Old school tattoos refer to those we often think of as body art on sailors, bikers, and prisoners – those tried and true designs that seem to remain perennially popular. These tattoos often incorporate the ubiquitous heart and banner, a voluptuous babe in a variety of poses, or skulls and roses. The style of these tattoos has a particular flourish, and they usually incorporate a lot of primary colors: red, blue, green, yellow and black. This is because in the early days of Western tattoo art, it was not common to mix inks like many artists do today.
Photo by “Mez Love” on Flickr
Many of the earliest tattoos in Western society were created as a memorial to a lost loved one. For military men, their tattoos were a reminder of the places they’d been, or the women they left back home. Much like the art commonly seen on airplanes of vintage World War II, the pinup girl was, and still is, a popular subject.
You may think that old school tattoos are limited to men, but there are a surprising number of women that also favor this style of body art. Just as ‘everything old is new again’, so does the popularity of tattoos swing full circle from the older styles, back to more modern designs.
Photo by “philippe leroyer” on Flickr
The arms, back, and chest were the most common places to get a tattoo back in the old days, and these are still the favored location for an old school tattoo today. Then again, there is no reason not to take something old-fashioned and place it in the unexpected location. Experiment with both the design and location of your old school tattoo to make it something new and fresh.