Old School Tattoo - The Most Popular Old School Tattoos

Permanent tattoos on the body are performed in different genres, some of them strike the imagination with their realism or volume, but the classics remain fashionable always. Tattoos in the old school genre have existed for over 200 years, without losing their popularity. One of the most versatile areas of body art is suitable for both men and women.

Old School Tattoo - History of Old School Style.

The history of the oldschool style begins with sailors, the birth of the style dates back to the end of the 19th century. It's people, whose life was connected with the sea, we must be grateful for the bright concise but meaningful tattoos. Sailors were very superstitious, and the best solution to always have a lot of talismans and amulets were tattoos. The most popular subjects at the time were Anchors, swallows, heart, winds rose.


Because of homesickness and family there were romantic subjects: roses, portraits, mermaids. Well, we should not forget about the lush beauties in the pin-up style, which as well as old-school is firmly associated with sailors.

Oldskool Tattoo - Old Style Tattoo

A little history

This style is American and European in origin. It originated in the XIX century. The first owners of tattoos in this style were sailors. As a rule, for them, this pattern on the body was associated with some memorable event or person. Direct knowledge of the tattoo came to the sailors from Polynesia, which islands are located in the Pacific. The first sketches of similar decorations on the bodies of local people were brought back by Captain Cook after exploring Tahiti, Hawaii, and also Zealand. However, those drawings were very different from the modern ones.

Old skool tattoo meaning

Old School Tattoo - Characteristics of Old School Style

Oldschool style is characterized by thick black outlines, very simple colors (mostly black, red, green, blue) and laconic drawings without superfluous details.

Oldschool Tattoo - Oldschool Tattoo - Oldschool Style Tattoo

The style of oldschool today is different from the style in which the first masters worked, but retained the fundamental features.

Tattoo oldskool - Tattoo Oldskool - Tattoo Style

How to take care

Old School Mens Tattoo

Oldskool tattoos need exactly the same method of healing as all other needlepoint drawings under the skin. After the session is over, the master will put you a special cling film compress so that you can get home safely. The film will not allow your clothes to stick to the fresh drawing and cause discomfort. In the first few days, the tattoo will ooze with blood. It is imperative that you rinse it off gently with lukewarm water. This should be done as moisture builds up. After rinsing it is necessary to apply a thin layer of a special ointment on the tattoo. The name will prompt you the master himself. In no case do not scratch the figure, do not peel off the exfoliating top layer, do not sunbathe, do not visit the solarium, do not drink alcohol!

Tattoo Oldschool - Popular Tattoo Oldschool Plots

Tattoo Ship Oldschool

For sailors, their ship was home and small worlds, their crew was family and support, so the ship tattoo carries a very deep meaning. The ship embodies hope, movement, freedom.

Today tattoos with a maritime theme in the old-school style do not only people whose profession is in one way or another related to the sea. The main thing in the tattoo sense, the message that was formed over many decades and absorbs the experience of generations. Oldschool tattoos, including the ship, are chosen by people who honor tradition and history.

Oldskool Tattoo - Old Style Tattoo

Tattoo Compass and Wind Rose

Tattoo compass denotes finding the right path, a clear direction of life and confidence in your beliefs. A compass has long helped people to find the right direction and saved from perishing at sea.

Today the compass has a figurative meaning. People do not need to worry about the direction of transportation. But it is always worth thinking about finding one's own way through life.

Tattoo oldskool - Tattoo Oldskool - Tattoo Style - Tattoo Compass Oldskool

Tattoo Mermaids Oldskool

Tattoo mermaid (in some variants siren) in the style of oldskool is associated with beauty, seduction and danger, which carries the sea. This mythical creature promised sailors good fortune and death in equal measure.

Tattoo oldskool - Tattoo Oldskool - Tattoo Style Oldskool - Tattoo Oldskool Mermaid

Oldschool butterfly tattoo.

The butterfly tattoo means life's journey and development of the personality and soul. This insect received such symbolic meaning due to its transformation from a caterpillar to a beautiful fluttering butterfly. For most cultures and religions, this cycle of development means the formation of the human soul. The possibility of easy flight, the lightness, brightness and airiness that butterflies represent has made them a popular subject for tattoos.

Tattoo oldskool - Tattoo Oldskool - Tattoo Style Oldskool - Tattoo Oldskool Butterfly

Tattoo Tiger Oldschool

Tattoo of the tiger is a symbol of firmness, militancy, readiness to resist difficulties at any moment and to enter them in battle. The tiger is equated with the lion tattoo and carries the same meaning.

Tattoo oldskool - Tattoo Oldskool - Tattoo Style Oldskool - Tattoo Oldskool Tiger

Tattoo Dagger Oldskul

The main meaning of the tattoo Dagger or Blade - fearlessness, risk, willingness to fight to the end and save the honor. This is a noble symbol, which in modernity has a metaphorical meaning. It implies a struggle not with the enemy, but with the difficulties, life's traps and difficult situations.

Tattoo oldskool - Tattoo Oldskool - Tattoo Style Oldskool - Tattoo Dagger Oldskool

Black and White Oldschool Tattoos

Although the style is characterized by bright colors black lovers decided to go back to the very origins of the tattoo. Old school sailor tattoo masters didn't always have all the colors to work with, but black can replace everything else. In black, the laconic old-school looks even more authentic.

Oldskool Tattoo - Oldskool Tattoo - Oldskool Style Tattoo - Black and White Oldskool Tattoo

Oldskool tattoos - what are they?

Any style of permanent drawings has distinctive features that provide it with recognizability. Old skool tattoos are bright tattoos done in rich colors with a thick black border. The considered nail art does not look realistic or three-dimensional. The images are schematic and simple, a bit cartoonish, without detailing, piling up unnecessary elements. The main thing about old-school tattoos is their message. Each owner of such a tattoo chooses significant for him personally drawings associated with important people, events or principles of life.

Old School Tattoo - History

The pioneers of body painting in civilized Europe and America were the sailors of the 19th century. While exploring the islands of the Pacific Ocean and Polynesia, they saw tattoos on the locals and were imbued with this method of body decoration. The earliest old skull tattoos were used as amulets for sailors, as reminders of loved ones and important events (crossing the equator, circumnavigation of the globe, winning a fight).

Later, the art of permanent drawing spread to other segments of the population. Tattoo in the style of old skool came to love the artists of theaters and circuses, musicians and dancers. Modern tattoos in the old school genre have lost their specificity and often do not have any semantic load, but remain one of the most popular and versatile options for body decoration.

Old skool tattoo font

The inscriptions are inscribed in accordance with the distinctive features of the style itself. Letters and numbers are well readable, large, printed, without monograms. Old skool tattoos with dates or words are printed in bold black outline, sometimes double. Some masters, especially those from the former CIS countries, also use the script. The font is made neat and readable, but deliberately sloppy, as if written by a child's hand.

Tattoo Oldschool - Popular Places for Tattoo Oldschool

Old School Tattoo on Arm

Traditionally, drawings in this style were small and the hand was ideal for their application. Tattoo Oldskul can be placed on absolutely any part of the hand depending on the idea and shape of the sketch.

Tattoo oldskool - Oldskool Tattoo - Oldskool Style Tattoo - Oldskool Tattoo on Arm

Tattoo Oldschool Sleeve

More often the sleeve in the Oldschool style is a set of small sketches on the general or similar subjects. Because the style is characterized by small details of the figure, to make one continuous picture on the arm is impossible. Due to the similarity of the subjects and meanings of each individual sketch on the sleeve of the overall motif looks harmonious and stylish.

Tattoo Oldskool - Tattoo Oldskool - Tattoo Oldskool Style - Tattoo Oldskool Sleeve

Sketches Tattoo Oldskool

Choosing the master

The person to whom you are going to entrust your precious body must be a true professional. Such have diplomas of completed training, very often art education, as well as quite a large portfolio (examples of previous work). If the master himself refuses to draw you a sketch (even for a fee), it is worth wary. Try to do tattoos only in salons, where the preliminary conclude the contract in writing. This will save you from further problems in the case of a low-quality drawing.


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