Also known as old school tattoos, this style of tattoo originated in the 1930’s. It is dominated by heavy, bold black lines and a very limited colour scheme.
This style was not the intention of the artists however; they didn’t think that this style was so rad that they just had to tattoo everyone in the same way. They didn’t necessarily want to draw bulky designs and give you an incredible selection of colouring it with either red or dark red; it was a limitation of technology at the time. In fact, tattoo technology back then was so primitive it would be a stretch to call it technology at all.
Another aspect of traditional tattoo style is its use of specific imagery. Maybe people back then just weren’t very creative, but they mostly got tattoos of patriotic symbols like their country’s flag, eagles, and roses.
This also led to what is known as “flash”: pre-designed tattoos on a sheet that clients could choose from. This helped to increase the speed at which clients could get tattoos. Instead of a lengthy process of listening to sailors decide what combination of patriotic symbols they want to get tattooed on their skin, they could just pick from a list.
Even after all these years, the traditional tattoo style is still prominent in the modern tattoo scene. Many people still want patriotic symbols with bold lines and a limited colour scheme as it does have its own unique aesthetic appeal and classic look to it.