Small traditional tattoos

Small Traditional Tattoos: 40+ Awesome Old School Tattoo Ideas

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Small traditional tattoos weren’t so popular for the past few decades. But today this trend is changing, and more people want to get a classy tattoo. So, if you’re looking for small traditional tattoo ideas, check out this page. We’ve gathered lots of cool classic small tattoos. Let’s begin!

Micro candle tattoo by Sarah Carter
Micro candle tattoo by Sarah Carter.
Handshake traditional tattoo design on the arm
Handshake traditional tattoo design on the arm.
Black rose tattoo on the wrist
Black rose tattoo on the wrist.
Another small traditional swallow tattoo on the hand
Small traditional swallow tattoo on the hand.

The origin of small traditional tattoos

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of traditional tattoos is the USA. That’s right; the right old sailor tattoos came from here. However, many other traditional tattooing techniques came from other parts of the world. For instance, Japan or New Zealand.

Watermellon traditional tattoo design
Watermelon traditional tattoo design.
Tiny traditional tattoos on the fingers
Tiny traditional tattoos on the fingers.
Cool matching shark tattoo on thumbs
Cool matching shark tattoo on thumbs.
Another cool small cactus tattoo on an ankle by Daniel Ward
Another cool small cactus tattoo on an ankle by Daniel Ward.
Clamshell traditional tattoo idea
Clamshell traditional tattoo idea.

Many people have a traditional tattoo but don’t call it that way. The word ‘traditional’ got its meaning over the years. Today, there are lots of different tattooing styles and the art of tattooing has spread all over the world. Seventy years back from today, tattooing wasn’t so popular and the style that we now call ‘traditional tattoos’ has been the only tattooing style.

Small black outline shaded diamond tattoo on the wrist
Small black outline shaded diamond tattoo on the wrist.
Old school tattoo of an island by Dennis Gutierrez
Old school tattoo of an island by Dennis Gutierrez.
Matching small swallow tattoos on both arms
Matching small swallow tattoos on both arms.
Flower tattoos in traditional style
Flower tattoos in traditional style.
Black traditional flower tattoo on the leg
Black traditional flower tattoo on the leg.

Traditional tattoos have other names like old school tattoos and classic tattoos. It’s the same style. Sometimes, a modern style tattoo can a motif of a traditional tattoo, for example, an anchor or a heart. So, you can’t call it a traditional tattoo. However, it’s much easier to define a small traditional tattoo, because it is small in size and usually don’t have complicated design elements.

Tiger tattoo on the hand
Tiger tattoo on the hand.
Shark tattoo
Traditional shark tattoo.
Gorgeous swallow tattoos on hands
Gorgeous swallow tattoos on the hands.
Cactus flower tattoo
Cactus flower tattoo.
Another small traditional cactus tattoo
Another small traditional cactus tattoo.

Best placements to get a traditional tattoo

Small traditional tattoos are generally the ones that have a limited color palette. Usually, it has no more than three or four colors. The most popular colors are red, black, green and yellow. Colors of small traditional tattoos are always very bright. Also, traditional tattoos don’t have any shades or shadows.

Traditional heart tattoo on the wrist
Traditional heart tattoo on the wrist.
Small traditional panther tattoos on the wrists
Small traditional panther tattoos on the wrists.
Roses tattoos on both thumbs
Roses tattoos on both thumbs.
Panther and butterfly tattoos on thumbs
Panther and butterfly tattoos on thumbs.
Classic pineaple tattooo on the ankle
Classic pineapple tattoo on the ankle.

The most popular placements for small traditional tattoos are fingers, hands, and wrists. Arms are also a trendy placement. But you shouldn’t limit yourself just to these choices. Because it’s going to be small, you can get it almost wherever on your body. So be creative!

Traditional black rose tattoo on the inner hand
Classic black rose tattoo on the hand.
Lovesick tattoo
Traditional heart tattoo with a word “Lovesick” inside it.
Classy umbrella tattoo on the arm
Classy umbrella tattoo on the arm.
Beautiful traditional flower tattoos by Miss Quartz
Beautiful traditional flower tattoos by Miss Quartz.

By the way, the world’s greatest tattoo artists consider this style of tattooing the most challenging. It requires a lot of skill, which a tattooist gets through practice, experience and time. In today’s modern tattoo world, it has become a challenge for the artists to maintain the old styles without losing their originality.

Windmill tattoo design
Traditional windmill tattoo design.
Ships wheel tattoo on the elbow
Ship’s wheel tattoo on the elbow.
Sailor style tattoos done by Mike Stockings
Sailor style tattoos by tattooist Mike Stockings.
Crying eye tattoo
Traditional crying eye tattoo.
Classic matching skull tattoo on thumbs
Classic matching skull tattoo on thumbs.

Most popular small traditional tattoo designs

Remember that if you don’t like the whole concept of traditional tattoos, you can always take just one part of it. For example, you can combine a classic tattoo with a new style. Large and sophisticated tattoo designs look good, but that’s why small traditional tattoos are so awesome – they are simple and easy to get.

Spider web tattoo on the ear by Rich Hadley
Spiderweb tattoo on the ear by Rich Hadley.
Small traditional sailor tattoos on hands
Small traditional sailor tattoos on hands.
Old school flower tattoo on the wrist made by Anna Sandberg
Old school flower tattoo on the wrist made by Anna Sandberg.
Blue and red traditional flower tattoos on wrists
Blue and red traditional flower tattoos on wrists.
Bird tattoo on the hand
Traditional bird tattoo on the hand.
Anchor tattoo behind the ear
Anchor tattoo behind the ear.

The most popular traditional tattoo designs are hearts, swallows, skulls, swords, and daggers. Also roses, letters, snakes, lions, eagles, and ships. You can get these designs in a large format with perfect detailing. But, when we’re talking about small traditional tattoos, we know that we can’t shrink an eagle to a tiny tattoo and maintain an excellent detailing. So, before getting any tattoo, you should think out what kind of design would you like to get.

Traditional tattoos on fingers
Small traditional tattoos on fingers.
Stabbed finger dagger tattoo
Stabbed finger dagger tattoo.
Some small traditional tattoos on the hand
Some small traditional tattoos on the hand.
Hourglass and oil lampa tattoo on the hands
Hourglass and oil lamp tattoo on the hands.
Celestial moon tattoo design
Celestial moon tattoo design.
Another small traditional handshake tattoo on the inner arm
Another small traditional handshake tattoo on the inner arm.
Small Traditional Tattoos: 40+ Awesome Old School Tattoo Ideas
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