As the name suggests, New School style is a contemporary take on traditional tattoos. The style emerged in the 1970’s as part of the already growing counter-culture of that time.
New School tattoos are characterized by heavy outlines, vibrant colors, and exaggerated, sometimes cartoon-ish depictions of the subject matter. While traditional (or “old school”) styles had a limited color pallet and used simple two dimensional imagery, New school style favors colors not found in nature. Designs are often done in extreme 3D or with graffiti-style shading .
New School artists often take typical “old school” images and re-master them. Popular designs include skulls, animals, and pin-up girls. RebelCircus remarks, “Many tattoo artists are choosing to explore the possibilities of new school deeper and deeper because it gives them an extreme freedom of subject and technique, and an almost unlimited tool to make customers ideas come true in tattoo shape.”
Comparing images of Traditional and New School tattoos, you can begin to see how tattooing is an ever changing, ever
expanding medium. I look forward to seeing what new techniques and styles begin to emerge in the next 5-10 years.
I’d love to hear from you! Comment below about your favorite tattoo style! Which do you prefer, New School or Traditional? What do you like or dislike about each?