Nicholas Solomon Discusses the Evolution of Tattoo Styles over the Decades

By: Karishhma Ashwin | April 23, 2021 |

Nicholas Solomon Discusses the Evolution of Tattoo Styles over the Decades

Tattooing human skin goes all the way back to 3370 B.C., as we’ve found tattoos on the bodies of mummies from this era. Over time, the aesthetics of tattoos have changed significantly as our culture and aesthetics evolve. Nicholas “The Tailor” Solomon is an expert tattoo artist in Philadelphia. Here are his impressions of tattoo styles over the years.



Tattoos emerged as a form of self expression in the 80s. Some of the most popular designs were tribal tattoos, Celtic knots, and pieces with thick black lines. Colorful designs were also starting to come into fashion. In addition, new school tattoos came into fashion, which featured cartoon-ish designs that were new to the landscape. “I think this is where people started to get very creative with tattoos,” Solomon said.


Tattoos were most often associated with men until the 1990s. In the nineties, more feminine, delicate pieces like flowers, butterflies, hearts, and stars became common. This is partially because more female celebrities were sporting them. “While some of these styles may seem a little ‘basic’ today, they helped push tattoos into the mainstream. They made women realize that body art was for them, too.” This is also the time when Chinese and other Asian lettering came into fashion, which has mostly died down today due to concerns about cultural appropriation.

2000s to today

Tattoos went truly mainstream starting in the 2000s, and they’ve grown even more in popularity in recent years. Proper sanitizing practices became the norm, so tattoo parlors weren’t viewed as “shady” anymore. Some recent trends include watercolor, thin lines, and biomechanical. “I specialize in thin lines, and I think they’re about to blow up in the scene.”

Tattoos have evolved a lot in recent decades. It’s hard to know what the newest trend will be, but Nicholas “The Tailor” Solomon can’t wait to try out new styles.


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