Tattoo Trends: Past Decade

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Top Tattoo Trends 2010-2014

Top tattoo trends from 2010 to 2014, in order, are fine-art replicas, lettering, glow in the dark tattoos, finger tattoos, and the infinity symbol.


  • One popular trend for tattoos in 2010 was fine-art replicas. This trend was motivated by the advancements in tattooing technology which made replicating watercolors and other works of art in great detail possible.
  • Some examples of shops providing these tattoos included Colorwheel Tattoos in Shillington, PA, No Ka Oi Tiki Tattoo in Philadelphia, PA, and Eddie's Tattoo, also in Philadelphia, PA.


  • Text tattoos, or lettering as it is sometimes referred to, were a big trend in 2011.
  • This trend was in part popularized by celebrities like Demi Lovato who had two words tattooed to her wrists in 2011, and was mentioned as notable by tattoo artists like Rachel Kolar from True Blue Tattoo in Austin, Texas.


  • UV tattoos are popular among those that go to raves or nightclubs regularly, where the tattoos will most likely be seen under the special lighting common in those locations.
  • According to the American Tattoo Society, they are also popular for those that may want to hide their tattoos under regular circumstances.


  • The trend really caught on after celebrity Cara Delevingne got a finger tattoo of a lion's face in 2013.
  • Tattoo artist Kevin Paul, who commonly tattoos celebrities, noted the finger tattoo trend.


  • One group for which this was extremely popular was teen girls. It was made more popular thanks to sites like Tumblr, where girls could share pictures of the tattoo.
  • The tattoo was representative of a sisterhood or "everlasting bond", meaning girls usually got the tattoo together with a sister or very close girlfriend.

Research Strategy

Trends for each year were chosen as top based on their mention in at least two reputable sources.
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Top Tattoo Trends 2015-2019

Top tattoo trends for each year from 2015 to 2019 were birds/bats/wings (2015), minimalism (2016), watercolor (2017), geometric (2018), and fine-line tattoos (2019).

Top U.S. Tattoo Trends From 2015-2019


  • As one source described, "2015 marked the year when many of us got inked with birds and feathers."
  • We determined that this was a tattoo trend in 2015 because it was expressly described as such by at least two, reputable sources (Body Shock and Meredith Corporation).
  • Groups that manifested this trend were men and athletes.




  • Geometric tattoos (including small ones) were a top tattoo trend in 2018.
  • As the name implies, geometric tattoos are ones that feature geometric shapes and are often drawn in a simple, clean appearance. Some geometric tattoos strictly involve shapes (such as overlapping triangles), while others use a combination of geometric shapes to create a different type of image such as a rose.
  • We determined that this was a top tattoo trend in 2018 because it was expressly described as such by at least two, reputable sources (Dr. Woo, a prominent tattoo artist for celebrities, and Tattooaholic). As Dr. Woo said at the time, "[s]mall geometric tattoos are making their way to the forefront of mainstream tattoo culture once again."
  • Groups that manifested this trend were celebrities and young people.


  • As the name implies, fine-line tattoos are simplistic and understated, as they literally feature thin lines drawn in any shape or image the person wants. The face became a popular location for getting fine-line tattoos.

Research Strategy

We identified the above tattoo trends for the respective years by looking for articles about that specific topic. We ensured that each trend is indeed a trend by finding each expressly described as such by at least two, reputable sources (listed above for each trend). We identified groups that manifested each trend by looking for articles from reputable sources about the types of people that each trend was popular among. Lastly, we ensured that our findings are specific to the U.S. by only using sources based in the U.S.