Traditional Tattoos – London
"Went in for a tiger and roman helmet on my upper arm. Really impressed and happy with what I got, so much better than I expected it to be. The colour and attention to detail is phenomenal. On top of that the place was really clean and professional." ~Richard A.
"Booking is super easy and the team are really helpful. I've got a few tattoos already but this is the best place as far as I'm concerned. I can't think of why I'd go anywhere else when these guys are so good! A tattoo is for life and you'll cherish it forever when it's done to this quality. Can't recommend enough!" ~Sam S.
"My first tattoo....far to old but you only live once!!!.....Even though it was quiet small, simple and I was particular with the placement and style I never once felt like these guys didn't want to do it. They took their time to work with me and a no point point did I feel rushed." ~Simon W.
"Couldn't be more chuffed with it, they offer their professional and personal opinion along with putting yours first! The design I wanted was perfect for me and they were open to alterations. Always checked if I was feeling okay and calmed my nerves a great deal!" ~Jacob L.
"Been to the shop twice now and both times felt really comfortable and at ease that I'm in good hands - always a cool vibe in there and I genuinely recommend you anytime anyone says they're thinking of getting a tattoo." ~Luca G.
"I got my first tattoo a couple of days ago at Cloak and dagger and it was an amazing experience! I went in a week before to book the appointment and the receptionist was super nice,relaxed, knew what he was talking about, he was encouraging, and in no time I had my appointment booked. " ~Ludovica M.
"As a tattoo newbie I expected to feel nervous and out of my depth, but that wasn't the case at all; everyone was very casual and welcoming, and I felt like I could relax and chat with the artists and staff at the shop who naturally made me feel at ease and were very considerate with my somewhat unusual design request." ~Tara K.
Traditional Tattoos Meaning
Also known as “old school”, the traditional tattoo style features bold, clean lines, a simple colour palette, and minimal use of shading. Best described as a tattoo that looks like a tattoo, the traditional style makes no attempt to appear photo realistic, instead it uses bright and classic images such as hearts, swallows, roses, daggers, panthers, snakes and pin up models.
The high demand for the traditional tattoo style brought about the introduction of “flash” tattoos, which were designs that were easy to create, fast to place on customers, and frequently requested. Artists began to keep a portfolio, or “flash book,” of traditional style designs that allowed customers to choose their design quickly and helped them keep up with the high demand for this classic style.
Patriotic and nautical themes quickly became popular in the traditional style, as well, thanks to the high demand for tattoos from those in the Navy, Army, and other branches of the military. Many sailors and soldiers chose to get tattoos as a souvenir of their time serving their country. Some of the most patriotic designs included flags, shields, military regimental banners, eagles, the Statue of Liberty, and the Star Spangled Banner.
The Native American culture also inspired quite a few traditional tattoo style designs with images of Indian Squaws, feathered headdresses, dream-catchers, and tomahawks being the most popular.
Nautical designs were also very popular, with some of the most popular nautical designs including images of anchors, sharks, fish, mermaids, ships, and compasses. The popularity of the use of nautical images in the traditional tattoo style is in part thanks to the innovative work of an artist named Norman Collins, although we know him better as Sailor Jerry.
The nautical designs that Sailor Jerry created became very popular with sailors during the time of World War II, as Sailor Jerry’s shop was in Hawaii and many men were stationed there while waiting for their ships to depart for international waters. Sailor Jerry created complex, dramatic tattoos of his own design and even made his own colour pigments, ensuring that his tattoos were very unique, making every sailor with one of his tattoos a walking calling card of his work, and setting him apart from other tattoo artists.
The traditional tattoo style is still very recognizable, respectable, and popular to this day, and has even inspired artwork in other mediums such as clothing and shoes.
Monday - Saturday
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
11:00 am - 5:00pm
34 Cheshire Street
London, E2 6EH
020 7175 0133