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Old school  (on  English : 'old school') is, in the art of  tattoo , a reference to the traditional style  American flag, characterized by thick black lines, generally with a flat color range defined by a specific imagery, such as the national symbols of that country - the flag, the eagle - or something more masculine - portraits of young women,  pin-ups  ("Calendar girls") -. The choice of designs is attributed to the large number of sailors who, at that time - in the middle of the  20th century -, they liked to adorn their bodies. The designs were simple; they had to be done quickly, allowing the artist to book more clients. 1

Norman Keith Collins, better known as  Sailor jerry  (1911-1973), is one of the best known artists of this style. Herbert Hoffmann (1919-2010), Amund Dietzel (1891-1974), Bert Grimm (1900-1985) and Bob Shaw (1926-1993) are also some of the renowned artists who developed the style.

Some classic examples of little variety in color or depth, but with great stylistic force, are: 2

  • cherries;

  • nautical motifs (boats, sailors, anchors);

  • Native American motifs;

  • pin-ups;

  • mermaids;

  • swallows;

  • hearts, usually with ribbons with legends of names (or the word 'Mother' 'Mother'), daggers and snakes, varying the complexity of the design;

  • anchors and eagles;

  • daggers and roses.

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