Old school tattooing is an art form and style that has been around for centuries. It’s a style of tattooing that features bold black and colored lines and lots of color, as well as iconic imagery from the past. Old School tattoos are classic and timeless, but they also have a unique charm and uniqueness that makes them stand out from other styles. The origins of old school tattoos can be traced back to the early 1900s when, soldiers or sailors would get designs such as anchors, hearts, swallows and pin-ups while away. These designs were often referred to as “flash,” which were pre-drawn images that could be quickly inked onto someone’s skin.
The art of American traditional tattoo was popularized by two legendary tattoo artists: Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins and Don Ed Hardy, Sailor Jerry was renowned for his bold exotic line work and bright colors, creating classic icons like skulls, classic roses and panthers on his clients’ bodies. Meanwhile, Don Ed Hardy became famous for his intricate blackwork designs featuring Japanese inspired elements like dragons and koi fish like Yakuza gangsters.
In addition to the iconic “flesh” created by these two renowned artists, there have been countless other great old school tattooers who have each contributed their own amazing unique spin on this traditional style. From Lyle Tuttle’s creepy horror themed artwork to Jime Litwalk’s creepy clown designs and each artist had their own signature style that made them stand out from the others.
The flash traditional tattoo also has a long history dating back to 1920’s , when prisoners in Japan started getting tattoos in order to mark themselves with gang affiliations and powers or simply show off their status in society. In recent years these types of tattoo designs have become more common and cool in Europe & America thanks to the popularity of shows like “Prison Break” which feature characters sporting these iconic looks.
Let’s take a look at some common old school tattoo designs and explore the symbolism and meaning behind them.
Anchors are the most iconic of all old school tattoos. These maritime symbols represent stability and loyalty and love, as well as a connection to the sea. Ship wheels are also popular among sailors and they symbolize navigation and guidance on their journey in life. Nautical stars are another classic design which is said to bring good fortune, luck and protection against evil spirits and bad luck.
Pin-up girls were a popular subject in vintage tattoo designs. These were usually brightly colored images of voluptuous women with playful poses, often accompanied by humorous captions or quotes. The idea was that these designs would provide motivation or inspiration for the wearer during hard times away at war or sea.
Hearts are another common old school tattoo design which can be interpreted in many ways. From love to friendship, to heart breaks , hearts represent strong emotions that last over time and can’t be broken easily. Roses are often found alongside hearts as they represent beauty, grace, and passion power , inner goddess which can stand the test of time just like true love does!
Finally, the swallow tattoos have long been a symbol of safe travels for those embarking on long voyages away from home. It is said that swallows will guide travelers safely back home after their journey is complete – providing hope even in the face of great danger or uncertainty.
So if you’re feeling nostalgic for some traditional flash – why not get yourself an old school tattoo? Or why not show your appreciation for them by getting one today?