Tattoo Trends Through The Decades

Updated: Apr 25

Tattoo trends change with the decades and we’re excited to take a look back over the history of the tattoo.

1940’s - Color in Tattoos In the 1940s tattoo artists started adding colors to their designs. Bold and colorful designs were increasingly popular but nautical and military-themed designs were prominent. 1950’s - The Masculine Tattoo If you were a bad boy in the 1950s you had a tattoo. This decade decided that a tattoo proved their masculinity. Chest tattoos were especially popular in this time period. 1960’s - The Decade of Lyle Tuttle While fear of hepatitis traveled through the tattoo world in the ’60s, that didn’t stop many from inking their choices on their bodies. World-famous tattoo artist Lyle Tuttle hailed from this decade and made many a celebrity happy with their tattoo choices. 1970s - Self Expression Up until this decade, the majority of people who were inked were military men and sailors. The 70s saw more “regular’ people getting inked to show self-expression through the arts. Symbols of peace were especially popular in this decade. 1980s - Big and Bold Big and bold hair, clothes, and music is what was hot in the 80s so why would it be any different with tattoos? Large and colorful designs were a hot commodity, with full arm tattoos being increasingly popular. 1990s - The Copy Cat Tats Barbed wire arms, Chinese symbols, suns … if a celebrity put it on their body in the 90s, people flocked in droves to be the next in line. 2000’s - Back Tats This decade was when tattoos on the lower backs exploded. Butterflies were the most popular, but many designs and symbols carried over from the 90s. It was where people chose to put the designs that changed more than the designs. 2010s - Trendy is Trending A hot trend in the 2010s was trends. Think Rianna’s underboob tattoo. Because Rianna was trending, her tattoo (and the placement of) was trendy. Small finger tattoos were also a hot trend during this decade. Like all things, times evolve, fads come and go, and trends change. Tattoos are no different. What will 2020 bring us? Well, nostalgic pixelated art seems to be on the rise. We’ll just have to see if it catches on. ​