Old School Tattoo a Retro Style and Image
Finger tattoo

Old School Tattoo: a Retro Style and Image

What is old school tattoo and how are the styles? If you wonder about the answers to these questions, let’s examine the bride. Since the first peoples decided to differentiate their social ranks through body designs, techniques and patterns have evolved. Now, each tattoo style has methods and colors that are unique to its origins. This is particularly the case for the Old School tattoo which has developed well in just half a century. Today, it is well anchored in popular culture, yet this has not always been the case. It has often been the symbol of rebellion and social ranks removed from society. We look at this phenomenon by describing its origin and the most popular symbols.

Old School tattoo

symbol tattoo

What is the Old School tattoo?

Both legendary and widespread, the Old School tattoo is actually a graphic design that is drawn on one or more parts of the body. It is often represented by classic and encrypted patterns whose meaning sometimes remains hidden. It is also a way of translating certain ideologies.

skull tattoo

It is important to point out that there are several forms to Old School tattoo depending on the person who performs it. Each artist uses his own method and his own models. It can be drawn on any part of the body as long as it remains visible, which is why the arm the member on which we find most often drawings. When we have this type of graphic representation on the body, it means that we belong to a group of individuals and to a certain culture.

Old School tattoos

The Old School tattoo is from the United States. It appeared between the years 1903 and 1960 and it is inspired by local cultures like that of the Amerindians, sailors or the movement bikers. It is characterized mainly by large black outlines and bright primary colors, which gives an impression of simplicity. That’s why the main colors are red, green and blue. This is due to the limited techniques and equipment of the time. Professionals could not afford to look at the aesthetic and complex aspect.

Old School tattoo design

Despite various influences, it is mainly sailors who have popularized this type of drawing. Indeed, for them, it was a way of remembering those around them when they were at sea. They wanted to keep in memory their beloved or important memories. That’s why the Old School tattoo is of symbolic importance. The different motifs represent an ideology that has been codified over the years. Thanks to this, you can see these graphics on the forearms of fans of music or bikers for example.

Best Old School Tattoos Ideas

The different models of Old School tattoo

Some of the Old School tattoo designs are much more recurrent than others. Each of them has a special meaning. Here is a small review of the most common drawings so that you can choose the one that suits you best.

The different models of Old School tattoo

Pin up has been very popular since the beginning of this style since this symbol was born with the world of the navy. Indeed, as at that time women could not board ships during sea voyages, the sailors used to have a woman tattooed on their arm. It reminded of a female presence.

medusa tattos

Sea anchor is issued from this particular world. It means both security and hope. These two symbols are needed when one is far from one’s roots and have made it a risky business. The trips to sea can be long, it was often necessary to be patient to find his relatives.

very popular tattoos

Surprisingly, there are also images of birds in the Old School tattoo. For example, the swallow is synonymous with luck and good news. Indeed, if you see two symmetrical swallows on a shoulder or an arm, know that it represents the fact of having managed to overcome difficult tests as the bird would during migratory periods. We can also see other animals in this culture. The panther is one of them and it is the sign of determination and character.

graphic representation tattoo

As this graphic style is very colorful, some models may exist with various hues. This is particularly the case for the rose. Depending on its color, it will have a different symbolic content. The red rose obviously represents love and passion, but it can also sometimes be synonymous with pain and blood. Blue is the emblem of youth and mystery. The black rose symbolizes the hatred that can cause a passionate love. On the contrary, the white is the model of purity and virginity.

blackwork tattoo

This style tattoos can also represent animals or elements that define them as the spider’s web. It is above all a sign of rebellion and a refusal of order in place. It derives its genesis from the fact that sailors spent time at the bar counter, which was enough to canvas “push” on the elbow.

How is Old School tattoo done today?

Old School tattoo can be divided into two categories. The first concerns “flashes” which consist of drawings that the professional already masters. The motifs can be gathered in his artbook (which includes all his works) or on a photo. The tattoo artist will not make any changes to this example. The second category corresponds to the personalized images. As the name suggests, the design will be custom made at the customer’s request. There is an artistic research behind this way of creating.

How is Old School tattoo done today

The Old School tattoo has become popular thanks to many artists who have sought to develop it. For example, Sailor Jerry or Ed Hardy played a major role in making this art world famous. He is now very popular and even knows a strong comeback. At once simple and rich in meaning, this style is more and more present on the arms of men and women of the world.

Old School tattoo style

However, the Old School tattoo is still considered in some culture as a sign of recklessness or delinquency. For example, an individual wearing one of these graphic metaphors can be seen as a bad company person. However, it is very famous in Western countries and thanks to artists who seek to renew it, it becomes more and more eternal.

The Old School tattoo

Now you know everything about the Old School tattoo, it’s up to you to choose the one that best suits your mood and what you’re looking for.

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