Vintage Tattoos, The Book of Old-School Skin Art


Tattoos have gone from badges of rebellion to fashion statements fully absorbed into mainstream culture. They are enjoying a renaissance, with graphic designers and artists creating specialty tattoos for a growing audience, unleashing a revival of interest in the bawdy vintage tattoo. Old school tattoos are being rediscovered (sometimes ironically, sometimes not) by a new generation. Originally embraced by rebels, sailors, and gangsters, these tattoos-broken hearts, naked girls, floral motifs, and maritime emblems-are now showing up on the fashion runway and in music videos. This book chronicles vintage motifs in thematic chapters interspersed with profiles of influential tattoo artists and their distinctive designs: Sailor Jerry Collins, Don Ed Hardy (“the Godfather of Tattoos”), Mike “Rollo Banks” Malone, Bert Grimm, Japan’s Horiyoshi III, and Shanghai’s Pinky Yun.


Carolyn James gives The book 5/5 stars and says in a recent review.

“Becoming an increasingly more inked individual, I’ve become more and more fascinated with the history of tattoos. I’ve been drawn to exploring works with a more vintage feel so this book was right up my alley. I love that I learned the reasons people got certain types of ink in the past and was able to see what basic vintage designs look like. As tattooing becomes more mainstream and reasons for inking changes and styles expand, it’s always great to go back to the basics and learn some history. I hope in the future to get a piece inspired by some of the works in this book!”


Ashley gives 5/5 stars and says.

“I really love this. It’s the perfect coffee table book really, something you can look through a million times and never get bored of all the crazy old school designs. It’s a pretty short summary of all the most influential artists, dating back to the 1800’s and whatnot. It’ll definitely help you to gain a respect for the industry, by knowing the history of it. I only wish it was still the forties.”

In a more critical 3/5 stars review Maryjane writes.

“This had a brief overview of tattoo history, some of the well known artists and lot of picture of artists’ designs. This was a pretty quick read, and had some interesting info”


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