Classic American Tattoo Studios in London


Discover the vibrant realm of Classic American Tattooing in the heart of London. This city, a global hub for art, culture, and innovation, also boasts a thriving tattoo scene. The capital's tattoo studios are particularly renowned for their expertise in the time-honoured style of Classic American Tattoos.

Classic American Tattoos, also referred to as traditional or "old school" tattoos, are an iconic genre in tattoo history. Characterised by their bold black outlines, a restricted yet vivid colour palette, and enduring symbols such as swallows, anchors, hearts, and eagles, this style was popularised by renowned tattoo artists like Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins. Even amidst the rise of various tattoo styles over the years, Classic American Tattoos retain their appeal and popularity.

From the historic alleys of Soho to the artistic enclaves of Shoreditch, London's tattoo scene is as diverse and dynamic as the city itself. The tradition of Classic American Tattooing is kept alive and fresh in the city, each tattoo studio adding its unique flavour to the mix, mirroring London's eclectic spirit.

Whether you're a seasoned tattoo enthusiast or a newcomer stepping into the world of ink, London's tattoo studios provide an inviting environment for self-expression, storytelling, and tribute to the rich history of tattoo art. The talented artists across the city bring their creativity to the classic American style, pushing its boundaries while respecting its traditional roots.

Across London, these studios stand as tributes to the enduring allure of Classic American Tattoos. They represent a seamless blend of tradition and innovation, where elements of the past are woven into the tapestry of modern creativity. In London, the art of tattooing continues to evolve, with each Classic American design being a testament to the indelible legacy of this timeless art form.

  1. Frith Street Tattoo, Soho: This famous tattoo parlor in the heart of Soho is known for its classic American designs.

  2. The Family Business, Exmouth Market: This place is renowned for its classic American tattoos, done by skilled and creative artists.

  3. Seven Doors Tattoo, Shoreditch: A place where artistry meets tradition, they are acclaimed for their American traditional style tattoos.

  4. Good Times Tattoo, Shoreditch: Offering classic American traditional tattoos, they are a staple of the London tattoo community.

  5. Cloak and Dagger Tattoo, Brick Lane: Offering bespoke American traditional tattoos, this place provides an excellent choice for classic designs.

The Early Days

Swallows and Daggers started life as a digital labour of love with the original blog documenting and dissecting classic american tattooing. From these small viral roots grew a community of like minded misfits, shaping and influencing the evolution of the brand. We garnered a global audience – through vast and varied daily content, the s&d website became a reference point for artists, brands and tattoo aficionados alike. In the process we broke down tattoo culture for anyone who had respect for the craft but not the access to the knowledge. Soon, a physical zine evolved out of the website, followed by a series of collaborative t-shirts with artists Simon erl and matty d’arienzo.

The Glory Days

Since the 2000's swallows and daggers has offered a fashion collection riffing off our obsession with tattoo culture, taking inspiration from artistry of the skin onto the cloth. Alongside our mainline collection, we’ve facilitated small, exclusive drops with some of the most exciting names in the industry. From Ross Hell to Ashley Love and most recently jack the grim. We have always intended to create a product that provokes and amuses offering a slice of off-beat original style.

The Reset

2020 has been a hard year for all. We’re not going to pretend that as a small business the events of this year have passed us by. We’ve taken the time to pause, reflect and reset. All our clothes are now created from certified organic cotton with each piece cut, sewn and printed in association with our longstanding well trusted factory in Turkey. If you have any questions about our process, then please ask. We are committed to complete transparency over our process, from cotton field to your back. At Swallows and Daggers we represent the freaks, the geeks, the weirdos, the misfits, the drop outs and the ne-er do wells. The misunderstood, the misanthropic, the dreamers, the artists, the scarred, the brave and the unique. S&D has always been a labour of love, we’ve never lost that spirit. We’re going to keep evolving and hopefully bring you all along for the ride.