Tattoos have been around for thousands of years, and we’ve used them for every reason: pain relief, therapy, to mark social, religious, and politics status, or simply just for fashion and self expression.

Today, most of us have one, and depending on what tattoo you have, we can probably tell when you got it!



1910s – 1950s: Soldiers, Sailors, and Swallows were popular. During this time it was likely for sailors to have tattoos to indicate where they’d been, but post WWII it was trendy to have pinup girls, anchors, and patriotic symbols as tattoos.

Done @sorrymomtattoobraunschweig

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1960s – 1970s: Skulls, wizards, castles, fairies, etc.

*JACK Fact* Janis Joplin had a Florentine tattooed on her wrist by famous tattoo artist Lyle Tuttle which ended up on the cover of Rolling Stone. This launched a new trend in tattooing in the ’70s, making having a tattoo almost like being part of the “cool kids club”.

@miamiinklovehate small but fun

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1980s: By the time the ’80s rolled around, there was a breakthrough in technology, advancing the fine art movement in the industry. This is when tribal prints, and intricate, fine-detailed tattoos became popular. This is also the time when custom pieces took hold.


1990s-2000s: by the time we hit the ’90s everyone had a tattoo, and there are some memorable trends from this time. Think dolphins, tribal suns, Celtic knots, and butterflies. Other widely seen tattoos include biomechanical ones (where you can ‘see’ inside the human body), and New School ink that uses bright colours, pop culture references and are often cartoon-like.

Just got done @lovehateasheville #asheville #tattoos @mikivialetto #tattoodo

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Some of us at JACK have tattoos, like Kenny, who fits into the New School trend with a tattoo of a slice of melty pizza on his forearm!

Kenny Tattoo


White ink and geometric tattoos are trendy today, but as for the future, we are likely to see more “regret free ink” that can be easily removed, and “tech tats” that can tell health stats about your body or vibrate with your cellphone!


Do you have any tattoos? And based on this timeline, is your ink indicative of a certain decade or trend?

Let us know on Twitter or Facebook! We’d love to see your ink!

Filed under: Afternoons with Kenny Jones, History of Tattoos, Kenny, Kenny on JACK, Tattoo trends, Tattoos