New School Style
New School is one of the newer styles of tattooing, and a very experimental one at that. It draws close parallels with American Traditional, with its roots stretching back to the 70s, but the early 90s was where this unique style took hold.
New School is highly influenced by pop culture, including video games, comic books, TV shows, Disney films, anime, graffiti, and celebrities. From subject matter to the colors used, this article will cover the main design aspects of New School tattooing and what makes it stand out from other popular styles.
You may have seen examples of New School tattoos around your area; perhaps a brightly colored animal or cartoonish horror film character. This style is known for its depiction of dramatic cartoonish figures and vivid colors.
Animals are hugely popular within this genre, and it's easy to see why - when translated into New School tattoos, the options are literally endless.
It's quite common to see a New School tattoo of a cute critter with large eyes and a disproportionately small body. These exaggerated ratios are common and are utilized to create a dramatic representation of the subject.
Themes from the style of American Traditional are still used such as nautical creatures like sharks and mermaids, as well as birds like the traditional swallow, but New School encourages experimentation. Any animal is fair game, and personal customization ensures that the tattoo you're getting will be one-of-a kind.
With the explosion of the internet in the early 90s, characters from pop culture became extremely common in tattoos, especially ones from the Disney animated franchise. Princesses, cartoon animals, and villains were prime choices, often expressed as caricatures to further exaggerate their features.
As well, shows that were previously unavailable to the Western world were making an appearance. Pokémon, Sailor Moon, and other anime were thrust into the forefront of tattooing in America and became important symbols of this style.
New School script is usually done in some type of bubble font with a 3D effect. This is to amplify the roundness and cartoonish appearance of the tattoo, and to make it pop. This typography is closely related to street art and graffiti. Using various lining techniques, script is transformed into a work of art all its own, with highly dramatized and exaggerated line forms.
New School became a way for people to show their interests in a way that had never been done before. Characters from beloved movies, books, etc., could become amazing works of art for their bodies, carrying on the popularity of this style to this day.
Bright, vivid color is the hallmark for New School designs. Gone are the days where only a few limited colors were available; now, an entire spectrum of ink is accessible for use, allowing for experimentation in color, shading, and gradient creation. You want a neon pink version of your favorite dog? You got it. How about a banana yellow owl with a thick cyan outline? Say no more, fam. No hue is too extreme for this unique style, and that's part of what makes New School so appealing.
Bold, black lines are used to contain the color, much like the outlines of American Traditional designs. However with New School, varying line widths are used to create a more dynamic piece. The colors of outlines may stray from the norm as well with blues, purples, oranges, and bright greens being popular alternative choices.
The sheer amount of customization makes it easy for New School artists to create both masculine and feminine designs. Color, shading, and subject matter can all be tweaked to the client's demands, creating a truly unique tattoo. With its slightly abstract nature as well, it's easy to construct a piece that represents exactly what you want it to.
If you like the illustrative vibe of New School tattoos, research some designs and see what catches your eye. One of our talented artists would be more than happy to work with you on a piece, so contact the shop for more information.