Old School Tattoo Meaning, Design & Ideas

Just about everyone has seen an old-school tattoo in their lives, though they might not have known they were looking at one at the time. Old school tats are at least a little bit flashy in most cases and they also have a very classic look to them that is satisfying to the eye.

On this page we will go over some of the most popular old-school tattoos, their meanings, and some of the ways that you can get them designed should you choose to get one.

One of the main reasons why old-school tattoos continue to be so popular today is because they are relatively simple to make yet they usually pop on the skin thanks to the thick line work that is used. Go into just about any tattoo shop today and chances are you will see a book filled with these old-school tattoo designs and youโ€™ll probably end up liking at least one of them.

As far as old-school tattoo meanings go, most are very common meanings that folks want to attach to their designs. In most cases, they arenโ€™t extremely deep or unique meanings, but thatโ€™s kind of the point. If you want a tattoo that looks good and represents love, you can find quite a few old-school designs that use that meaning and would probably look great on your skin.

Old School Military Tattoo Meanings

Believe it or not, most old-school tattoo designs could be considered military tattoos. โ€œSailor Jerry” Collins is the man who originally came up with the old-school look that is still around today, and sailors from all over America would travel to Hawaii to have him create a design for them.

If you are looking for a military tattoo and you like that old-school look, thereโ€™s a great chance that you will be able to find a design that youโ€™ll like. You could go with one of the Sailor Jerry classics, or you could even see if any of your local artists have come up with their own spin on the style.

Old School Anchor Tattoo Meanings

The bold-looking old-school anchor tattoo looks great and holds some very important meanings to the people who get it. The key meaning that people like to use is stability since the anchor is what keeps the boat still far out at sea.

A lot of people like to get their old-school anchor tattoos because they can be placed pretty much anywhere on the body. They work well anywhere on the arm, and you can even get a large anchor on your back or your thigh.

Old School Flower Tattoo Meanings

Roses and other flower tattoos can look amazing in the old-school style. The bold look can give the flower a more striking look on the skin both on its own and when combined with other old-school designs.

In most cases, the old-school flower represents love, though it can also symbolize rebirth, death, and quite a few other things. If you do choose to get a flower design, you should definitely look up all of the meanings attached to the flower(s) that you like before you commit to it. You might find that a flower you had never heard of has all of the meanings that make sense to you.

Old School Skull Tattoo Meanings

Skulls have been some of the most popular old-school tattoo designs since the beginning. They represent the ownerโ€™s acceptance of death for one reason or the other. For example, people who think of themselves as adventurous are great candidates for skull tattoos because it shows that they are willing to die to do what they love.

Unlike many other old-school tattoos, most shops have dozens of skull designs rather than just one or two. That just shows how popular they have been and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Youโ€™ll also find that skulls blend well will just about every other old-school tattoo design.

Old School Pin-Up Girl Tattoo Meanings

Originally, sailors would get their pin-up girl tattoos simply because they knew they wouldnโ€™t see women for a while and they wanted a sexy image to look at to get through those tough years. These days men and women get their pin-up designs for a variety of reasons. Some will get them simply to represent their own sexiness, while others will get them to show their pride in feminism.

Regardless of the meaning being used, most people get vertical pin-up girl designs rather than horizontal ones. They work very well with the key image in an arm sleeve, but they can also work well by themselves. These are also often larger tattoos because they have a bit more detail in them than most other old-school tattoo designs.

Old School Ship Tattoo Meanings

The ship tattoo is yet another old-school design that symbolizes adventure. Of course, it could also simply represent oneโ€™s love for the sea. The classic โ€œclipper shipโ€ is still one of the most popular old-school ship tattoos out there today, and they hold the meanings mentioned above as well as honor Sailor Jerry because of his great ship designs.

Just like with pin-up girl designs, the old-school ship is usually very detailed and bold. Theyโ€™re also often quite accurate to the real thing, which is why they usually look great as larger tattoo designs.

Choosing an Old School Tattoo Design and Meaning(s)

People who like the look of old-school tattoos often have a hard time picking just one or two to get since they end up falling in love with just about all of them. Thatโ€™s understandable, but it would be a good idea to pick the designs that you connect to the most and that you think will look great on your skin.

Whatโ€™s really great about old-school tattoos is that you can simply choose one based on a very basic meaning that you want to use. If you know what meanings you want to be included in your design, you should have no problem at all finding an old-school tattoo that works for you.

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