Known for their bold, crisp, black outline and limited primary based color palate, American Traditional tattoos or "old school" tattoos are tried and true. Traditional American tattoos have a clean style and bold look that makes them appealing to a large audience and widely recognized among tattoo enthusiasts and the general public.
The American Traditional style of tattoos goes way back to the early days of the sailor. Men were sailing on ships across the seas, getting tattoos to signify their journeys and encounters along the way. Common tattoos among these early sailors were anchors, eagles, ships, and mermaids.
Fast forward into the 1960s and there was a new man on the scene of the American traditional style tattoos, who perhaps made it famous. Norman Collins, aka “Sailor Jerry” is the iconic artist who specialized in the American Traditional style, and his work is still easily recognizable, sought after, and mimicked today. Because of his extreme popularity, some people even refer to the American Traditional tattoo style as Sailor Jerry style.
Another iconic artist of the American Traditional style is Ed Hardy. Most people recognize his name and think of his clothing line, made popular in the early 2000s. Interestingly, Ed Hardy was an apprentice of the aforementioned Sailor Jerry. Hardy carried on the popularity of the American Traditional style giving it his own flair and feel.
Today, American Traditional tattoos can be found on people young and old, male and female, from many diverse backgrounds. Even with the creation of new tattoo styles, the rise of minimalist tattoos, and modern tattoo trends, American Traditional tattoos have not seen a decrease in popularity.
If you are interested in sending a strong message, the American Traditional style tattoo might be a good choice for you. The combination of clean lettering and vivid illustrations makes these tattoos stand out and get noticed.
For those who may be seeking a tattoo that is more feminine, don’t count Traditional American style out. This timeless style has been widely adopted by females and there are many female tattoo artists who specialize in this style. As a matter of fact, historically, Traditional American tattoos were popular for depicting detailed, feminine beauty including florals and the female form.
Really, the Traditional American tattoo can be anything you want it to be. You don’t have to stick to anchors, roses, skulls, or flowers to be a fan of this style. Additionally, the continuity of the stylistic manner of Traditional American tattoos makes it a great choice for someone who is interested in having a large piece of art on their body. Because of the bold lines, the pictures within a sleeve can fit together, but stand out individually. You really can’t go wrong if you choose a Traditional American tattoo.