This month we are putting the focus on TRAVEL and the sheer joy it can bring. We all love a holiday, we might go 50 miles or 4000 but most of us are passionate about travel and culture. We have over 300 vintage travel posters on totalposter.com but where did the humble travel advertisement come from and why?
Travel posters began in the early 20th century as a form of very powerful advertising, like a mini billboard. With their brilliant colours and amazing ability to radiate a sense of excitement, adventure and exploration, they enticed people to book trips by train, plane and boat with local travel agents. Like most advertisements of the time, they were often beautifully illustrated by capable artists and for this reason many remain sought after as art.
How exactly did the travel posters we know and love today come about?
The most popular travel posters mainly advertised rail and airline travel. For rail travel, almost all of the posters were directly commissioned by the rail lines themselves. They were initially more simplistic and in a fairly standard format because the typical way of displaying them was within rail stations. They were posters that simply hung on the wall, and the local train master would switch out the posters as new ones came in. So the travel posters would usually be in the same format and would visually represent city and resort destinations, as well as weekend getaways. If we think back to the turn of the 20th century, this was the early spread of the distribution lines of many global rail companies. They reached more destinations as they grew and had to promote travel to these extra destinations. At the same time, they had to sell and convey the message to people about how much quicker this was than anything previously available.
Travel posters and changes through the years
In the early 1900s, they were more Art Nouveau influenced but when Art Deco became popular from 1925 to 1939, the movement influenced many well known travel posters of the time. When commercial aviation became a factor, which was in the 1920s and onwards, the airline companies obviously were doing their level best to promote the advantages of air travel. They marketed harder to reach destinations that weren’t readily accessible by railway and the speed and comfort factor of the planes. European companies promoted themselves at the airports and through local travel agents using travel posters, until the advent of mainstream access to Television.
Famous Artists of Travel Posters
As the travel market grew, so did the budgets for the best works and famous artists like Roger Broders, George Barbier and René Vincent were commissioned. They came up with the style Art Deco Chic, depicting gorgeously slender and stylish women skiing, with greyhounds or next to luxury cars. Other famous artists would follow and include Pablo Picasso, Henry Matisse and of course Keith Haring who all had their own distinctive styles.
For many of the Airlines, the posters became much more than a simple advertisement. They became 'creations' and were designed with geometrically stylized landscapes in bright colours or well known landmarks with an aluminium lockheed, DC-3 or similar wafting overhead.
Home Decor and Travel Posters
With hundreds to choose from, you can always find the colours, styles and visuals to perfectly suit any room or space, that is the beauty of travel posters as home decor. You can tap into your family roots, favourite places or even your very own bucket list of places you want to see. They are sunny, stylish and evocative of different times so they make us think as we drink in the scenes with our eyes.
Today, they stand the test of time as stylized art for their individual style and strong visuals, and the amazing artists that created them. We can still be excited by the premise of them and the idea of exploring new and never seen before places. We can be inspired by the notion of visiting new sights, cultures and enjoying new experiences in the sun. They speak to us as art, memories and inspiration.
Every month we have a FREE GIVEAWAY and this months is #travelposter related but it gets even better. YOU can choose 3 of your favourite travel posters and we will print and frame them in a triple print frame and deliver free to your door. All you have to do is find one of our socials depicting it, comment on it and follow us (Linky, insta, fb or the tok) to be in with a chance to win. You can enter more than once if you like by doing it all again on another social channel.
What else is new at Totalposter?
We have added some amazing Piet Mondrian prints to the website and are so excited to start shipping them in all sizes! Mondrian is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century and his style is instantly recognisable. Each month we are adding more vintage art, maps and illustrations to continue to build on the totalposter.com library of prints so let us know what you would like to see.
Let us know where you are going on holiday and we can use it as inspiration to build on our Travel section but most of all, with travel returning to normal we hope you are able to really enjoy 2023 and spend it with your family and loved ones.
Thanks for your support, Team Totalposter