The History of Traditional Tattoos

If you’re looking for a bold, timeless style for your next tattoo, look no further than the traditional style. Rooted in a rich history and embodied by bold colors and striking designs, the traditional style will ensure that your next tattoo not only stands out, but stands the test of time.

While tattooing has been an artform found in cultures across the globe for millennia, traditional tattoos find their genesis in the 18th and 19th century sailor’s culture. The cross-cultural collaboration between sailors allowed for an exchange of art and ideas between countries; and in this exchange, the American traditional style of tattooing, or “Old School” tattoos, was born.

In the 1930s, various artist took these ideas that were coming across the oceans and began refining them, creating a new style that would later become the American traditional style. Marked by bright colors, bold lines, and specific – usually nautical – iconography, this style quickly grew in popularity in America over the 19th and 20th century.

As time went on, tattoos slowly became more of a socially accepted form of expression, and by the 1980s, they had transitioned into the mainstream. And with this transition, the traditional style of tattooing persisted. The thick, dark outlines and striking colors ensure that the tattoo stands out, grabbing the eye. Traditional imagery includes classic symbolic icons like anchors, daggers, eagles, roses, snakes, and hearts. With these symbolic images and striking designs, traditional tattoos have proven to endure through the years as a reliable, classic tattoo choice.

When looking at tattoo styles across the globe, it’s clear how the traditional style has lasting appeal. Enduring for centuries, traditional tattoos have the ability to bring people together across cultures and generations, telling stories that everyone can relate to, making it a reliable, timeless choice for your next tattoo.