometric designs are subtle and delicate, striking to look at, and scaled to any size that’s desired.

Tattoo by: Nissaco

New School Surrealism

It might well be the uncertainty in the world right now, but there’s a lot of escapism going on in the world of tattooing. That’s a trend that we expect to continue in 2017 tattoos.

Once again, we’re seeing the "unique factor" influence this tattoo trend. New School Surrealism offers tattoos that are so far out there that they’re one of a kind - think of a brightly colored fish sitting in a fishing boat; fishing (did your mind blow?). These pieces tend to have dark subject matter and can even be a bit depressing, but often are mixed with bright colors that pop right off the skin. It’s that juxtaposition that generates the distinctive feeling that goes with New School Surrealism.

Tattoo by: Kelly Doty

Traditional for Women

Though Traditional tattooing was once the domain of the guys, women are increasingly opting for large format old school designs. We’re expecting this trend to be even bigger in 2017 than it was last year. Women are changing up the placement of Traditional tattoos, moving them from the bicep to the belly, neck, and forearm. Bold and colorful, Traditional tattoos make a major statement that’s hard to ignore. It’s going to be hard to ignore in 2017 so start creating your "DAD" in a heart design.

Tattoo by: Myke Chambers

Blackwork Tattoos

Black Work tattoo's have been on the rise, with black work ranging from dot-work, realism, or solid work to cover an entire appendage. The idea that only a black against the color of skin would be all one needed for an intricate, personal, and awe-inspiring piece of art blew the minds who saw them for the first time. Whether an abstract image or a beautiful piece of work revealing geometric designs, flowers, or even portraits, well-performed black work has been in high demand since 2015, and don't plan on seeing it slow down.

Tattoo by: oddtattooer

Tiny Tattoos

This is a trend that’s been going for a few years, but it’s going to stay big in 2017 for both women and men. Placement of these tattoos on the wrists is going to stay, and the minimalism that has long driven the tiny tattoo trend is going to stick around.

Again this year, look for black line small scale tattoos that fit on wrists, fingers, and behind the ears. Script will remain popular this year in tiny tattoos. The change that we’re expecting for 2017 is in the addition of pops of color to the outline. Tiny tattoos will be even more organic this year, and just as easily hidden.

Photo by: stattoos


Subtle and artistic, watercolor tattoos are beautiful and striking. Combined with black-line tattoos or used as an enhancement to more clear images, watercolor can give a beautiful impression that’s unique and stunning.

There are legitimate concerns with watercolor tattooing regarding fading and weathering over the years. Don’t expect those kinds of warnings to slow this tattoo trend down in 2017, so it is something you will want to discuss with the client.

Tattoo by: Aga Yadou


Nothing is more minimalist than a single line, and minimalism is still in for 2017. Visually striking, they’re a major challenge for artists, since there isn't any room for error when doing single line tattoos. They do allow for plenty of self-expression while still being subtle and beautiful.

This year we expect to see single-line tattoos break out of the black and blue box, into new colors as well as moving off of the wrist to other parts of the body.

Tattoo by: Mo Ganji

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