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
nautical motifs (boats, sailors, anchors);
Native American motifs;
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.