There are few better examples of the evolution of graphic design within the world of travel advertising than this stunning poster for Swiss Air, circa 1964. Sleek and simple, it evokes as much admiration for it’s minimal beauty, as it does disappointment in the current state of travel advertising. Modern posters as we know them today date back to 1870, when the printing industry perfected color lithography and made mass production possible. In the above example, artist Manfred Bingler¬† “presented a beautifully simple yet bold image of the famous peak in Zermatt, Switzerland for the 1964 campaign. He seemed to favor a bare, untouched quality for his images to appeal to the Swiss Air traveler, and this mountain image exemplifies this style with its never-ending, turquoise sky. The mountain, covered in sunlight, appears etched into the skyline, further conveying the wonderfully open freedom of flight.” Here are a few shining examples of beautiful work, including one of the very earliest, by iconic French artist Toulouse Lautrec.¬†

Swissair clearly understands the vital importance of cataloging the evolution of their brand, you can view past destination logos, advertising campaigns and uniforms at


“Pan Am’s World” was a campaign in 1971-1972 that used simple, stunning photography and minimal Helvetica text. These posters have become highly sought after collectors items. You can read one person’s exhaustive search for the story behind the series here.

Pan Am’s, “Paris by Clipper,” circa 1950. Pan Am’s collection of travel posters span from early illustrations to photography.

If you’ve ever had a one-night stand with a twenty something girl in New York City, you’ve most likely woken up to this poster. “Moulin Rouge – La Goulue” Toulouse Lautrec, 1891.

The unfortunate state of today’s travel advertising. This artwork resembles a power point slide at a banal business conference. “Sometime the more business you do face-to-face, the more business actually gets done.” Brilliant.

Category: Art.

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