Vintage Tattoo Designs That Are Still Cool Today

by Ashley Berg

It seems in today's modern society that trends come and go within minutes. Something will be popular and then, all of a sudden, the masses have moved on to the next trend. This is true of internet memes, music, fashion, and, of course, tattoos. There are numerous Pinterest boards dedicated to new and sometime cliched tattoo ideas. Unlike those aforementioned fads, tattoos end up staying on your body forever, so it may be better to choose a design that will still be relevant next week. Classic tattoo designs can be awesome and really stand the test of time, plus if you opt to get one, they carry a history with them. Many vintage tattoo designs are truly still cool today.

Related: Everything To Know About Getting A Finger Tattoo

Whenever I picture a tattooed person in my head, it usually ends up being a huge biker with tattooed arms bursting out of their leather jacket. If you don't exactly fit that description, no worries! Tattoos are becoming more and more common, meaning that people who have them can't just be summed up by a bunch of stereotypes. No matter your style, you can take inspiration from the following classic tattoo designs. You may think that a vintage tattoo design would seem dated compared to more modern ink, but these designs are just as awesome now as they were when they were first created.

If you're planning to get a tattoo any time soon, take a look at these awesome photos and get excited.

1. Chest Piece

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Between the eagle holding an American flag and a woman riding a lion, this woman from 1907 is a total badass.

2. Full Body

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This woman from 1930 is not afraid of the tattoo needle. Her body is covered in flowers, religious imagery, and dragons.

3. American Flag

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If you really want to represent the USA, take a cue from this woman in 1930. Her chest piece featuring American flags really shows how patriotic she is.

4. Mini

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This design on a model in the 1970s is pretty simple, but adds a pop of color.

5. Sailor

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If you're really into classic tattoo designs, take a few pointers from these 1944 sailors. Starting a tattoo collection with a traditional rose is always a good first step.

6. Punk

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Super bright colors and sharp lines make these demon and skull tattoos stand out.

7. Anchor

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If you want a tattoo that is truly classic, try out an anchor design like this man from 1908 has. You can keep it super simple like he did, or go with more detailed elements to make it your own.

8. Snake

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A woman in 1928 is pictured with a slithering snake tattooed on her thigh.

9. Japanese

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This woman gives a nod to Japanese culture by creating a scene featuring coy fish, Mt. Fuji, and Japanese temples.

10. Butterfly

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I guess butterfly back tattoos were famous even back in 1955!

11. Bird

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The classic tattoo style is still immensely popular today.

12. Skull

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If you're into a bit more of a hardcore look, try drawing inspiration from this skull tattoo, also from 1955.

13. Dancers

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A mix of ballet dancers and birds gives this back piece a softer look.

Images: Getty (14)