Flash is the terminology used for tattoo designs printed or drawn on paper or cardboard. Considered as a type of industrial design, flash tattoos were intended for fast and quick tattooing for walk-in customers in tattoo parlours. Popular tattoo flash design sheets are purchased and then tattooed. Most shops hang them on their studio walls for clients to pick a design from.
There are countless flash designs created, and here are some of the most traditional and prevalent tattoo flash designs with their meanings and associations:
Anchors are very popular and are closely identified with sailors. Anchors represent stability as it’s the most secure object in a sailor’s life when he’s at sea. The person rocking this tattoo is usually reminded of what keeps them steady and grounded. This design is also popular among celebrities. Actress Margot Robbie sports a small anchor tattoo on her left heel.
A true classic, Dragon tattoos show the influence of Chinese and Japanese culture in western tattooing. The dragon signifies power and mysticism and it also stands for strength, wonder and creativity.
Symbolising honour, prowess and nationalism, the eagle tattoos are well-loved by patriots. Freedom lovers are also captivated by this tattoo as it’s the symbol of the free spirit. Justin Bieber got an eagle tattoo when he was in Sydney.
Classic pin-ups will never go out of style. A pinup girl is the ideal of beauty and attraction. It’s a symbol of yearning for beauty and femininity – from the pure to the naughty. Pin-up girls are just as popular with women body art enthusiasts as they are with men. In
Evidently, hearts are the symbol of love and passion. This Classic Flash design is often used as an expression of romantic love and usually has the name of a lover, parent, or child etched on it. Hearts still remain one of the most popular tattoos today.
Universally, a star tattoo stands for hope, truth and light. The stars shine through the darkness and symbolise a person’s capability to push through the hard times. It’s like a guiding light pointing you to the right path. No wonder this flash design is loved by many.
Butterflies are one of the most popular flash tattoo designs out there. These beautiful creatures represent transformation or metamorphosis. They are also symbols of love and spirituality, and of beauty, rebirth and change.
Flash is considered the bedrock of tattooing. Today, not a lot of people use flash tattoos anymore. They serve more as a reference for ideas and inspiration since more people want a custom-made piece inked permanently on their skin.