Tattoo Terminology You Should Know – Best Tattoo Artists Toronto

tattooed women holding leaves

There is a lot of terminology that is used by tattoo artists and it’s important that you become familiar with it before heading in for your tattoo. When you can understand the lingo of the tattooing industry you won’t have to continually interrupt the artist that is doing the tattoo asking what certain words mean. Expand your knowledge of tattooing by reading through the terminology that is commonly used in tattoo studios.

Top Tattoo Artists in Toronto

The top tattoo artists in Toronto are familiar with these words and use them commonly. Anyone that is interested in getting a tattoo cannot only learn about the terminology that these tattoo artists use but learn more about the industry in general by reading through this list. The terms listed below range from information about the tools used to design techniques and much more.

Toronto Tattoo Artists

Here are the terms you need to know that Toronto tattoo artists commonly use:

Aftercare – A new tattoo needs specialized care to ensure proper healing of the area and to prevent an infection. Toronto tattoo artist will provide you with specific instructions for aftercare that you must follow. The aftercare recommended will be based on what part of the body has been tattooed and what type of tattoo it is.

Antiseptic – This is a product used by tattoo artists that is applied before doing any work. It will remove any contaminants such as viruses and bacteria on the skin. Rubbing alcohol is commonly used after the area has been washed with a gentle skin cleanser.

Apprentice – Many tattoo studios have apprentices working with them. They are being supervised by established artists and learning the craft under the guidance of a professional. It can take years for an apprentice to become a fully-fledged tattoo artist and be able to work on his own.

Autoclave – All of the equipment except for the needles are sterilized in an autoclave. This machine uses a combination of high pressure and steam to sterilize the equipment before and after tattooing. The needles used, on the other hand, have never been used before and once they have been used they will be thrown out.

Biomechanical – This is a tattooing style that is commonly known as “biomech” in the tattoo industry. The tattoo is usually drawn freehand and will often resemble a cyborg or a robot. The piece is designed based on the body flow of the client.

Black and Grey Black and grey is another common tattoo style that only uses water and black ink. A darker black is used for the outline of the tattoo while the black ink is watered down to create grey highlighting and shading. There are also pre-made washes in grey available for this style.

Body Suit – This is a nickname given to somebody that has the majority of the body covered with tattoos.

Canvas – Canvas is a term that is commonly used by the best tattoo artists Toronto and it refers to the skin. Before any work is done, the skin can be considered to be a blank canvas.

Carving – This is another word for tattooing. If you hear the tattoo artist say the word, don’t worry. You are going to be tattooed, not carved.

Clean Room – This is a closed office space or room in a tattoo studio where the equipment is sterilized and cleaned. This is where the autoclave and other cleaning materials would be kept.

Cover-up Tattoo – A cover-up tattoo completely covers another older tattoo that is no longer wanted by the owner or has faded. This is an art-form in itself and you should be looking for experienced Toronto tattoo artists to get it done.

Custom Tattoo – This is a design that is one-of-a-kind and created just for you. If you have a photo of something you’d like to have tattooed, bring it along with you for your appointment. Otherwise, you can ask the tattoo artist to create something customized for you if you like his style of artistry.

Dermis – You may hear a tattoo artists refer to the dermis and this is the second layer of skin cells that lie below the first layer, the epidermis. A permanent tattoo is created by injecting ink directly into the dermis since this layer takes longer to rejuvenate than the epidermis.

Dot Work – If you are looking for an abstract design then you will choose this one. Lines are more commonly seen but some tattoo artists can use dots with different sizes to make a design. They are often seen in small tattoos and are commonly placed on the hand.

Fine Line – This is a trending design form where fine lines are created with a single needle. You’ll see this style in minimalistic tattoos and delicate tattoos. It is also commonly seen in typewritten or handwritten tattoos.

Flash Tattoo – A flash tattoo is completely opposite from a custom tattoo. This type of tattoo is pre-designed and you may see them on Internet sites or even in a book of tattoos at the studio.

Flat Tattoo Needles – These are needles that appear in a flat line on a bar and they are commonly used by the top tattoo artists Toronto. They are usually used to create geometric tattoos.

Fresh Tattoo – This term refers to a new tattoo that hasn’t fully healed.

Ornamental Tattoo – The ornamental tattoo style is based on a colour scheme, body flow, geometric shapes and a decorative design versus an actual subject.

Pneumatic Tattoo Machine – This machine uses air compressors that make the needles go up and down. Rotary and coil tattoo machines are also commonly used.

Realism – Realism is the art of replicating a photo and is often used for portraits in black and grey. It can look extremely real when you use top tattoo artists Toronto to get it done.

Saturation – This is the amount of colour and ink that has successfully absorbed into the skin.

Scratcher – This is a nickname for people that are doing tattoos on the side without any formal training or apprenticing. They are not tattoo artists and should be avoided at all costs.

Sharps Container – The needles and any blades used are deposited into this biohazard container and then disposed of properly. The contents inside are considered to be medical waste.

Sleeve – You have probably already seen people that have an entire arm or leg tattooed. If the entire arm has been done then it is a sleeve and if the entire leg has been done it is a leg sleeve.

Tattoo Touch-up When a tattoo is faded and requires new ink this is called a touch-up tattoo.

Now that you know these terms you’ll be better able to follow along with your tattoo artist when getting a tattoo. If you’re looking for the best tattoo artists Toronto please visit our website at or call us directly at 905-604-5102.

What Tattoo Styles Are Available at a Tattoo Studio Toronto?

hand with floral tattoos

Tattoos have been around for many years and used as a part of self-expression. There are a number of different tattoo styles available at a tattoo studio Toronto and when you work with a professional, experienced tattoo artist you’ll be able to choose the style you like the best. The style used is as unique as the person that is getting it done and it is certainly a permanent, lifelong commitment.

Take a look at the styles listed below to see just how wide and varied your options are.

Classic Americana

This classic tattoo can be considered to be old-school with old outlines featuring images with colour. Many of the classic Americana images feature daggers, roses, hearts, animals, female figures, nautical imagery and ocean images. This style first became popular back in the 1930s and it remains a permanent fixture in the tattoo industry. It may also be called a traditional tattoo and it’s what would probably first come to mind when you think of a Navy sailor sporting a tattoo.

Neo Traditional Style

These types of tattoos are inspired by the traditional tattoos that come with finer lines and bold colours. They are a mix of old and new and they come together perfectly. Overall, the neo traditional style tattoos look more lifelike than their predecessors.

Abstract Tattoos

An abstract tattoo takes its inspiration from surrealist painters from the past. The term abstract refers to ideas without any physical form. This type of art is layered and complex and doesn’t really have any type of structure. They are open to the artist’s interpretation and often carry a personal meaning.

New School Tattoos

Imagine a comic that has been tattooed on your body. New school tattoos feature a world of imagination and there are often vividly coloured caricature animals appearing in the tattoos.

3-D Tattoos

These are tattoos that grab the attention of anyone viewing them. 3-D tattoos bring images to life and are the next level in the world of tattooing. Anything can be portrayed in a 3-D style including geometric shapes, cartoon characters and much more. If you are interested in getting this sort of tattoo you will need to work with an experienced 3-D tattoo artist.

Tribal Tattoos

These have been around since the dawn of tattoos and are available in many different styles. Some of the most popular tribal styles include Native American, Polynesian and many others.

Trash Polka

The trash polka style is gaining in popularity and has become a trend in 2020. It combines realism and imagery that is abstract. The trash refers to smears and smudges that are present in the tattoo, which provide a chaotic look. They are often presented in red and black, similar to the tattoos that were worn by ancient Egyptians.

Japanese Tattoos

These have long been a favourite for many tattoo enthusiasts. These types of tattoos date back centuries and are popular around the world. Japanese tattoos generally feature large images covering the legs, arms or the back.

Ambigram Tattoo Styles

When you are looking for a unique tattoo style think of ambigram tattoos. They feature words with a lettering design that is unique since the words can be read in the same way from various viewpoints. This style is not as popular as it once was, which gives you the opportunity to choose a tattoo that will be quite different from the other more common styles that are trending today.

Anatomical Tattoos

Think of the anatomy when you think of this style. These tattoos feature images of body parts and appear to be very realistic. Anatomical images may include bones, teeth, organs and much more.

Watercolour Style

The watercolour style has been trending recently. They are beautiful and delicate images featuring no outline or a minimal outline with the colours flowing over the skin.

Blackwork Tattoos

These are tattoos that use black ink and they are quite inspired by Polynesian tattoos worn by tribal members. They are often surreal images with subjects that come from horror stories.

Black and Grey Tattoo Toronto

Black and grey tattoos have been extremely popular in 2020 and are expected to be trending as we move into 2021. They can be done in any type of style but the images are presented in grey and black with a variety of different shades of grey appearing in the design.

Realism Tattoo Toronto

A realism tattoo is one that looks realistic. They can be done in black and grey or in colour. This would be the best option to choose when you want your tattoo to look as real as possible.

Silhouette Tattoos

These are shadow or silhouette tattoos that are done using grey and white shading. They are minimalistic in nature and look real but don’t have a lot of detail.

Portrait Style

These are realistic tattoos of a person that are absolutely stunning to look at when they are done by an exceptional artist. They are also available in both black and grey or in colour. They are not abstract in any way but rather feature a head design that is realistic and it appears sophisticated and complex.

Geometric Tattoos

Choose this style when you’re looking for a geometric design that can range from simple to elaborate. Everyday items can also turned into geometric images and the possibilities are virtually endless with this type of tattoo. The only limit to what you can create with this style is your own imagination.

When it comes to tattoos, there are countless different styles that you can choose from. Hopefully the styles listed above have inspired you to think of the perfect image that you’d like to enjoy as a masterpiece on your body. Next it’s time to look for the best tattoo artists in a tattoo studio Toronto.

When you’re looking for the best of the best consider Hon Tattoo first. Find out more about us by browsing through our website at and fill in the contact form if you would like to schedule an appointment. You can also call us directly at 905-604-5102 to speak to a professional and experienced tattoo artist.