Most traditional tattoos are inspired by the traditional American culture but you can also opt for traditional European tattoos or British tattoos. Traditional designs were in trend during the early tattooing days when people used different ink for tattoos.
The tattoo designing art has evolved a lot over the years but many people still admire the tradition of the early 1900s. Here we picked up 180 amazing traditional tattoo ideas for men and women.
Simple American traditional tattoos
1. In my opinion, the most popular and most amazing traditional designs were inspired by Native American artwork. Here is a native American tribal tattoo design.
Neo traditional tattoo designs use bold outlines with bright colors and less shading. It’s similar to traditional American designs but with less restriction and greater depth and options.
2. Weird girl portrait tattoos were a norm during the 1900s. Here is an odd girl portrait tattoo on the inner bicep of this guy.
American traditional tattoo sleeve ideas
3. Skull tattoos are in tradition ever since the late 1800s but they got insanely popular during the world war era.
4. If you wish to have traditional sleeve tattoos then you should try snake tattoos because they are the perfect choice for it.
Old School American Tattoo
5. Another popular combination of skull tattoos was a skull and devil tattoo design like this. The artist added devil wings to this skull tattoo.
Traditional Navy tattoo design
6. The 1900s saw two world wars and over half of the world population were employed in the army so it is obvious that there were lots of navy-related tattoos in tradition such as this.
American Classic Tattoos for Men
7. Religious tattoos were also very popular in old days. You can try a traditional Mary Magdalene tattoo design as shown here.
American half-sleeve tattoo
8. People were very sensitive on subjects like nationalism so therefore many people wore traditional patriotic tattoos such as bald eagle tattoos.
American traditional sleeve filler
9. Even though cross tattoos are in existence since the medieval era yet they got a unique makeover and popularity in the 20th century.
Old School tattoo sleeves
10. If you wish to have a traditional snake tattoo design then better make it aggressive because a cute and girly snake tattoo design was not acceptable in those times. If you want to learn more about traditional art then you can read it here.
Traditional American tattoos
11. A good tattoo idea is to opt for any design and give a traditional tribal background in your favorite color just like this amazing elephant tattoo.
12. Traditional designs were inspired by the real feelings of the heart. They were in trend during the war era so a lot of tattoos were aggressive like this.
13. Here is another beautiful tattoo design that shows a ship inside a broken vase and is really meant for people who lost relatives and friends in the war.
14. Is that a rabbit or a rat? If you opt for a large-size tattoo then please have it on the chest or back.
15. This impressive tattoo design is inspired by a bunny and a stag (deer). I would recommend it to people who believe in wildlife conservation.
16. Middle east has attracted Americans the most, so it will be a nice tattoo idea to try a middle eastern girl portrait tattoo.
17. You will never ever have such an interesting bug or insect tattoo design. This beetle tattoo wouldn’t have looked interesting if it was not given a traditional look.
18. Adding a quote to the tattoo design was not much in trend during that era but you can restyle your traditional tattoo by adding a quote to it.
19. You can have a native American traditional sleeve tattoo design and it will look even more amazing if you have thick biceps and forearms.
20. As traditional tattoos are colorful therefore it is a must that the color you choose complements each other otherwise the tattoo would be a huge fail.
Small Traditional tattoos
21. You can also opt for a traditional clown tattoo design and it doesn’t need to have a funny look. It can be scary too.
22. Among all the animal tattoos, wolf tattoos were most popular because they were considered to be sacred and fierce by many tribal cultures.
23. Here is another attractive take on skull tattoo design where the skull is shown in a soldier’s uniform.
24. A traditional flower tattoo design will look incomplete without a dagger tattoo so make sure you add it too.
25. You can also opt for a monster tattoo design in traditional tattoos and it doesn’t have to be big. In fact, a small design will look fine.
26. This is a traditional Chinese dragon tattoo design that looks more like the monster from the hit film Tremors.
27. You can have a tattoo design that has all major traditional tattoos. Here is a native Indian girl tattooed with a bird on her shoulder and a skull on her hat.
28. Even though this traditional black and grey tiger tattoo design is amazing but it can be improved by giving it a broader and more detailed look.
29. Traditional bald eagle tattoos are probably the most attractive and heart-touching tattoo designs. What do you think about this one?
30. An interesting traditional tattoo idea is to try a simple mirror tattoo design with beautiful scenery or any other design inside it just like this.
Traditional Style tattoos
31. You can opt for small traditional tattoos too and a skull is probably the best design for it.
32. If you want a skull tattoo design but are too confused then I would recommend you to try a traditional grim reaper tattoo design like this.
33. You can opt for a traditional tattoo design of your favorite sport. Here is a traditional hoverboard tattoo design on the forearm of this guy.
34. I personally love traditional flame tattoo designs because they look nothing like regular tattoos, see it yourself.
35. If you love traveling then you should opt for a traditional globe tattoo design in a large size just like this.
Traditional Hawaiian tattoos
36. You can try a portrait tattoo of your parents in traditional style. Here is what such tattoos would look like.
37. Traditional tattoos are usually advised on the upper part of the body but if you pick up designs like the one shown in the picture then you better have them on the thighs or calves.
38. A perfect combination of colors can make your traditional design look amazing. I would advise you to use colors like yellow, black and red.
39. You can have multiple traditional designs too on the same body part but make sure they look meaningful together.
40. What I admired about this traditional lighthouse tattoo design is the use of color in the stars shown above. What do you say?
Traditional Native American tattoos
41. Here is another amazing traditional lighthouse tattoo design that is made even more impressive by the addition of grass to it.
42. I don’t understand why the artist added a dagger through the head of this interesting traditional bear tattoo design but apart from that it is one impressive design.
43. You can have a tattoo of any of your favorite Disney characters. I admired this traditional animated vulture tattoo.
44. This amazing traditional dragon tattoo design seems to be inspired by the dragon Smaug of the Lord of the Rings series. It seems to be inspired by the film The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.
45. One of the most popular traditional designs is the around-the-world, where the artist ink a hot air balloon with a man inside it as shown here.
46. It seems to me a traditional double exposure tattoo design that shows a polar bear and an island tattoo too on the shoulder of this woman.
47. You can try a traditional biomechanical tattoo design like here is a bear tattoo design that seems to be coming out of the person.
48. A traditional 3D tattoo design is not hard to ink but one surely needs an idea for it. I would advise you to try 3D traditional animal tattoos.
49. The placement of this traditional wolf tattoo design is totally wrong as it would look way much better on the back.
50. Here is a mix-up of traditional design that shows a white wolf in the getup of a native American chief.
Which traditional tattoo design from the above photo gallery do you like the most?