The style old school It is one of the first movements born in the USA and characterized by the use of thick black lines, bright colors and simple shapes. Some of the most common elements that can be found within this style are: cherries, pin ups, swallows, hearts, nautical motifs, anchors, eagles, stars, mermaids, daggers, roses, …
This does not mean that more and more other elements are tattooed but with the influence of the old school. Was a boom, an explosion, since it became a fashion and partly due to the great demand that existed, simple designs were made that allowed the artist to tattoo more skins in less time. As it has been observed, most of the elements that have been named previously had a patriotic connotation and it was one more way to demonstrate this feeling.
As can be seen so far, this movement that was a trending in the 20th century, it had a more aesthetic purpose than one related to meaning. However, nowadays and as it is well known, people look for deep meanings that have importance in their day to day and this could be a problem for the designs of this current. But it was not, since these simple elements, of which we have previously named a series of them, have acquired deeper meanings and the people who tattoo them may find them more attractive.
Without a doubt, although they did not have a specific meaning and that was special, when tattooing a design of the current old school We are referring to the history of the evolution of tattoos, since it was one of the first and most important currents in this world and in fact, it is still tattooing and there are people looking for specialized artists in this field.
Below, we will briefly explain the meaning of the most common designs within this stream:
The swallows have always been related to love and loyalty and have a close connection with the maritime world and therefore many were the sailors who decided to tattoo this bird, usually on the chest. Pin-up girls, a very main element in this trend and that expressed admiration for the female body. On this same website, there is an article for this design so we will not focus more on this figure here. Mermaids, seen as a protective element, were believed to be in charge of saving those shipwrecked sailors. Other elements can be easily identified and what relationship they have, such as the eagle, the flag of the USA: which are patriotic elements that simply showed that love for the country that some people felt and which grew during the wars.
Indicate that there is another style that precedes the old schoolwhich is called new school and about which we will talk in another article within this website.
These designs are currently very popular even though their designs are from previous years or decades. Most designs have many colors and are very varied. Swallows, Pin Up Girls, tigers and skulls are examples of designs of this type.
These designs, characterized by thick black lines and the striking colors used, are those of the American sailors of the mid-20th century. Among the most used reasons the elements that are related to the sailors and the swallows that appear in this tattoo are one of them. In addition we see a large rose in the center with the words “mom” and “dad” at the bottom.
Gravestone with a tattoo with letters and the word “pops”
Also the girls characterized with the Pin-Up style are typical of this style. In this case, this girl has also had traits added as if she were injured.
As we said before, tattoos with pin up girls from the 50s and 60s are very popular among old school lovers.
Two peacocks with very large blue and brown feathers.
A simple heart surrounded by green branches and a blue rose.
Skull in blue and red tones with proportions that have not been carefully taken care of.
As we also said before, swallows are very common in these designs. This woman has one on each foot and both have small stars around the swallow or bird.
Skull next to Kelly’s name, a sword that goes through the skull and two yellow roses on the sides.
Calavra with Indian feathers and with a funny detail, one of the teeth of it is gold.
Crown with birds on the sides. These birds are sparrows or swallows. Tattooed on the chest.
Another skull crossed by a large back
This boy has a colorful parrot on top of a tree branch.
One of very colorful manga full of elements of the style.
Anchor with wings printed on the chest area with colors very characteristic of old school art.
Very original with Jesus Christ on the cross.
A woman, she seems to have South American or Indian features, with various motifs around her.
Bones, skulls and colored stars. Old school tattoos of the most common and popular.
Without remorse is the message that this swallow carries.
Old school tattoo par excellence. The most tattooed of all.
Three stars on the neck or nape of a woman. The stars also belong to the old school.
Very striking colors and little discrete those used for this.
Horrible design of a swallow with poor colors and a shaky outline.
Dog dressed as a soldier with a pendant on his neck.
You will see that swallows do not stop appearing in almost all images, alone or in the company of other objects. This is because it is one of the most representative Old School tattoos that means loyalty and love.
Tribal designs that cover the upper back.
Tigers are one of the designs that are within old school tattoos. In this case, this man has a tiger and other designs on his chest, man, and arm.
Koi fish design in bold colors.
Design with poker cards, dice and a billiard ball next to flames from fires in the belly and navel.
We see two swallows symmetrically tattooed on both sides of the chest and although we cannot fully appreciate it, we intuit that both arms are also fully tattooed.
Blurred image of a design that we cannot see what it is about.
Two swallows printed symmetrically on both sides of the chest.
In the memory of pop is the message we read in this boy’s.
Pin up girl with a blue dress tattooed on her arm.
Chandelier in yellow and gold tones with a small spider web at the top of the design.
Anchors are the best old school motifs.
Skull with a patch in black tones printed with perfect proportions.
Design on the instep. We have seen few designs on this part of the body in this collection of images and photos.
The eagle is another patriotic element and therefore characteristic of the old school.
Black panther that looks like it is scratching the skin of this young man.
The two forearms of the same person are birds, leaves, and tree branches.
Green dragon in attack position.
Three small daisies accompanied by several green leaves.
The skull that we see in this image is printed in a very original way.
Two colorful eagles in classic old school tones.
We have previously said that the Old School style is the one used by American sailors in their tattoos. Here we see a large ship alongside other marine elements.
Swallow with wings that do not hit it, since they look like an angel or another species of bird.
Red cherry with a yellow border that gives them personality. The stars and dotted around them are an item that could have been saved.
Design of a dancer with an old record player at her side.
Black, red, green and yellow tones are the most used in this style.
Pin up girl, a back or dagger, a heart behind the girl, a rose and other tattoos with letters. In these last two images you can appreciate the colors used par excellence in the style that concerns us.