Also known as Classic Americana, traditional tattoos are among the most well known Western tattoo styles. It’s the first style your parents (or grandparents) will think of when you say you’re getting a tattoo. Traditional tattoos represent defiant counterculture and the industry’s tough-guy history.
Traits of traditional tattoos:
- Bold, saturated colours
- Simple colour palette
- Simple shading, if any
- Thick black outlines
- Precise and crisp two-dimensional images
- Elemental, clean designs (symbols and motifs)
This style is attributed to Norman Collins, aka Sailor Jerry, who learned the craft from Japanese hand poke tattoo artists. They’re closely tied to the ocean and nautical imagery, pinup girls, fierce animals, hearts, roses, and daggers.
When you think of flash tattoos on the walls of a tattoo studio, think traditional tattoos. Choose this style for a tattoo that will age well and likely never go out of style (they haven’t yet!).