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Traditional Tattoo

At Saint-Paul Tattoo, most of our artists specialize in traditional tattoo.


Traditional American tattoo is a style of body art rooted in American history. This tattoo style captivates art and culture lovers. In this article, we'll explore the history of traditional American tattoo, the symbolic meanings behind the popular illustrations, and why this style remains a popular option.

 The history of traditional American tattoo

Traditional American tattoo, also known as "Old School" or "Classic", emerged in the early 20th century. It enjoyed popularity among sailors, military personnel and social misfits of the time. Tattoos were often created using primary pigments such as red, green, yellow and blue. Commonly used motifs included hearts, anchors, swallows, roses, skulls and pin-ups.


These designs often had symbolic meanings. For example, anchors represented stability and resilience, while swallows were synonymous with a safe return home. Roses symbolized love and passion, while skulls recalled mortality and bravery in the face of adversity.


The revival of traditional American tattooing, After a decline in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, traditional American tattooing enjoyed a revival in the 1990s. Classic designs and bright colors began to resurface, attracting a new generation of tattoo enthusiasts. Classic designs and bright colors began to resurface, attracting a new generation of body art enthusiasts. Artists like Sailor Jerry, Bert Grimm and Don Ed Hardy helped revive interest in this classic style.

Improving techniques

In the early days, artists used rudimentary methods with manual tattooing machines and a limited range of colors, mainly composed of primary hues.

As technology and materials evolved, traditional American tattoo artists were able to refine their skills and broaden their creative palette. The introduction of more precise and reliable electric tattoo machines enabled artists to achieve sharper lines and more detailed shading. Tattoo pigments have also improved, offering a greater variety of colors and longer-lasting hold over time.

In addition, contemporary traditional American tattoo artists have access to increased knowledge of anatomy, art and hygiene, which has helped ensure safer, more professional practices. The use of single-use sterile needles and strict adherence to aseptic standards have significantly reduced the risk of infection.


Today, traditional American tattooing remains a popular choice among tattoo enthusiasts. Contemporary artists have fused modern techniques with traditional illustrations, creating unique works of art. This style continues to capture the essence of American culture, allowing individuals to display their passion, individuality and connection to history.

Why choose traditional American tattooing

Traditional American tattooing offers many advantages for those seeking a tattoo. Firstly, its style is easily recognizable, giving tattoos a strong visual presence. Finally, traditional American tattoos stand the test of time. Thick lines and vivid colors ensure that tattoos remain crisp and attractive for years to come.


Traditional American tattooing is an iconic style of body art that continues to captivate art and culture lovers around the world. Its rich history, symbolic meanings and timeless style make it a popular choice among those wishing to express their individuality. Whether you're drawn to ancient seafaring traditions or vintage aesthetics, traditional American tattooing offers a multitude of iconic designs for you to create a unique and meaningful work of art on your skin.

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