LONG BEACH : (562)494-6800
COSTA MESA : (714)708-2120

Old School Tattoo Shop


Port City Tattoo is known for their diversity in style and techniques of tattooing. We are also widely revered for our exceptional Old School Tattoos and have perfected the art of this style of tattooing. From discrete and simplistic tattoo designs, to awe-inspiring old school tattoos that cover a huge portion of the body, our Orange County and Long Beach Tattoo Artists can work with you on any concept or idea.

Whether you have a hankering to get a traditional tattoo at our Long Beach or Costa Mesa Tattoo Shop, or an Asian inspired tattoo, a portrait, or prefer to go for a geometric tattoo, our skilled Port City Tattoo artists can deliver it all. Our highly talented staff at our Port City tattoo shops can reference a picture or drawing, or we can free-hand a custom sketch based on the description of tattoo you’re trying to go for. We also welcome all guests that visit our Port City Tattoo Shop and peruse our huge catalog of Artist Portfolios to see if something catches your eye.


Call us today to set up an appointment : (562) 494-6800 

Location of Port City Tattoo


Port City Tattoo has two locations, our original traditional tattoo shop in Long Beach and our sister tattoo shop in Costa Mesa. Both locations are convenient to all of Los Angeles county and Orange County. Travel a little further for the best that LA has to offer. You can’t let a thing like distance come between you and quality tattooing!!

Top 10 Port City Old School Tattoos


Bold, classic and sure to turn heads, Port City’s expertly inked Traditional Tattoos, often referred to as Old School tattoos have been around for a while and are thick with symbolism and meaning. As with any art form that has stood the test of time and culture, tattooing continues to evolve, but the basics remain the same. Port City Tattoo makes it a point to deliver the best Traditional Tattoo designs in Orange County and Los Angeles.

Here are some popular traditional tattoos that are solid designs for all ages.

1. Compass Tattoos
Los Angeles Traditional Tattoos

Los Angeles Traditional Tattoos | Port City

Compass tattoos, which as you can imagine, derive their name from the widely used navigation device, are one of the most well known traditional tattoo designs. It symbolizes staying the course and is an encouraging reminder to continue heading in the right direction in life. This tattoo was made popular by sailors and explorers making it a true testament to traditional tattooing throughout history.

2. Heart Tattoos

Heart Tattoos are forever related to love, friendship and compassion, while also used to display heartbreak or loss. There are many renditions of this old school tattoo. Winged heart tattoos, the iconic ‘mom’ inside the heart tattoo, scared hearts, winged hearts and the ever present broken heart, amongst many other variations throughout the years. 

3. Swallow Tattoos

Swallow Tattoos are very popular traditional tattoos at Port City. Swallows symbolize freedom, prosperity and strength. They were introduced by sailors as a sign of a safe homecoming to port and later were used as a symbol of liberty by those freed from prison, which some believe the term ‘jail bird’ came from. Swallows have made their mark on modern day society and have been linked to celebrities and other figures in pop culture.

4. Anchor Tattoos

Another frequently placed traditional tattoo are Anchor Tattoos. Nautical in feeling they represent solidarity, determination, strength and hope. These old school tattoo designs are another favorite amongst sailors, but can be found adorning the body parts of all age groups and background. It is not uncommon to see an anchor tattoo coupled with other traditional tattoos like birds, daggers, hearts, skulls and roses. 

5. Eagle Tattoos

Nothing says ‘American’ more than an Eagle Tattoo. Iconic in nature and popular amongst military and other patriotic tattoo lovers, the Eagle is a symbol of freedom and persistence. Most traditional Eagle Tattoos are bold and rather large, with wrapped wording or other design elements.


Old School Tattoos in Orange County & Los Angeles


Our tattoo family is just as important to us as our beloved clients. That’s why Port City Tattoo goes above and beyond to only hire the very best tattooists from all over the world. Our expert tattoo artists each have over ten years of experience in a wide variety of tattooing techniques. Some of the styles of tattoos that we offer at Port City Tattoo include black and gray, portraits, Traditional  Tattoos, Realistic Ink, Japanese designs and lettering, Koi Fish, Sacred Geometry tattoos, amongst a catalog of others. We have a total of eight artists on staff at any given time. Come in and we’ll set you up with the artist that best compliments your style.

Call us today to set up an appointment : (562) 494-6800

Additionally, if you are feeling a little adventurous and have a concept, but no visual aid to reference, our Port City Tattoo Artists can help you describe your idea accurately and then sketch it out for you. Upon your thumbs-up we then begin the process of making it a permanent masterpiece on your skin. Get the artistry your body deserves, come to Port City Tattoo in either Long Beach or Costa Mesa for all of your Traditional Tattooing needs.

6. Mermaid Tattoos

Favored by females as a symbol of sensuality and mystique, the traditional mermaid tattoo design was brought about by tales from the sea. Sailors who had spent the majority of their lives on the open ocean would tell stories of beautiful women that would charm them from the depths. 

7. Dagger Tattoos
Old School Tattoos Los Angeles

Old School Tattoos Long Beach

Daggers and Knives have been a very common element used in traditional tattooing. They are used in conjunction with other old school tattoos like hearts, flowers and skulls. Knife and Dagger Tattoos certainly add an added sense of darkness and danger to an otherwise lifeless tattoo. 

8. Rose Tattoos

Rose tattoos are undeniably beautiful on the skin. It has become an extremely popular traditional tattoo for all age groups as an expression of passion and love. There are many variations of the rose tattoo including black rose tattoos, tribal rose tattoos, roses with names or quotes wrapped around them and so on. Rose Tattoos are a fixture in traditional tattooing and will stay that way.

9. Pin Up Tattoos

Ah the classic and iconic Pin Up Girl Tattoo is a favorite of traditional tattoo enthusiasts. Glamorous, sultry and sexy, Pin Up Tattoos have taken off in recent years, steadily growing in popularity. Pin Up Tattoos are more difficult to ink than other old school tattoos, generally taking more time to complete, but it hasn’t slowed the demand for these eye-catching and individually original traditional tattoos.

10. Navy/Armed Forces Tattoos

Last but certainly not least are Armed Forces Tattoos. Army and Navy Tattoos are a highly respected form of traditional tattooing. They stand for courage, strength and bravery. These bold tattoos are used by navy or army personnel to show rank, to tell a story and to share their pride in their pursuit for freedom. Some examples of Armed Forces Tattoo are guns, weapons, tanks, medals and nautical stars.


Call us today to set up an appointment : (562) 494-6800

All of Port City’s traditional tattoos, which come from old school tattoo art, deliver a unique look. Our traditional tattoos all hold significant meaning, which has made them the original elements of tattoo art in the United States. Visit one of our award winning tattoo shops in Long Beach or Costa Mesa today and get inked by the best in the Southwest. 

Port City is Proud to extend its traditional tattooing services to following cities :

Costa Mesa • Long Beach • Downey • Huntington Beach • Redondo Beach • Hermosa Beach • Anaheim • Santa Ana • Orange County • Orange • Torrance • Irvine • Tustin • Lakewood • Cypress • Newport Beach • Seal Beach • Los Alamitos • Garden Grove • Westminster • San Pedro • Signal Hill • Fullerton • Buena Park • Mission Viejo • Carson • Fountain Valley • La Palma • Cerritos • Compton • Rossmoor • Bellflower • Stanton • Laguna Hills • Lake Forest • Gardena • Lawndale • Palos Verdes • Lomita • Paramount • Laguna Beach • San Joaquin Hills • Manhattan Beach • Norwalk • La Mirada • Lynwood • South Gate • Whittier • Pico Rivera • Yorba Linda • Santa Fe Springs • Dana Point • Corona Del Mar • Torrance