Home Tattoos 101 Best Traditional Tattoo Colors Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind!

101 Best Traditional Tattoo Colors Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind!

by Jamie Wilson
Traditional Tattoo Colors ideas

Are you inclined to your traditions? If you are deeply attached to the thoughts of any tradition, it is time to pick one from these traditional tattoo colors.

Best Traditional Tattoo Colors
@needlesofpain_rgb via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

If you are fond of old school tattoos, this article is apt for you.

For most of them, traditional tattoos mean the American traditional tattoo style. Of all traditional tattoos, the American traditional tattoo is the most sought-after and acclaimed tattoo style.

Since these are traditional tattoos, a lot of meanings are attached to them. There is a history associated with these American tattoo styles. Soon after the Second World War, Norman Collins, popularly known as Sailor Jerry pioneered this tattoo style in a place in Hawaii. This location was largely populated by Americans. As a result, several people came across these old school tattoo style designs and were deeply fascinated with them.

Most of these traditional tattoo styles highlighted the concept of escaping from the bindings of society, rejecting the conventional culture, and looking for something new. People who were rebellious enough to question the societal norms were the first to follow this art form. This section of people was mostly the mariners. When Captain James Crook traveled to the East along with his team, they tattooed each other to propagate their stories of travel. Even then, traditional tattoos were limited and confined only to the Americans, precisely to the homeless sailors.

When men from different corners of the world gathered at the intersection of Honululu, a navy person named Sailor Jerry organized a tattoo shop. With his artistic bent of mind, Captain Jerry drew inspiration from the Japanese traditional colors tattoo and merged them with his own American traditional tattoos to create fascinating designs. Further, Sailor Jerry developed tattoo machines with which he would use the ink the way he wanted to. So, Sailor Jerry can be said to be one of the pioneers of the American traditional tattoos who took the initiative to propagate it.

There are some distinctive features of American traditional tattoos. First and foremost, the American traditional style tattoos choose bold colors and motifs. The colors that are frequently used to ink a traditional tattoo are red, yellow, black, green, and sometimes purple. To make these traditional tattoos appear even on the skin, they are highly saturated. The traditional tattoo designs can appear to be simple, but they require a lot of hard work on the part of the tattoo artist.

Some of the common symbols of a traditional American tattoo are anchors, ships, flags, eagles, pin up girls, and daggers. A minimal amount of primary colors are used. The outlines of the American traditional tattoos are made bold. Most parts of a traditional American tattoo are highly pigmented. The design of the tattoo is inked with almost no shading, thereby enhancing the simplicity of the traditional tattoo style.

At a glance, the American traditional tattoos style may look similar to Neo traditional tattoos. However, there are small differences that differentiate the two. First, neo traditional tattoos use a lot of colors, unlike American traditional tattoo colors that stick to pink and teal. Secondly, Neo traditional designs include almost everything, both new and classical. But, in traditional American tattoos, only classical motifs are used to pay a tribute to classic realism. The American traditional tattoo styles have been in vogue for decades. Most traditional tattoo artists consider these classical tattoo styles to be a favorite of many.

For all tattoo enthusiasts, here is a list of some conventional tattoo styles that portray American culture.

Panther Tattoo Style Traditional With Bright Colors

Panther Tattoo Style Traditional With Bright Colors
@traditional.ink via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

Generally, the panther tattoos are symbolic of power and virility. Also, they showcase a deep connection with nature. The traditional tattoo style shown here is a combination of panther and eagle. Wondering what are the traditional tattoo colors for these pather and eagle? As mentioned earlier, the tattoo artist uses almost no shading and bold colors to draw the traditional American tattoo. Also, bold lines by the traditional artists are all realistic depictions of the tattoos. To find jaw dropping color, and bold black outlines, find out tattoo artists who are adept in traditional style.

Colorful Pin Up Girl Traditional Designs

Colorful Pin Up Girl Traditional Designs
@donkunto via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

Tattoos recently have undergone a vast change but when it comes to traditional tattoo, they are associated with a rich history. The tattoo shown here is a clear indication of the broader color palette. The tattoo style shows a traditional pin up girl with a watchtower in front of her face.

This traditional style was invented by the sailors. The pin up girl tattoo is a symbol of fine art that explains the connection that the sailors had to their life in their hometowns. Only a skilled artist can get these portrait tattoos done rightly.

Black And Grey Panther Thigh Tattoo

Black And Grey Panther Thigh Tattoo
@glm.tattooartist via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

Another traditional tattoo style is this panther inked on the front side of the thigh. To retain the simplicity of the American traditional style tattoos, only black and grey colors are used. These black and grey portraits on the human body with the image of a panther symbolize masculinity, courage, guardianship and freedom. During the Second World War, these neo traditional panther tattoos were very popular. It gives the appearance of a panther crawling on the skin. Also, the tattoo artists draw the panther in a way that gives a completely natural appearance.

Fiery Dragon Old School Tattoo

Fiery Dragon Old School Tattoo
@silviapecezeta via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

The credit for the initiation of these dragon tattoos can be given to Sailor jerry’s shop where he got several people inked with this traditional tattoo. Even though the tattoo was developed during the Second World War, it rules the modern styles. Being one of the common themes of traditional tattoo styles, when dragons are selected for body art, it symbolised navigation. Jerry was inspired by this dragon tattoo design from Japan and Asia.

Traditional Swallow Tattoo With Heart

Traditional Swallow Tattoo With Heart
@siia.ink via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

Another most common motif under these conventional tattoo styles includes the swallow tattoo. These swallow tattoos were first associated with the sailors. It was the sailors who used to get swallow tattoos as an indication of their sailing for long distances and hoping to return back safe. Sailors have an authentic belief in these swallow tattoos. They believed that through this body art, the soul of a dead sailor who return to his native place.

Neo Traditional Anchor Tattoo

Neo Traditional Anchor Tattoo
@1920tattoozhub via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

Another great body art would be this traditional anchor tattoo that looks like true whimsical and poetic pieces. The tattoo design is not only aesthetic, but also holds the traditional tattoo colors values. According to this traditional tattoo design, an anchor is considered as an old school nautical motif. In a sailor’s life, an anchor is said to be a secure object. Further, the anchor is also a mark of being calm and grounded.

Traditional Japanese Tattoo In Red, Grey And Black

Traditional Japanese Tattoo In Red, Grey And Black
@oldschooltattz via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

The traditional Japanese tattoo colors have meanings associated with them. The Japanese tattoo has two distinct meanings – one is to convey a societal status and the other is to act as a spiritual symbol that resonates with the thoughts of protection and devotion.

In this Japanese tattoo, the watercolor style is followed to make the tattoo look as real as possible. Besides this spongebob tattoo, one can opt for traditional samurai tattoo colors, Ryu tattoo, kappa tattoo and many more.

Traditional Shark Tattoo In Black And Red

Traditional Shark Tattoo In Black And Red
@traditionalkings via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

Among other styles, the shark tattoos are one of the most common neo traditional motifs. According to eminent sailors like Jerry and Don Ed Hardy, sailors should love them more to avoid them. When one has an animal tattoo, it means one resembles the characteristics of that particular animal. Similarly, sailors preferred getting the shark tattoo as a mark of their protection from the sea.

Skull Tattoo With Quote

Skull Tattoo With Quote
@ricky_mo via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

Another American traditional tattoo style is the skull design. These traditional skull tattoos carry a strong message. During the time of the sailors, warriors were denoted with skulls. Not just warriors, the skull design extended to those people who dealt with life-and-death situations in their daily lives. Skull tattoo designs often come with daggers or roses. However, a skull tattoo with a dagger may mean both a villain and a hero.

Traditional Stylish Snake Tattoo

Traditional Stylish Snake Tattoo
@leonwalkertattoo via Instagram – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo

The snake tattoos have multiple meanings. Sometimes they may mean potency and power, and sometimes, they may stand for rebirth and a new beginning. This snake tattoo style gives a strong message of doing away with the evil. To retain the essence of a traditional tattoo, the tattoo artists have used vibrant hues and bold outlines. This is where traditional tattoos differ from other tattoo styles.

One of the biggest advantage of traditional tattoos is even after decades they look the same because of their heavy pigmentation and thick lines. So, whichever traditional tattoo you select, make sure the style resonates with you. Do not forget to choose and rely on professional tattoo artists who have the potential to help you with traditional and blackwork tattoos.

Now that you are fascinated with the American traditional tattoos, here are some more suggestions for you:

feature image from Pinterest

What are traditional tattoo colors?

Traditional tattoo colors are generally black, red and blue. Black is the most popular color used for tattoos as it stands out against the skin and has a strong visual impact. Red is often used to represent passion and energy, while blue can be used to express loyalty and trustworthiness. Other traditional tattoo colors include yellow, green, orange, purple, pink and brown. Some people like to mix different colors together to create a unique design, while others prefer to use just one color when getting their tattoos. Ultimately, the choice of tattoo colors is up to you and should be based on your individual style and desired aesthetic.

What is the difference between traditional and modern tattoo colors?

Traditional tattoo colors tend to be bolder, with less subtlety than modern colors. Traditional colors are often deeper and more intense in hue, whereas modern tattoos can use a wider range of colors and shades. Additionally, traditional tattoo colors tend to be realistic in style while modern tattoos can often feature abstract designs and mix different styles together. Ultimately, the choice of which colors to use should be based on what look you are trying to achieve.

What are some popular traditional tattoo colors?

Popular traditional tattoo colors include black, red, blue, yellow, green, orange and purple. These colors are often used in combination to create a unique design that reflects the individual’s personality. Other popular choices include pink and brown. Often these colors are blended together for a more intricate design or for a softer look. Ultimately you should choose the colors that best represent your individual style and aesthetic.

What are some traditional tattoo color meanings?

In traditional tattoo culture, each color often has its own symbolic meaning. For example, black is a popular color used to represent strength and resilience, while red can be seen as representing passion or energy. Blue is commonly used to depict loyalty and trustworthiness, and yellow may be used to symbolize wisdom or hope. Other colors such as green, orange, purple, pink and brown can also have unique meanings associated with them. Ultimately you should choose the colors that represent what is important to you and reflect your individual style.

You may also like