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What Is A Neo Traditional Tattoo?

What Are Neo Traditional Tattoos?

When old-school style meets new techniques, that’s what a neo-traditional tattoo is. But there is a little more to it than that!

Neo traditional tattoos represent the evolution of beloved techniques like the bold outlines and colourful palette of old-school tattoos. Where they differ is with regard to the new, intricate details added, and the wider range of subjects portrayed. New formulas of tattoo ink are also frequently used, which allows for a much greater colour range to be inked.

There are certain markers to look for that distinguish neo traditional tattoos from classical styles, including:

  • A Vibrant Colour Palette – Neo traditional tattoos take the classic bold colour palette a step further with a wider colour scheme, and more room for artistic expression.
  • Elements of Realism – Realistic shading, lifelike textures, and 3D effects are distinctive features of neo traditional tattoos. Traditional tattoos tend to be simplistic, or flatter in form.
  • More Motifs – The motifs, symbols, and subjects in neo traditional tattoos are much more diverse than in tattoos of the past! Animals, portraits, fantasy concepts; while the nautical themes of the past are still popular, they aren’t dominant.
  • Modern Design Elements – Along the lines of increased subject matter, neo traditional tattoos also incorporate more modern design elements – this could include references to contemporary artwork, graphic design, or pop culture. Nothing new is off limits.
  • A Clear Narrative – Neo traditional tattoos are great at storytelling, and unlike many of their predecessors, they present a clear and specific narrative. This is because different elements are welcomed into the design of neo traditional tattoos, providing more opportunities for an engaging composition.

What Are The Types Of Neo Traditional Tattoos?

Now that we’ve covered the question of “what are neo traditional tattoos”, we can explore the technique further. No two neo traditional tattoos are the same, and this goes for all tattoos – the application and design is different every time, even if the difference is slight. But if you want to ink a neo traditional design on your body, it’s essential that you know about the different types within the neo traditional tattoo technique.

These types include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Geometric – Geometric neo traditional tattoos may include striking, sharp shapes and intersecting patterns that create a visually interesting, almost mathematical tattoo!
  • Nautical – A new spin on a traditional theme, nautical neo traditional tattoos implement maritime imagery – such as swallows or anchors – with brighter colours and more detail.
  • Abstract – Abstract neo traditional tattoos keep the bold lines and bright colours, but with the addition of brushstroke-like techniques and watercolour finishes.
  • Dotwork – A distinct type of neo traditional tattoo is dotwork. This is a contemporary technique that is time-intensive, although the final result is often highly detailed and appealing.

History And Influences Of Neo Traditional Tattooing

The history of neo traditional tattooing dates back to a growing European interest in Japanese art in the 20th century. The flowing lines and organic shapes found amongst traditional Japanese tattoos combined with European and American art nouveau movements over time, which, by the 1970s, had evolved into the beautiful artistry of neo traditional tattooing!

Neo traditional tattoos are heavily involved with American folk art, and the bold American culture in general. Today, neo traditional tattoos are still very common in the US.

Neo Traditional Tattoo Ideas

There are a hundred different neo traditional tattoo ideas for tattoo lovers to implement on their own body!

We cover some of the most popular tattoo ideas in a neo traditional style for you below. But don’t worry, if you’re not ready to invest in another tattoo, you could always consider purchasing a tattoo-inspired hoodie or tattoo-inspired t-shirts from Broken Society. This way, you can wear an eye-catching neo traditional tattoo without the healing time or damage to your bank account!

  • Anchors
  • Birds
  • Roses
  • Pinups
  • Portraits
  • Natural Landscapes
  • Powerful Animals like Bears, Foxes and Wolves

Neo Traditional Tattoo Sleeve Ideas

Are you interested in neo traditional tattoo sleeve ideas for your future ink? Here are some designs we recommend:

A Symbolic Journey
With meaningful symbols like locks, keys, and compasses, you can chart your life’s journey through the beautiful format of a neo-traditional tattoo sleeve.

A Snapshot of Space
Lean into the ultra-modern elements of neo traditional tattoos and consider a space-themed sleeve. This could include planets, asteroids, and other cosmic elements colliding!

A Fantasy World
Mystical themes work really well with the bold outlines and colours of neo traditional tattoos. You could opt for a tattoo of a dragon, unicorn, elf, or even a fantasy forest. When it comes to a neo traditional tattoo design, the choices are endless.

There you have it – just some of the ways in which neo traditional tattoos are seriously inspiring, for both long-time tattoo enthusiasts and relative newcomers. Why not peruse the Broken Society range of tattoo-inspired gifts today, for even more of your favourite tattoo aesthetics incorporated into all manner of products?