30+ Exceptional American Traditional Tattoo Examples

An American traditional tattoo is a style of tattoo that has been around since the early 1900s. It’s a style that’s characterized by their bold, geometric lines, heavy shading and dark coloring. And it’s designed to look like it belongs on a sailor or a biker.

American traditional tattoos are usually done in black, grey, and red ink, but they can also be done in other colors. The design features simple lines and shapes that make up more complex pictures—often animals or skulls, letters and symbols.

Traditional tattoos can be done on any part of your body, but they typically work best on large areas like your back or chest. They also work well on arms and legs because they can be customized to fit the curves of these body parts better than other types of designs would.

What are the rules for American traditional tattoos?

If you want to get an American traditional tattoo, here are some things you should know about:

  • The lines must be bold and dark; they should not fade into the skin or be too light.
  • The color must be solid and dense; it should not be faded or patchy looking.
  • You can use as many colors as you want, but only one color per area of skin (i.e., if you are having a portrait done on your arm, only use one color per person in that portrait).
  • You should have a minimum of three colors in your tattoo design; however, more is always better!
  • You should have at least two different styles of shading in your tattoo design; again, more is always better!

Can anyone get an American traditional tattoo?

If you’re looking for a unique look that stands out from the crowd, then an American traditional tattoo might be right up your alley! American traditional tattoos are not limited to any one type of person—anyone can get them! But be warned: these tattoos take time and skill to create, so make sure you find an artist who has experience working with this type of design before you book your appointment.

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite American traditional tattoos:

1. American Traditional Tattoo Jaw Inspired


Retro, colorful, and different, the well-known movie ”Jaws” has been an American classic. Who can resist it in a form of a tattoo?

2. American Traditional Tattoo Sport Inspired


Gymnastics have always been popular and a huge part of the U.S tradition. Cool retro tattoo that everyone can go for.

3. Eagle American Traditional Tattoo


Go for this bright colorful American Eagle and show your love for the U.S. It also symbolizes your strong intentions and determination.

4. Hero Inspired American Traditional Tattoo


True patriots and American heroes will enjoy this wrist tattoo. It will look great on your forearm.

5. Rose American Tattoo


Beautiful and elegant, this rose print tattoo can be an amazing design, especially if you want to dedicate it to someone special.

6. Peacock Feather American Traditional Tattoo


Peacock feathers symbolize elegance and renewal. Want to give it a go?

7. Gypsy Girl American Traditional Tattoos


A bright wrist tattoo and this gorgeous colorful gypsy print are for those who like a pin-up and bold artwork.

8. Hawaii American Traditional Tattoo


If Hawaii is your favorite U.S state give it a go with this colorful calf tattoo.

9. Futuristic American Traditional Tattoo


Those who like colorful tattoos and artsy prints will enjoy this big masterpiece. Book a skilled tattoo artist when it comes to this bright blue tattoo.

10. American Traditional Tattoo Statue Of Liberty


True Americans will enjoy this tattoo and a Statue of Liberty. Go for it if you’re a fan of memorable prints.

11. Big Back Tattoo Death Print


This giant back tattoo will take 3-5 hours to achieve, a masterpiece to go for.

12. American Traditional Tattoo Eagle Print


A cool eagle that will represent your fierce, bold, and dominant side.

13. Fire American Traditional Tattoo


A fire symbol will show that you’re a warrior and a true winner at your heart.

14. Old Hollywood American Traditional Tattoo


Show that you’re an old soul with this colorful retro pin-up design.

15. Gypsy Girl American Traditional Tattoo On Shoulder


This type of tattoo is a common design for most men and women in the U.S.

16. Eagle Tattoo On Arm


Cool palm tattoo that is pretty straightforward, perfect for those who want to attract looks and attention.

17. American Traditional Tattoo On Neck


Big, bold, and colorful: this neck tattoo is only for those who don’t mind bold and noticeable prints.

18. American Traditional Tattoo Hawaii Inspired


Cool Hawaiian tattoo, perfect for those who love Lilo & Stitch!

19. Tribal American Traditional Tattoo


Great tattoo idea for true Native Americans or people who like cultural prints.

20. Black Skull Design Print


Go for this skull tattoo and show that you’re persistent and thick-skinned, like a true American.

21. Red & Blue Flower American Traditional Tattoo


A pop of red or blue with your chosen flower is an amazing traditional tattoo choice for most women.

22. Giant Colorful Back American Traditional Tattoo


Big and colorful, this tattoo will symbolize your inner spirit and persistent character.

23. Red Devil American Traditional Tattoo


Spicy little red devil, this tattoo is for guys or girls who like feisty ideas.

24. Cowboy American Traditional Tattoo


Retro cowboy tattoo, this design is for anyone who likes wild-west designs.

25. Retro American Traditional Tattoo


Go for this retro gymnast, perfect for guys or girls who want a colorful tattoo. Ideal only if you know of a good tattoo artist.

26. Warrior American Traditional Tattoo


This traditional tattoo will show that you’re a warrior and someone who protects your heritage. Does this sound like you?

27. Red Lighthouse American Traditional Tattoo


Simple yet beautiful, this lighthouse tattoo will take you 3-4 hours to achieve. Perfect for anyone who likes a pop of color.

28. Small Devil American Traditional Tattoo


Cool neck tattoo that you will love if you’re a fan of noticeable placements. It is a painful design to go for, so be prepared.

29. Retro Gypsy Print American Traditional Tattoo


Show that you’re persistent and optimistic with this red gypsy print. Perfect for fans of color.

30. Rose American Traditional Tattoos


A rose symbolizes love and purity. Perfect for traditionalism. This tattoo can suit both genders.

31. Pin-up Hawaii Girl American Traditional Tattoo


If Hawaii is your favorite place in the world why not give it a go with this colorful art?

32. Cowboy Shoulder American Traditional Tattoo


Lastly, this cowboy print is for people who like old-west and wild-west stories! Does this sound like you?

Want Something Fun, Colorful, And New?

So, are you ready for your next tattoo? Are you more-so interested in big or petite designs? In the end, everyone can find something that suits them. Let us know which one is your top pick, we can’t wait to see what you fancy!

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Soheil Khaledi

I've been a tattoo artist for over 13 years, working in 35 states and abroad. My art is prominent in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. I also tattoo on military bases in foreign countries. I share my inspirations on my blog.

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